Mechanism and vitalism: the perpetual dialectic

Mechanism, vitalism and organicism in late nineteenth and twentieth-century biology: the importance of historical context Garland E. Allen Abstract The term mechanism has been used in two quite different ways in the history of biology. Operative, or explanatory mechanism refers to the step-by-step description or explanation of how components in a system interact to yield […]

The problem is the solution

‘We are wrong to believe that the true and the false can only be brought to bear on solutions, that they only begin with solutions. […] This prejudice goes back to the childhood, to the classroom: it is the schoolteacher who “poses” the problems; the pupil’s task is to discover the solutions. In this way […]

The Rise of the Frugal Economy

In the United States and across Europe, vertically integrated value chains controlled by large companies are already being challenged by new consumer-orchestrated value ecosystems, which allow consumers to design, build, market, distribute, and trade goods and services among themselves, eliminating the need for intermediaries. This bottom-up approach to value creation is enabled by the horizontal […]

On French feminism and universalism, by Joan Wallach Scott

This article tells a story about a French feminist attempt to refigure universalism in the 1990s in a movement for gender equality in politics that they called parité.1 It is a story that addresses a set of questions much debated by philosophers and psychoanalysts, to say nothing of feminists: What is the relationship between anatomical […]

Do ‘Universities need scholarship that is more exciting’?

‘It was only in the 20th century that, by acquiring a university position, it became possible in England to pursue a scholarly career if you were not of independent wealth, or a church minister, or prepared to make huge personal sacrifices. Teaching and scholarship could be rolled into salaried employment. I would be the last […]