Numinous spaces in British literature from William Wordsworth to Samuel Beckett -- Jesus figures in American literature from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Edward Albee -- Using Bakhtin's definitions to discover ethical voices in Solzhenitsyn and Tolstoy -- René Girard's categories of scapegoats in literature of the American South -- Hopkins's metaphysics of nature as sacred disclosure -- The book of job as mirrored in Hopkins's metaphysics -- Beckett's mythos of the absence of God.
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)
The book is about three things. First, how Ancient thinkers perceived humans as like or unlike other animals; second about the justification for taking a humane attitude towards natural things; and third about how moral claims count as true, and how they can be discovered or acquired. Was Aristotle was right to see continuity in the psychological functions of animal and human souls? The question cannot be settled without taking a moral stance. As we can either focus on continuity or (...) on discontinuities, how should natural science draw the boundaries? Moral agents act and react in a world that they see under a certain description, and there is no value free science that can settle what is the correct description. This book asks us to think about where moral justification could come from, and suggests that the supposed ‘moral status’ of the object cannot provide the answer. For the moral status of the object is a product of our own imagination, and once we see that, we also see that there remains the question where we ought to have the will to see it. Furthermore, since the perception of moral truth involves the development of imagination and will, the means to attain it will be better served by engagement with poetry and literature than with enquiries that seek to exclude the engagement of the imagination, or any appeal to the beauty of nature or the love of one's fellow creatures. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Acknowledgments; Introduction: scales of identification; 1. Democratic expansionism, gothic geographies, and Charles Brockden Brown; 2. Urban apartments, global cities: the enlargement of private space in Poe and James; 3. Cultural orphans: domesticity, missionaries, and China from Stowe to Sui Sin Far; 4. 'The Checkered Globe': cosmopolitan despair in the American Pacific; 5. Literature and regional production; Epilogue: scales of resistance.
Surgeons have often been portrayed in literature on one of two extremes: the cold, distant scientist or the benign, caring humanist. Two characters in American literature who illustrate those extremes, both surgeons in the military, are Herman Melville's Cadwallader Cuticle and Richard Hooker's Hawkeye Pierce. Cuticle is interested only in the science of his craft, while Pierce maintains the compassion so central to the art of healing, even in the midst of war.
This paper traces the historical roots of the “mad scientist,” a concept that has powerfully shaped the public image of science up to today, by investigating the representations of chemists in nineteenth-century Western literature. I argue that the creation of this literary figure was the strongest of four critical literary responses to the emergence of modern science in general and of chemistry in particular. The role of chemistry in this story is crucial because early nineteenth-century chemistry both exemplified modern (...) experimental laboratory research and induced, due to its rapid growth, a ramification and fragmentation of knowledge that undermined former ideals of the unity of knowledge under the umbrella of metaphysics and religion. Because most writers considered contemporary chemistry an offspring of “wrong alchemy,” all four responses drew on the medieval literary figure of the “mad alchemist” to portray chemists. Whereas early writers considered the quest for scientific knowledge to be altogether in vain, later writers pointed out the narrow-minded goals and views specifically of chemistry. A third response moved that criticism to a metaphysical and religious level, by relating chemistry to materialism, nihilism, atheism and hubris. The fourth response, the “mad scientist,” elaborated on the hubris theme by attaching moral perversion to the “mad alchemist.”. (shrink)
Robert Abrams argues that new concepts of space and landscape emerged in mid-nineteenth-century American writing, marking a linguistic and interpretative limit to American expansion. Abrams supports the radical elements of antebellum writing, where writers from Hawthorne to Rebecca Harding Davis disputed the naturalizing discourses of mid-nineteenth century society. Whereas previous critics find in antebellum writing a desire to convert chaos into an affirmative, liberal agenda, Abrams contends that authors of the 1840s and 50s deconstructed more than they constructed.
While individuals presented in central texts of the period are indeed often alone or separated from others, Yousef regards this isolation as a problem the texts attempt to illuminate, rather than a condition they construct as normative or ...
This paper examines the complexity and fluidity of maternal identity through an examination of narratives about "real motherhood" found in children's literature. Focusing on the multiplicity of mothers in adoption, I question standard views of maternity in which gestational, genetic and social mothering all coincide in a single person. The shortcomings of traditional notions of motherhood are overcome by developing a fluid and inclusive conception of maternal reality as authored by a child's own perceptions.
Applying ideas drawn from contemporary critical theory, this book historicizes psychoanalysis through a new and significant theorization of the Gothic. The central premise is that the nineteenth-century Gothic produced a radical critique of accounts of sublimity and Freudian psychoanalysis. This book makes a major contribution to an understanding of both the nineteenth century and the Gothic discourse which challenged the dominant ideas of that period. Writers explored include Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Bram Stoker.
Introduction -- The muse of paralysis -- Horizon of conquest: Eugene Fromentin's Algerian narratives -- Slow progress: Jean Paulhan and Madagascar -- Frustration: Michel Leiris -- Atopia: Roland Barthes -- The wake of Ulysses.
