A new issue of Aestimatio: Critical Reviews in the History of Science is out. Fulvio Mazzocchi (CNR): The Limits of Reductionism in Biology: What Alternatives? A review of Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Physics by Jim Al-Khalili. Just when we thought those pesky scientists had stopped messing with the Periodic Table, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry goes and ratifies another two, livermorium and flerovium. Here are 20 things you didn't know about the Periodic Table. To infinity and beyond: Timothy McGettigan on new frontiers in the science wars. We need to cast off our biological blinkers in the search for life beyond Earth and turn to physics, says cosmologist Charley Lineweaver. A review of Our Magnetic Earth: The Science of Geomagnetism by Ronald Merrill. Massimo Pigliucci on Universal Darwinism and the alleged reduction of biology to chemistry. The entire history of the observable universe, all 13.7 billion years of it, has been for the first time successfully modeled by six scientists using a French supercomputer. A review of The End of Discovery by Russell Stannard.
Otto Argueta (Hamburg): Blocked Democracies in Central America. From Brazilian Political Science Review, Rafael Duarte Villa (USP): Armed Forces in South America: The Ambivalent Dynamics of Civil-military Relations in the Context of the New Democracies; and Gabriela da Silva Tarouco (UFPE): Brazilian Parties According to their Manifestos: Political Identity and Programmatic Emphases. From the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, a special issue of Latin America's response to China's rise. From Military Review, policy options for a Cuban Spring: Gregory Weeks and Erin Fiorey offer recommendations for U.S. policy options in the eventuality of a "Cuban spring". A review of Cuba Since the Revolution of 1959: A Critical Assessment by Samuel Farber. Who wants to buy Honduras? A small country’s big decision to start from scratch — at least in one city. A review of Economists in the Americas. From Guernica, an interview with Juan Claudio Lechin on the conditions that predicate fascism and the morality of anarchism. Was Pablo Neruda murdered? Chilean courts have decided to reexamine the death of the poet, who some suspect was killed by the Pinochet regime.
A new issue of the European Journal of Tourism Hospitality and Recreation is out. From The Nation, a special issue on The Other America 2012. If Charles Taylor can be tried for war crimes, why not Kissinger? All this talk of a “fiscal cliff” is dangerously misinformed — it’s a “fiscal slope”. Love him or loathe him, Thomas Kinkade was the most widely known American artist of the last 20 years; Scott McLemee surveys his landscape. A review of You Can’t Read this Book by Nick Cohen. Misery index: Low social status is bad for your health — biologists are starting to understand why. From Antiquity, a review essay on archaeologies of seafaring and the sea. An interview with Manuel Lima, author of Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information. An autoethnographic review of Big Black Penis: Misadventures in Race and Masculinity. In States of Credit, David Stasavage explains why city-states were able to create long-term debt as early as the 13th century, whereas territorial states began to do so only in the 16th century. "I'm sort of fatalistic ... It's in rich peoples' hands now": The last days of The American Prospect?
From Essays in Philosophy, a special issue on Philosophical Methodology, including Federico Mathias Pailos (Buenos Aires): Intuition as Philosophical Evidence; and Brian Talbot (Colorado): Interest as a Starting Place for Philosophy. From Logos and Episteme, Stephen Grimm (Fordham): What is Interesting?; Adrian Costache (UBB): For a Post-Historicist Philosophy of History: Beyond Hermeneutics; and Axel Gelfert (NUS): Who is an Epistemic Peer? From Theoria, a special issue on Lilian Bermejo-Luque's Giving Reasons: A Linguistic-pragmatic-approach to Argumentation Theory. Here is the latest issue of The Reasoner, a monthly digest highlighting exciting new research on reasoning, inference and method broadly construed. Georgios Constantine Pentzaropoulos on generating stable knowledge via reduction in entropy. There is the scientific method, but what about the philosophical method? From The Philosophers' Magazine, is naturalism an article of faith? Ophelia Benson investigates. Peter Boghossian pulls no punches claiming that faith is a cognitive sickness and that those who attempt to get to the truth using faith are delusional.
From the European Journal of Legal Studies, a symposium on citizenship and migration. Ana Paula Tostes (UERJ): Euroskepticism in European National Elections: The Rise of Voter Support for New Radical Right Parties. You can download Social Capital, Political Participation and Migration in Europe: Making Multicultural Democracy Work?, ed. Laura Morales and Marco Giugni. Open doors for open minds: Emil Lobe Suenson on how Europe should fight racism by receiving more immigrants. From ResetDOC, a roundtable on the background of xenophobia in Europe and the USA. Unauthorized immigrants in the United States and Europe: Donald M. Kerwin, Kate Brick, and Rebecca Kilberg on the use of legalization/regularization as a policy tool. The Journey to El Norte: Heather Pringle on how archaeologists are documenting the silent migration that is transforming America. A review of Line in the Sand: A History of the Western U.S.-Mexico Border by Rachel St. John. Is it the illegality or the immigration? You only have to scratch the debate to see the degree to which legal technicalities are orthogonal to the main issue.
