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Existentialism as Biology

01 Jan 2010-Emotion Review (SAGE Publications)-Vol. 2, Iss: 1, pp 76-83

AbstractExistentialism is compatible with a broadly biological vision of who we are. This thesis is grounded in an analysis of “concrete” or “individual” possibility, which differs from standard conception...

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1,569 citations


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100 citations



Book
07 Apr 2016
Abstract: Cultural psychology and experimental existential psychology are two of the fastest-growing movements in social psychology. In this book, Daniel Sullivan combines both perspectives to present a groundbreaking analysis of culture's role in shaping the psychology of threat experience. The first part of the book presents a new theoretical framework guided by three central principles: that humans are in a unique existential situation because we possess symbolic consciousness and culture; that culture provides psychological protection against threatening experiences, but also helps to create them; and that interdisciplinary methods are vital to understanding the link between culture and threat. In the second part of the book, Sullivan presents a novel program of research guided by these principles. Focusing on a case study of a traditionalist group of Mennonites in the midwestern United States, Sullivan examines the relationship between religion, community, guilt, anxiety, and the experience of natural disaster.

32 citations


Journal Article
Abstract: In reworking a variety of biological concepts, Developmental Systems Theory (DST) has made frequent use of parity of reasoning. We have done this to show, for instance, that factors that have similar sorts of impact on a developing organism tend nevertheless to be invested with quite different causal importance. We have made similar arguments about evolutionary processes. Together, these analyses have allowed DST not only to cut through some age-old muddles about the nature of development, but also to effect a long-delayed reintegration of development into evolutionary theory. Our penchant for causal symmetry, however (or 'causal democracy', as it has recently been termed), has sometimes been misunderstood. This paper shows that causal symmetry is neither a platitude about multiple influences nor a denial of useful distinctions, but a powerful way of exposing hidden assumptions and opening up traditional formulations to fruitful change.

3 citations


References
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Book
01 Jan 1980
Abstract: I hope that some people see some connection between the two topics in the title. If not, anyway, such connections will be developed in the course of these talks. Furthermore, because of the use of tools involving reference and necessity in analytic philosophy today, our views on these topics really have wide-ranging implications for other problems in philosophy that traditionally might be thought far-removed, like arguments over the mind-body problem or the so-called ‘identity thesis’. Materialism, in this form, often now gets involved in very intricate ways in questions about what is necessary or contingent in identity of properties — questions like that. So, it is really very important to philosophers who may want to work in many domains to get clear about these concepts. Maybe I will say something about the mind-body problem in the course of these talks. I want to talk also at some point (I don’t know if I can get it in) about substances and natural kinds.

5,978 citations


"Existentialism as Biology" refers background in this paper

  • ...2 Some foundational works are Kripke (1980), Lewis (1968), and van...

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  • ...2 Some foundational works are Kripke (1980), Lewis (1968), and van Fraassen (1971)....

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Book
01 Jan 2003

4,556 citations


"Existentialism as Biology" refers background in this paper

  • ...7 See, for example Moss (2003); on DST, see Godfrey-Smith (2000), Oyama (2000); and on “Developmental Evolution” see West-Eberhard (2003)....

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  • ...(2000); and on “Developmental Evolution” see West-Eberhard (2003)....

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Book
01 Jan 1995
TL;DR: This book discusses the origins of societies, development and evolution, and the development of spatial patterns in simple organisms.
Abstract: List of Tables Preface 1. Introduction 2. What is Life? 3. Chemical evolution 4. The evolution of templates 5. The chicken and egg problem 6. The origin of translation and the genetic code 7. The origin of protocells 8. The origin of eukaryotes 9. The origin of sex and the nature of species 10. Intragenomic conflict 11. Symbiosis 12. Development in simple organisms 13. Gene regulation and cell heredity 14. The development of spatial patterns 15. Development and evolution 16. The origins of societies 17. The origins of language References Index

3,710 citations


"Existentialism as Biology" refers background in this paper

  • ...So much has been argued by Maynard Smith and Szathmáry (1995, 1999), who have described “major transitions in evolution”— such as the onset of metabolism, self-replication, the genetic code, cells, sex, differentiated multicellular organisms, eusociality (the kind of strict division of labor, including reproduction, typical of ants or bees), and language....

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  • ...4 These are specific potentialities that form part of our biological nature (Maynard Smith & Szathmáry, 1999, 137 ff.)....

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  • ...The last transitions in Maynard Smith and Szathmáry’s scheme introduce the human variation on eusociality, namely a form of ultrasocial organization based on the recognition of distinct individuals and language....

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  • ...So much has been argued by Maynard Smith and Szathmáry (1995, 1999), who have described “major transitions in evolution”— such as the onset of metabolism, self-replication, the genetic code, cells, sex, differentiated multicellular organisms, eusociality (the kind of strict division of labor,…...

    [...]


Book
William James1
01 Jan 1977

2,257 citations