The Threshold of the Visible World advances a revolutionary new political aesthetic--KajaSilverman explores the possibilities for looking beyond the restrictive mandates of the self, and the normative aspects of the cultural image-repertoire. She provides a detailed account of the social and psychic forces which constrain us to look and identify in normative ways, and the violence which that normativity implies. Accounting for these phenomena on both a conscious and an unconcious level, Silverman analyzes the psychic and (...) textual conditions under which our "field of vision" can be expanded. The title of this book is taken from Lacan's essay on the mirror stage. In that text, Lacan writes that "the mirror-image would seem to be the threshold of the visible world." He thereby suggests that the visible world has no existence as such until the infant subject has access to an image of self. Lacan intimates that the mirror provides the frame through which one relates to others within the domain of vision, stressing the priority of narcissism and the ego over all other libidinal transactions. The Threshold of the Visible World provides a psychic, social and political specification of Lacan's claim, and most particularly of its implications for the subject's relations to the social other. This is accomplished through examination of the ego, as well as two other categories at the center of Lacan's account of the mirror stage: ideality and identification. This book is an ethical-political project which leads to the re-elaboration of a number of crucial theoretical categories--Silverman offers an account of the bodily ego, of identification, of idealization, of the gaze, of the look, and of the "photographic." The Threshold of the Visible World leads as well to the formulation of a fresh model for conceptualizing sexual, racial and class "difference," and the terms under which it might be dismantled. This book thus seeks to apprehend the field of vision through the frame of a different kind of bodily ego, and discover the pleasures to be derived from corporeal transport. (shrink)
Cultural Semiosis traces the theoretical itinerary of the signifier in the continental tradition. Cultural semiosis provides links for cultural studies to the philosophical, the literary, the historical and the social. Understood semiotically, cultural signs and signifiers are inscribed in the fabric of cultural practices. Cultural semiosis enters the spaces of everyday language, visuality, sexuality and symbolization. These original essays interpret and provide tools for the understanding of cultural studies within a philosophical framework. Contributors: M. Alison Arnett, Debra Bergoffen, Peter Carravetta, (...) Alessandro Carrera, Julia Kristeva, John Llewelyn, Michael Naas, Kelly Oliver, Adi Ophir, Francois Raffoul, Mark Roberts, Stephanie Sage, Hugh J. Silverman. (shrink)
Upshot: Paul Silverman is Professor in the Psychology Department of the University of Montana. He completed his doctorate at the University of Georgia in 1977 with Ernst von Glasersfeld as mentor. His essay focuses on his personal encounters with him during that period.
Spectacular treatment disasters in recent years have made it clear that informal "let's-try-it-and-see" methods of testing new proposals are more risky now than ever before, and have led many to call for a halt to experimentation in clinical medicine. In this easy-tp-read, philosophical guide to human experimentation, William Silverman pleads for wider use of randomized clinical trials, citing many examples that show how careful trials can overturn preconceived or ill-conceived notions of a therapy's effectiveness and lead to a clearer (...) understanding of clinical anomalies. Because it gives careful guidance on setting up trials and avoiding conceptual pitfalls, this book will be of great interest to all epidemiologists and clinical statisticians, and to a wide varitey of clinicians, pharmacologists, and nurses. Since it requires no medical or statistical knowledge, it will also appeal to ethicists, lawyers, and the general public. (shrink)
Philosophy and Desire , the seventh book in the well-known Continental Philosophy series, examines questions of desire--desire for another person, desire for happiness, desire for knowledge, desire for a better world, desire for the impossible, desire in text, desire in language and desire for desire itself. The theme of desire is explored through readings of contemporary figures such as Merleau-Ponty, Bataille, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Levinas, Irigaray, Barthes, Derrida, and Derrida. A hot, timely topic in philosophy today Expands the contemporary debates.
