From Louis XIV To Napoleon: The Fate Of A Great Power, Book Review Sample Assignment

Black, Jeremy. From Louis XIV to Napoleon: the fate of great power. Routledge, (2013); 10-288.

Thesis

From 1661 to 1815, France had the most incredible power in Western Europe when Louis XIV and Napoleon dominated the country. However, Louis XIV later died, and Napoleon was defeated in his attempt to resume power, allowing Britain to control the government. The primary purpose of From Louis XIV to Napoleon, the fate of a great power book was to illustrate why France was not more successful with an illustration of France’s history, warfare, international relations and the rise and fall of French power (Black, 14). Professor Jeremy Black, the author of this book, illustrates its purpose with the development of various chapters, such as the diplomatic revolution, its background and consequences and the foreign policy of Napoleon.

Development

Black Jeremy is a professor of history, having studied at Queen’s College Cambridge. He acquired his professorship and PhD in 1994. He has over 100 books illustrating various historical concepts as a writer and lecturer. Thus, the information he has presented in the book, From Louis XIV to Napoleon, the fate of a great power, is reliable and valid. The author says that France was not successful because of its numerous failures that made France on the world scale. According to Black, “France was beaten by Britain in the struggle for maritime predominance and ended the period with her empire in ruins” (10). The book illustrates how poor governance could make a country unproductive. Additionally, Professor Black Jeremy argues that France was unsuccessful because of rigid and limited international relations policies that minimized the interactions of France’s power with that of other nations, such as the United States of America. If these two political men in France could have agreed to step down and allow other leaders to take over France’s leadership, the country would not have recorded the massive failures (Black, 32). Therefore, the writer provided his stand based on his knowledge of international relations and its implication in a country’s leadership standards.

Professor Black Jeremy has argued his points in the book, From Louis XIV to Napoleon, the fate of a great power, through reasoning, evidence and appeal. At the beginning of the book, the author presents logical explanations of why France was unsuccessful. The reasoning is backed up by theories and historical narrations, which indicate the politics of Louis XIV and Napoleon. The author also provides evidence to support all the arguments presented about France’s power using facts, statistics and other historical studies. The evidence that Professor Back Jeremy provides is focused on the politics of France during the reign of Louis XIV and Napoleon. Finally, the author provides an appeal by illustrating and providing recommendations that would be applied to solve the France international relation menace.

The author’s information in the book was extracted from both primary and secondary sources. The author used questionnaires and interviews as major primary sources. The intention was to incorporate the views of France residents on the leadership of Louis XIV and Napoleon. The secondary sources included journals and books where the author extracted information from other authors who had written about the politics of Louis XIV and Napoleon. However, the author is not clear on the sources used; therefore, a reader needs to carefully analyze the resources used in the intext and bibliography to understand the type of sources used to write the book.

The book is structured and organized into chapters, with each chapter illustrating a specific concept about the reasons why France was not successful. The book focused on the period when Louis XIV and Napoleon were in power in France and the effects. Therefore, its discussion is based on a historical period that saw Louis XIV and Napoleon take power in France. The author structured the book’s themes to incorporate rising actions in France and the possible resolutions that would help solve the international relation challenge in the country. In his book, Professor Black Jeremy emphasizes politics and political concepts that might ruin a nation. He also illustrates how the wrong choice of political leaders could influence the operations of a country.

Summary

The book, From Louis XIV to Napoleon: the fate of a great power documents the historical events in France that made it unsuccessful despite having the most extraordinary power between the years 1661 to 1815. During the fall and failure, France was under the leadership of Louis XIV and Napoleon. The failure in France has been documented on a world scale and indication that the fall of the country was unexpected because of its intensive powers. The book also addresses France’s global position based on the conflation of foreign policies, colonial roles and military preferences. According to Black, “the trajectory of colonial policy and strength is considered the primary reason France lost out to Britain in both the maritime and colonial sphere” (34). The author illustrates that it is crucial to integrate the aspects of foreign policies with the France policies in Europe to demonstrate the range of French options. Therefore, modern France was shaped by Louis XIV and Napoleon through the substantial acquisition of territories.

