History of Science and Technology/Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science Colloquium

semester, 2009

Friday, January 2nd 2009
There will be no Colloquium this week.

Friday, January 9th 2009
There will be no Colloquium this week.

Friday, January 16th 2009
There will be no Colloquium this week.

Friday, January 23rd 2009
Speaker: Douglas Allchin, Program in History of Science and Technology; Naomi Scheman, Department of Philosophy; Alan Gross, Department of Communications Studies; University of Minnesota.
Subject: Annual Science Studies Symposium
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

Douglas Allchin
"Teaching Science Lawlessly"
Boyle's law is the epitome of science in the classroom. Yet using recent philosophical perspectives on scientific laws, one can see that Boyle's law is not universal or invariant, as implied by the term 'law'. Indeed, Boyle's law—and other scientific "laws"—are not lawlike at all. In addition, from a cultural studies perspective, we might also examine why we teach laws in science and what it means to name them after someone. Science studies thus seems critically poised to inform science education. Indeed, properly understood, it might well lead us to revolutionize what and how we teach.

Naomi Scheman
"Objectivity as Trustworthiness"
Why does objectivity matter? I argue that its importance stems from epistemic dependency: we are irremediably dependent on others, including institutionally accredited experts, notably scientists, for much of what we need to know. Objectivity is supposed to allow scientists to serve as generic knowers, in part by bracketing the influence of social location. But traditional accounts of objectivity leave unexamined factors crucial to the actual trustworthiness of scientific claims: (1) broader questions of the trustworthiness of the institutions within which science is done; and (2) the relevance of diverse social locations for understanding how the world works.

Alan Gross
"Verbal–Visual Interaction in Science"
Department of Communications Studies, University of Minnesota
My current work focuses on the interaction of words and images in the creation of meaning in the sciences. Since the majority of scientific texts—from laboratory notebooks to published papers—consist of both words and images, an examination of their interaction seems a worthwhile means of illuminating scientific meaning. I approach the problem from the point of view Peirce’s semiotics viewed within the framework of a general theory of cognitive processing, Allan Paivio’s Dual Coding Theory. I ground my work in the philosophy of science of Martin Heidegger, a philosophy that, unlike analytical philosophy, does not privilege the proposition; rather, it places 'seeing as' at the center of the scientific enterprise.

Friday, January 30th 2009
Speaker: David Sepkoski, Department of History, University of North Carolina, Wilmington
Subject: Stephen Jay Gould, Niles Eldredge, and the 'True' History of Punctuated Equilibria
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould's theory of punctuated equilibria is one of those rare scientific theories that has become a part of our broader culture. The theory has been invoked, attacked, explained, and dismissed so often and in so many contexts that it requires almost no introduction. However, despite the attention it has received over the years, a number of questions and misconceptions have persisted about the significance, originality, radicalism, and even authorship of the theory itself. This talk will attempt to peel back some of the layers of mystique, misunderstanding, and mythology that surround punctuated equilibria and will reconstruct-in part using recently-uncovered letters and drafts by Gould and Eldredge-an account of the inception and early development of the original 1972 paper. The talk will also explore the significance of punctuated equilibria for the broader movement of evolutionary paleobiology during the 1970s, and will examine and critique some of the themes in previous historical accounts of the theory.

Friday, February 6th 2009
Speaker: Hugh Gorman, Department of Social Sciences, Michigan Technological University
Subject: The Story of N: Sustainability and Society's Changing Interaction with the Nitrogen Cycle
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

By focusing on long-term changes in societal interactions with one slice of nature--the nitrogen cycle--the "Story of N" provides a unique view of industrial society learning to interact with a complex earth system in a more sustainable fashion. Two centuries ago, flows of chemically active nitrogen through the biosphere differed significantly from the flows that exist today. Since then, humans have bypassed limits previously imposed by nitrogen-fixing bacteria and have roughly doubled the amount of chemically active nitrogen created each year. Our response to the resulting build-up of nitrogenous compounds and the associated concerns--including photochemical smog, hypoxic dead zones, nitrates in groundwater, acid rain, ozone depletion, and even climate change--suggests that learning to establish and manage ecological budgets is a key step on the road to sustainability.

