Summary Efforts to diffuse useful knowledge on the part of dedicated social reformers, enterprising publishers, and vigorous voluntary associations created new forms of popular literature in the urban centres of Paris and London during the middle decades of the nineteenth century. Popularscience periodicals, especially, embodied the aims of the advocates of cheap literature, by providing ?improving? information at prices low enough to reach readers who might otherwise purchase potentially dangerous political tracts. Besides promoting social stability, (...) class='Hi'>popularscience periodicals served to answer the needs of diverse increasingly literate, leisured, and well paid social groups. From their inception, through their evolution over half a century, periodicals in London and Paris mirrored these similar commitments and concerns of their creators. Continuous imitation back and forth across the Channel indicated just how closely English and French editors shared common programmes. Yet despite the similar aspirations of their promoters, popularscience periodicals in England and France revealed the outlines of two very different low scientific cultures, shaped by the dissimilar characteristics of their audiences, editors, and high scientific communities. (shrink)
Hermann von Helmholtz was a leading figure of nineteenth-century European intellectual life, remarkable even among the many scientists of the period for the range and depth of his interests. A pioneer of physiology and physics, he was also deeply concerned with the implications of science for philosophy and culture. From the 1850s to the 1890s, Helmholtz delivered more than two dozen popular lectures, seeking to educate the public and to enlighten the leaders of European society and governments (...) about the potential benefits of science and technology to a developing modern society. David Cahan has selected fifteen of these lectures, which reflect the wide range of topics of crucial importance to Helmholtz and his audiences. Among the subjects discussed are the origins of the planetary system, the relation of natural science to science in general, the aims and progress of the physical sciences, the problems of perception, and academic freedom in German universities. This collection also includes Helmholtz's fascinating lectures on the relation of optics to painting and the physiological causes of harmony in music, which provide insight into the relations between science and aesthetics. Science and Culture makes available again Helmholtz's eloquent arguments on the usefulness, benefits, and, intellectual pleasures of understanding the natural world. With Cahan's Introduction to set these essays in their broader context, this collection makes an important contribution to the philosophical and intellectual history of Europe at a time when science played an increasingly significant role in social, economic, and cultural life. (shrink)
In considering how to best deploy robotic systems in public and private sectors, we must consider what individuals will expect from the robots with which they interact. Public awareness of robotics—as both military machines and domestic helpers—emerges out of a braided stream composed of science fiction and popularscience. These two genres influence news media, government and corporate spending, and public expectations. In the Euro-American West, both science fiction and popularscience are ambivalent about (...) the military applications for robotics, and thus we can expect their readers to fear the dangers posed by advanced robotics while still eagerly anticipating the benefits to be accrued through them. The chief pop science authors in robotics and artificial intelligence have a decidedly apocalyptic bent and have thus been described as leaders in a social movement called "Apocalyptic AI." In one form or another, such authors look forward to a transcendent future in which machine life succeeds human life, thanks to the march of evolutionary progress. The apocalyptic promises of popular robotics presume that presently exponential growth in computing will continue indefinitely, producing a "Singularity." During the Singularity, technological progress will be so rapid that undreamt of changes will take place on earth, the most important of which will be the evolutionary succession of human beings by massively intelligent robots and the "uploading" of human consciousness into computer bodies. This supposedly inevitable transition into post-biological life looms across the entire scope of pop robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), and it is from beneath that shadow that all popular books engage the military and the ethics of warfare. Creating a just future will require that we transcend the apocalyptic discourse of pop science and establish an ethical approach to researching and deploying robots, one that emphasizes human rather than robot welfare; doing so will require the collaboration of social scientists, humanists, and scientists. (shrink)
