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  1. John Kilcullen, INTRODUCTION to William of Ockham, The Work of Ninety Days.
    Saint Francis's desire to follow the life of Jesus made him go to great lengths to dissociate himself from power, property and legal rights of any kind. The witness to Christian humility that his small group gave was so attractive to his contemporaries that soon his fellowship became a large organisation entrusted by the Church with a preaching mission throughout Europe and beyond. By 1300 there were Franciscans in Beijing.
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  2. John Kilcullen, Liberal Democracy.
    In Democracy in Australia I argued that the Australian system is a mixture of features, some democratic and some oligarchical. In this lecture I want to outline the thinking behind this mixture. It is not an inconsistency or an accident, as if the drafters of our constitution meant to make a democracy but did not quite succeed. Rather, the Australian constitution is an intelligent and successful solution to certain problems which worried educated people in the 19th century but are now (...)
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  3. John Kilcullen, Locke on Political Obligation.
    Much has been written about Locke's Second Treatise,[Note 1] but still, I believe, the book's main line of argument has been left unclear . Some concepts need more prominence---the duty to preserve mankind, the right of war, and private judgment; others need less---consent, majority rule, and property. Locke's aim was not to show that political obligation rests upon consent: that is assumed without argument.[Note 2] What he set out to prove is that there are certain limits to political (...)
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  4. John Kilcullen, Medieval Political Theory.
    Every intellectual discipline constructs and reconstructs its own history, as writings not previously regarded as important get into reading lists and others fall out. Until recently students of political theory were urged to read Plato and Aristotle, and then Hobbes and Locke, but nothing, or very little, between the Greeks and the early moderns. Those who have ventured into this gap have found that, at least from the thirteenth century, there was a good deal of political theory, with clear links (...)
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  5. John Kilcullen, Medieval Theories of Natural Law.
    In medieval texts the term ius naturale can mean either natural law or natural right; for the latter sense see the article Natural Rights ”. Ius naturale in the former sense, and also lex naturalis, mean the universal and immutable law to which the laws of human legislators, the customs of particular communities and the actions of individuals ought to conform. It is equivalent to morality thought of as a system of law. It is called “natural” either (a) because it (...)
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  6. John Kilcullen, Medieval Theories of Natural Rights.
    From the 12 th century onwards, medieval canon lawyers and, from the early 14 th century, theologians and philosophers began to use ius to mean a right, and developed a theory of natural rights, the predecessor of modern theories of human rights. The main applications of this theory were in respect of property and government.
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  7. John Kilcullen, 1. Primaries.
    I suggest that each political party could (if it chose) nominate two (or more) candidates to the same seat, and that the ballot papers should be printed in batches rotating the order among candidates of the same party. Suppose two parties nominate one candidate each and another party nominates two.
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  8. John Kilcullen, Papal Documents Relating to Franciscan Poverty.
    (There are occasional changes to the text. "F" refers to A. Friedberg, Corpus iuris canonici, Leipzig, 1879. "S" refers to Seraphicae legislationis textus originales iussu Rmi Patris Ministri Generalis totius Ordinis Fratrum Minorum in lucem editi (Ad Claras Aquas, 1897).).
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  9. John Kilcullen, Reading Guide 8: Max Weber.
    Max Weber (1864-1920) was a German academic, a liberal, but a liberal of the Kaiser's Germany: a nationalist, an anti-Socialist (i.e. an anti-Marxist), a Prussian reserve officer. In an autobiographical passage he says, "The usual training for haughty aggression in the duelling fraternity [at university] and as an officer had undoubtedly had a strong influence upon me", GM, p.7. According to the editor's introduction in GM, "The concept of the nation and of national interest... is the limit of (...)'s political outlook and... constitutes his ultimate value", ibid. p.48--i.e. the survival needs of Germany would over-ride any moral restriction. Weber was active in politics as a National Liberal, in opposition to both conservatives and socialists. He was contemptuous of the Kaiser, but supported certain annexationist war aims in World War I. (shrink)
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  10. John Kilcullen, Submission No. 56.