Friday, February 13th 2009
Speaker: David Schmit, Department of Psychology, College of St. Catherine
Subject: Sympathetic Contagions and Investment Scheme Crazes; Mesmerism and Nineteenth-Century Theories of Social Influence
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

An unappreciated feature of nineteenth-century mesmerism is its role stimulating ideas about social relations and group behavior. Central to these developments is the rise of interest in sympathy. Nineteenth-century Americans made it one of their most resonant sentiments and imbued it with social agency. The prevailing view that a mesmerist could be put in sympathetic communication with entranced persons and thereby manipulate their bodies and minds raised troubling questions about the social vulnerability of people. This presentation will examine both the differentiation and development of sympathy as a social emotion and the mesmeric practices and theories addressing social vulnerability. Of particular interest is the mesmerist LaRoy Sunderland (1804-1885), who wove sympathy and mesmeric social phenomena into a psychological theory of urban crowd behavior, religious "manias" and social contagions (such as investment scheme crazes). As such, the study of mesmerism provides insights into the history of emotions and social psychology.

Friday, February 20th 2009
Speaker: Peter Richerson, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, Davis
Subject: Darwinian Evolutionary Ethics: Between Patriotism and Sympathy
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

Darwin believed that his theory of evolution would stand or fall on its ability to account for human behavior. No species could be an exception to his theory without imperiling the whole edifice. One of the most striking features of human behavior is our very elaborate social life involving cooperation with large numbers of other people. The evolution of the ethical sensibilities and institutions of humans was thus one of his central concerns. Darwin made four main arguments regarding human morality: (1) that it is a product of group selection; (2) that an immense difference existed between human moral systems and those of other animals; (3) that the human social instincts were "primeval" and essentially the same in all modern humans; and (4) that moral progress was possible based on using the instinct of sympathy as the basis for inventing and favoring the spread of improved social institutions. Modern studies of cultural evolution suggest that Darwin's arguments about the evolution of morality are largely correct in their essentials.

Sponsored by the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science.

Friday, February 27th 2009
Speaker: Nathan Ensmenger, Department of History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania
Subject: Is Chess the Drosophila of AI? Computer Games as Experimental Technologies in Artificial Intelligence
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

Since the mid-1960s, researchers in computer science have famously referred to chess as the "drosophila" of artificial intelligence. What they seem to mean by this is that chess, like the common fruit fly, is an accessible, familiar, and relatively simple experimental technology that nonetheless can be productively used to produce valid knowledge about other, more complex systems. But for historians of science and technology, the analogy between chess and drosophilia assumes a larger significance. As Robert Kohler has ably described, the decision to adopt drosophila as the organism of choice for genetics research had far-reaching implications for the development of 20th century biology. In a similar manner, the decision to focus on chess as the measure of both human and computer intelligence had important and unintended consequences for artificial intelligence research. This paper explores the emergence of chess as an experimental technology, its significance in the developing moral economy of the AI community, and the unique ways in which the decision to focus on chess shaped the program of AI research in the decade of the 1970s. More broadly, it attempts to open up the virtual black box of computer software -- and of computer games in particular -- to the scrutiny of historical and sociological analysis.

Friday, March 6th 2009
Speaker: John Powers, Department of History, Virginia Commonwealth University
Subject: Herman Boerhaave and the Demarcation of Chemistry from Alchemy
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