Mortal and immortal DNA : Craig Venter and the lure of "lamia" -- Homeopathy : Holmes, hogwarts, and the Prince of Wales -- Citizen Pinel and the madman at Bellevue -- The experimental pathology of stress : Hans Selye to Paris Hilton -- Gore's fever and Dante's Inferno : Chikungunya reaches Ravenna -- Giving things their proper names : Carl Linnaeus and W.H. Auden -- Spinal irritation and fibromyalgia : Lincoln's surgeon general and the three graces -- Tithonus and the (...) fruit fly : new science and old myths -- Swiftboating "America the beautiful" : Katharine Lee Bates and a Boston marriage -- Nothing makes sense in medicine except in the light of biology -- Apply directly to the forehead : Holmes, Zola, and Hennapecia -- Elizabeth Blackwell breaks the bonds -- Chronic lyme disease and medically unexplained syndromes -- Eugenics and the immigrant : Rosalyn Yalow and Rita Levi-Montalcini -- Science in the Middle East : Robert Koch and the cholera war -- How to win a Nobel prize : thinking inside and outside the box -- Homer Smith and the lungfish : the last gasp of intelligent design -- DDT is back : let us spray! -- Academic boycotts and the Royal Society -- Teach evolution, learn science : John William Draper and the "bone bill" -- Diderot and the yeti crab : the encyclopedias of life -- Dengue fever in Rio : Macumba versus Voltaire. (shrink)
Transactions and Encounters examines a diverse range of emerging technologies in the Victorian era. Such topics are explored as the popular craze for microscopes the uncanny possibilities of the telephone the jostling for authority between literature and science, with scenes by and including Dickens and Lewes, Huxley and Gosse the weird imaginary around androgynous barnacles and the competing versions of a mind-reading act. These essays combine to produce an invigorating and involving attempt to re-cast understandings of 19th century (...) encounters between the cultural and scientific spheres. (shrink)
This paper gives an overview of the placebo effect in popularculture, especially as it pertains to the work of authors Patrick O’Brian and Sinclair Lewis. The beloved physician as placebo, and the clinician scientist as villain are themes that respectively inform the novels, The Hundred Days and Arrowsmith. Excerpts from the novels, and from film show how the placebo effect, and the randomized clinical trial, have emerged into popularculture, and evolved over time.
Both science itself, and the human culture of which it is a part, would benefit from a story of science that encourages wider engagement with and participation in the processes of scientific exploration. Such a story, based on a close analysis of scientific method, is presented here. It is the story of science as story telling and story revising. The story of science as story suggests that science can and should serve three distinctive functions (...) for humanity: providing stories that may increase (but never guarantee) human well-being, serving as a supportive nexus for human exploration and story telling in general, and exemplifying a commitment to skepticism and a resulting open-ended and continuing exploration of what might yet be. Some practical considerations that would further the development and acceptance of such a story of science as a widely shared nexus of human activity are described. (shrink)
Addressing the contradictions surrounding modern-day femininity and its complicated relationship with feminism and postfeminism, this book examines a range of popular female/feminist icons and paradigms. It offers an innovative and forward-looking perspective on femininity and the modern female self.
Popularculture is ubiquitous. And referencing popularculture can be an excellent pedagogical tool. Used properly, it provides students with easily accessible examples—in some cases examples they have already been interested in. Given these facts, the creation and expansion of the literature on the intersection of popularculture and philosophy is not surprising. The purpose of these volumes has been controversial since their inception, but they do seem ideally suited as introductory texts. This essay (...) examines four recent volumes in popularculture and philosophy as pedagogical tools. These volumes on Sherlock Holmes, Christmas, Dr. Seuss, and Facebook all offer unique and useful tools for the teacher attempting to introduce students to philosophy. (shrink)
Nihilism, American style -- The quest for evil -- The negative zone : suburban familial malaise in American beauty, Revolutionary road, and Mad men -- Normal nihilism as comic : Seinfeld, Trainspotting, and Pulp fiction -- Romanticism and nihilism -- Defense against the dark arts : from Se7en to the Dark knight and Harry Potter -- God got involved : sacred quests and overcoming nihilism -- Feels like the movies.
