This article develops a novel approach to the relationship between public space and democracy. It employs the concept of the spectacle to show how public space can serve to destroy or weaken solidarity just as easily as it can foster a democratic ethos of equality. A close reading of Rousseau's Letter to M. d'Alembert on the Theatre helps illuminate the political implications of modern public life, which increasingly takes the form of passive individuals assembling in order to view a spectacle. (...) According to Rousseau, spectacles like the theater are depoliticizing because they undermine the opportunity for active participation and interaction with other citizens. By habituating the audience to theatrical modes of self-presentation, they also weaken the capacity for empathy. This article concludes by showing how contemporary theorists including Sennett, Debord and Habermas also contribute to our understanding of the concept of the spectacle. Key Words: citizenship democracy festival public space Jean-Jacques Rousseau Richard Sennett spectacle theater. (shrink)
The past twenty years have witnessed the consolidation of deliberation as the normative basis of democratic theory. Although different versions of deliberative democracy vary in scope and degree of institutionalization, they share the assumption that the rational consensus engendered through discussion should serve as the normative guide for democratic politics. Although this tradition has roots in the birth of bourgeois liberal thought, it has received renewed attention due to Habermas’s reformulation on the basis of discourse ethics. In his middle period, (...) Habermas had attempted to ground rationality in the structure of discourse itself, in the ideal preconditions of intersubjective communication.1 His more pragmatist heirs, however, jettison transcendental truth claims while maintaining that deliberation can enhance the legitimacy of consensual solutions to the moral dilemmas which divide citizens. (shrink)
The confusion/non-consequential thinking explanation proposed by Newstead, Girotto, and Legrenzi (1995) for poor performance on Wason's THOG problem (a hypothetico-deductive reasoning task) was examined in three experiments with 300 participants. In general, as the cognitive complexity of the problem and the possibility of non-consequential thinking were reduced, correct performance increased. Significant but weak facilitation (33-40% correct) was found in Experiment 1 for THOG classification instructions that did not include the indeterminate response option. Substantial facilitation (up to 75% correct) was obtained (...) in Experiment 2 with O'Brien et al.'s (1990) one-other-THOG classification instruction. In Experiment 3, a revised version of O'Brien et al.'s pre-test problem format also led to substantial facilitation, even with the use of the standard three-choice THOG classification instruction. These findings are discussed in terms of Newstead et al.'s theoretical proposal and possible attentional factors. (shrink)
Experiences are interpreted as conscious mental occurrences that are of phenomenal character. There is already a kind of (weak) intentionality involved with this phenomenal interpretation. A stricter conception of experiences distinguishes between purely phenomenal experiences and intentional experiences in a narrow sense. Wittgenstein’s account of psychological (experiential) verbs is taken over: Usually, expressing mental states verbally is not describing them. According to this, I believe can be seen as an expression of one’s own belief, but not as an expression of (...) a belief about one’s belief. Hence, the utterance I believe it is raining shows that I believe that it is raining, although it is not said by these words that I believe that it is raining. Thinking thoughts such as I believe it is raining, but it is not raining (a variant of Moore’s paradox) is an absurdity between what is already said by silently uttering It is not raining and what is shown by silently uttering I believe it is raining. The paper agrees with a main result of Wittgenstein’s considerations of Moore’s paradox, namely the view that logical structure, deducibility, and consistency cannot be reduced solely to propositions—besides a logic of propositions, there is, for example, a logic of assertions and of imperatives, respectively. (shrink)
History and the philosophy of science have played a very important role in dialectical materialism; their results have been destined to support the correctness of the ideas of Marxist philosophers, especially in their application in historical materialism.From this point of view, the circumstances of the origin of the works of the Marxist classics cannot be neglected: Engels wrote hisDialectics in Nature in the period of classical physics, and Lenin published hisMaterialism and Empirio-Criticism at the beginning of the 20th century when (...) our modern physics first began: shortly before the publication of Lenin's book, Röntgen and Becquerel discovered new kinds of radiation, Balmer published his ideas concerning the regularity of the hydrogen spectrum, Plank wrote his first articles about the elementary quantum and Einstein published his three famous articles (1905). (shrink)
Alexius Meinong's specific use of the term "self-presentation" had a significant influence on modern epistemology and philosophical psychology. To show that there are remarkable parallels between Meinong's account of the self-presentation of experiences and Lehrer's account of the exemplarization of experiences is one of this paper's main objectives. Another objective is to put forward some comments and critical remarks to Lehrer's approach. One of the main problems can be expressed by the following: The process of using a particular experience as (...) a sample, that is, an exemplar that we use to stand for and refer to a plurality of experiences, Lehrer calls "exemplarization". As concrete experiences are multifarious (red and round, for example), how can we single out a specific sort of experiences (the red ones) by the process of exemplarization when we use such a multifarious experience as a sample? (shrink)
The 1945 discovery of ancient documents at Nag Hammadi in Egypt would have great significance for New Testament scholars. But it would take decades, and one woman, to unleash their meaning to the public. In the 1960s, Elaine Pagels was part of a team at Harvard University, studying the Nag Hammadi scrolls; in 1979 her slim bookThe Gnostic Gospels put the formerly suppressed writings of early Christians into the hands of ordinary people.