    The point of the suggestions made below is not to design a perfectly representative voting system there is no such thing, given the multiplicity of functions elections perform — but to encourage a deeper public discussion of the issues facing Australia, and at the same time reduce the bitterness of partisan and factional conflict.
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  11. John Kilcullen, The Israel/Palestinian Conflict: How Did It Begin? Will It Ever End?
    We all follow the news and we all think about the Israel/Palestine conflict, I believe, but it is not much discussed in this country. Our politicians leave it to the Americans. General Petraeus, in a statement to the US Senate Armed Services Committee, last year, listed this issue as one of the “major drivers of instability, inter-state tensions, and conflict” in the Middle East. “The conflict foments anti- American sentiment,” he said, “due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel”. (...)
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  12. John Kilcullen, The Medieval Concept of Heresy.
    Medieval theologians took their concept of heresy mainly from the texts of Jerome and Augustine quoted in Gratian’s Decretum. Thomas Aquinas held that anyone w ho pertinaciously denies even a minor item of Church or Bible teaching falls into heresy. Ockham developed criteria for pertinacity and argued that a Christian, even if his or her opinions are actually in error, cannot be regarded as pertinacious simply for refusing to defer to the teaching of a pope.
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  13. John Kilcullen, The War in Afghanistan.
    The US invasion of Afghanistan, with backing from NATO and from Australia, took place in October 2001, in response to the 9/11 attacks. As of July 2010 many US and European commentators are saying that the US action in Afghanistan has failed and that US forces should withdraw. Similarly, Australian commentators are saying that Australian troops should withdraw. I haven't made up my mind and don't even see clearly what the issues are. But here are some reflections and some references (...)
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  14. John Kilcullen, William of Ockham and Early Christianity.
    My talk tonight comes under the heading of history of theology. It may take you away somewhat from the study of early Christianity, but perhaps it can come under the head of the history of the history of early Christianity—my topic is a dispute involving Marsilius and Ockham over Peter’s role in the early Church and the use Ockham made of early Christian documents, or what he thought were such.
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  15. John Kilcullen, An Australian Bill of Rights.
    One of the chief arguments against a constitutional Bill of Rights is that it gives judges too much power. The courts interpret the constitution, and from the highest court there is no appeal (though the Constitution can be amended -- a difficult process). As Americans sometimes say, "The US Constitution is whatever the Supreme Court says it is". In many cases the Supreme Court has interpreted the Bill of Rights by means of wire drawn reasoning, reflecting the judges' political and (...)
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  16. John Kilcullen, Appendix: Arnauld on Freewill and Necessity.
    According to Arnauld, if we cannot help acting in some way, that is either (1) because external forces or obstacles leave no alternative, or (2) because we cannot help wanting to act that way; and that may be (2a) because we have absolutely no power to want anything else, or (2b) because the power we have is quite insufficient to overcome the inclination to act that way. This gives three kinds of necessity, corresponding to (1), (2a) and (2b).[.
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  17. John Kilcullen, A Comparison of the Australian, British, and American Political Systems.
    Like the American system ours is federal: i.e., there are two levels of government, neither of which can change the powers of the other or make laws within certain fields assigned to the other. The British system is 'unitary': the British parliament can make laws on any matter, local government has whatever powers the national government delegates to it. Like the British, ours is a system of responsible government . The Government (the Prime Minister and cabinet) is 'responsible' to parliament. (...)
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  18. John Kilcullen, Aristotle's Ethics: Essay.
    I Virtue 1. Moral Virtue 2. Continence, Endurance, and Virtue 3. Desert 4. The Intellectual Virtues II The Good Life 5. The Good for Man 6. Happiness 7. Production and Action 8. Action and Contemplation 9. Teleology III Friendship 10. What friendship is 11. Kinds of friendship 12. The friend as another self 13. The need for friends IV Political science V Some reflections..
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  19. John Kilcullen, Anselm, Monologion.
    One large exception to this generalisation is John Scottus Eriugena, who wrote original philosophical works, and also produced some translations of philosophical works. "Eriugena" is his rendering into Greek of "Scottus", which at that time meant Irish: John the Irishman. He was born in Ireland about AD 810, lived and wrote in France from about 840; he was one of the Irish and English clergy attracted to France by the Carolingian renaissance. He mastered Greek; knowledge of Greek was rare in (...)
