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Romantic Philosophy and Natural Sciences

Blurred Boundaries and Terminological Problems

Elías Palti

Departing from a recent work by Helmut Müller-Sievers the author charts the intricacies of the debate between preformationism and epigeneticism and its theoretico-epistemological repercussions during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Although the most common interpretation equals preformationism to mechanism and fixism, on one side, and evolutionism to epigeneticism and organicism, on the other, the actual picture, once key authors are analyzed, is far more complex. All preformationist theories were, in principle, mechanistic, but not all mechanistic theories were preformationist: they could also be epigenetist, which means that not all epigenetist theories were necessarily organicist. Although all organicist theories were, in principle, evolutionary, not all mechanistic theories were fixist. And finally, all preformationist theories were, in principle, fixist, but not all fixist theories were preformationist. The redefinition of the notion of embryonic preformation in the first decades of the nineteenth-century resulted, in turn, in a new concept of the “organism,” crystallizing a view of nature that combined fixism (at a phylogenetical level) and evolutionism (at the embryological level).

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Christian Büscher and Aldo Mascareño

Historically, risk assessment and the concept of risk itself have been dominated by environmental, engineering, and economic sciences. Consequently, in analyzing risk production in modern cities, a rather technical view emerges on risks and urban dynamics. Though scientifically grounded and practically useful, this view fails to capture the social complexity of the city, its paradoxes and causalities. Elaborating on the hypothesis that the life-supporting mechanisms in modern cities are simultaneously life-endangering mechanisms, the article aims to develop a sociological framework to comprehend the dynamics of systematic risk production in the urban milieu. Methodologically, to illustrate the functioning of such mechanisms, we will use historical references and several empirical analyses related to urban research.

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Oili Pulkkinen

Newtonian science and mechanics left an important imprint on the Scottish Enlightenment. Even though the usage of mechanical metaphors, especially that of a “state machine” per se, were rare in Scottish philosophy, its conception of the human, animal and political bodies as mechanisms that function according to regular principles, or laws, helped to shape many of the theories that have now become popular in various fields of Scottish studies. Most research in these fields focus on the conceptions of history related to theories of economic advancement. In this article the author suggests that the theories produced in the Scottish Enlightenment were also nuanced attempts to describe how historical mechanisms operate.

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Ming-Lun Chung

social world, school anti-bullying policy could be viewed as a mixture of ideological discourses (either scientific or political claims) and the object of preexisting generative mechanisms (which could be activated by historical, cultural, and political

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Yagil Levy

-militia force, setting policy that may deviate from the official line. However, beyond this general reflection, the emerging policing army and especially the mechanisms that monitor its performance deserve deeper analysis. The question of who controls the

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Krzysztof Lalik

compensation for injury’ (1940: 5). He discerned also that within each tribe there is a mechanism of administering justice based on particular laws. As he pointed out: Within a tribe there is law: there is machinery for settling disputes and a moral

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Film as the Engine for Learning

A Model to Assess Film's Interest Raising Potential

Winnifred Wijnker, Ed S. Tan, Arthur Bakker, Tamara A. J. M. van Gog, and Paul H. M. Drijvers

model accounting for student-viewers’ interest in films (film's interest raising mechanisms or FIRM model). This model is the basis for an analysis method for assessing any film's interest raising potential for learning. Next, we demonstrate how the FIRM

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Invisible labour

Do we need to reoccupy student engagement policy?

Sarah Hayes

: 337) and that it ‘lacks an explanation of the mechanisms of the relationship between neoliberalism and student engagement because it is developed outside these debates’ (336). In the examples to come, it is my intention to offer a form of ‘content’ by

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Sara Van Belle

compare across cases. Cases are selected based on their richness and variation. Both approaches consider the embeddedness of social action in context as a sine qua non of their application: the context triggers certain mechanisms, which in turn produce

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Fighting Fire with Fire

Resistance to Transitional Justice in Bahrain

Ciara O’Loughlin

The purpose of this article is to explore the nature of resistance to transitional justice in Bahrain. To date, much academic attention has been directed toward measuring the effects of transitional justice mechanisms on dependent variables such as