This paper considers the legal position of genetic test results in insurance law in England and Wales. The strict position is that this information is material to the decision of the insurer to offer insurance cover and should be disclosed by insurance applicants. However, the British Government and the Association of British Insurers have agreed to a moratorium on the use of genetic test results in insurance, which will run until 2014. The moratorium prohibits unfavourable treatment of insurance clients on (...) their basis of their genetics, unless it can be justified. In this paper, I consider the notion of genetic discrimination and ask whether it is possible to justify the concept in such a way that its existence should be accepted. The paper suggests that the insurance industry and the general public have different viewpoints on the concept of discrimination, and that this causes much of the disagreement over the issue of using genetic test results in insurance. (shrink)
Much legislation dealing with the uses of genetic information could be criticised for exceptionalising genetic information over other types of information personal to the individual. This paper contends that genetic exceptionalism clouds the issues, and precludes any real debate about the appropriate uses of genetic information. An alternative to “genetically exceptionalist” legislation is to “legislate for fairness”. This paper explores the “legislating for fairness” approach, and concludes that it demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of both how legislation is drafted, and how (...) it is interpreted. The uncomfortable conclusion is this: policy-makers and legislators must tackle head-on the difficult policy questions concerning what should and should not be done with genetic information. Only by confronting this crucial issue will they achieve a workable legislative solution to the problems caused by genetic information. (shrink)
[About the book] In this book the editors brought together outstanding articles concerning intercultural aesthetics. The concept ‘Intercultural aesthetics’ creates a home space for an artistic cross-fertilization between cultures, and for heterogeneity, but it is also firmly linked with the intercultural turn within Western and non-Western philosophy. The book is divided into two parts, yet one can sense a clear unity throughout the whole book. This unity is related to the underlying subject that the different authors, each in their own (...) way and from their own background, try to reveal. They use related, and overlapping terms such as ‘the suchness of things’, ‘dancing and shaping lives’, ‘presenting a meaning beyond words, presenting the unpresentable, experiencing’, in order to bring to our awareness the genuine importance of the non-conceptual, next to the conceptual. Several authors moreover take on a reflective, and at times even a self-reflective stance, pointing to the intrinsic relation between cultural aesthetics and ethics, making this book unique in its kind. (shrink)
[About the book] Comparative aesthetics is the branch of philosophy which compares the aesthetic concepts and practices of different cultures. The way in which the various cultures of the world conceive of the aesthetic dimension of life in general and art in particular is revelatory of profound attitudes and beliefs which themselves make up an important part of the culture in question. This anthology consists of entirely new essays by some of the leading, internationally recognised scholars in the field. The (...) subjects addressed include the influence of Upanişadic thought on the classic Indian tradition in aesthetics and the way in which that tradition continues to have relevance to issues discussed today; how Buddhist thought in general and Zen in particular shape aesthetic attitudes in Japanese culture; how Confucianism affected not only the morality but also the classical aesthetics of China; how different ideas of the self and of human nature affect artistic training and practice in different cultures; how feminism can draw inspiration from classic non-European lines of thought in the area of aesthetics, and how different attitudes to nature underpin a whole range of aesthetic beliefs and attitudes in western and eastern thought. These ideas reveal both deep differences and deep similarities between east and west. No-one seeking to understand the cultures discussed in these essays can ignore their aesthetic dimension, which often holds the key to understanding the deepest motives which have formed them. (shrink)
This article gives a brief analysis of the concept of aesthetic profundity, and gives examples of its deployment in European Romanticism, and in various important works of Indian, Chinese and Japanese aesthetic theory. It is srgued that the idea of profundity is most readily deployed in the context of metaphysics which regard the real as having a non-obvious but inexhaustible depth. This is a case of a major logical similarity between European and oriental aesthetic beliefs.
This is an essay in comparative aesthetics. The history of the reception of Indian aesthetics in the UK is a history of non-reception. This essay argues that the reasons for this neglect go beyond cultural arrogance, and can be traced to deep differences in the philosophical presuppositions of Indian and Western aesthetics respectively, especially those rooted in non-Western goal of nirvana.
Aesthetic virtue concepts are rooted in philosophical assumptions of great depth within their host cultures. This thesis is supported by means of an analysis of some of the central aesthetic virtue concepts in Japanese thought, e.g. sabi, wabi, myosho. These concepts presuppose and reflect the presence of nirvana as the goal of life in Japanese culture. Because there is no western equivalent to the concept of nirvana, these terms likewise have no western equivalents.
Written with the beginner in mind, Robert Wilkinson carefully introduces the reader to the fundamental components of the philosophy of mind. Each chapter is then helpfully linked to a reading from key thinkers in the field such as Descartes and John R. Searle.
