In this paper, I work through the possible contours of an anti-genocide based on a framework informed by the work of Giorgio Agamben. Such a framework posits the inherent need to circumvent sovereign power within any form of normative activism. To begin, I show how the nascent anti-genocide movement promotes an ideal in which ?Western? states, particularly the USA, accept the global responsibility to protect persecuted life beyond national boundaries. Using Agamben, I argue that this vision also entails an acceptance (...) of a sovereign framework for the valuation of life, thus failing to confront the inherent power of the sovereign to condemn life in the first place. I then highlight the limitations that Agamben's ontology places on us in dealing with this inherent problem within the sovereign-subject relationship. By positing an alternative ontology, I suggest the possibility of establishing communities of solidarity that challenge the sovereign's self-ascribed role as the absolute valuator of life. Counter to Agamben, I argue that the basis for such communities could be a dedication to the universal sacredness of human life, which is maintained independently of, and in challenge to, sovereign power. (shrink)
Many of the same fundamental principles and regulations that govern civilian biomedical research also apply to research conducted by the US Military. Despite these similarities, the conduct of research by the US Military has additional requirements designed to preserve service members’ informed consent rights, ethical standards and information that may be deemed classified. Furthermore, there are also additional rules and regulations associated with potential research to be done in a combat setting. Before conducting battlefield research, many unique circumstances must be (...) considered to include: (1) the current legal and regulatory requirements for advanced informed consent (2) the tactical situations, and the ability to adequately document in the “austere” environment (3) the need to provide improved drugs and devices for combat casualty care and (4) the special nature of the superior-subordinate relationship. This paper discusses historical background, regulatory oversight, ethical implications and release of information as it pertains to research conducted by the US Military. (shrink)
In der Kantischen Tradition wird moralische Verbindlichkeit formal bestimmt. Kant berücksichtigt jedoch in seiner gesamten Entwicklung aber immer auch eine inhaltliche Komponente, die er glaubt formal uminterpretieren zu können. Ich versuche zu .zeigen, dass Moral in einer gestuften Reflexion zu gewinnen ist: Auf einer fundamentalen Ebene reflektiere ich auf das mir Wesentliche; Verbindlichkeit ist auf dieser Ebene nicht ohne die Motivation der Selbstsorge zu erreichen. Habermas' Trennung von ethischer Verbindlichkeit (Bereich des für mich oder uns Guten) und moralischer Verbindlichkeit (Bereich (...) des Gerechten, des für alle Guten) greift erst auf einer höheren Stufe, wenn die fundamentale Verbindlichkeit bereits gestiftet ist. Die Sorge um das Wesentliche wird als Leben gemäß der Vernunft expliziert, die sich in verschiedenen Lebensbezügen als Autonomie, als Sachlichkeit bzw. als Achtung und Liebe artikuliert. (shrink)
Strong evidence indicates that non-human primates possess a numerical representation system, but the inherent nature of that system is still debated. Two cognitive mechanisms have been proposed to account for non-human primate numerical performance: (1) a discrete object-file system limited to quantities 4), or span (small vs. large) numbers of food items presented simultaneously or sequentially. The prediction from the object-file hypothesis is that baboons will only accurately choose the larger quantity in small pairs, but not large or span pairs. (...) Conversely, the analog system predicts that baboons will be successful with all numbers, and that success will be dependent on numerical ratio. We found that baboons successfully discriminated all pair types at above chance levels. In addition, performance significantly correlated with the ratio between the numerical values. Although performance was better for simultaneous trials than sequential trials, evidence favoring analog numerical representation emerged from both conditions, and was present even in the first exposure to number pairs. Together, these data favor the interpretation that a single, coherent analog representation system underlies spontaneous quantitative abilities in primates. (shrink)
Based on the well known change of values during the last 30 years and the alleged necessity of values education the concept of value will be distinguished from the concepts of norm and virtue. Then a list of values, norms and virtues is presented - tabulated according several spheres of life - an overview which, in return,provokes one to think about what is the most fundamental and essential in this order.
This paper reports on action research that evaluated local perceptions and knowledge of indigenous tree planting and management in the Romwe catchment, Chivi District, southern Zimbabwe. The species tested were the overexploited Afzelia quanzensis, important for timber and carvings of sculptures and utensils; Sclerocarya birrea, the marula tree used for wood, bark, and fruit; and Brachystegia glaucescens, the dominant miombo tree species, used for firewood, fiber, and fodder. Participants volunteered to plant and manage the test seeds, while a research team (...) monitored their activities and results for 26 months. For Afzelia quanzensis, the germination rate was 81%, and 69% of the seedlings were still alive after one year. In the case of Sclerocarya birrea, the germination rate was 69%, and the one-year survival rate was 50%. For Brachystegia glaucescens, the germination rate was only 30%, and the survival rate was 31%. The main reasons for planting were to provide shade, to serve as a windbreak, and to conserve and gain individual control over dwindling natural resources, particularly Afzelia quanzensis. Women were generally more active and innovative than men. For instance, they searched for their own seeds or seedlings in the bush when there weren’t sufficient plants. Some participants tried out various indigenous methods of pest and disease control, water conservation, and moisture retention. Group feedback sessions and informal interactions provided the opportunity to share experiences. The participants learned that indigenous trees can be purposefully planted and were not simply a gift from God. Despite the droughts and political instability of recent years, a growing number of people became involved in tree planting during 2002–2003. As a result, there is now greater awareness among the local population of dwindling resources and their future potential. (shrink)
On Concept and Order of Values, Norms and Virtues Based on the well known change of values during the last 30 years and the alleged necessity of values education the concept of value will be distinguished from the concepts of norm and virtue. Then a list of values, norms and virtues is presented - tabulated according several spheres of life. This overview provokes the question, what the fundamental and essential in this order is.
This volume is a collection of essays presented at the 31st International Wittgenstein Symposium, Kirchberg, in August 2008. It has the character of a high-quality journal issue. There is no introduction, and the papers do not all directly bear on the topic of the original conference, which was "Reduction and Elimination in Philosophy and the Sciences". In what follows, I offer a short description of each paper, and add critical remarks in some cases.