A new issue of Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development is out, including a photo essay on a mysterious bloom in Central America’s deepest lake. Japa Pallikkathayil (NYU): The Possibility of Choice: Three Accounts of the Problem with Coercion. From The The New York Times Magazine, a special issue on innovation. A long, strange road trip: A review of The Philosophy of the Beats. Are the politics of the national debt just a cynical sham, or are there times when debt matters, and times when it doesn't? From Radical Philosophy, freedom and power: An interview with Noam Chomsky. Bad signals: Steven Horwitz on the parable of the broken traffic lights. How did Wisconsin become the most politically divisive place in America? A review of How to Write Parodies and Become Immortal by Robert Chambers. Frank Jacobs on the story of Sealand. "I often hear people say 'I hate politics.' Well, I do too. I think most of it is hypocrisy and manipulative games being played by the powerful. But should we let the greedy and the morally calloused make all our decisions for us about how to organize society?"
Olivier Godechot (CNRS): How Did the Neoclassical Paradigm Conquer a Multi-disciplinary Research Institution? From Economic Sociology, a special issue of new institutional economics. Nudge thyself: Economists have more to learn from the natural sciences if they are to claim a realistic model of human behaviour. There are now so many versions of "what's wrong with the economics profession" that, with apologies to V.S. Naipaul, Arnold Kling could describe the state of economics as one of a million mutinies. Rethinking how we teach economics: What have we learned in the last five years that should be imparted upon future generations of economists? A review of The Poverty of Clio: Resurrecting Economic History by Francesco Boldizzoni. Justin Fox on the (many) things macroeconomists don't know. Brad DeLong is increasingly embarrassed by his profession — why do you ask? You’ve probably never heard of Walter Weyl, but he invented the role of liberal economics popularizer — his literary descendants include Stuart Chase, John Kenneth Galbraith, Paul Samuelson, and Paul Krugman. Our most widely ignored public intellectuals: Why don't those in power listen to economists Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman?
Carmen G. Gonzalez (Seattle): The Global Food System, Environmental Protection, and Human Rights. Despite reforms, the United Nations Human Rights Council still struggles with credibility. The first chapter from The International Human Rights Movement: A History by Aryeh Neier. From The Nation, a review of The Slave Trade and the Origins of International Human Rights Law by Jenny S. Martinez and The Justice Cascade: How Human Rights Prosecutions Are Changing World Politics by Kathryn Sikkink. From Global Law Books, a review of The United Nations Secretariat and the Use of Force in a Unipolar World; a review of International Authority and the Responsibility to Protect by Anne Orford; and a review of State Responsibility for International Terrorism by Kimberley N. Trapp. From Le Monde diplomatique, Augusta Conchiglia on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ evolving mandate; and Anne-Cecile Robert on the other UN: Besides the well-known building in Manhattan, the UN has three other main HQs, one of them in Vienna, where nine important organisations do the practical work.
From the International Journal of Qualitative Methods, a special issue on health equity. Mark Humphery-Jenner (UNSW): Balanced Budget Rules and Expenditure Limits: Lessons from the US and Australia and Implications for the EU. From Arts and Opinion, is the end of literacy on the near horizon? David Solway on galloping agraphia; Donald Dewey on the Overwriting Syndrome: Saving or disserving the language?; and feedbackers of the world, unite: Robert J. Lewis on reader feedback, the new fifth column. William Galston on how Europe could sink Obama’s election chances and what he can do about it. Greg Ip is getting in on the probabilities game, this time looking at the three big risks facing the global macroeconomy. Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan: A 12-part LRC series, featuring text and iPhone Hipstamatic photography. Political watchdogs like PolitiFact and the Washington Post's "Fact-Checker" are accused of favoring Democrats — but it is the facts themselves that have a liberal bias. Atlas Obscura visits the world’s quietest place: This lab's maddening silence is good for business but bad for sanity.
From New Scientist, six things we all do: A series of articles on human nature — from law to gossip, find out what universal characteristics make us human. A review of Am I a Monkey? Six Big Questions about Evolution by Francisco J. Ayala. From Social Evolution Forum, Herbert Gintis on the evolution of human cooperation. Transforming Humanity: Russell Blackford on enhancement anxiety. Is it human nature to be good?: A review of Sommes-nous naturellement moraux? by Vanessa Nurock. Why did our species survive? Alison Brooks, Ed Green, Chris Stringer, and Edward O. Wilson tackle the question. Are humans getting better? Peter Singer wonders. David Orban explains why he thinks machines are going to make us human again. Human Revolution: Tauriq Moosa on the ethical obligation to technologically improve ourselves. What does E.O. Wilson mean by a "social conquest of the Earth"?: Carl Zimmer asks the evolutionary biologist about the theories in his high-profile new book (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). Is the "propensity to truck, barter, and exchange" unique to human evolution? Unless we stop having sex, humans will keep on evolving.