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  20. John Kilcullen, Analysis of the Argument, 3.2 Dialogus.
    Hyperlinked chapter headings will open in a second window, showing the full text (usually the Latin text with English translation parallel). Resize the browser windows so that windows cascade, or use the taskbar to switch from one window to the other.
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  21. John Kilcullen, Adam Smith: The Moral Sentiments.
    Adam Smith was born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, in 1723 (Source on Smith's life: E G West, Adam Smith ). He entered Glasgow University in 1737, aged 14. This university still followed some practices of the medieval universities, for example in admitting students at age 14. Its professors still took fees directly from students: that had been the original practice in medieval universities, but in more famous universities rich people had endowed colleges within the university, which paid lecturers' salaries. The Glasgow (...)
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  22. John Kilcullen, Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations.
    In the POL167 course materials there is an essay 'Free enterprise and its critics' , which I suggest you read. It is not about Adam Smith particularly, but about the theory which he proposed and others developed.
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  23. John Kilcullen, Christianity and Greek Philosophy.
    Christianity has had, still has, an important influence in politics and in political thought; and in the part of this course from Augustine to Locke we need to talk about it. In this course I do not assume that you all know about Christianity; some of you are Jews or Muslims, or non-religious. So when I talk about it I will try to explain from scratch. I believe I present Christianity sympathetically, but let me say that I am an atheist, (...)
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  24. John Kilcullen, Conclusion: Sincerity and Being Right.
    The case for toleration as Bayle presents it seems closely tied to the proposition that if we do what we sincerely think right then we do a morally good act, even if that act is actually wrong. The prominence of this proposition in his book would have made it seem unpersuasive to some of the people most important to convince, namely those who followed "the principles of St Augustine". Arnauld, for example, rejects the Jesuits' thesis that an act cannot be (...)
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  25. John Kilcullen, Democracy in Australia.
    The Australian political system is in some ways democratic, and in some ways not. The relationship between Prime Minister, Parliament and electorate seems to me the most democratic part of the system. The undemocratic features include bicameralism, federalism, monarchy, and some others. In calling certain features undemocratic I don't necessarily mean they're bad. For the views of 19th century liberals on whether democracy is a good thing, and if so subject to what limitations (if any), and several similar questions, see (...)
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  26. John Kilcullen, Draft Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters.
    The point of the suggestions made below is not to design a perfectly representative voting system—there is no such thing, given the multiplicity of functions elections perform—but to encourage a deeper public discussion of the issues facing Australia, and at the same time reduce the bitterness of partisan and factional conflict.
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  27. John Kilcullen, Essay I. Arnauld Against Philosophic Sin.
    The reader may wish to know something of Antoine Arnauld and his times. His life was full of conflict, with the Jesuits, with the king of France and, though he was a zealous Catholic, with the pope.[ Note ] The son of a wealthy lawyer, he never had to work for his living at anything he did not choose to do. As a priest he never seems to have had any pastoral or teaching responsibilities except those he chose to assume. (...)
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  28. John Kilcullen, Essay III. Reciprocity Arguments for Toleration.
    From now on I intend to put aside history and exegesis of texts to take up as philosophical questions some matters which arise from Bayle's argument for toleration . In fact I believe that the main conclusions I argue for in the remaining essays are substantially Bayle's, but I am not concerned to show that they are, and have not adopted them out of any loyalty to him. This third essay is an analysis of the reciprocity argument as a type. (...)
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  29. John Kilcullen, Essay IV. The Ethics of Belief and Inquiry.
    One of the arguments used by the Academic sceptics of ancient times, to force general suspension of judgment upon the Stoics, ran as follows: (1) Any proposition, however certain it may seem, may in fact be false; (2) the wise man (according to the Stoics) will not assert dogmatically anything that may be false;[Note ] therefore (3) we should not affirm anything. Premiss 1 is fallibilism, which to me seems true, and 2 is a proposition of ethics which to me (...)