Every author has to expect that some reviewers will dislike his book, perhaps intensely. That is par for the course. But one might hope that even a scathingly negative review would be accurate in its summary of the book’s contents and principal arguments. Alas, Peter Saulson’s review1 of my book Beyond the Hoax: Science, Philosophy and Culture 2 fails to meet this minimum standard.
BackgroundThe global expansion of biobanks has led to a range of bioethical concerns related to consent, privacy, control, ownership, and disclosure. As an opportunity to engage broader audiences on these concerns, bioethicists have welcomed the commercial success of Rebecca Skloot’s 2010 bestselling book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. To assess the impact of the book on discussion within the media and popularculture more generally, we systematically analyzed the ethics-related themes emphasized in reviews and articles about the (...) book, and in interviews and profiles of Skloot.MethodsWe conducted a content analysis of a population of relevant English-language articles and transcripts (n = 125) produced by news organizations and publications in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain/Ireland, and Australia/New Zealand. We scored each article for the emphasis and appearance of 9 ethics-related themes. These were informed consent, welfare of the vulnerable, compensation, scientific progress, control/access, accountability/oversight, privacy, public education, and advocacy.ResultsThe informed consent theme dominated media discussion, with almost 39.2 percent of articles/transcripts featuring the theme as a major focus and 44.8 percent emphasizing the theme as a minor focus. Other prominent themes and frames of reference focused on the welfare of the vulnerable (18.4 percent major emphasis; 36.0 percent minor emphasis), and donor compensation (19.2 percent major; 52.8 percent minor). Ethical themes that comprised a second tier of prominence included those of scientific progress, control/access, and accountability/oversight. The least prominent themes were privacy, public education, and advocacy.ConclusionsThe book has been praised as an opportunity to elevate media discussion of bioethics, but such claims should be re-considered. The relatively narrow focus on informed consent in the media discussion generated by Skloot’s book may limit the ability of ethicists and advocates to elevate attention to donor control, compensation, patenting, privacy, and other ethical issues. Still, ethicists should view the book and a pending major TV film translation as opportunities to highlight through media outreach, consultation exercises and public forums a broader range of bioethical concerns that would otherwise be under-emphasized in news coverage. Such efforts, however, need to be carefully planned and evaluated. (shrink)
In this book Jeremy Dunning-Davies deals with the influence that "conventional wisdom" has on science, scientific research and development. He sets out to explode' the mythical conception that all scientific topics are open for free discussion and argues that no-one can openly raise questions about relativity, dispute the 'Big Bang' theory, or the existence of black holes, which all seem to be accepted facts of science rather than science fiction. In today's modern climate with "Britain's radioactive refuse (...) heap already big enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall" (Edmund Conway, Economics Editor The Daily Telegraph 28.11.06), it is alarming that there are potential advances in hadronic mechanics which could conceivably pave the way for new clean energies and even a safe in-house method for the disposal of nuclear waste, that have not even been considered by the present establishment. These examples are from the field of physics but there can be little doubt that outside factors have affected the progress of most, if not all, branches of science for many years. Factors other than purely scientific ones still appear to be exerting tremendous influences on progress in a wide variety of fields. Is it too idealistic or nai;ve, to expect that science should remain pure and stay unaffected by such factors? Dr Dunning-Davies presents a beautifully written argument that if science is to progress, and be of any real use, these external factors must be held at bay. (shrink)
‘Popularculture’ has two Japanese translations: taishu bunka and minshu bunka. Bunka embraces the entire concept of ‘culture,’ but ‘popular’ isn't so easily translated. Taishu means a large number (tai) of population or groups (shu), while minshu means groups (shu) of ordinary people (min). Thus, minshu bunka is a more faithful translation of 'popularculture’ than taishu bunka. Yet, the expression minshu bunka does not occur as frequently as taishu bunka. This means that, in (...) thejapanese context, ‘popularculture’ is generally regarded as ‘mass culture.’ Only when the difference is intentionally stressed does the term of minshu bunka reappear. This is not a mere language problem but derives from the very process by which minshu bunka becomes taishu bunka. (shrink)
