The paper discusses the practice of genetic counseling and elective abortion in the German Democratic Republic. Keywords: elective abortion, embryo transfer, in vitro fertilization, protection of human life, reproductive ethics, German Democratic Republic, bioethics CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
Recommandations have been formulated in 1985 with reference to socialist morality and law and as a result of interdisciplinary discussion by the IAME (Interdisciplinary Working Party on Medical Ethics at the GDR Academy of Postgraduate Medical Education) for clinical application of in vitro fertilization and for the use of human oocytes and early embryonic stages.
In this introduction to a Common Knowledge special issue on the Warburg Institute, the authors argue that the Institute remains today — as it has been, in different forms, for almost a century — one of Europe's central institutions for the study of cultural history. At once a rich and uniquely organized library, a center for doctoral and postdoctoral research, and a teaching faculty, the Institute was first envisioned by Aby Warburg, a pioneering historian of art and culture from a (...) wealthy Jewish family in Hamburg. Warburg rejected the traditional view that the classical tradition was a simple, purely rational Greek creation, inherited by modern Europe. He argued that it was as much Mesopotamian as Greek in origin, as at home in the Islamic as in the European world, and as often irrational as rational in its content — and on the basis of this rich vision he devised brilliant new interpretations of medieval and Renaissance symbols and ideas. Warburg's chosen associate Fritz Saxl put his creation on a firm institutional base, first in Hamburg and then, after a narrow escape from the Nazi regime, in London. For all the changes the Institute has undergone over the decades since then, it continues to ask the questions that Warburg was the first to raise and to build on the methods that he created. (shrink)
This essay finds its departure point in a title page that Aby Warburg (1866 – 1929) drafted for his lecture on the Pueblo Indians. Through the labyrinthine thought pathways evidenced by this much-amended and overwritten typescript, it explores the relation between reason and mania in Warburg's thought specifically and in humanistic scholarship more generally. Composed in 1923 while Warburg was committed to the Bellevue mental sanatorium in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland, the title page, and the lecture that it attempts to name, belong (...) to their author's profound and influential meditations on the defensive function of rituals and symbols. More practically, the lecture was intended, by its successful drafting and delivery before an audience of inmates, doctors, and professional colleagues, to prove Warburg's sanity and secure his release. Through an investigation of the outbreak and symptoms of Warburg's psychosis, which uncannily prefigure real historical terrors, this article represents the lecture as (in Warburg's words) a powerful “seismograph” of the European soul. Placing us at Warburg's writing desk at the pivotal moment of the author's cure-by-writing, the title page also illuminates the legacy of Warburg's Library, today at the core of the Warburg Institute in London, since the crisis that the page documents — larger than Warburg's personal one — still lies at the heart of humanistic scholarship as it attempts to grasp the essence of what it means to be human. (shrink)
The theoretical debate in linguistics during the past half-century bears an uncanny parallel to the politics of the (now defunct) Communist Bloc. The parallels are not so much in the revolutionary nature of Chomsky's ideas as in the Bolshevik manner of his takeover of linguistics (Koerner 1994) and in the Trotskyist (“permanent revolution”) flavor of the subsequent development of the doctrine of Transformational Generative Grammar (TGG) (Townsend & Bever 2001, pp. 37–40). By those standards, Jackendoff is quite a party (...) faithful (a Khrushchev or a Dubcek, rather than a Solzhenitsyn or a Sakharov) who questions some of the components of the dogma, yet stops far short of repudiating it. (shrink)
We present the design of a secure and privacy preserving e-petition system that we have implemented as a proof-of-concept demonstrator. We use the Belgian e-ID card as source of authentication, and then proceed to issue an anonymous credential that is used to sign petitions. Our system ensures that duplicate signatures are detectable, while preserving the anonymity of petition signers. We analyze the privacy and security requirements of our application, present an overview of its architecture, and discuss the applicability of data (...) protection legislation to our system. (shrink)
This commentary posits that the social-constructionist view of emotion should be clearly distinguished from related theoretical views on how emotions are shaped by and shape social interactions and relationships. Differentiating between distinct theoretical perspectives is essential in order to specify the unique knowledge about emotions gained by the social-constructionist approach and to create empirical paradigms that can be applied to test assumptions derived from the social-constructionist view.