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  30. John Kilcullen, Free Enterprise and its Critics.
    The best way to understand a demand for freedom is to consider what it is directed against. The free enterprise movement began in the 18th century as a protest against various restrictions on business enterprise imposed by governments and by corporations sanctioned by government. Corporations (guilds, colleges, companies, universities) had existed since Roman times, ostensibly to guarantee their member's good behaviour, and especially good service to the public. But they served their members' interests also at the expense of the public (...)
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  31. John Kilcullen, Factionalism in Australian Political Parties, Especially the ALP.
    (1) The basis of factionalism (in the ALP and also in the Liberal and other parties) is not ideology but PATRONAGE, i.e. the ability of factional leaders to confer jobs, honours and other good things on themselves and their favoured supporters. If you want a political career, join a faction and make yourself useful.
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  32. John Kilcullen, Historical Materialism.
    Marx was born in 1818, Engels in 1820, both in Germany. Marx's father was a lawyer, and he went to Bonn and Berlin universities, at first to study law, then philosophy (a flourishing subject in German universities at the time). Engels was not a university man. He went into business. From 1850 to 1870 he managed his family's firm's cotton mill in Manchester. Engels had first-hand knowledge of the English capitalists: he was one. After retiring from the cotton industry he (...)
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  33. John Kilcullen, Improving Our Political System.
    One of the unhealthy features of politics in this country is the contempt in which the public hold politicians, especially political parties. I think that this is because of the childish partisanship often shown in Parliamentary debate, which I think is due to the presence of the media and the absence of ordinary people--politicians have to say sensational things to get through to the public. I would like to see a sort of "parliamenary jury"--a randomly selected panel of ordinary people (...)
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  34. John Kilcullen, J.S. Mill: Logic.
    Wealth of Nations was published in 1776. Among the people who took up its ideas were Jeremy Bentham (b. 1748). Bentham and James Mill were friendly also with David Ricardo and Thomas Malthus. Ricardo's Principles of Political Economy & Taxation (1817) was written at James Mill's suggestion; 'it is almost certain that he would not have finished it without Mill's continuous encouragement' (R.M. Hartwell, 'Introduction' to Ricardo's Principles (Penguin), p.13). James Mill published his own Elements of Political Economy in 1821. (...)
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  35. John Kilcullen, J.S. Mill: Sociology.
    In his analysis of the logic of history and social sciences Mill was much influenced by French writers of the Saint Simonian school and especially Auguste Comte. This school divided history into 'organic' and 'transitional' periods. In organic periods human personalities and institutions are coherently organized in a stable system, the workings of each part complementing and reinforcing the workings of the others. But this cannot last forever, stability is never absolute: the system starts to come apart, there follows a (...)
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  36. John Kilcullen, John Rawls: Liberty.
    ('Freedom' and 'liberty' mean the same.) In 20th century political philosophy some have favoured a 'negative' concept of liberty (freedom from constraint) and criticised 'positive' notions of liberty ('freedom to') as incipiently authoritarian. According to Rawls every liberty is both negative and positive. That there is a certain liberty means that a certain person (or persons, or all persons) is (are) not under certain constraints, so that they can do a certain sort of thing (see p.
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  37. John Kilcullen, Macaulay and J.S. Mill.
    Macaulay's review, "Mill on Government", available for example in T.B. Macaulay, Prose and Poetry , ed. G.M. Young (London, 1967). Macquarie University Library: PR4963.A6/1967..
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  38. John Kilcullen, Marx on Capitalism.
    A society is capitalist if most production is carried on by employees working with means of production (equipment and materials) belonging to their employer, producing commodities which belong to the employer. (Employees: those whose services are treated as commodities. 'Labour is a commodity like any other', 'an article of trade' - Edmund Burke, Thoughts on Scarcity , 1795.).
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  39. John Kilcullen, Medieval Spelling in the Dialogus Edition.
    I have been surveying the spelling across a range of the manuscripts; my findings are given under “Profiles” at the end. The method I have used is to find the word by electronic search in my computer files, then find corresponding places in the MSS. If abbreviation conceals the spelling I search further. This method does not guarantee that the spelling I find at some place in a MS is used throughout the MS; indeed in some cases I have noticed (...)
