This paper presents a reading of the transcripts of interviews withNHS Trust Chief Executives. Using a poststructuralist understanding ofthe interviews, it privileges a reading that (ironically) representsthese Chief Executives as heroes. Following the classic hero story line,they leave the civilized order of home and journey into a threateningwilderness where they encounter dangerous and magical things butovercome them all because of their masculine characteristics such asrationality, strength and resourcefulness. One way in which thesestories can be understood to have significance is (...) that they(misleadingly but powerfully) portray management as obvious andnecessary by evocatively drawing on a myth of ancient origin. The piececoncludes with some reflections on the ontological implications of theanalysis and reflexive comments on the production of truth as aproblem. (shrink)
This article examines the responses given by 590 kindergarten to 12th-Grade students when they were asked about their conception of heroes. The sequence of questions asked students to define, describe, name, and justify their response about heroes. Students, regardless of age level, appear to use an operational definition of hero, but when asked to identify a hero, most students named a person with whom they have had personal experiences. Responses given over the age spans move from a specific (...) behaviour to that of a sustained behaviour over a period of time. The change in responses demonstrates developmental changes in conceptual, cognitive, and social growth. (shrink)
This essay discusses the views of historian Gertrude Himmelfarb, who sets forth that democratic societies tend toward a determinist outlook; she fears that the weakened belief in free will and its heroes endangers a democratic society. She regards H. G. Wells as the founder in 1920 of the "new history," with its antiheroic bias. She welcomes therefore the television series The Civil War for having achieved "a history from above and history from below," with its heroes among common (...) soldiers as well as the generals and statesmen. Himmelfarb criticizes the "debunking" historians who not only belittle the significance of heroes but find in "small causes" (e.g., the origins of Hitler's obsessive anti-Semitism) a basis for large-scale events (e.g., the Holocaust). Himmelfarb finds that H. G. Wells's Outline of History was intended not only to displace military conquerors as the heroes of history but to elevate the scientific elite in their place as history's truly constructive people. Americans, however, were, earlier, first introduced to another variety of "new history" by two Columbia University professors, Charles A. Beard and James Harvey Robinson, who wrote textbooks used by perhaps millions of high school students; Beard had derived the concept in 1906 when he read the Socialist History of France , much of it written by the French socialist, Jean Jaurès. The philosophy of history still remains in a position similar to that which has long prevailed in the philosophy of physics, where determinism and indeterminism have persisted irreconcilably. (shrink)
Some students do not cheat. Students high in measures of bravery, honesty, and empathy, our defining characteristics of heroism, report less past cheating than other students. These student heroes also reported that they would feel more guilt if they cheated and also reported less intent to cheat in the future than nonheroes. We find general consensus between students and professors as to reasons for the nonreporting of cheating, suggesting a general impression of insufficient evidence, lack of courage, and denial. (...) Suggested interventions in academia are based in positive psychology and an understanding of academic heroes. (shrink)
The presentation of Lokris and the Lokrians in the Iliad is problematic. The entry for Lokris in the Catalogue lists an unusually large number of towns for such a small area, but many of those towns are obscure. Despite the small size of the region of Lokris, it has given the epic not one but two major heroes of very different characters: the Lokrian commander Oilean Aias and Patroklos, Achilles' friend and warrior companion. Although Aias is praised in the (...) Catalogue entry as the greatest of Homeric warriors, elsewhere in the Iliad he is only a second-rank hero and his men, the Lokrians, are relatively insignificant archers. Seeking a resolution of these difficulties, this paper integrates information derived from the text of the Iliad with what is known of the topography and archaeology of Lokris between the Late Mycenaean and Archaic periods. It is concluded that Aias, the more traditional hero, is firmly embedded in Lokris, whereas Patroklos, who appears to be by the poet of the Iliad, has no traditional connection to the land. The contrast between these heroes may reflect the division between the mountainous Epiknemidian and the urban Opountian parts of Lokris. Oilean Aias encapsulates the ancient virtues of the mountain warrior and is linked with Epiknemidian Lokris; Patroklos, with his gentle disposition, is representative of the citizen of the polis and as such is linked to Opous, the capital of Lokris. (shrink)