Critique

The writer is sympathetic to the political practices in France because the situation taking place in the country was not caused by natural factors but by the political leadership of the country. The writer wrote this book to educate people on the historical concepts that occurred during the reign of Louis XIV and Napoleon. However, the writer’s objective is not only to deliver the historical aspects of France but to indicate the influence of political decisions on the prosperity of a nation. The book borrows some opinions and experiences from other writers who had documented the history of France and how the political aspects affected the operations in the country. However, the writer indicated bias in writing the book because he failed to compare the leadership of Louis XIV and Napoleon with that of their predecessors. Although Louis and Napoleon were not perfect in providing political leadership to France, the writer ought to provide a comparative state of their leadership with that of leaders who came before them.

Professor Black Jeremy must be an exemplary historical writer based on the number of historical books he has written and the positive reviews attached to his work. After reading this book, From Louis XIV to Napoleon: the fate of a great power and taking note of all the ideas and views presented, I am satisfied with how the writer proves his thesis. The argument provided is sound and convincing, and it is attached to real examples that expound and explains why France was not successful. However, the writer has failed to answer how France managed to sprout and become among the most powerful nations globally, even after the failures that occurred during the leadership of Louis XIV and Napoleon.

In conclusion, based on my evaluation, this book is written chronologically, with all the views and ideas illustrated exclusively, thus making it exciting and enjoyable. The information in the book will be helpful to students conducting their master’s or undergraduate thesis because it illustrates an in-depth history of France. Moreover, the book will play a significant role among upcoming historical researchers who will borrow information on France’s history to build on their studies. Finally, lecturers and tutors will also become audiences of this book because it will guide the students’ study information in class. Therefore, the book was not only essential to people who lived during the captured historical period but will also form part of a reference in future studies.

Work Cited

Black, Jeremy. From Louis XIV to Napoleon: the fate of a great power. Routledge, (2013); 10-288.

Fuel Selection And Metabolic Function Free Writing Sample

The body primarily relies on carbohydrate and fat oxidation as the main sources of ATP for skeletal muscle contraction. The utilization of either carbohydrate or fat resources will depend on the intensity and duration of the exercise (Loon et al., 2001). However, Lei et al. (2015) contend that the ability of the body to switch from glucose metabolism to fatty acid metabolism (metabolic flexibility) is essential in determining exercise tolerance. The authors further note that the inability of the body to switch from glucose to fatty acids can lead to metabolic disorders such as cardiometabolic syndrome, diabetes, and insulin resistance, while metabolic flexibility is associated with enhanced fatty acid oxidation, which preserves existing glucose reserves (Lei et al., 2015). In this paper, the writer will reflect on the best diet for increasing exercise tolerance and potential issues with the selection of the appropriate fuels.

Metabolic Inflexibility

According to Lei et al. (2015), metabolic inflexibility occurs in individuals whose beta-oxidation is impaired. These disorders associated with beta-oxidation impairment also contribute to other problems such as cardiomyopathy, hepatic steatosis. However, the authors contend that the mechanism through which skeletal muscles switch from one fuel to another, and its impact on exercise is not well known. In their study involving laboratory mice, Lei et al. (2015) found that Acyl-CoA Synthetase Long-Chain Family Member 1 (ACSL1) is critical for fat oxidation in muscles. In the absence of the factor, the body increasingly relies on glucose for APT production, which can lead to hypoglycemia. The inability of skeletal muscles to switch from glucose to fatty acids leads to suboptimal exercise performance, and low endurance. As such, any mutation that affects the availability of ACSL1 can limit metabolic flexibility of an individual, and therefore reduce their ability to endure intense exercise.

Metabolic inflexibility may also occur due to other factors, other than ACSL1. During exercise, the body will first oxidate glucose that is available in the liver or muscles. As the intensity and duration of exercise increase, the body will draw on fat reserves. Loon et al. (2001) contend that the oxidation levels of either carbohydrates or fats will depend on serum levels of free fatty acids (FFAs). They argue that a high level of FFAs can lead to a reduction in oxidation levels of carbohydrates, as the free fatty acids suppress pyruvate dehydrogenase complex activation. In their study of eight cyclists, Loon et al. (2001) found that a reduction of fat oxidation in cyclists was due to the downregulation of carnitine palmitoyltransferase I. The scholars concluded that it was likely that a decline in intracellular pH and free carnitine availability could explain the findings. As such, it is likely that a change in pH and carnitine available could lead to metabolic inflexibility since the body is unable to oxidate fats. It is likely that similar mechanisms could explain the impairment of fat oxidation in people who are obese or those who are diabetic.