Consistent application of dialectical materialism leads Marxism-Leninism to the assertion that matter is infinite in its properties. However, the history of physics shows that the various levels of matter possess geometric dimensions that originate at the lowest level and continue through the others. The search for absolute natural constants — which Planck called the most pleasant task of physics — shows the conviction of the physicists that there is a limit to the parameters, a limit beyond which matter is no (...) longer divisible. (shrink)
Marx extrapolated the relations of production of the factories of his time into his predictions about the development of the working class. These predictions are among the most important theses of Marxism-Leninism relative to the socialist world-revolution which the working class was to carry out.The physics of Marx'' era was not very developed. Marx could have no inkling of the future development of physics and of its application to technology. This is why his predictions had to be in simple and (...) direct proportion to the development of the relations of production of the time. (shrink)
In this article we provide a case history of the development of a communicative system in songbirds. In particular, we explore how brown-headed cowbirds, male and female, cooperate in the development and use of species-typical song. The goal is to show how social interactions between and within sexes create a platform for the production and perception of song. We consider six perspectives. First, we discuss the nature of the acoustic signal. Second, we look at the process of song learning. Third, (...) we describe a specific song mechanism, social shaping. Fourth, we look at the more general developmental process of neophenogenesis. Fifth, we consider the developmental ecology for social learning. Finally, we describe how social networks measures can be used to capture the nature of social interactions as the engines of song learning. Taken as a whole, we argue that culturally transmitted behaviors structure social interactions that predict the acquisition of species' typical behaviors necessary for successful reproduction. (shrink)
This essay provides an interpretation of Sayyid Jamāl ad-Dīn al-Afghānī, a controversial figure in nineteenth-century Islamic political thought. One aspect of this controversy is the tension between "Refutation of the Materialists," Afghānī's well-known defense of religious orthodoxy, and a short newspaper article entitled "Reply to Renan" that dismisses prophetic religion as dogmatic and intellectually stifling. In this essay I argue that close attention to Afghānī's theory of civilization helps resolve this apparent contradiction. Afghānī's interest in Ibn Khaldūn and the French (...) historian Guizot is well known, but has not been fully explored in the literature. I suggest that understanding Guizot's distinctive approach to the concept of civilization illuminates Afghānī's writings on the political utility of religion. Afghānī was an ardent anti-imperialist and his goal was to encourage reform in Islamic countries while resisting Western hegemony. He concluded that the tension between prophetic religion and critical thought could help Islamic civilization to flourish. (shrink)
The founding of the William Carlos Williams poetry competition for medical students is recounted. A few highlights from its nearly twenty-five years of operation are offered. Gleanings from the hearts and souls of some of the winning poets are shared.
Although the humanities' place in the medical school curriculum has been established, how we can best approach our teaching remains unanswered. A curricular framework which addresses process, as well as subject matter and structure is needed. A process-oriented framework demands that we enhance our student's ability to contextualize experience through multiple realms of meaning; encourage our students in the struggle to find a voice; and once a voice is found, to endow our students with the courage to let it be (...) heard. (shrink)
Este artículo plantea que el concepto de solidaridad, usualmente exaltado en tiempos de crisis, contiene en sí mismo el conjunto de límites que lo debilitan y lo convierten, paradójicamente, en una sutil manifestación del egoísmo. Para analizar esta contradicción, se abordan las posiciones emblemáticas de cinco autores contemporáneos: John Rawls, Richard Rorty, Jürgen Habermas, Charles Taylor y Hannah Arendt. A través de este análisis puede mostrarse que los grandes desafíos de nuestra civilización permiten advertir los dilemas y las contingencias que (...) afectan el nexo entre el liberalismo y la solidaridad. (shrink)
How is the concept of patient care adapting in response to rapid changes in healthcare delivery and advances in medical technology? How are questions of ethical responsibility and social diversity shaping the definitions of healthcare? In this topical study, scholars in anthropology, nursing theory, law and ethics explore questions involving the changing relationship between patient care and medical ethics. Contributors address issues that challenge the boundaries of patient care, such as: · HIV-related care and research · the impact of new (...) reproductive technologies · preventative healthcare · technological breakthroughs that are changing personal-caring relationships. Chapters range from a consideration of the practicalities of nursing and family healthcare to a debate about ‘universal human needs’ and patients’ rights. This book is a provocative exploration of the ways in which healthcare models are socially constructed. It will be of interest to policy-makers, medical practitioners and administrators, as well as students of sociology, anthropology and social policy. (shrink)