The current German criticism of HUGO centers around the term ‘human dignity’; consenquentialist and autonomy-based arguments are used. The debate culminates in questioning the integrity of bioethics as a scholarly discipline and has created a heterogeneous coalition of disparate political and social groups that oppose any research that would facilitate genetic pre-selection of human characteristics.
This paper describes the matrimonial and reproductive behaviour of Italians who migrated to Belgium after the Second World War. Migrants were either already married, or later became married, to other Italians. Among the children of migrants, men equally chose Italian or Belgian wives but women tended to prefer Italian partners. Italian-Belgian marriages were more frequent among the better educated groups. Family size is smaller among migrants marrying after migration and in heterogamous marriages. Significant differences in birth intervals are found when (...) marriage occurred before or after migration, between generations, and between homogamous and heterogamous marriages. (shrink)
The social philosophy of meaning and emotions represented in the work of Susanne Langer was recognized by Talcott Parsons, but has yet to be incorporated into mainstream sociological theoritizations. Langer's work is as potentially important to contemporary microsociology, and the sociology of emotions, as the work of Peirce, Mead, or Schutz. The impediment to appreciating her work resides in contemporary confusions regarding the nature of logic. Sociologists often subscribe to Wittgenstein's denial of the validity of formal logic in constructing (...) theories of human behavior. Langer has been misunderstood because her theoretizations address more than discursive logics and meanings. The thrust of Langer's work is that logic and meaning exist on a nondiscursive level of emotions. Though her work is more than 50 years old, we are now in a position to appreciate it because we are now exploring and conceptualizing the notion of social inferencing as existing beyond formal logic. (shrink)
Consciousness is a central theme of Susanne Langer's three-volume work Mind: An essay on human feeling. Langer proposes an evolutionary history of consciousness in order to establish a biological vocabulary for discussing the subject. This vocabulary is based on the qualities of organic processes rather than generic material objects. Her historical scenario and new terminology suggest that Langer views the “cash value” of consciousness in terms of symbolic thinking and aesthetics. This paper provides an overview of Langer's proposed evolutionary (...) scenario of consciousness, along with an examination of her process-oriented philosophy of mind. It is suggested that Langer's basic ideas are importantly similar to those present in dynamical systems theory. As research on consciousness in dynamical systems theory is still young, researchers in this field may find in Langer's work ideas for future exploration, particularly in its connection with aesthetics. (shrink)