A mismatch between oxidation and availability of lipids might induce lipotoxicity due to ectopic fat deposition. Lipotoxicity occurs when lipid metabolites interfere with insulin signaling pathways, leading to insulin resistance (Feerbabdez-Verdejo et al., 2018). In such a context, high levels of oxidation may prevent ectopic fat deposition and thus reduce the risk of lipotoxicity, which would prevent insulin resistance. However, in people with type two diabetes (TD2), high levels of circulating non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) impede fat oxidation, which can lead to lipotoxicity (Feerbabdez-Verdejo et al., 2018). Accordingly, the presence of high levels of serum NEFA impairs metabolic flexibility and thus can lead to lipotoxicity. The mechanisms through which these fatty metabolites contribute to the condition are not unknown. However, there is evidence that skeletal mechanisms are implicated in the problem.

Fuel Selection and Exercise Tolerance

Selection of the appropriate fuel can be difficult. In their study, Cox et al. (2016) suggest that nutritional ketones could increase resilience in individuals. The body produces ketones in response to an energy deficit or calorie deprivation. Such conditions occur when an individual either has a clinical manifestation of ill-health or when an individual is undergoing prolonged starvation or exercise. Starvation ketones differ from nutritional ketones in that nutritional ketones are produced when the body oxides fats instead of glucose. All tissues in the body can easily oxidize ketones, with the exception of the liver, since it lacks succinyl-CoA:3-ketoacid CoA transferase (Cox et al., 2016). The latter enzyme is responsible for the oxidative disposal of ketones. Athletes or other individuals engaging in high-intensity exercise can benefit from a direct intake of d-β- hydroxybutyrate. However, direct intake of the monoester is not recommended. Rather a ketonic diet or ketone esters can raise serum ketone levels (Cox et al., 2016).

The most appropriate diet for exercise remains nutritional ketones. There are several reasons for the conclusion. First nutritional ketones are easily oxidated by all tissues, including skeletal muscles, with the exception of the liver (Cox et al., 2016). Secondly, ketones yield more ATP energy per mol of oxygen relative to fatty acids and glucose. Thirdly, ketones produce less reactive oxygen species compared to other energy sources. Furthermore, ketones regulate their own production by directing fuel oxidation, inhibiting spare glycogen oxidation, and lipolysis (Soto-Mota & Clarke, 2020) The role of ketones in starvation makes it an important fuel for the high duration and intensity of exercise. d-β- hydroxybutyrate, a ketone body, plays a key role in starvation by suppressing oxidative stress, increasing histone acetylation, and diminishing inflammation response. The ketone body also plays a key role in diminishing sympathetic nervous system activity. It also diminishes total energy expenditure by blocking short-chain fatty acid signaling (Soto-Mota & Clarke, 2020).

Cox et al. (2016) contend that nutritional ketosis can play the same role as glucose in ATP production. The reason is that ketosis plays a key role in survival mechanisms, where maintenance of normal homeostasis is essential. When competition for energy sources is high, ketones can fulfil the energy demands of the body. Unlike other energy sources, ketones do not lead to the production of reactive metabolites such as those that are produced by fatty acid oxidation. In their findings, Cox et al. (2016) found that nutritional ketones were associated with higher levels of skeletal muscle oxidation levels. On the other hand, intake of CHO did not affect the oxidation levels of skeletal muscles. It is likely that nutritional ketones inhibited the oxidation of fatty acids, thus increasing skeletal muscles oxidation levels.

