What We Are Reading Today: Physiological Ecology

What We Are Reading Today: Physiological Ecology
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Updated 15 May 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Physiological Ecology

What We Are Reading Today: Physiological Ecology

Authors: William H. Karasov and Carlos Martinez Del Rio

Unlocking the puzzle of how animals behave and how they interact with their environments is impossible without understanding the physiological processes that determine their use of food resources. but long overdue is a user-friendly introduction to the subject that systematically bridges the gap between physiology and ecology.

Ecologists—for whom such knowledge can help clarify the consequences of global climate change, the biodiversity crisis, and pollution—often find themselves wading through an unwieldy, technically top- heavy literature.

Here, William Karasov and Carlos martínez del rio present the first accessible and authoritative one-volume overview of the physiological and biochemical principles that shape how animals procure energy and nutrients and free themselves of toxins—and how this relates to broader ecological phenomena.

After introducing primary concepts, the authors review the chemical ecology of food, and then discuss how animals digest and process food. their broad view includes symbioses and extends even to ecosystem phenomena such as ecological stochiometry and toxicant biomagnification.


What We Are Reading Today: Hobbesian Moral and Political Theory by Gregory S. Kavka

What We Are Reading Today: Hobbesian Moral and Political Theory by Gregory S. Kavka
Updated 14 January 2021

What We Are Reading Today: Hobbesian Moral and Political Theory by Gregory S. Kavka

What We Are Reading Today: Hobbesian Moral and Political Theory by Gregory S. Kavka

In recent years serious attempts have been made to systematize and develop the moral and political themes of great philosophers of the past.

Kant, Locke, Marx, and the classical utilitarians all have their current defenders and arc taken seriously as expositors of sound moral and political views.

It is the aim of this book to introduce Hobbes into this select group by presenting a plausible moral and political theory inspired by Leviathan.

Using the techniques of analytic philosophy and elementary game theory, the author develops a Hobbesian argument that justifies the liberal State and reconciles the rights and interests of rational individuals with their obligations.

Hobbes’s case against anarchy, based on his notorious claim that life outside the political State would be a “war of all against all,” is analyzed in detail, while his endorsement of the absolutist State is traced to certain false hypotheses about political sociology.

With these eliminated, Hobbes’s principles support a liberal redistributive (or “satisfactory”) State and a limited right of revolution.

Turning to normative issues, the book explains Hobbes’s account of morality based on enlightened self-interest and shows how the Hobbesian version of social contract theory justifies the political obligations of citizens of satisfactory States.