Background: The global expansion of biobanks has led to a range of bioethical concerns related to consent, privacy, control, ownership, and disclosure. As an opportunity to engage broader audiences on these concerns, bioethicists have welcomed the commercial success of Rebecca Skloot’s 2010 bestselling book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. To assess the impact of the book on discussion within the media and popularculture more generally, we systematically analyzed the ethics-related themes emphasized in reviews and articles about (...) the book, and in interviews and profiles of Skloot. Methods: We conducted a content analysis of a population of relevant English-language articles and transcripts (n = 125) produced by news organizations and publications in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain/Ireland, and Australia/New Zealand. We scored each article for the emphasis and appearance of 9 ethics-related themes. These were informed consent, welfare of the vulnerable, compensation, scientific progress, control/access, accountability/oversight, privacy, public education, and advocacy. Results: The informed consent theme dominated media discussion, with almost 39.2 percent of articles/transcripts featuring the theme as a major focus and 44.8 percent emphasizing the theme as a minor focus. Other prominent themes and frames of reference focused on the welfare of the vulnerable (18.4 percent major emphasis; 36.0 percent minor emphasis), and donor compensation (19.2 percent major; 52.8 percent minor). Ethical themes that comprised a second tier of prominence included those of scientific progress, control/access, and accountability/oversight. The least prominent themes were privacy, public education, and advocacy. Conclusions: The book has been praised as an opportunity to elevate media discussion of bioethics, but such claims should be re-considered. The relatively narrow focus on informed consent in the media discussion generated by Skloot’s book may limit the ability of ethicists and advocates to elevate attention to donor control, compensation, patenting, privacy, and other ethical issues. Still, ethicists should view the book and a pending major TV film translation as opportunities to highlight through media outreach, consultation exercises and public forums a broader range of bioethical concerns that would otherwise be under-emphasized in news coverage. Such efforts, however, need to be carefully planned and evaluated. (shrink)
One of the concerns of the existential-phenomenological tradition has been to examine the human implications of living in a world of proliferating technology. The pressure to become more specialised and efficient has become a powerful value and quest. Both contemporary culture and science enables a view of human identity which focuses on our 'parts' and the compartmentalisation of our lives into specialised 'bits'. This is a kind of abstraction which Psychology has also, at times, taken in its concern (...) to mimic the Natural Sciences. As such it may unconsciously collude with a cultural trend to view humans as objects like other objects and so, fit 'normatively' into the emerging world of specialised and efficient systems. The present paper examines how the findings of a phenomenological study of psychotherapy reflects a movement by people in psychotherapy to recover their sense of human identity in ways that always transcend any form of objectification. Their human complexity is somewhat restored as they move back towards the concrete details of their lives where the human order has its life. In addition to considering the implications of these findings for restoring the uniquely human dimensions of human identity, the paper will also consider the methodological role that an existential-phenomenological approach can play in supporting a broader view of science. In wishing to be faithful to the human order, it champions the value of the human individual as a starting point in human science and this includes a return to concrete experiences, the balance between unique variations and the ground that we share, and the movement from the particular to the general. As such, a phenomenologically-oriented psychology may have an important role to play in helping the broader sciences remember the 'human scale' of things. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology , Volume 2, Edition 1, April 2002. (shrink)