During his lifetime, Herman Boerhaave gained a reputation as a great teacher, systematizer, and promoter of empiricism in medicine and chemistry. He was also an avid practitioner of alchemy. Boerhaave's extant papers include notes from hundreds of hours of alchemical experimentation performed periodically over forty years (c. 1696-1737). Among these records are included numerous attempts to induce metallic transmutation by various means and several tries to fabricate "philosophical" mercury, a necessary step in some recipes for the Philosophers' Stone. Yet, Boerhaave was not a naive believer in the power of alchemy. What began as an interest driven by curiosity and faith became a research program for the testing of alchemical claims, culminating in a series of papers published in the Philosophical Transactions. In his "De Mercurio experimenta" (1733-6), Boerhaave praised the alchemists for their "tenacious work," condemned them for their obscurity and secrecy, and set about to scrutinize their claims "for all to see." In this talk, I will examine the origins and execution of Boerhaave's program for testing alchemical claims, especially within the context of his philosophical and pedagogical view of chemistry as a whole. I will argue that Boerhaave rejected many alchemical claims simply by treating them like any other empirical claim in his chemical system (rather then privileging their factual status by relying on witness testimony or philosophical argument). Ultimately, this paper will contribute to an understanding of the complex relationship between alchemy, chemistry, and natural philosophy in the early Eighteenth Century.

Sponsored by Program in the History of Medicine.

Friday, March 13th 2009
There will be no Colloquium this week.

Friday, March 27th 2009
Speaker: Frederick Kronz, National Science Foundation
Subject: On Actual and Virtual Chances
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

The standard account of the two-slit experiment is presented, and that is followed by a careful examination of some of the key assumptions involved in the account. Logical, metaphysical, and probabilistic assumptions are revealed and then called into question. The standard logic of the experiment presupposes a particle model, and that leads to paradoxical probabilistic consequences. An alternative logical structure is proposed for the experiment; it is based on a wave model. That logical structure leads to a non-standard theory of probability that has distinct advantages, including the ability to give a coherent account of the two-slit experiment. That account explicitly involves a distinction between actual and virtual chances, which may have important interpretive consequences for the quantum realm and more broadly including such areas as economics, queuing theory, and psychology.

Sponsored by the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science.

Friday, April 3rd 2009
Speaker: Chandra Mukerji, Communication Studies, University of California, San Diego
Subject: Impersonal Rule: Logistical Power and the Canal du Midi
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

In 17th-century France during the reign of Louis XIV, a navigational canal was built across Languedoc to join the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean through the Garonne River. It was called the Canal du Midi. The project was massive and at its completion hailed as a wonder of the world. But its importance lay less in its splendor than in the kind of power that it embodied. This project was part of the effort by the king’s minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, to undercut the autonomy of the nobility and shore up the power of the state. He could not achieve this shift in power through traditional patrimonial politics, since nobles threatened the king’s reign precisely because of the autonomy they achieved through their tight patrimonial bonds. The alternative was to change the face of the French countryside to embody the authority of the monarch over his kingdom and to empower the state by giving it land over which to exercise authority. This was the switch to impersonal rule that I want to describe in this talk, a politics exercised through engineering. The engineering knowledge required for the work importantly did not come from the state even though it stood for its powers. It was a product of distributed cognition, the combined intelligence of different groups from Pyrenean women peasants to artisans to military engineers. Together they created an anonymous intelligence that represented the state at the local level and was used to change the conditions of possibility for local life. The Canal du Midi was a prime example of this infrastructural engineering and the politics of impersonal rule. Its history reveals tight connections between early technoscientific culture and state formation in 17th-century France.

Cosponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study and Theorizing Early Modern Studies.

Friday, April 10th 2009
Speaker: Richard Burkhardt, Department of History, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Subject: Studying Behavior Biologically: Konrad Lorenz, Niko Tinbergen, and the Founding of Ethology
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

Ethology, the biological study of behavior, emerged as a modern scientific discipline in the 20th century thanks to the efforts of the Austrian biologist Konrad Lorenz and his Dutch counterpart Niko Tinbergen. As opposed to the collaboration of the famous twosome of James Watson and Frick Crick, which lasted only a year and a half, Lorenz and Tinbergen were critically engaged with one another for roughly four decades. This lecture explores the 20th-century origins of the discipline of ethology, paying particular attention to the interaction between Lorenz and Tinbergen, how their relations were affected by their contrasting wartime allegiances, and the enduring effects their respective research practices had on their views of what ethology was and what it could become.