Abstract Since the seventeenth century the dream of rendering human life less arduous and of securing it against the whims of fate through the development and deployment of technological devices has been a factor stimulating scientific research and development. This dream rests on a supposition that we live in a universe governed by deterministic laws in which limits on our ability to predict and control are set only by the imperfection of our knowledge and skill. But recent work in chaos (...) theory combined with reminders that human beings themselves form part of the worldin which they live and seek to control suggests that this supposition is unjustified. If this is the case, then the idea that there is a technological solution to every problem, one which can be found by scientists or experts (the modern heroes) is revealed as a magical attitude which should have no place in rational decision making and whose persistence threatens to turn scientists into the high priests of a cult of technology. (shrink)
En el mes de Abril de este mismo año 2003, el semanario norteamericano Time publicó una densa muestra de 36 héroes. El autor reflexiona sobre ellos con el propósito de destacar tres aspectos. a) Subraya, ante todo, los rasgos de humanidad que atraen a los hombres de hoy. b) Los contextualiza en el estilo de ser hombre que articula nuestras sociedades. c) Deja que los mismos héroes expresen ambos aspectos en sus propias biografías, tratando de no oscurecerlos con discursos situados (...) en marcos de ejemplaridades puras. (shrink)
Empirical tests described in this article support hypotheses derived from evolutionary theory on the perceptions of literary characters. The proper and dark heroes in British Romantic literature of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries respectively represent long-term and short-term mating strategies. Recent studies indicate that for long-term relationships, women seek partners with the ability and willingness to sustain paternal investment in extended relationships. For short-term relationships, women choose partners whose features indicate high genetic quality. In hypothetical scenarios, females (...) preferred proper heroes for long-term relationships. The shorter the relationship under consideration, the more likely women were to choose dark heroes as partners. (shrink)
Scale matters in morality, so that different factors occupy us at high and low scales. Different people are needed to be good neighbours in everyday life and moral heroes in crises. There is no reason to believe that the same traits are required for both. So there is no such thing as the all-round good person.
Nussbaum seems to have had a spell during which she made villains heroes (and sometimes visa versa). Thus she has argued, in effect, that Steerforth is the hero of David Copperfield, and Heathcliff the most admirable character in Wuthering Heights. Here I discuss her more or less explicit claim that Alcibiades is the hero, (and Socrates the villain) in Plato’s Symposium. -/- .
This essay explores the question of how to be good. My starting point is a thesis about moral worth that I’ve defended in the past: roughly, that an action is morally worthy if and only it is performed for the reasons why it is right. While I think that account gets at one important sense of moral goodness, I argue here that it fails to capture several ways of being worthy of admiration on moral grounds. Moral goodness is more multi-faceted. (...) My title is intended to capture that multi-facetedness: the essay examines saintliness, heroism, and sagacity. The variety of our common-sense moral ideals underscores the inadequacy of any one account of moral admirableness, and I hope to illuminate the distinct roles these ideals play in our everyday understanding of goodness. Along the way, I give an account of what makes actions heroic, of whether such actions are supererogatory, and of what, if anything, is wrong with moral deference. At the close of the essay, I begin to explore the flipside of these ideals: villainy. (shrink)
In 1941 Father Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish friar from Warsaw was arrested for publishing anti-Nazi pamphlets and sentenced to Auschwitz. There he was beaten, kicked by shiny leather boots, and whipped by his prison guards. After one prisoner successfully escaped, the prescribed punishment was to select ten other prisoners who were to die by starvation. As ten prisoners were pulled out of line one by one, Fr. Kolbe broke out from the ranks, pleading with he Commandant to be allowed to (...) take the place of one of the prisoners, a Polish worker with a wife and children dependent upon him. "I'm an old man, sir, and good for nothing. My life will serve no purpose," the 45 year old priest pleaded. He was taken, thrown down the stairs into a dank dark basement with the other nine prisoners and left to starve. Usually, prisoners punished like this spent their last days howling, attacking each other and clawing the walls in a frenzy of despair. (shrink)
This unique collection looks at analytic philosophy in its historical context. Called into question are its self-image, its relationship with philosophical alternatives, its fruitfulness and even legitimacy in the general philosophical community. This volume is an undertaking by analytic philosophers to address the crisis formed by changing cultural and philosophical trends and movements. Interpreting the crisis by telling the "story" of analytic philosophy, the volume presents its raison d' etre and the motivations, methods, and results of its (...) eminent figures. Contributors include Hilary Putnam, Jaako Hintikka, and Peter Hylton. (shrink)
Why do people do horrific things to one another? This article reviews two recent books that attempt to answer that question, Philip Zimbardo's The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil and Barbara Coloroso's Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide . The author discusses the educational implications of these works and raises preliminary considerations for an education for heroism.