Jean-François Lyotard, the highly influential twentieth-century philosopher of the postmodern, has had an enormous impact on the course and commitment of contemporary philosophy. Lyotard: Philosophy, Politics, and the Sublime is a thoroughgoing reassessment of his extraordinary legacy and contribution to contemporary cultural, political, ethical, and aesthetic theory, and an indispenable guide to key issues in his philosophy. Fifteen distinguished scholars have contributed new, original essays examining the main themes in Lyotard's work with a focus on the special intersections of philosophy, (...) psychoanalysis, politics, and the experience of the sublime in art. The volume includes an up-to-date bibliography of works by and about Lyotard, previously unpublished photographs of Lyotard, and an incisive essay by Lyotard himself on the philosophical significance of Freud's case of Emma. (shrink)
The aim of this long essay is to explain why the philosopher-ruler of Plato's Republic descends “with regret” or having been “compelled” from his contemplation of the Forms to rule the state. It offers a new, optimistic interpretation of his goal in so descending, namely to try to make everyone into a philosopher. After a brief introductory section, I turn to the argument of the Republic to show both that the philosopher's understanding of the Good causes him to try to (...) maximize the amount of good in the cosmos, and that, since every rational person is capable, in virtue of his rational soul, of becoming a philosopher, this amounts to adopting the aforementioned goal. In the third section, I argue that the source of his regret cannot be that he sacrifices his own happiness in descending. Here the vehicle is a consideration of the “Plotinian” reading of the Republic, whose conclusion is that once he has achieved knowledge of the Forms, the philosopher can neither increase his happiness by further study, nor lose his happiness. Hence, if he is true to his goal, he has to try to improve the lot of others. In the next section, I argue that the Timaeus' account of the Demiurge's construction of the cosmos helps us to understand both the nature of the ruler's attempts to make everyone a philosopher and why he also understands that he will inevitably fail. Here the key idea is to link the Timaeus' account of Necessity or the Wandering Cause with the circumstances facing the philosopher in ruling the state. In the conclusion, I sketch how this account of the philosopher's reason for descending suggests that the best or ideal city in the Republic is not the tripartite kallipolis, but is rather a version of the City of Pigs. Footnotesa Parts of this paper have been presented to audiences at Princeton, UCLA, the Australian Association of Philosophy, Monash University, Kansas, and Berkeley. I am indebted to those in the audiences on all those occasions. Special thanks are owed to Chris Bobonich, David Keyt, Fred Miller, and the other contributors to this volume. (shrink)
To help ensure the ethical conduct of research, many have recommended educational efforts in research ethics to investigators and members of research ethics committees (RECs). One type of education activity involves multi-day workshops in research ethics. To be effective, such workshops should contain the appropriate content and teaching techniques geared towards the learning styles of the targeted audiences. To ensure consistency in content and quality, we describe the development of a curriculum guide, core competencies and associated learning objectives and activities (...) to help educators organize research ethics workshops in their respective institutions. The curriculum guide is divided into modular units to enable planners to develop workshops of different lengths and choose content materials that match the needs, abilities, and prior experiences of the target audiences. The content material in the curriculum guide is relevant for audiences in the Middle East, because individuals from the Middle East who participated in a Certificate Program in research ethics selected and developed the training materials (e.g., articles, powerpoint slides, case studies, protocols). Also, many of the activities incorporate active-learning methods, consisting of group work activities analyzing case studies and reviewing protocols. The development of such a workshop training curriculum guide represents a sustainable educational resource to enhance research ethics capacity in the Middle East. (shrink)
Si la modernité consiste à trouver le nouveau radical, la fin de la postmodernité ç' est pas la sortie de l'art, dans la culture de masse, le kitsch ou le silence mais bien le moment où la modernité trouve ses marges, repère la lisière de ses différences. La tâche de la pensée ne consiste pas à désespérer de l'art ou de la nouveauté mais à identifier les lieux et les fins de la différence dans ce que l'on peut nommer une (...) « en-différence » (in-difference) qui n'a rien de négatif. Ce que montre une série d'exemples artistiques tirés de la production contemporaine, y compris télévisée. If modernity can be said to be an attempt at discovering a radical new thing in art, the end (the ends) of post-modernity is by no means to absorb art into mass culture, kitsch or silence, but the moment when modernity can lay out its margins, and identify its differences. Modernity is in the process of achieving its postmodern ends when it manages to overcome hopelessness and looks upon a non-negative in-difference. Some examples, particularly chosen in contemporary productions for the cinema or television, can make such a doctrine convincing. (shrink)
John Hick attempts to justify evil’s existence by claiming it is necessary for the process of “soul-making,” which allows for the development of a more valuable type of moral character than a world without evil. Hick’s theodicy has ramifications for ethics as well as philosophy of religion. His theodicy commits him to a conception of virtue theory that significantly departs from the ethical theories held by many theists. An explication of Hick’s ethical theory and comparison with relevant aspects of Thomas (...) Aquinas’s ethical theory showshow Hick’s ethical theory makes this departure. At stake in this paper is whether Hick’s ethical theory and account of the virtue of love make his theodicy less plausible. (shrink)
