The emergence of genetic science has profoundly shaped how we think about biology. Indeed, it is difficult now to consider nearly any facet of human experience without first considering the gene. But this mode of understanding life is not, of course, transhistorical. Phillip Thurtle takes us back to the moment just before the emergence of genetic rationality at the turn of the twentieth century to explicate the technological, economic, cultural, and even narrative transformations necessary to make genetic thinking possible. The rise of managerial capitalism brought with it an array of homologous practices, all of which transformed the social fabric. With transformations in political economy and new technologies came new conceptions of biology, and it is in the relationships of social class to breeding practices, of middle managers to biological information processing, and of transportation to experiences of space and time, that we can begin to locate the conditions that made genetic thinking possible, desirable, and seemingly natural. In describing this historical moment, The Emergence of Genetic Rationality is panoramic in scope, addressing primary texts that range from horse breeding manuals to eugenics treatises, natural history tables to railway surveys, and novels to personal diaries. It draws on the work of figures as diverse as Thorstein Veblen, Jack London, Edith Wharton, William James, and Luther Burbank. The central figure, David Starr Jordan - naturalist, poet, eugenicist, educator - provides the book with a touchstone for deciphering the mode of rationality that genetics superseded. Building on continental philosophy, media studies, systems theory, and theories of narrative, The Emergence of Genetic Rationality provides an inter-disciplinary contribution to intellectual and scientific history, science studies, and cultural studies. It offers a truly encyclopedic cultural history that challenges our own ways of organizing knowledge even as it explicates those of an earlier era. In a time in which genetic rationality has become our own common sense, this discussion of its emergence reminds us of the interdependence of the tools we use to process information and the conceptions of life they animate.
How grids paved the way for our biological understanding of organisms As one of the most visual sciences, biology has an aesthetic dimension that lends force and persuasion to scientific arguments: how things are arranged on a page, how texts are interspersed with images, and how images are composed reflect deep-seated beliefs about how life exists on Earth. Biology in the Grid traces how our current understanding of life and genetics emerged from the pervasive nineteenth- and twentieth-century graphic form of the grid, which allowed disparate pieces of information to form what media theorist Vilém Flusser called “technical images.” Phillip Thurtle explains how the grid came to dominate biology in the twentieth century, transforming biologists’ beliefs about how organisms were constructed. He demonstrates how this shift in our understanding of biological grids enabled new philosophies in endeavors such as advertising, entertainment, and even political theory. The implications of the arguments in Biology in the Grid are profound, touching on matters as fundamental as desire, our understanding of our bodies, and our view of how society is composed. Moreover, Thurtle’s beautifully written, tightly focused arguments allow readers to apply his claims to new disciplines and systems. Bristling with insight and potential, Biology in the Grid ultimately suggests that such a grid-organized understanding of natural life inevitably has social and political dimensions, with society recognized as being made of interchangeable, regulated parts rather than as an organic whole.
Scientific research is viewed as a deliberate activity and the logic of discovery consists of strategies and arguments whereby the best objectives (questions) and optimal means for achieving these objectives (heuristics) are chosen. This book includes a discussion and some proposals regarding the way the logic of questions can be applied to understanding scientific research and draws upon work in artificial intelligence in a discussion of heuristics and methods for appraising heuristics (metaheuristics). It also includes a discussion of a third source for scientific objectives and heuristics; episodes and examplars from the history of science and the history of philosophy. This book is written to be accessible to advanced students in philosophy and to the scientific community. It is of interest to philosophers of science, philosophers of biology, historians of physics, and historians of biology.
'Fascist Pigs' investigates the breeding of new animals and plants embodying fascism. It details the role of technoscientific organisms in the national battles for food independence launched by Mussolini, Salazar, and Hitler, the first large scale mobilizations of the three fascist regimes.
The essays in this collection examine how human heredity was understood between the end of the First World War and the early 1970s. The contributors explore the interaction of science, medicine and society in determining how heredity was viewed across the world during the politically turbulent years of the twentieth century.
"This book presents a complete, global history of the biological sciences from ancient times to today-introducing a long-term perspective to the history of biological thought, while showing its fractures and upheavals through the ages. The history of biology often neglects certain areas, such as ecology, ethology (the study of non-human animal behavior), and plant biology-areas which are covered in this work. The broad, global perspective offered here will allow the reader to better appreciate the nature of the interdisciplinary exchanges that have shaped the biological sciences, perhaps more than any other discipline. Much attention is also given to the contribution of technology, the role of experimentation, and, more generally, the social and technological environment within which scientific transformations develop"--
This book examines the wide range of scientific and social arenas in which the concept of inheritance gained relevance in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Although genetics emerged as a scientific discipline during this period, the idea of inheritance also played a role in a variety of medical, agricultural, industrial, and political contexts. The book, which follows an earlier collection, Heredity Produced (covering the period 1500 to 1870), addresses heredity in national debates over identity, kinship, and reproduction; biopolitical conceptions of heredity, degeneration, and gender; agro-industrial contexts for newly emerging genetic rationality; heredity and medical research; and the genealogical constructs and experimental systems of genetics that turned heredity into a representable and manipulable object. Taken together, the essays in Heredity Explored show that a history of heredity includes much more than the history of genetics, and that knowledge of heredity was always more than the knowledge formulated as Mendelism. It was the broader public discourse of heredity in all its contexts that made modern genetics possible.