Close analysis of the work of fifty major thinkers in the field of Eastern philosophy make this an excellent introduction to a fascinating area of study. The authors have drawn together thinkers from all the major Eastern philosophical traditions from the earliest times to the present day. The philosophers covered range from founder figures such as Zoroaster and Confucius to modern thinkers such as Fung Youlan and the present Dalai Lama. Introductions to major traditions and a glossary of key philosophical (...) terms make this a comprehensive and accessible reference resource. (shrink)
One Hundred Twentieth-Century Philosophers offers biographical information and critical analysis of the life, work and impact of some of the most significant figures in philosophy this century. Taken from the acclaimed Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Philosophers, the 100 entries are alphabetically organised, from Adorno to Zhang Binglin, and cover individuals from both continental and analytic philosophy. A separate glossary provides an introduction to the origins, development and main features of major philosophical schools and movements and offers select bibliographies to guide (...) the reader to further research. (shrink)
The two political classics in this book are the product of a time of intense turmoil in Chinese history. Dating from the Period of the Warring States (403-221BC), they anticipate Machiavelli's The Prince by nearly 2000 years. The Art of War is the best known of a considerable body of Chinese works on the subject. It analyses the nature of war, and reveals how victory may be ensured. The Book of Lord Shang is a political treatise for the instruction of (...) rulers. These texts are anything but armchair strategy or ivory-tower speculation. They are serious, urgent and practical responses to the desperate situations in which they were written. They have been immensely influential both inside and outside China. (shrink)
Dating from around 300BC, Tao Te Ching is the first great classic of the Chinese school of philosophy called Taoism. Within its pages is summed up a complete view of the cosmos and how human beings should respond to it. A profound mystical insight into the nature of things forms the basis for a humane morality and vision of political utopia. The ideas in this work constitute one of the main shaping forces behind Chinese spirituality, art and science, so much (...) so that no understanding of Chinese civilisation is possible without a grasp of Taoism. This edition presents the authoritative translation by Arthur Waley, with a new Introduction reflecting recent developments in the interpretation of the work. (shrink)
Rabbits are a major vertebrate pest in New Zealand. An application has been made recently to import and release in New Zealand the biological control agent Rabbit Calicivirus Disease (RCD). In this paper we discuss the findings from a qualitative study and a national survey of New Zealanders' perceptions of rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), rabbit control, and RCD. New Zealanders' position on the introduction of RCD is complex, and includes concern for the rabbit as a sentient individual that deserves a humane (...) death if it is to be killed, appreciation of the environmental and agricultural damage it causes, and skepticism about the information on RCD currently being provided. Because perceptions of biological control include risk perceptions, we draw upon the literature on public perceptions of risk to interpret the results. We also discuss some ethical and practical issues arising from our study. We contend that the complexity of the issues, and the nature of their presentation, requires a public decision-making process involving two-way communication. (shrink)
This Biographical Dictionary provides detailed accounts of the lives, works, influence and reception of thinkers from all the major philosophical schools and traditions of the twentieth-century. This unique volume covers the lives and careers of thinkers from all areas of philosophy - from analytic philosophy to Zen and from formal logic to aesthetics. All the major figures of philosophy, such as Nietzsche, Wittgenstein and Russell are examined and analysed. The scope of the work is not merely restricted to the major (...) figures in western philosophy but also covers in depth a significant number of thinkers from the near and far east and from the non-European Hispanic-language communities. The Biographical Dictionary also includes a number of general entries dealing with important schools of philosophy, such as the Vienna Circle, or currents of thought, such as vitalism. These allow the reader to set the individual biographies in the context of the philosophical history of the period. With entries written by over 100 leading philosophy scholars, the Biographical Dictionary is the most comprehensive survey of twentieth-century thinkers to date. (shrink)
No other book in the entire history of the world has exerted a greater influence on a larger number of people over a longer period of time than this slim volume. The spiritual cornerstone of the most populous and oldest living civilization on Earth, the Analects has inspired the Chinese and all the peoples of East Asia with its affirmation of a humanist ethics. As the Gospels are to Jesus, the Analects is the only place where we can encounter the (...) real, living Confucius. In this gem-like translation by Simon Leys, Confucius speaks with clarity and brilliance. He emerges as a man of great passion and many enthusiasms, a man of bold action whose true vocation is politics. Confucius (551-479 B.C.) lived in an age of acute cultural and political crisis. Many of his observations mark a world sinking into violence and barbarity. Unable to obtain the leading political role he sought, he endeavored to reform society and salvage civilization through ethical debate, defining for ages to come the public mission of the intellectual. (shrink)
These are questions to which oriental thinkers have given a wide range of philosophical answers that are intellectually and imaginatively stimulating. Thirty-Five Oriental Philosophers is a succinctly informative introduction to the thought of thirty-five important figures in the Chinese, Indian, Arab, Japanese and Tibetan philosophical traditions. Thinkers covered include founders such as Zoroaster, Confucius, Buddha and Muhammed, as well as influential modern figures such as Gandhi, Mao Tse-Tung, Suzuki and Nishida. The book is divided into sections, in which an introduction (...) to the tradition it covers precedes the essays on its individual philosophers. Notes, further reading lists, and cross-references provide the student with a clear route to further study. There is a glossary of key terms at the end of the book. (shrink)