Boys, Boyz, Bois concerns questions of ethics, gender and race in popular American images, national discourse and cultural production by and about black men. The book proposes an ethics of masculinity, as ethnics refers to a system of morality and valuation and as ethics refers to a care of the self and ethical subject formation. The texts of analysis include recent films by black/African American filmmakers, gansta rap and hip-hop and black star persona: texts ranging from Blaxploitation and New (...) Black Cinema to contemporary music video to autobiography and the public image of Sidney Poitier. The book is a significant contribution to cultural studies and gender studies and critical race theory. What is distinctive about the book is the question of ethics as a question of race and gender. (shrink)
Summary Popularscience journalism flourished in the 1860s in England, with many new journals being projected. The time was ripe, Victorian men of science believed, for an ?organ of science? to provide a means of communication between specialties, and between men of science and the public. New formats were tried as new purposes emerged. Popularscience journalism became less recreational and educational. Editorial commentary and reviewing the progress of science became more important. (...) The analysis here emphasizes those aspects of popularscience which have been identified by Frank Turner as ?public science? and by Thomas Gieryn as ?boundary-work?. The religious, intellectual, and utilitarian values claimed for science by editors and contributors in their tasks of persuading the public to support science and of distinguishing science from what they often called ?applied science? are discussed. These values are shown to vary among editors and, for the editors examined here, Shirley Hibberd, Henry Slack, James Samuelson, William Crookes, and Henry Lawson, to differ significantly from those of T. H. Huxley, John Tyndall, and Norman Lockyer, on whom much study of the popularization of science in the 1860s has focused. (shrink)
Fags, Hags and Queer Sisters is a provocative account of the importance of women and cross-gender identification in "gay" male culture. It offers a range of cultural readings from Tennessee William's classic A Streetcar Named Desire and Forster's 'gay' novel Maurice through Pulp Fiction , queer lifestyle magazines, Roseanne , slash fan fiction, and Jarman's Edward II to Almodovar's camp classic Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Theoretically sophisticated, yet passionate, accessible and opinionated, Fags, Hags and Queer (...) Sisters takes issue with many of the sacred cows of contemporary gay politics, and offers a number of new concepts in lesbian and gay theory. (shrink)
Although we are not aware of many spontaneous sensual experiences, we learn about the surrounding world through our senses. One of the objects of sensual experience is smell. It influences our decisions, shapes social interactions and is also a carrier of social meanings. Unfortunately, long-term conviction about the domination of sight over smell led to a belief in the pictorial character of our contemporary culture. Moreover, constant fluctuations between the promotion and ignoring of olfactory data have played a role (...) in the neglect of the importance of smell in social studies. In this article I show how important the sense of smell has been through many centuries of science, and point out that the alleged linguistic and methodological difficulties of this topic, as well as the subjective interpretation of smell, should not be an obstacle in the development of research on smell in social studies. (shrink)
Media in Question sets the agenda for a revitalized debate on the hybrid communicative practices that constitute the postmodern media landscape: practices that cross the boundaries between fact and fiction, information and entertainment, public knowledge, and popularculture. In this challenging and provocative collection, the individual contributors rethink key issuesùthe meaning of the public interest, the quality of media performance, and deregulation. In the process they raise questions rarely addressed in normative media theories, for example, the ethics of (...) sports reporting, the moral reasoning in popularculture, and the required professional standards for infotainment genres such as reality television and gossip journalism. Accessible and wide-ranging, The Media in Question will be essential reading for students in mass communication and political communication studies. (shrink)
