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The supernova of 1604 marks a major turning point in the cosmological crisis of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Capturing the eyes and imagination of Europe, it ignited an explosion of ideas that forever changed the face of science. Variously interpreted as a comet or star, the new luminary brought together a broad network of scholars who debated the nature of the novelty and its origins in the universe. At the heart of the interdisciplinary discourse was Johannes Kepler, whose book On the New Star (1606) assessed the many disputes of the day. Beginning with several studies about Kepler’s book, the authors of the present volume explore the place of Kepler and the ‘new star’ in early modern culture and religion, and how contemporary debate shaped the course of science down to the present day.

Contributors are: (1) Dario Tessicini, (2) Christopher M. Graney, (3) Javier Luna, (4) Patrick J. Boner, (5) Jonathan Regier, (6) Aviva Rothman, (7) Miguel Á. Granada, (8) Pietro Daniel Omodeo, (9) Matteo Cosci, and (10) William P. Blair.
Controversy, Media and Politics in Spanish Human Origins Research
In The Orce Man: Controversy, Media and Politics in Human Origins Research, Miquel Carandell presents a thrilling story of a controversy on an Spanish “First European” that involved scientists, politicians and newspapers. In the early 1980s, with Spanish democracy in its beginnings, the Orce bone was transformed from a famous human ancestor to an apparently ridiculous donkey remain. With a chronological narrative, this book is not centered on whether the bone was human or not, but on the circumstances that made a certain claim credible or not, from both the scientific community and the general public. Carandell’s analysis draws on the thin line that separates success from failure and the role of media and politics in the controversy.
The Anthology of the Works of Ugo Spirito captures the trajectory of Ugo Spirito’s complex body of thought that spanned more than fifty years, from 1921 to 1977. While confronting difficult contemporary problems related to philosophy and science, liberalism and socialism, fascism and communism, and other economic and ideological aspects such as corporativism and democracy, Spirito revealed a persistent desire to reach truth and the absolute. Yet, he also voiced his failure to consistently believe in any philosophical or political system. Unable to reach ‘incontrovertibility,’ he consistently examined his ideas, developing at the same time the ‘antinomic’ approach, a method of critical analysis that undermined any truth considered ‘incontrovertible.’ Today, Spirito stands as one of most anti-conformist Italian thinkers for he challenged the certainties of modern thought.
Interdisciplinary Reflections
Editor: Jan G. Michel
Scientific progress depends crucially on scientific discoveries. Yet the topic of scientific discoveries has not been central to debate in the philosophy of science. This book aims to remedy this shortcoming. Based on a broad reading of the term “science” (similar to the German term “Wissenschaft ”), the book convenes experts from different disciplines who reflect upon several intertwined questions connected to the topic of making scientific discoveries.
Among these questions are the following: What are the preconditions for making scientific discoveries? What is it that we (have to) do when we make discoveries in science? What are the objects of scientific discoveries, how do we name them, and how do scientific names function? Do dis-coveries in, say, physics and biology, share an underlying structure, or do they differ from each other in crucial ways? Are other fields such as theology and environmental studies loci of scientific discovery? What is the purpose of making scientific discoveries? Explaining nature or reality? Increasing scientific knowledge? Finding new truths? If so, how can we account for instructive blunders and serendipities in science?
In the light of the above, the following is an encompassing question of the book: What does it mean to make a discovery in science, and how can scientific discoveries be distinguished from non-scientific discoveries?
Author: Dirk Hartmann
Editor: Dirk Hartmann
Band II baut auf Band I auf und behandelt (als eine Besonderung der Erkenntnistheorie) die Philosophie der Mathematik und die allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie der Naturwissenschaften.
In der Philosophie der Mathematik geht es u.a. um Fragen wie „Was sind die Gegenstände der Mathematik?“, „Lässt sich Mathematik insgesamt auf eine grundlegende Theorie, etwa die Logik, zurückführen?“, „Was ist Wahrscheinlichkeit?“. Die allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie der Naturwissenschaften führt dies weiter in das empirische Feld mit Fragen wie: „Was ist Messen?“, „Was leisten Experimente?“, „Was ist Kausalität?“, „Gibt es Naturgesetze?“, „In welchem Sinne existieren theoretisch postulierte Entitäten wie beispielsweise Atome und Elektronen?“. Im Zusammenhang der letzten Frage wird der im ersten Band formulierte Antirealismus weiter konkretisiert: Anders als dem Antirealismus bzw. Idealismus üblicherweise zugeschrieben, wird vom Autor nicht behauptet, dass es die theoretischen Entitäten in Wahrheit gar nicht gibt, sondern vielmehr, dass ihre Existenz nicht unabhängig von der prinzipiellen Möglichkeit des Wissens um sie ist.
In Brill's Companion to the Reception of Presocratic Natural Philosophy in Later Classical Thought, contributions by Gottfried Heinemann, Andrew Gregory, Justin Habash, Daniel W. Graham, Oliver Primavesi, Owen Goldin, Omar D. Álvarez Salas, Christopher Kurfess, Dirk L. Couprie, Tiberiu Popa, Timothy J. Crowley, Liliana Carolina Sánchez Castro, Iakovos Vasiliou, Barbara Sattler, Rosemary Wright, and a foreword by Patricia Curd explore the influences of early Greek science (6-4th c. BCE) on the philosophical works of Plato, Aristotle, and the Hippocratics.