: In June 2002, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) approved draft recommendations concerning preparation for potential biological terror attacks that utilize the smallpox virus. ACIP recommends against both mandatory and voluntary vaccination of the general public. The present paper examines the moral and political considerations both for and against each of the general public vaccination options considered by the ACIP in the context of the state's authority over vaccination for the purposes of protecting public health. Although it is (...) clear that compulsory mass vaccination is not justified at this time, the issues surrounding voluntary vaccination are more complex. Should smallpox vaccination prior to an outbreak be made available to the general public? The paper concludes that the vaccine should not be made available at this time. This conclusion, however, is based upon contingent features of current circumstances, which would change once an outbreak occurred. In the event of a terror-related outbreak of smallpox, the general public's access to voluntary vaccination would become justified, even in areas beyond where the outbreak has occurred. (shrink)
Background: Concerns have been expressed regarding the adequacy of ethics review systems in developing countries. Limited data are available regarding the structural and functional status of Research Ethics Committees (RECs) in the Middle East. The purpose of this study was to survey the existing RECs in Egypt to better understand their functioning status, perceived resource needs, and challenges. Methods: We distributed a self-administered survey tool to Egyptian RECs to collect information on the following domains: general characteristics of the REC, membership (...) composition, ethics training, workload, process of ethics review, perceived challenges to effective functioning, and financial and material resources. We used basic descriptive statistics to evaluate the quantitative data. Results: We obtained responses from 67% (12/18) of the identified RECs. Most RECs (10/12) have standard operating procedures and many (7/12) have established policies to manage conflicts of interests. The average membership was 10.3 with a range from 7-19. The predominant member type was physicians (69.5% of all of the REC members) with little lay representation (13.7%). Most RECs met at least once/month and the average number of protocols reviewed per meeting was 3.8 with a range from 1-10. Almost three-quarters of the members from all of the 12 RECs indicated they received some formal training in ethics. Regarding resources, roughly half of the RECs have dedicated capital equipment (e.g., meeting room, computers, office furniture, etc); none of the RECs have a formal operating budget. Perceived challenges included the absence of national research ethics guidelines and national standards for RECs and lack of ongoing training of its members in research ethics. Conclusion: Our study documents several areas of strengths and areas for improvements in the operations of Egyptian RECs. Regarding strengths, many of the existing RECs meet frequently, have a majority of members with prior training in research ethics, and have written policies. Regarding areas for improvements, many RECs should strive for a more diverse membership and should receive more financial resources and administrative support personnel. We recommend that RECs include more individuals from the community and develop a continuing educational program for its members. Institutional officials should be aware of the resource capacity needs of their RECs. (shrink)
Genetic research presents ethical challenges to the achievement of valid informed consent, especially in developing countries with areas of low literacy. During the last several years, a number of genetic research proposals involving Omani nationals were submitted to the Department of Research and Studies, Ministry of Health, Oman.The objective of this paper is to report on the results of an internal quality assurance initiative to determine the extent of the information being provided in genetic research informed consent forms. In order (...) to achieve this, we developed checklists to assess the inclusion of basic elements of informed consent as well as elements related to the collection and future storage of biological samples. Three of the authors independently evaluated and reached consensus on seven informed consent forms that were available for review.Of the seven consent forms, four had less than half of the basic elements of informed consent. None contained any information regarding whether genetic information relevant to health would be disclosed, whether participants may share in commercial products, the extent of confidentiality protections, and the inclusion of additional consent forms for future storage and use of tissue samples. Information regarding genetic risks and withdrawal of samples were rarely mentioned (1/7), whereas limits on future use of samples were mentioned in 3 of 7 consent forms.Ultimately, consent forms are not likely to address key issues regarding genetic research that have been recommended by research ethics guidelines. We recommend enhanced educational efforts to increase awareness, on the part of researchers, of information that should be included in consent forms. (shrink)
There has been considerable interest recently in scientific misconduct. Although much has been written and discussed about specific cases, very little, if any, research has been carried out on the process of fraud. An understanding of this aspect can contribute much to methods of detection and lead to recommendations for preventing misconduct and for implementation of appropriate sanctions where fraud has been detected and proved. In this article I initiate a study of the process of fraud using a series of (...) case studies. Hypotheses are generated by methods pioneered by Peirce and most recently developed and thoroughly discussed by Glaser and Strauss under the name of grounded theory. Some illustrations of what can be learned from such studies are included. (shrink)
Wynn's thesis that the acquisition of the rules of symmetry comprised the formative factor in the evolution of human spatial cognition is questioned on several grounds, including the ubiquity of symmetry across species and the apparent hard-wired nature of its evolution in both humans and animals.