What I have tried to do here is to provide a historical example of the interdependence between nature and culture that is one of the themes of this conference. To sum up: Scientific descriptions of the world emerge out of a complex interaction between nature, economic production, and the legal system. “Science” consists of a struggle among scientists, and between scientists and citizens, over what counts as “reality.” Lawmaking, in turn, consists of a struggle between people who want (...) to allocate access to resources for particular purposes, whether for commercial use, recreational use, or “natural” uses. Production, for its part, is a complicated function of technology, the sociology of user groups, the structure of legal entitlements to access, and the availability of resources. Nature, finally, is at any point, to no small degree, the product of past and present human impacts on it — which impacts, in turn, are determined in no small way by the sociology and the legal structure of the market.Each process takes place in continual conversation with all the others. As John Muir put it, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”45 Historically, resource managers have gotten into trouble when they have unconsciously assumed that such is not the case — yet such, assumptions are powerful because they are made instinctively, unthinkingly, at the level of people's basic understanding of the world and their place in it. Lots of them persist.On the other hand, in a few experimental cases in the United States and Canada where government and users have shared power and responsibility for resources management, including long-range planning for recovery and enhancement, here have been some notable improvements. The strategy goes under the name of “co-management” and involves negotiated agreements for shared decision-making between central authority and local groups. Typically, both government and industry resist such arrangements because they involve restructuring the power relations between different sectors in the industry; the result is that the few experiments in co-management that we have seen in the United States have come in areas, typically fisheries and wildlife, where the resource is in serious crisis and all of the parties to the agreement have had to abandon the positions they held previously.Examples of successful co-management regimes include those among American tribes in the Pacific Northwest, among commercial salmon fishers in Alaska, and in a project to rehabilitate the clam industry in New Jersey. Government employees and local groups share responsibility for gathering scientific data about the resources, for developing plans to manage them, and for enforcing regulations. Successful experiments at co-management seem to generate better scientific data about their resources than traditional management regimes do; they significantly reduce enforcement costs; and they enhance the economic power of the resource users. Most importantly, they nurture among the user groups a sense of control over their own destinies, and a willingness to share both costs and benefits of managing the resources rationally and to develop lasting, stable mechanisms for conflict resolution. The process is both democratic and ecologically rational. The key is to link the day-to-day work of producers to their long-range interests as residents in their communities and as working parts of the ecological systems in which they live.45At a minimum, it is clear that objective certainty about the state of the resources or the likely effect of whatever regulations we do impose is simply not attainable. This is partly because of the important role that random shocks play in the environment (and should play in our thinking about it), and also because of the sheer complexity of the system in which we are embedded. There will always be something that even the most complete model leaves out; and in any event the total system of ecology, production, and management will change every time something changes in any part of it.The policy lesson to be derived from all of this, finally, is that what we ought to sustain when we approach conservation problems is not the size of a particular resource, or even the prosperity of a particular harvesting group, but the long-term health of the interaction between nature, the economy, and the political system. We can recognize that the balance of the system, our attempted insurance against an uncertain future, democracy among user groups, and our moral duty to avoid extinguishing species — all of these things being difficult to quantify — do play integral roles in the conversation between nature and humankind, and perhaps more significant roles than the more objective measures to which we usually look for guidance. We can recognize, as John Muir did, that because everything in the universe is hitched to everything else, every step we take will change the total system in some way. When we make choices, then, we can keep an eye on what kind of conversation we want to have with the rest of Creation and make our choices accordingly. *** DIRECT SUPPORT *** A8402064 00014 *** DIRECT SUPPORT *** A8402064 00015. (shrink)
This collection of essays covers the classical heritage and Islamic culture, classical Arabic science and philosophy, and Muslim religious sciences, showing continuation of Greek and Persian thought as well as original Muslim contributions ...