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  40. John Kilcullen, Max Weber: On Bureaucracy.
    First, something about the word. 'Bureau' (French, borrowed into German) is a desk, or by extension an office (as in 'I will be at the office tomorrow'; 'I work at the Bureau of Statistics'). 'Bureaucracy' is rule conducted from a desk or office, i.e. by the preparation and dispatch of written documents - or, these days, their electronic equivalent. In the office are kept records of communications sent and received, the files or archives, consulted in preparing new ones. This kind (...)
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  41. John Kilcullen, Max Weber: On Capitalism.
    Weber's most famous book is The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904-5). It is generally taken as a counter to the Marxist thesis of the primacy of base over superstructure: Weber is supposed to have argued in this book that capitalism in fact developed historically as a result of a..
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  42. John Kilcullen, Ockham and the Dialogus.
    The best way of becoming acquainted with William of Ockham and his Dialogue would be to read A.S. McGrade's "Introduction", "Principal Dates in Ockham's Life", and "Suggestions for Further Reading" in..
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  43. John Kilcullen, Palestine: Another Approach.
    The long war between Israel and the Palestinians is not the root cause of all conflicts between Islam and the West, but it exacerbates every such conflict. From Northern Europe through North Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and down to Australia, there are violent opponents of “the West” motivated, in part, by indignation at the..
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  44. John Kilcullen, Philosophy and Religion (in Progress).
    The term “philosophy” can be used in various senses. Here I mean by "philosophy" the practice of reflecting seriously on what I believe about the questions I regard as the most fundamental , to make sure as far as possible that what I believe is actually true. There is a second sense of the word, in which a philosophy” is a set of beliefs or opinions or conclusions about certain important questions, but philosophy in the sense I am concerned with (...)
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  45. John Kilcullen, Religion and Politics (in Progress).
    People taking part in politics will of course be guided partly by their philosophical beliefs (philosophy in the second sense of the word), including their religious beliefs, if they are religious. There is nothing objectionable about that, no violation of any (reasonable) idea of..
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  46. John Kilcullen, Rawls: Decisions in the Original Position.
    In the last lecture I talked first about the difference principle, and then about the original position and the intuitions that seem to have guided Rawls in constructing it. At the end I was saying that his intuitions about religion and morality are those of the small-l liberal, who wants a 'fair go' for diverse and conflicting philosophies of life. This leads to my next topic (still under the general heading of the Original Position), -.
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  47. John Kilcullen, Reading Guide 6: Marx, Capital.
    The reading for this week is rather long. I suggest you do as much of it as you can, write the tutorial paper, and then finish off the reading before you do next week's reading. My commentary on Capital may overrun this cassette on to the beginning of the next.
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  48. John Kilcullen, Reading Guide 10: Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy.
    Open the Readings on p.217 and look through the table of contents. Part I is an appreciation and critique of Marx. Schumpeter argues that Marx's argument to show that Capitalism will eventually destroy itself is unsound. Nevertheless, Schumpeter himself thinks that Capitalism contains the seeds of its one destruction. Hence Part II: Can Capitalism Survive? The answer he gives is No. But at first, Chapters 5-8, he explains the strengths and virtues of Capitalism. Then he explains why it will eventually (...)
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  49. John Kilcullen, Reading Guide 5: Darwin, Huxley, Dawkins on Ethics and Society.
    Darwin's work in biology raises the possibility that ethics may be given an evolutionary explanation: perhaps morality serves not the happiness of mankind, as in the utilitarian theory, but the survival of the human species.
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  50. John Kilcullen, Reading Guide 11: Rawls, A Theory of Justice.
    The first article is from 1958, "Justice as Fairness", Readings, p.241. It is divided into eight sections numbered with Roman numerals. I have underlined some phrases and written in some headings. Read Section I. The first two paragraphs give the reader some preliminary idea of what he will do in the rest of the article, the 3rd and 4th fend off possible misunderstandings. Read now section II. Some comments. First, in these two principles there are in fact four points: (1) (...)
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