The concept of voluntary motor control(VMC) frequently appears in the neuroscientific literature, specifically in the context of cortically-mediated, intentional motor actions. For cognitive scientists, this concept of VMC raises a number of interesting questions:(i) Are there dedicated, modular-like structures within the motor system associated with VMC? Or (ii) is it the case that VMC is distributed over multiple cortical as well as subcortical structures?(iii) Is there any one place within the so-calledhierarchy of motor control where voluntary movements could (...) be said to originate? And (iv) in the current neurological literature how is the adjective voluntary in VMC being used? These questions are here considered in the context of how higher- and lower-levels of motor control, plan, initiate, coordinate, sequence, and modulate goal-directed motor outputs in response to changing internal and external inputs. Particularly relevant are the conceptual implications of current neurological modeling of VMC concerning causal agency. (shrink)
Animal welfare scientific literature has accumulated rapidly in recent years, but bias may exist which influences understanding of progress in the field. We conducted a survey of articles related to animal welfare or well being from an electronic database. From 8,541 articles on this topic, we randomly selected 115 articles for detailed review in four funding categories: government; charity and/or scientific association; industry; and educational organization. Ninety articles were evaluated after unsuitable articles were rejected. The welfare states of animals (...) in new treatments, conventional treatments or control groups with no treatment were classified as high, medium or low according to one or more. More articles were published in which the welfare of animals in new treatments was better than that of animals in the conventional or no treatment groups, demonstrating a positive result bias. Failure to publish studies with negative or inconclusive results may lead to other scientists unnecessarily repeating the research. The authors’ assessments of the welfare state of the groups were similarly rated high, medium or low, and it was found that new treatments were rated lower if the research was funded by industry, and higher when funded by charities, with government funding agencies intermediate. These differences were not evident in the Five Freedoms assessment, demonstrating an authors’ assessment bias that appeared to support the funding agencies’ interests. North American funded publications rated the welfare of animals in New treatments higher and those in a Conventional or No Treatment lower, compared with European-funded publications. It is concluded that preliminary evidence was provided of several forms of publication bias in animal welfare science. (shrink)
Pig farmers and scientists appear to have different perspectives and underlying framing on animal welfare issues as tail biting and natural behaviour of pigs. Literature proposes a joint learning process in which a shared vision is developed. Using two different settings, a symposium and one-to-one dialogues, we aimed to investigate what elements affected joint learning between scientists and pig farmers. Although both groups agreed that more interaction was important, the process of joint learning appeared to be rather (...) potentially dangerous for the farmer–scientist relationship. During the symposium, farmers were only moderately open for scientific knowledge and the issue of tail biting had the tendency to run into a deadlock. The setting was an influencing element for the degree of success, because the dialogues did lead to improved mutual trust and understanding of each other’s framing and context. Another element was the degree of usability and absoluteness of scientific facts. They were frequently not concrete enough, too uncertain or not relating to the context of the farmers. In addition, some scientific facts were not recognized by the farmers. Both groups appeared to react and argue from their praxis, including their local environment, way of living, handling and understanding their environment. These praxises appeared to function as a filter, influencing the way of observing the environment, inducing ‘blind spots’ and misunderstandings. Stepping in each other’s praxis might provide concrete and fusing insights, required to realize joint learning processes. (shrink)
Is it possible for postmodernism to offer viable, coherent accounts of ethics? Or are our social and intellectual worlds too fragmented for any broad consensus about the moral life? These issues have emerged as some of the most contentious in literary and philosophical studies. In Renegotiating Ethics in Literature, Philosophy, and Theory a distinguished international gathering of philosophers and literary scholars address the reconceptualisations involved in this 'turn towards ethics'. An important feature of this has been a renewed interest (...) in the literary text as a focus for the exploration of ethical issues. Exponents of this trend include Charles Taylor, Bernard Williams, Iris Murdoch, Cora Diamond, Richard Rorty and Martha Nussbaum, the latter a contributor and a key figure in this volume. This book assesses the significance of this development for ethical and literary theory and attempts to articulate an alternative postmodern account of ethics which does not rely on earlier appeals to universal truths. (shrink)
This article examines the controversial issue of blasphemy in literature from the viewpoint of reception inside and outside the academia. The thesis of the article is that blasphemy in literature, though inherently related to religion and language, has a plurality of connotations and interpretations (dissidence, intertextuality, critique of colonialism, discursive strategy, alterity/Otherness, ethnicity, subversive text). Consequently, blasphemy in literature is an incentive for fruitful discussions regarding tolerance, freedom of expression, and the re-situation of the (post)modern self in (...) today’s world, dominated by an uncanny admixture of secular and religious values. (shrink)
