Science, Richard Holmes suc- ISBN 9780375422225. Paper, Harper, ceeds admirably in pursing the London, 2009. £9.99, C$21.95. ISBN latter meaning, though he has 9780007149537. Vintage, New York, ambitions also to explore the 2010. $17.95. ISBN 9781400031870. former. Holmes, a biographer of Shelley, Coleridge, and Dr. Johnson, has woven together several tales of English scientists who ventured to exotic lands, flung themselves into love affairs, and wrote sonnets to science. The likes of Joseph Banks, William and Caroline Herschel, Mungo Park, (...) and Humphry Davy displayed, in the calmer English manner (even if the Herschels stemmed from Hanover), the kind of personalities that discovered the “beauty,” if not exactly the “terror,” of science. Holmes dishes up the faux terror in his chapter on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, although the wilder opinions of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who passes through his pages in a drug-induced ramble, are unsettling enough. The lives of the individuals whose accomplishments Holmes depicts are bracketed by James Cook’s ﬁ rst voyage to the South Paciﬁ c (1768–1771) and Darwin’s Beagle adventure (1831–1836). With dexterity and considerable but unobtrusive scholarship, Holmes goes far to reveal “the scientiﬁ c process by which a mind of acknowledged power actually proceeds in the path of successful enquiry.” That last line comes from David Brewster’s Life of Sir Isaac Newton (1831). The minds Holmes depicts, however, stand deep in the shadow of the standard by which Brewster gauged scientiﬁ c power. Joseph Banks, botanist and long-time president of the Royal Society, serves Holmes as his Virgil, helping to link together the lives of his other protagonists. Banks gained his scientiﬁ c reputation as a botanist on Cook’s ﬁ rst voyage, though Holmes only touches lightly on the botanical work. He rather lingers, as a deft biographer might, over the scientist’s.. (shrink)
Over the past decade, Canadian media coverage of street sex work has steadily increased. The majority of this interest pertains to graphic violence against street sex workers, most notably from Vancouver, British Columbia. In this article, the authors analyze newspaper coverage that appeared in western Canadian publications between 2006 and 2009. In theorizing the violence both depicted and perpetrated by newspapers, the authors propose an analytic framework capable of attending to the process of othering in all of its complexity. To (...) this end, the authors supplement a Foucauldian analysis of abjection by considering the work of Judith Butler along with Julia Kristeva's conceptualization of abjection. Using excerpts from western Canadian newspapers, the authors illustrate how the media's discursive practices function as triggers for the process of cultural abjection by inscribing street sex workers with images of defilement. The authors argue that newspaper coverage of street sex workers reinforces the inviolability of normalized life by constantly reiterating the horror reserved for abjected bodies. (shrink)
Visual targets can be processed more quickly and reliably when a hand is placed near the target. Both unimodal and bimodal representations of hands are largely lateralized to the contralateral hemisphere, and since each hemisphere demonstrates specialized cognitive processing, it is possible that targets appearing near the left hand may be processed differently than targets appearing near the right hand. The purpose of this study was to determine whether visual processing near the left and right hands interacts with hemispheric specialization. (...) We presented hierarchical-letter stimuli (e.g. small characters used as local elements to compose large characters at the global level) near the left or right hands separately and instructed participants to discriminate the presence of target letters (X and O) from non-target letters (T and U) at either the global or local levels as quickly as possible. Targets appeared at either the global or local level of the display, at both levels, or were absent from the display; participants made foot-press responses. When discriminating target presence at the global level, participants responded more quickly to stimuli presented near the left hand than near either the right hand or in the no-hand condition. Hand presence did not influence target discrimination at the local level. Our interpretation is that left-hand presence may help participants discriminate global information, a right hemisphere process, and that the left hand may influence visual processing in a way that is distinct from the right hand. (shrink)
Feynman diagrams: conceptual tools for theoretical physicists Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9580-y Authors Laurie M. Brown, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60201, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Recent work in the ontology of music suggests that we will avoid confusion if we distinguish between two kinds of question that are typically posed in music ontology. Thus, a distinction has been made between fundamental ontology and higher-order ontology. The former addresses questions about the basic metaphysical options from which ontologists choose. For instance, are musical works types, indicated types, classes of particulars, or some other kind of entity? Higher-order ontology addresses the question of what lies ‘at the centre’ (...) of a specific form of music, such as rock or jazz—or perhaps classical music. The argument of this essay is, first, that a close examination of the best efforts in two of these territories shows that they have the effect of pressing the music in each sphere into implausible Procrustean beds. Second, it is argued that the general question that higher-order ontologies pose, that is, ‘What work-kind is it that lies at the centre of a given kind of music, F?’ is a question based on a mistaken but seductive assumption, namely that the concept of the work of F has actual application. In fact, these concepts—upon which higher-order ontology depends—are mere artefacts of philosophy. The question is also addressed why the assumption is so seductive. Finally, the question finally is posed about what, if anything, is implied from the foregoing about the traditional ontology of classical music. (shrink)