Figuring Animals is a collection of fifteen essays concerning the representation of animals in literature, the visual arts, philosophy, and cultural practice. At the turn of the new century, it is helpful to reconsider our inherited understandings of the species, some of which are still useful to us. It is also important to look ahead to new understandings and new dialogue, which may contribute to the survival of us all. The contributors to this volume participate in this dialogue in a (...) variety of ways--through personal experience, natural history, cultural studies, philosophical inquiry, art history, literary analysis, film studies, and theoretical imagining, and through a combination of these trains of thought. The essays expose weaknesses in western epistemological frames of reference that for centuries have limited our views and, thus, our experiences of animal being, including our own. (shrink)
Contemporary cultural and media studies have been increasingly interested in redefining the relations between religion and culture (and particularly popularculture). The present study approaches a series of theories on the manner in which religious aspects emerge and are integrated in contemporary cultural manifestations, focusing on the persistence/resurrection of religious patterns into secularized cultural contents. Thus, the analysis departs from the concept of implicit religion, coined and developed by Bailey and the theories following it, as well as (...) other associated concepts, influential for the evolution of debates in the recent period, such as invisible religion , as approached by Luckmann, civil religion , by Bellah, folk religion, residual religion , by Davies or ‘wild’ religion, by Borg. In order to discuss the relations between religion and popularculture in contemporary U.S. and particularly the presence of certain religious patterns in popularculture messages, symbolism and rituals, the study uses an interdisciplinary approach, based on approaches currently used in media studies, film studies, cultural studies, visual culture perspectives, religious studies, and sociology. The article discusses, through different theories (and in its second part, a case study on James Cameron’s cliché masterpiece Avatar) the manner in which contemporary popularculture (and cinema in particular) recycles, integrates and reinterprets religious patterns, symbols and behaviours. (shrink)
In the decades since his death, Adorno's thinking has lost none of its capacity to unsettle the settled, and has proved hugely influential in social and cultural thought. To most people, the entertainment provided by television, radio, film, newspapers, astrology charts and CD players seem harmless enough. For Adorno, however, the culture industry that produces them is ultimately toxic in its effect on the social process. Here, Robert Witkin unpacks Adorno's notoriously difficult critique of popularculture in (...) an engaging and accessible style, looking first at the development of the overarching theories of authority, commodification and negative dialectics within which Adorno's work needs to be seen. This book is an essential guide for understanding one of the key thinkers of our time. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Chapter 1 Acknowledgments -- Chapter 2 Introduction: The Chatter of the Present -- Chapter 3 Definitions of Solitude -- Chapter 4 Distraction: The Flip Side of Engagement -- Chapter 5 Antigone: Literature as "Thinking Apart" -- Chapter 6 The Workshop Model in New York City -- Chapter 7 The Folly of the "Big Idea" -- Chapter 8 The Cult of Success -- Chapter 9 Mass Personalization and the "Underground Man" -- Chapter 10 The Need for Loneliness (...) -- Chapter 11 The Practice of Solitude -- Chapter 12 Discernment and the Public Sphere -- Chapter 13 Conclusion: Setting up Shop -- Chapter 14 Bibliography -- Chapter 15 About the Author -- Chapter 16 Index. (shrink)
The eight essays contained in Philosophical Feminism and PopularCulture explore the portrayal of women and various philosophical responses to that portrayal in contemporary post-civil rights society. The essays examine visual, print, and performance media — stand-up comedy, movies, television, and a blockbuster trilogy of novel. These philosophical feminist analyses of popularculture consider the possibilities, both positive and negative, that popularculture presents for articulating the structure of the social and cultural practices in (...) which gender matters, and for changing these practices if and when they follow from, lead to, or perpetuate discrimination on the basis of gender. The essays bring feminist voices to the conversation about gender where is it taking place and attest to the importance of feminist critique in what is sometimes claimed to be a post-feminist era. (shrink)
At the Intersection of High and Mass Culture analyses the contradictions and interaction between high and low art, with particular reference to Hollywood and European cinema. Written in the essayist, speculative tradition of Walter Benjamin and Theodore Adorno, this study also includes analyses of several key films of the 1980s. Tracing the boundaries of such genres as film noir, science fiction and melodrama, it demonstrates how these genres were radically expanded by such filmmakers as Neil Jordan, Chris Merker (...) and Georges Franju. This work also reflects on kitsch, the star system, racial and gender stereotypes, and the nature of audience participation. While defining the conditions under which the symbiotic relationship between high and mass culture can be cross-fertilising, this study stresses their inevitably contradictory characteristics. (shrink)