The perception of two key stakeholders such as policymakers and scientists on genetic modification (GM) technology was examined in Ghana and Nigeria using semi-structured interviews. A total sample of 20 policymakers (16 at ministries and 4 at parliament/cabinet) and 58 scientists (43 at research institutes and 15 at universities) participated at the interviews. This study revealed respondents perspectives on potential benefits and risks of GM technology, status and development of biosafety regulatory frameworks, role of science and technology innovation (...) in agricultural development, intellectual property right and related issues. The study also shed some light on a possible influence of the European Union and United States in the development and potential adoption of GM technology. More importantly, the article suggests that most respondents including policymakers believe that GM technology has great potential to solve part of agricultural problems in both countries. But, lack of appropriate regulatory framework, lack of trained personnel, weak institutions and poor equipped laboratory among others represent a significant challenge in introducing GM technology in this part of Africa. (shrink)
This article analyzes learning in context through the prism of a sustainable dairy-farming project. The research was performed within a nutrient management project that involved the participation of farmers and scientists. Differences between heterogeneous forms of farmers’ knowledge and scientific knowledge were discursively constructed during conflict and subsequent alignment over the validity and relevance of knowledge. Both conflict and alignment appeared to be essential for learning in context. Conflict spurred learning when disagreeing groups of actors developed their knowledge in (...) order to strengthen their arguments. Conflict caused self-referentiality when the actors no longer listened to each other. This inhibited self-reflection, thus blocking ongoing learning. Nevertheless, after a period of alignment, scientific models and knowledge of farmers were reevaluated and recontextualized. Through determining how to use scientific models and farmers’ knowledge for further learning, aimed at a shared goal, the participating actors also learned how to learn. (shrink)
In 'Literature Suspends Death: Sacrifice and Storytelling in Kierkegaard, Kafka and Blanchot' Chris Danta takes Genesis 22 as the starting point for an investigation of the role of literary imagination. His aim is to read the Genesis story from a literary-theoretical perspective in order to show how it can ‘illuminate the secular situation of the literary writer.’ To do this, Danta stages a fruitful confrontation between Søren Kierkegaard as defender of religion and inwardness and Franz Kafka and Maurice Blanchot (...) as defenders of literature. In this review, three important points in this confrontation are highlighted. 1. The problem of identification. 2. The moment of substitution. 3. The spectrality of the writer. (shrink)
From June 26 to 27, the workshop Ironists, Reformers, or Rebels? The Role of the Social Sciences in Participatory Policy Making took place at the Collegium Helveticum of the UZH/ETH in Zurich. The organisersâ motivation was the apparently missing involvement of social scientists in public engagement processes. This impression persists because, while social scientists often observe public debates or develop participatory methods for public policy-making, they rarely take part in those processes themselves. A closer look at ethics commissions, (...) expert committees or public hearings concerned with science and technology issues shows natural scientists, physicians, lawyers and the occasional philosopher. Sociologists, anthropologists and other social scientists, on the other hand, are often not involved. Because of this imbalance, the organisersâ aim was to bring together scholars and researchers from different areas of the social sciences to consider the role of their disciplines in public policy making. This article will focus on some of the ideas about specific roles of social scientists in participatory policy-making, discussed at the workshop, and their implications and give a commentary on some future prospects of the social sciences. (shrink)
Partimos dos eixos propostos por José Carlos Barcellos no artigo “Literatura e teologia” para enquadrar a fortuna crítica que se elevou em torno de Franz Kafka quanto à relação entre sua literatura e a temática religiosa. O primeiro eixo lida com a perspectiva de que a literatura se apresente como uma teologia não teórica, nele analisamos a configuração de Kafka como um cabalista de acordo com Scholem. No segundo, sob a ótica de que a teologia está presente na literatura, observamos (...) a crítica de Anders aos investimentos apologistas que diagnosticam em Kafka uma teologia positiva. O terceiro eixo enfoca a literatura como “lugar teológico” e por ele discutimos com Brod e Moller sobre a possibilidade de visualizar a literatura de Kafka como signatária da mesma esperança que se encontra nestes analistas. Já o quarto eixo trata de uma interpretação mais focada no aspecto humano, assim como a leitura interpretativa de Heller. Por último é apresentado o método da analogia estrutural de Kuschel como uma possibilidade de respeitar as peculiaridades de cada uma das áreas envolvidas. Por meio deste levantamento procuramos defender a manutenção da tensão entre literatura e religião como a melhor forma de respeitar tanto uma quanto a outra. Palavras-chave: Literatura. Religião. Teologia. Franz Kafka. José Carlos Barcellos.We assumed the positions proposed by José Carlos Barcellos in the article “Literature and theology” to frame the criticism which revolves Franz Kafka and the relation between his literature and religion. The first position deals with the perspective which considers literature as a non-theoretical theology. Based on that, we analyze the configuration of Kafka as a cabalist, according to Shcolem. In the second position, under the point of view that theology is present in literature, we observed Ander’s criticism of the apologist investments which diagnosed a positive theology in Kafka. The third aspect focuses on literature as a “theological place”, and based on it we discuss with Brod and Moller about the possibility of seeing Kafka’s literature as holder of the same hope found on those analysts. The fourth point approaches an interpretation focused on the human aspect, as Heller’s interpretative reading. Finally, it is presented Kuschel’s method of structural analogy as a possibility of respecting the peculiarities of each area involved. Through this survey we tried to defend the maintenance of the tension between literature and religion as the best way to respect both of them. Keywords : Literature. Religion. Theology. Franz Kafka. José Carlos Barcellos. - DOI: 10.5752/P.2175-5841.2012v10n25p157. (shrink)