Friday, April 17th 2009
Speaker: Jed Z. Buchwald, Department of History, California Institute of Technology, and Noel M. Swerdlow, Professor Emeritus of History and of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago
Subject: Symposium in honor of Alan E. Shapiro
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

Jed Z. Buchwald
"Isaac Newton and the History of Civilization"
Abstract: Isaac Newton, who renovated the foundations of mathematics, optics, and mechanics in the 17th century, aimed also to overturn the entire history of civilization. Convinced that the Egyptians and the Greeks had studied at the feet of the ancient Hebrews, Newton set out to prove that Solomon’s kingdom set the pattern for all organized social life. He canvassed ancient texts for words that could be pruned and transformed into supporting evidence – deploying in the process the earliest known procedures for handling discrepant data. We will see how the most sophisticated of techniques can produce error when data is massaged to fit a strongly-held conviction.

Noel M. Swerdlow
"Galileo's Theory of the Tides"

Friday, April 24th 2009
Speaker: Jon Marks, Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina-Charlotte
Subject: Evolution and Relativism
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

In The Grammar of Science (1892), Karl Pearson explained the application of Darwinian evolutionary principles to the human species: "a capable and stalwart race of white men should replace a dark-skinned tribe which can neither utilize its land for the full benefit of mankind, nor contribute its quota to the common stock of human knowledge," and later clarified, "there is cause for human satisfaction in the replacement of the aborigines throughout America and Australia by white races of far higher civilization." This is problematic because if the choice is between genocide or creationism, the correct choice is obviously creationism. It is also problematic because if Pearson was misrepresenting Darwinism (and where were you when he laid the foundations of quantitative biology? – Job 38:4) then it undermines the credibility of other generations of scientists who also claim to speak authoritatively about evolution. Accepting that creationists seek to undermine science education in America, I will discuss the failure of biology to deal adequately with them. I will suggest that an anthropological, relativistic approach may have some value in identifying and solving some of the problems raised by the persistence of creationism.

Sponsored by the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science

Friday, May 1st 2009
Speaker: Kathryn Steen, Department of History & Politics, Drexel University
Subject: What's 'The Big Idea'?: Patents and the Ideology of Invention
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

Through much of the 1950s, Philadelphia was home to a live television show, "The Big Idea," which was aired every Sunday afternoon since 1948. Some communications scholars refer to Philadelphia as the "Hollywood" of early television production, the place where people experimented with the new medium, not quite certain what shows would appeal. The creator and host of "The Big Idea," Donn Bennett, believed television could be a medium not only for education but also for other socially valuable purposes--such as promoting invention. Inventors appeared on his show with a model of their invention, demonstrating it before a panel of engineers and the viewers; the targeted television audience were investors who Bennett and the inventors hoped would help bring the invention to market. Bennett and his assistants fielded about 5000 inquiries per year from inventors; as of 1955, about 500 inventions had been marketed. Bennett's role went far beyond hosting his television show, however. He helped the inventors find model builders or patent lawyers; he helped at least one immigrant get citizenship. He also testified before Congress on matters of patent law and invention, emphasizing the need to protect and help inventors. Both through his show and his wider activities, Bennett participated in a public debate about invention, patents, and their significance to American society, a debate that took place in the context of a resurgent consumer society and great faith in corporate R&D. Sources include newspapers and magazines, family-owned materials, and government documents.

Friday, May 8th 2009
There is no HST Colloquium this week.

Friday, May 15th 2009
No seminar this week. Finals week.

Friday, September 11th 2009
No Colloquium this week

Friday, September 18th 2009
No Colloquium this week

Friday, September 25th 2009
Speaker: Carl Mitcham, Hennebach Program in the Humanities, Colorado School of Mines
Subject: The Philosophical Inadequacy of Engineering
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

Engineering is a philosophically inadequate profession. This is not to claim that engineering is inadequate insofar as engineers fail to do philosophy. Such a claim might be true but trivial. Why should engineers be philosophers? Instead, the argument is that engineering is caught in a fundamental difficulty that is revealed by philosophical inquiry and thus may be described as philosophical in character. Reflective or critical analysis of engineering reveals that the profession is committed to an end (public safety, health, and welfare) that is not in fact integral to it. This philosophical inadequacy or deficiency leads to misunderstandings and false expectations both within and without the profession.