Background Medical research must involve the participation of human subjects. Knowledge of patients' perspectives and concerns with their involvement in research would enhance recruitment efforts, improve the informed consent process, and enhance the overall trust between patients and investigators. Several studies have examined the views of patients from Western countries. There is limited empirical research involving the perspectives of individuals from developing countries. The purpose of this study is to examine the attitudes of Egyptian individuals toward medical research. Such information (...) would help clarify the type and extent of concerns regarding research participation of individuals from cultural, economic, and political backgrounds that differ from those in developed countries. Methods We conducted semi-structured interviews with 15 Egyptian individuals recruited from the outpatient settings (public and private) at Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt. Interviews were taped, transcribed, and translated. Thematic analysis followed. Results All individuals valued the importance of medical research; however most would not participate in research that involved more than minimal risk. Individuals were comfortable with studies involving surveys and blood sampling, but many viewed drug trials as being too risky. All participants valued the concept of informed consent, as they thought that their permission to be in a research study was paramount. Many participants had discomfort with or difficulty in the understanding several research concepts: randomization, double-blind, and clinical equipoise. Trust in the physicians performing research was important in deciding to participate in clinical research. The small sample size and the selection bias associated with obtaining information from only those who agreed to participate in a research study represent limitations in this study. Conclusion Overall, individuals in our sample recognize the value of medical research and have a great deal of trust regarding medical research and their participation in research. There were, however, concerns with the level of research risks associated with several types of medical research. Many also demonstrated confusion with certain research methodologies. We recommend 1) enhanced educational efforts regarding general research concepts to enhance the validity of informed consent and 2) further survey studies in other areas of Egypt to determine the generalizability of our results. (shrink)
Science education is most efficacious and enduring when undertaken within a philosophical framework akin to that of science, itself. This entails recognition that, above all, science is a mode of rational inquiry pursued by those who are curious about the natural world and motivated to seek rational answers to personally meaningful questions. The key to successful science instruction lies in fostering a student''s self-motivation and productively channeling his innate curiosity. To do (...) this a science educator must (a) convey to students an accurate and sympathetic impression of the importance of science to their cultural development; (b) help students develop an ability to evaluate information critically and arrive at logical conclusions; (c) provide students opportunities to engage in creative, personally meaningful scientific research. (shrink)
A collection of essays including one by Gadamer himself reflecting on his life and work. There are also special sections linking Gadamer to the work of other major philosophers, including Heidegger, Ricoeur, Barthes and Derrida.
The effects of Derrida's writings have been widespread in literary circles, where they have transformed current work in literary theory. By contrast Derrida's philosophical writings--which deal with the whole range of western thought from Plato to Foucault--have not received adequate attention by philosophers. Organized around Derrida's readings of major figures in the history of philosophy, Derrida and Deconstruction focuses on and assesses his specifically philosophical contribution. Contemporary continental philosophers assess Derrida's account of philosophical tradition, with each contributor providing a critical (...) study of Derrida's position on a philosopher she or he has already studied in depth These figures include Plato, Meister Eckhart, Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, and Foucault. (shrink)