David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (2):240-246 (2008)
This paper starts from a premise relating to the act of fictional writing about eugenics and the way it may be understood as the embodiment and enactment of social imaginaries. It proposes that literature frequently, if not habitually, expresses the underside of what is expressed in public discourse. That is, far from being the implement of state policy or intervention, it acts in counterpoint to the state, constituting a type of social fantasy in that it explores through the realm of the imagination what might happen. It becomes the arena for contestation, exploration, and nuancing as it essays how ideas from public, ‘real’ life, might transform when acted out. The paper considers two sorts of literary case. First it looks at that of ‘naïve’ literature, harnessed unashamedly to a specific sociological discourse of eugenics. Then, using primarily Ibsen, it considers a subset, the case of literature that does not set out to be explicitly in the service of the cause of eugenics, but is appropriated and disseminated from a platform of eugenics. Lastly, taking the example of Unamuno’s Amor y pedagogía the paper considers literature that exists in a quite different sphere of public awareness. It shows awareness of the arguments and precepts of eugenics and related beliefs and practices, but acts as a transitional space to enable such ideas to be entertained and thought about, without a requirement of acceptance or belief
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References found in this work BETA
Richard Cleminson (2008). Eugenics Without the State: Anarchism in Catalonia, 1900–1937. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (2):232-239.
Richard Cleminson (1994). Eugenics by Name or by Nature? The Spanish Anarchist Sex Reform of the 1930s. History of European Ideas 18 (5):729-740.
Lesley A. Hall (2008). Eugenics, Sex and the State: Some Introductory Remarks. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (2):177-180.
Natalia Gerodetti (2008). Rational Subjects, Marriage Counselling and the Conundrums of Eugenics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (2):255-262.
Linda L. Maik (1989). Nordau's "Degeneration": The American Controversy. Journal of the History of Ideas 50 (4):607.
Citations of this work BETA
Belén Jiménez-Alonso (2008). Eugenics, Sexual Pedagogy and Social Change: Constructing the Responsible Subject of Governmentality in the Spanish Second Republic. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (2):247-254.
Belén Jiménez-Alonso (2008). Eugenics, Sexual Pedagogy and Social Change: Constructing the Responsible Subject of Governmentality in the Spanish Second Republic. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 39 (2):247-254.
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