While nutritional ketones can improve performance, it is critical for athletes or other individuals engaging in high duration and intensity exercise to take time to recover. In their study, Stander et al. (2020) reported that metabolic recovery of marathon athletes occurs within 48 hours. The reason for the recovery is due to a reduction in substrate catabolism. According to the authors, a reduction in energy requirement after exercise reduces the need for fuel substrate catabolism, which triggers intracellular glycemic flux and glycogenesis. Glycogenesis, on the other hand, triggers cellular repair and re-esterification (Stander et al., 2020). Stander et al. (2020) note that energy use during high duration exercise begins with carbohydrate oxidation, followed by lipid oxidation, and then ketone oxidation. In the absence of these fuel sources, the body will resort to amino acid metabolism. Generally, these fuel sources will recover after 48 hours.

Conclusion

Enhancing the endurance of athletes remains a challenge. From the reviewed literature, it seems that ketones are the best fuel source for people engaging in high intensity and long duration exercise. Unlike other fuel sources, such as fatty acids, and carbohydrates, ketones produce more energy per mole of oxygen. Furthermore, ketones produce less reactive oxygen species. The role of ketones in reducing energy expenditure during starvation makes them a particularly useful resource for athletes. As such, a nutritional diet comprising of ketones or a ketonic diet is recommended.

References

Cox, P., Kirk, T., Ashmore, T., Willerton, K., Evans, R., Smith, A., . . . Clarke, K. (2016). Nutritional ketosis alters fuel preference and thereby endurance performance of athletes. Cell Metabolism, 24(2), 256-268.

Feerbabdez-Verdejo, R., Bajpeyi, S., Ravussin, E., & Galgani, J. (2018). Metabolic flexibility to lipid availability during exercise is enhanced in individuals with high insulin sensitivit. Endocrinology and Metabolism, 315(4), E715-E722.

Lei, L., Grevengoed, T., Paul, D., Illkayeva, O., Koves, T., Pascual, F., . . . Coleman, R. (2015). Compartmentalized Acyl-CoA metabolism in skeletal muscle regulates systemic glucose homeostasis. Diabetes, 64(1), 23-35.

Loon, L., Greehaff, P., Teodosiu, D., Saris, W., & Wagenmakers, A. (2001). The effects of increasing exercise intensity on muscle fuel utilisation in humans. The Journal of Physiology, 536(1), 295-304.

Soto-Mota, N. N., & Clarke, K. (2020). Why a d-β-hydroxybutyrate monoester? Biochemical Society Transactions, 48(1), 51-59.

Stander, Z., Luies, L., Mienie, L., Reenen, M., Howatson, G., Keane, K., . . . Loots, D. (2020). The unaided recovery of marathon-induced serum metabolome alterations. Scientific Reports, 10(11060), 1-11.

Functionalism Vs. Anomalous Monism Writing Sample

Introduction

The human mind occupies a special place in the world. Right here is where our morality and sense of reason are kept. In this paper, I’ll look at functionalism and anomalous monism, two opposing theories that try to explain the mind-body problem. According to functionalists, a person’s mental condition is not based on their inherent nature but on the function they serve in a specific situation. To counter the functionalist position, I will argue from the perspective of anomalous monism, a form of property dualism that admits the prospect that not all happenings are mental while maintaining the view that all events are physical but admits the potential of a metaphysical bias. To add to the empirical explanation of anomalous monism, I will discuss the Principle of Causal Interaction (The interaction principle), which states that some mental processes are causally involved in certain physical events (Davidson 137). Not only will I highlight the differences between the two, but I’ll also provide criticism and rebuttal. In my conclusion paragraph, I will summarize the major points while contrasting and comparing functionalism and anomalous monism.

Functionalism

Many contemporary philosophers of mind endorse some functionalism. Despite recognizing the understanding that the mental is critically tied to behavioral output or performance, this perspective is often credited for saving the “reality” of the mind from the “eliminativist” and “fictionalist” inclinations of behaviorism. From a philosophical standpoint, Jerry Fodor argues that breakthroughs in AI, semantics, bioengineering, and psychology have led to functionalism that is neither dualist nor materialist (Block 64). This admits the possibility that systems as diverse as groups of humans, robotics, and disembodied spirits could all have cognitive processes and necessitates a philosophical explanation of this degree of abstraction. According to functionalist theory, a system’s psyche is determined not by its constituent parts but by the system as a whole (Fodor 2). With just the programmer’s input determining the computer’s capacities, functionalism seems to be a definitive philosophy that articulates an objective cognitive perspective, one that hypothesizes the series of potential properties and activities of a computer.