Friday, October 2nd 2009
Speaker: Katherine Brading, Department of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame
Subject: Objects, Individuals, and Structures: In Search of Fundamental Ontology
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

Contemporary structural realists are proposing a radical revision of our fundamental ontology: we should eliminate objects and replace them with "structure": the world, in and of itself, is structure. The argument for this ontological version of structural realism begins from an alleged "metaphysical underdetermination" afflicting standard "object-oriented" scientific realism. I think that the argument fails, and I will discuss one reason why (the most interesting one, of course). This discussion focusses our attention on the concepts of object and individual, and on a view of physical objects that, I argue, originated with Newton in his discussion of Descartes on bodies and motion.

There is a positive outcome for structural realists, however, because the resources that the ontic structural realist employs when developing the argument from metaphysical underdetermination can be re-deployed to create a more promising strategy.

The draft papers that I will draw on for my talk can be found at http://www.nd.edu/~kbrading/Research/research.html: the structural realism stuff is in the joint paper with Alex Skiles, and the Descartes/Newton stuff is in 'Newton's law-constitutive approach to bodies: a response to Descartes'.

Cosponsored by the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science.

Friday, October 9th 2009
Speaker: Thomas Mayer, Department of History, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Augustana College-Rock Island, Ill.
Subject: Trying Galileo
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

Galileo did himself in. True, he had help, whether from Paul V and Urban VIII, the Jesuits, the Dominicans, the Congregation of the Index or even the Inquisition, but his fate was still largely his own fault. This talk focuses on his two trials before the Roman Inquisition, first in 1615–16 and again in 1632–33, the second leading to his condemnation for violating an order given in 1616 to abandon the belief that the sun was the center of the universe. Unlike most previous approaches, mine does not assume that the outcome was inevitable. Nor does it assume that philosophical, scientific or even theological issues were necessarily determinative. Instead, it takes a legal and political approach beginning from the fact that Galileo arrogantly rejected a legal way out of his second trial. Since both of his investigations contained lots of legal oddities, examining the Inquisition’s procedures (which have almost been ignored until very recently) leads to a much different picture than the still dominant view that Galileo was a victim of intolerance and superstition. Unfortunately, the Vatican’s recent proposal to reopen the case (including yet another publication of its acts) rests on at least two fundamental misunderstandings of Inquisition procedure: the fact that three cardinals and the pope did not sign Galileo’s sentence is insignificant. Popes never signed sentences and at least some of the cardinals often did not. Some sentences were signed only by the Inquisition’s commissary. Despite Urban’s missing signature, in both trials the pope’s role turns out to be vital. But equally, in both cases Paul and Urban had to at least bend if not break the rules in order to bring Galileo to book. He gave them both plenty of provocation.

Cosponsored by the Center for Early Modern History.

Friday, October 16th 2009
Speaker: Joost Vijselaar, Department of History and Art History, Utrecht University
Subject: Psyche and Electricity
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

The interaction of psychiatry with culture and society at large, as well as with the sciences and technology make a fascinating subject matter for the historian. Ever since electricity became a object of science during the eighteenth century there has been speculation about the role of electricity in the nervous system and the use of electricity for therapeutic purposes in psychiatry. From this perspective I will address three topics: madness and electricity in the 18th century; the importance of electrophysiology and electrotherapy in establishing biological psychiatry and neurology in 19th century Germany and the debate on electroconvulsive therapy during the last decades of the 20th century.