Rather than presenting an unified narrative, the volume supports various ways to understand the development of the concept of nature, the emergence of science, and the historical context of topics such as elements, principles, soul, organization, causation, purpose, and cosmos in ancient Greek philosophy.
Why does a magnet attract iron? Why does a compass needle point north? Although the magnet or lodestone was known since antiquity, magnetism only became an important topic in natural science and technology in the early modern period. In Magnes Christoph Sander explores this fascinating subject and draws, for the first time, a comprehensive picture of early modern research on magnetism (c. 1500–1650). Covering all disciplines of this period, Magnes examines what scholars understood by ‘magnet’ and ‘magnetism,’ which properties they ascribed to it, in which instruments and practices magnetism was employed, and how they tried to explain this exciting phenomenon. This historical panorama is based on circa 1500 historical sources, including over 100 manuscripts.
In Sociocybernetics and Political Theory in a Complex World, Roberto Mancilla posits that because current political and constitutional theory was crafted since the XVII century, in the age of globalisation, Google and Big Data, other arrangements are needed. He proposes a recasting of the ideas of the State, Separation of Powers, The Public/Private Distinction and Constitutionalism by means of cybernetics, a body of knowledge that gave way to the technology that we have today. This will be done by means of a general introduction to Sociocybernetics and Complexity and then through the critical dismantling of said concepts of political theory and then proposals imbued with newer ideas.
Author: Nadine Dolby

Abstract

Animal welfare is an increasingly important component of veterinary medicine. While the AVMA Model Animal Welfare Curriculum is not required, there is growing research that examines veterinary students’ understanding of animal welfare and moral and ethical responsibility to animals. However, there is limited research that investigates incoming veterinary students’ perspectives on animal welfare: a significant pedagogical gap, as successful curriculum interventions take into account students’ pre-existing experiences. This study investigates this gap in the literature through a qualitative, interview-based study of twenty incoming veterinary students at an accredited veterinary college. Four themes are identified in the data: formative childhood experiences; pre-professional experiences in the field; public conversations in the media/ social media; and academic definitions memorized for admission interviews. In conclusion, I draw on the field of narrative medicine to discuss how students’ stories are important to understanding the curriculum and pedagogy of animal welfare in veterinary education.

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research

Abstract

Some recent psychological studies suggest that the belief that humans matter more than other animals can be strengthened by cognitive dissonance. Jaquet (forthcoming) argues that some of these studies also show that the relevant belief is primarily caused by cognitive dissonance and is therefore subject to a debunking argument. We offer an alternative hypothesis according to which we are already speciesist but cognitive dissonance merely enhances our speciesism. We argue that our hypothesis explains the results of the studies at least as well as Jaquet’s. We then respond to a series of objections. Along the way, we highlight various respects in which further studies are needed to decide between Jaquet’s hypothesis and ours.

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research