As proposed by functionalism, mental experiences may be understood in terms of the functions they serve. According to this view, the essence of a particular mental state consists only of the performance of a specific process. As Thomas Polger sees it, that mental condition must be any state that can fulfill that function under the right circumstances. Instead, if data storage is memory’s primary function, then any device that can do so may be considered memory (Davidson 139). The essence of functionalism, then, is to give an item a purpose beyond the sum of its parts, a meaning that goes beyond its physical characteristics and serves as an explanatory item that can be used to establish norms for how it is to be understood and how it is to be defined in terms of, among other things, one’s state of mind.

In addition, Thomas Polger has claimed that functionalism is an “ontological” or “metaphysical” stance. According to functionalists, earthly creatures and plants aren’t the only ones with the capacity for mental states. According to their reasoning, it is not appropriate to explain mental states on the basis of humanistic or known biological inputs and outputs (Fodor 3). The functionalist approach attempts to give a more generalized account of mental states than is currently available from brain sciences. The information processing theory requires no strict equating of mental states, such as “memories” or “beliefs” with informative conditions. Thus, functionalism implies more than just the view that brain functions are computational models or that cognition is an information-processing process. A reasonable inference from Polger’s ideas is that the constitutional position of the systems stated inside mental processes is not fixed but modified in its subjective viewpoint, basically not being limited to a certain attitude.

Anomalous Monism

In the view of Donald Davidson, “anomalous theory” is “just like materialism” in that it assumes that everything that happens can be reduced to a material cause. In contrast to materialism, anomalous monism rejects the idea that mental processes can be described in simple physical terms. Without any rules of correlation or cognitive economics to back it up, such an anomalous monism would be immune to the nothing-but reaction (Davidson 141). This indicates that functionalism is more popular in the modern day than monism, and it also says that the person who coined the term “anomalous monism” now has concerns about his idea.

The combination of Anomalous Monism and supervenience has been criticized for leading to epiphenomenalism, but it may give Davidson what he seeks: a strong token-identity brand of physicalism (Fodor 2). It was also pointed out that the assertion that the mind is not assigned a causative role in Anomalous Monism amounts to an allegation of epiphenomenalism. Since laws underlie causal relationships, yet there are no psychophysical principles, Davidson claims that mental activities may only cause physical processes by implication of other physical events and are predictable and explainable using exclusively physical principles.

On the other hand, Block argues that functionalism merely “tacks down” mental processes in a peripheral way, such as via the physical or, at the most, non-mental definition of outputs and inputs. While behaviorism cannot be changed to avoid communism, functionalism may, as Block points out, if only at the expense of another shameful error (Davidson 138). Functionalism demonstrates that physicalism is flawed in the way he describes it. Since animals without brains may realize the same computational approach as animals with brains, in Block’s view, pain cannot be a mental state but a functional condition (Block 64). Block also admits that if functionalism is to be upheld, it must be interpreted as implementing only a subcategory of mental states, namely, those “narrow” intellectual states such that reality conditions for their implementation are in some context inside the individual. However, even presuming that a concept of narrowness of mental condition can be adequately framed, functionalism could be reduced by this limitation. So he must consider functionalism a theory applicable to all “limited” mental processes (Block 70).

Conclusion

Despite their distinct improvements, clarifications, and criticisms of physicalism, anomalous monism and functionalism strongly object to it. Anomalous monism and functionalism share the characteristic of physicalism, which is the concept that all is physical or, as some contemporary philosophers characterize it, that all supervenes are physical. Still, each has its own benefits and drawbacks. At the same time, such reflective memory is seen as a philosophical idea for re-creating the mind’s possible relationship to the ‘physical’ world. This new starting point for potential linkages can lead to yet another “groundbreaking” suggestion in the direction of a new philosophy of the mind.

References

Block, Ned, Troubles with Functionalism, Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 1978, pp. 64-70.

Davidson, Donald.” Mental Events” Readings in Philosophy of Psychology, 1970, pp. 137- 141.

Fodor, Jerry. The Mind-Body Problem. Scientific American, Inc., 1981, p.1-4.