Cosponsored by The Bakken Museum

Friday, October 23rd 2009
3:35 pm:
History of Science and Technology Colloquium in *** NOTE: Carlson School of Management Room 1-142 ***
Speaker: Emily Grosholz, Department of Philosophy, Penn State University
Subject: The Representation of Time: Awareness, Mathematics, and the Puzzle of Asymmetry

* NOTE: Different location *

We often employ mathematics in science to bypass the accidents of human consciousness, but in representing time, mathematics may not only help physics, but also lead us astray just as surely as the limitations of our own organism.

Cosponsored by the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science and the Department of Philosophy.

Friday, October 30th 2009
Speaker: Michel Janssen, Program in History of Science and Technology, University of Minnesota
Subject: Inside the Black(body) Box: Jordan on the Wave-Particle Duality of Light
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

In 1909, Albert Einstein derived a formula for the mean square energy fluctuation in a small subvolume of a box filled with blackbody radiation. This formula is the sum of a wave term and a particle term. In a famous joint paper with Max Born and Werner Heisenberg submitted in late 1925, Pascual Jordan used the new matrix mechanics to show that one recovers both these terms in a simple model of quantized waves. So, contrary to what Einstein had concluded in 1909, the two terms do not require separate wave and particle mechanisms, but arise from a unified dynamical framework. This result not only solved Einstein's puzzle about the wave-particle duality of light, it also provided striking evidence for matrix mechanics, and can be seen as a strong argument for field quantization. After a brief review of Einstein's early work on fluctuations in blackbody radiation, I will present Jordan's result and the curious story of its reception. Rather than being hailed as a major contribution to quantum theory, Jordan's result met mostly with skepticism, even from his co-authors. I will argue that the skeptics were wrong. This talk is based on a joint paper with Anthony Duncan, "Pascual Jordan's resolution of the conundrum of the wave-particle duality of light." Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (2008): 634-666.

Friday, November 6th 2009
Speaker: Robert W. Seidel, Thomas Misa, Margaret Hofius, Nathan Crowe, and Ronald Frazzini, Program in History of Science and Technology, University of Minnesota
Subject: Institute of Technology 75th History Project
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

The Institute of Technology was created in 1935 and will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2010. The IT Dean's office has commissioned an engaging and illustrated book-length of IT's history -- including its notable faculty, alumni, research and teaching. This presentation will give an overview of our research, and present our findings on the distinct aspects of the Institute of Technology. We accent IT's notable achievements in science and engineering, and profile its colorful leaders and faculty members.

Friday, November 13th 2009
Speaker: Jeffrey Yost, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota
Subject: Programming Enterprise: Women Entrepreneurs in Software and Services, 1965-1990
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

This talk will begin by postulating that the early predilections and particular trajectories of women's history and business history have contributed to the dearth of historical literature on women entrepreneurs and the complete absence of historical literature on women and entrepreneurship in computing. The core of the talk (based on several case studies) will focus on a hitherto unexplored, but significant segment of the computer services industry—IT independent contractor brokerages—and the critical role of women in launching firms and subsequently leading the primary trade association in this industry (NACCB). In doing so, it will seek to balance the important, nascent historical studies emphasizing educational and workforce barriers to women in computing, with narratives where initial barriers give way to entrepreneurial moments, and the themes of women's agency and leadership come to the fore.

Friday, November 20th 2009
No Colloquium this week

Friday, November 27th 2009
There will be no colloquium this week.

Friday, December 4th 2009
No Colloquium this week

Friday, December 11th 2009
Speaker: David Queller, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University
Subject: What Is an Organism?
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

Cosponsored by the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science and the Conceptual Foundations of Evolutionary Biology Interdisciplinary Graduate Group.The organism is the fundamental unit of life and yet there is surprisingly little debate, and even less agreement, about what it is. Following on the realization that new levels of organisms have evolved from groups of lower-level organisms, we propose a social definition. An organism is a biological entity that has very high cooperation among its parts, and very little conflict, and is thus the locus of adaptation. We explore the implications of this view for what we consider to be organisms, and argue its advantages relative to earlier views.

Friday, December 18th 2009
There will be no colloquium this week.

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