Frequently cited in scholarly books and journals and praised by students, this book focuses on developmental changes and processes in adolescence rather than on the details and problems of daily life. Major developmental changes associated with adolescence are identified. Noted for its exceptionally strong coverage of cognitive, moral, and social development, this brief, inexpensive book can be used independently or as a supplement to other texts on adolescence. Highlights of the new edition include: expanded coverage of thinking and reasoning. a new chapter on metacognition and epistemic cognition. expanded coverage of controversies concerning the foundations of morality. a new chapter on moral principles and perspective taking. a new chapter on the relation of personal and social identity. a new chapter addressing current controversies concerning the rationality, maturity, and brains of adolescents. more detail on key studies and methodologies and boldfaced key terms and a glossary to highlight and clarify key concepts. Rather than try to cover everything about adolescence at an elementary level, this book presents and builds on the core issues in the scholarly literature, thus encouraging deeper levels of understanding. The book opens with an introduction to the concepts of adolescence, rationality, and development and then explores the three foundational literatures of adolescent development - cognitive development, moral development, and identity formation. The book concludes with a more general account of rationality and development in adolescence and beyond. Appropriate for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on adolescence or adolescent development offered by departments of psychology, educational psychology, or human development, this brief text is also an ideal supplement for courses on social and/or moral development, cognitive development, or lifespan development. The book is also appreciated by scholars interested in connections across standard topics and research programs. Prior knowledge of psychology is not assumed.
Animal breeding has been complicated by persisting factors across species, cultures, geography, and time. In Made to Order, Margaret E. Derry explains these factors and other breeding concerns in relation to both animals and society in North America and Europe over the past three centuries. Made to Order addresses how breeding methodology evolved, what characterized the aims of breeding, and the way structures were put in place to regulate the occupation. Illustrated by case studies on important farm animals and companion species, the book presents a synthetic overview of livestock breeding as a whole. It gives considerable emphasis to genetics and animal breeding in the post-1960 period, the relationship between environmental and improvement breeding, and regulation of breeding as seen through pedigrees. In doing so, Made to Order shows how studying the ancient human practice of animal breeding can illuminate the ways in which human thinking, theorizing, and evolving characterize our interactions with all-natural processes.
From its first depictions in ancient medical literature to contemporary depictions in brain imaging, mania has been largely associated with its Greek roots, "to rage." Prior to the nineteenth century, "mania" was used interchangeably with "madness." Although its meanings shifted over time, the word remained layered with the type of madness first-century writers described: rage, fury, frenzy. Even now, the mental illness we know as bipolar disorder describes conditions of extreme irritability, inflated grandiosity, and excessive impulsivity. Spanning several centuries, Manic Minds traces the multiple ways in which the word "mania" has been used by popular, medical, and academic writers. It reveals why the rhetorical history of the word is key to appreciating descriptions and meanings of the "manic" episode." Lisa M. Hermsen examines the way medical professionals analyzed the manic condition during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and offers the first in-depth analysis of contemporary manic autobiographies: bipolar figures who have written from within the illness itself.
This handbook illustrates the evolution of literature and science, in collaboration and contestation, across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The essays it gathers question the charged rhetoric that pits science against the humanities while also demonstrating the ways in which the convergence of literary and scientific approaches strengthens cultural analyses of colonialism, race, sex, labor, state formation, and environmental destruction. The broad scope of this collection explores the shifting relations between literature and science that have shaped our own cultural moment, sometimes in ways that create a problematic hierarchy of knowledge and other times in ways that encourage fruitful interdisciplinary investigations, innovative modes of knowledge production, and politically charged calls for social justice. Across units focused on epistemologies, techniques and methods, ethics and politics, and forms and genres, the chapters address problems ranging across epidemiology and global health, genomics and biotechnology, environmental and energy sciences, behaviorism and psychology, physics, and computational and surveillance technologies. Chapter 19 is available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License via link.springer.com.
Should we make people healthier, smarter, and longer-lived if genetic and medical advances enable us to do so? Matti Häyry asks this question in the context of genetic testing and selection, cloning and stem cell research, gene therapies and enhancements. The ethical questions explored include parental responsibility, the use of people as means, the role of hope and fear in risk assessment, and the dignity and meaning of life. Taking as a starting point the arguments presented by Jonathan Glover, John Harris, Ronald M. Green, Jürgen Habermas, Michael J. Sandel, and Leon R. Kass, who defend a particular normative view as the only rational or moral answer, Matti Häyry argues that many coherent rationalities and moralities exist in the field, and that to claim otherwise is mistaken.