Staying for an answer : the untidy process of groping for truth -- The same, only different -- The unity of truth and the plurality of truths -- Coherence, consistency, cogency, congruity, cohesiveness, &c. : remain calm! don't go overboard! -- Not cynicism, but synechism : lessons from classical pragmatism -- Science, economics, "vision" -- The integrity of science : what it means, why it matters -- Scientific secrecy and "spin" : the sad, sleazy story of the trials (...) of remune -- Truth and justice, inquiry and advocacy, science and law -- Trial and error : the Supreme Court's philosophy of science -- An epistemologist among the epidemiologists -- Fallibilism and faith, naturalism and the supernatural, science and religion -- The ideal of intellectual integrity, in life and literature -- After my own heart : Dorothy Sayers's feminism -- Worthwhile lives -- Why I am not an oxymoron -- Formal philosophy? : a plea for pluralism. (shrink)
Scientists’ language use in communication to or with the public has often been criticised as merely strategic. This article explores three terms employed in stem cell and genomic research, to support the hypothesis that biomedical terminology is heavily influenced by different legal, cultural, and ethical backgrounds in different societies. The word ‘pre-embryo’ has never been part of any acceptable official rhetoric in Germany but was important in Britain. The ‘toti-’, ‘pluri-’, or ‘multipotency’ of specific stem cells became a topical issue (...) of scientific expertise in countries with strict regulations on embryo research. The distinction between ‘reproductive’ and ‘therapeutic’ cloning has become very common but problematic due to its obvious strategic purpose, and is intensely debated in the scientific community. The examination of these examples and the cultural framework in which they gain importance will demonstrate the mutual interconnectedness of biomedical science and social and cultural conditions. Separation of a purely descriptive terminology that belongs to science itself, adequately describing its discoveries, and a rhetoric that addresses external, non-scientific attitudes is impossible. Regulations, social discourses, and cultural traditions influence biomedical sciences, their scientific research projects and the terminology employed therein. Biomedical practices are considered ethically problematic not only by those external to the scientific realms, but also by some professionals participating in the research. Biomedical science is not a discrete field with clear boundaries and has to be re-conceptualized as an integral and important part of modern culture. (shrink)
We live in a culture which, while largely dependent on science for its material welfare, is largely ignorant of the new ideas and perspectives on which science is based. This book examines the true significance of science and technology for society over the last three hundred years. Professor Hanbury Brown's insight and experience have resulted in a novel approach to the discussion of the cultural role of science. After reviewing the history of how science (...) grew to be both useful to, and feared by society, the book traces the same period in the context of new ideas and concepts in scientific research. Later chapters deal with society's current view of science and the need for attitudes to be changed, and then a discussion of the religious dimensions of science. This book aims to clear away some of the popular misconceptions about science and to put in their place a wider and deeper understanding of the nature of science and its value to society. (shrink)
In this article I propose that a postphenomenological approach to science and technology can open new analytical understandings of how material artifacts, embodiment and social agency co-produce learned perceptions of objects. In particle physics, physicists work in huge groups of scientists from many cultural backgrounds. Communication to some extent depends on material hermeneutics of flowcharts, models and other visual presentations. As it appears in an examination of physicists’ scrutiny of visual renderings of different parts of a detector, perceptions vary (...) in relation to social and bodily experiences. Vision in physics has seemingly allowed an objective perception at a convenient distance of the body. This article challenges this view and proposes that the variations can be analysed as cultural at two echelons with the help of a postphenomenological approach combined with cultural psychological theory of artifacts. A third echelon presumably constitutes the phenomenological limit to culture in science. Even this last resort of subjectivity can be embraced by a postphenomenological approach. The process of culturalization in physics can be defined as a process of situating knowledge in a body whose continuous learning of micro-and macro perceptions makes scientific renderings unstable. Taken together postphenomenology, following the distinctions between body one and body two, and combined with cultural psychological learning theory, enables new insight into what constitutes culture in science. (shrink)