I use Nietzsche's work on theodicy to explore gendered valuation systems around women's bodies. The notion of theodicy provides a different entry point to questions of ideology, as it begins with an account of people's attempts to find meaning in their lives. Nietzsche traced humans' propensity to look for and create stories that give meaning to their lives, even when this meaning is one that may ultimately oppress them or celebrate something negative, such as suffering. For him it is not (...) the suffering that torments humans, but rather its meaninglessness. In the slums of Northeast Brazil, Afro-Brazilian women invest in the Christian glorification of suffering in a context where they experience their bodies in terms of loss, shame and alienation. I explore how, through a process of creative deception, this suffering comes to be experienced as pleasure. That is, the women reconstruct their bodies using two dominant stories to which they have access: Christianity and glamorous Brazilian soap operas. South African Journal of Philosophy Vol. 26 (1) 2007: pp. 31-43. (shrink)
Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s notion of becoming-animal offers a mode of interaction that goes beyond the symbolic language and conceptual thought that are often used in the western philosophical tradition to circumscribe the limits and define the nature of an ethical engagement. They fail, however, to provide a robust account of how becoming may yield an ethical exchange between the human being and the animal other. In order for this process to generate such an outcome, it must be accompanied (...) by commitment to and care for the animal. Primatologist Barbara Smuts brings this becoming to the flesh in ways that enable a committed, caring and collaborative ethical interaction between species. (shrink)
In the last two decades the idea of African Philosophy has undergone significant change and scrutiny. Some critics have maintained that the idea of a system of philosophical thought tied to African traditions is incoherent. In African Philosophy Lee Brown has collected new essays by top scholars in the field that in various ways respond to these criticisms and defend the notion of African Philosophy. The essays address both epistemological and metaphysical issues that are specific to the traditional conceptual languages (...) of sub-Saharan Africa. The primary focus of the collection is on traditional African conceptions of topics like mind, person, personal identity, truth, knowledge, understanding, objectivity, destiny, free will, causation, and reality. The contributors--who include Leke Adeofe, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Lee Brown, Segun Gbadegesin, D.A. Masolo, Albert Mosley, Ifeanyi Menkiti, and Kwasi Wiredu--incorporate concerns from various African philosophical traditions, including Akan, Azande, Bokis, Igno, Luo, and Yoruba. African Philosophy ultimately tries to bring a more rigorous conception of African philosophy into fruitful contact with Western philosophical concerns, specifically in the philosophies of psychology, mind, science, and language, as well as in metaphysics and epistemology. It will appeal to both scholars and students. (shrink)
In this commentary I discuss the shared theme found in articles by Hoult, Calof, Cheit, Freyd, and Salter (this issue) of the prices of resisting attempts to engender silence when the topic is sexual abuse of children. The parallels between silencing tactics of sexual abusers of children and those used by the false memory movement against its critics are analyzed. Questions are raised about the ethical implications of such silencing strategies.
Examining health policy and its recent reform misadventures in the United States from a moral viewpoint is painful. That the nation devotes 14% of its Gross Domestic Product to health servicesand yet lets more than 40 million citizens go without health coverage strikes critics, both foreign and domestic, as a disgrace explicable only by ethical deficiencies distinctive to the American value system. There is certainly merit in this critique, which understandably incites fire and brimstone about the urgent moral imperative of (...) getting the nation on the path of righteousness at last. (shrink)
Abstract This paper considers some of the implications of the ?postmodern condition? for the practice of moral education in the contemporary world. It argues that an explicitly critical dimension is a key element of the postmodern perspective and suggests that, from such a perspective, most of the efforts to engage in explicit moral education over the past 25 years have fallen short, because instead of pushing toward genuine critique and authentic change they have simply perpetuated the status quo. It proposes, (...) therefore, that a critical postmodern moral pedagogy must address the fundamental inter?relationship between language and power, and must adopt a dialogical attitude that does not grant exclusive access to power, knowledge and authority to the teacher, but instead seeks ways in which teachers and students can engage in genuine dialogue and mutual exchange. (shrink)
This article presents a conceptual framework within feminist therapy theory for viewing overt and covert racist behaviors as forms of unethical action. Using the personal as theoretical and political, the author traces her process of having her consciousness raised regarding the issue of racism in psychotherapy. Racism is then conceptualized as an ethics problem in terms of lack of mutuality and respect, violation of boundaries, and unethical imbalance of power in the therapy relationship. The concept of antiracism, a proactive stance (...) to address overt and covert racism in therapy, is presented as a strategy for moving toward more ethical therapy practice. (shrink)