Originating as a proponent of U.S. exceptionalism during the Cold War, American Studies has now reinvented itself, vigorously critiquing various kinds of critical hegemony and launching innovative interdisciplinary endeavors. _The Futures of American Studies_ considers the field today and provides important deliberations on what it might yet become. Essays by both prominent and emerging scholars provide theoretically engaging analyses of the postnational impulse of current scholarship, the field's historical relationship to social movements, the status of theory, the state of higher (...) education in the United States, and the impact of ethnic and gender studies on area studies. They also investigate the influence of poststructuralism, postcolonial studies, sexuality studies, and cultural studies on U.S. nationalist—and antinationalist—discourses. No single overriding paradigm dominates the anthology. Instead, the articles enter into a lively and challenging dialogue with one another. A major assessment of the state of the field, _The Futures of American Studies_ is necessary reading for American Studies scholars. _Contributors._ Lindon Barrett, Nancy Bentley, Gillian Brown, Russ Castronovo, Eric Cheyfitz, Michael Denning, Winfried Fluck, Carl Gutierrez-Jones, Dana Heller, Amy Kaplan, Paul Lauter, Günter H. Lenz, George Lipsitz, Lisa Lowe, Walter Benn Michaels, José Estaban Muñoz, Dana D. Nelson, Ricardo L. Ortiz, Janice Radway, JohnCarlosRowe, William V. Spanos. (shrink)
A questionnaire on business ethics was administered to business professionals and to upper-class business ethics students. On eight of the seventeen situations involving ethical dilemmas in business, students were significantly more willing to engage in questionable behavior than were their professional counterparts. Apparently, many students were willing to do whatever was necessary to further their own interests, with little or no regard for fundamental moral principles. Many students and professionals functioned within Lawrence Kohlberg's stage four of moral reasoning, the law (...) and order stage. Individualism and egoism remain strong patterns in the moral reasoning of many professionals, but they influence moral reasoning patterns among students to a much greater degree. (shrink)
In the UK, community care has led to more complex relationships for mental health nurses. They need to respect the rights of service users to confidentiality while also respecting the rights of family caregivers to information that directly affects them. An unsatisfactory situation has arisen in which utilitarian and legally driven motives have seen family caregivers’ interests become subsidiary to those of service users and providers. An ethical case is made for sharing information with family caregivers, even against the wishes (...) of service users. Through the use of a conceptual framework based on elements proposed by Thiroux — value of life, goodness or rightness, justice or fairness, truth-telling or honesty, and individual freedom — the article concludes that there is an ethical argument for sharing some information with family caregivers and that nurses should respect caregivers’ rights through their actions. Nurses’ actions are a commitment to seeking what is ‘good’ by making judgements based on what matters. It is argued that people and their relationships matter more than strict adherence to laws and codes. (shrink)
This essay sets out to explain how educational semiotics as a discipline can be used to reform medical education and assessment. This is in response to an ongoing paradigm shift in medical education and assessment that seeks to integrate more qualitative, ethical and professional aspects of medicine into curricula, and develop ways to assess them. This paper suggests that a method to drive this paradigm change might be found in the Peircean idea of suprasubjectivity. This semiotic concept is rooted in (...) the scholastic philosophy of John of St Thomas, but has been reintroduced to modern semiotics through the works of John Deely, Alin Olteanu and, most notably, Charles Sanders Peirce. I approach this task as both a medical educator and a semiotician. In this paper, I provide background information about medical education, paradigm shift s, and the concept of suprasubjectivity in relation to modern educational semiotic literature. I conclude by giving examples of what a suprasubjective approach to medical education and assessment might look like. I do this by drawing an equivalence between the notion of threshold concepts and suprasubjectivity, demonstrating the similarities between their positions. Fundamentally, medical education suffers from tensions of teaching trainee doctors the correct balance of biological science and situational ethics/judgement. In the transcendence of mind-dependent and mind-independent being the scholastic philosophy of John of St Thomas may be exactly the solution medicine needs to overcome this dichotomy. (shrink)
This paper analyses the immunological response of breast cancer patients through the lens of medical semiotics. From this perspective both psychological and physiological symptoms are treated as a set of transitive signs. The symptomatic journey of breast cancer patients was documented through an ethnographic engagement with a breast cancer charity. This journey consists of diagnosis, treatment and remission, where both the physical and psychological trauma maybe irreversible. Equally the genetic disposition of each patient and the variability of the treatment give (...) rise to a plethora of possible immunological responses. The case study organization provided both therapeutic treatment but also sold oncology products to its patients, matching the products’ composition to the specific immunological responses caused by breast cancer treatment, e.g., brittle skins or hair loss, etc. This paper explores how the varied and transient nature of immunological semiosis is identified and commoditized into an economic process. This challenging social context is of interest from a semiotic stand point because it offers a singular paradigm to explain the evolution of signs and symptoms into sales. (shrink)
line-by-line notes are invariably informative and helpful, as well thought-provoking.' John M. Cooper, Stuart Professor of Philosophy, Princeton UniversityIn a new English translation by Christopher Rowe, this great classic of moral philosophy is accompanied here by an extended introduction and detailed lin-by-line commentary by Sarah Broadie. Assuming no knowledge of Greek, her scholarly and instructive approach will prove invaluable for students reading the text for the first time. This thorough treatment of Aristotle's text will be an indispensable resource (...) for students, teachers, and scholars alike. (shrink)
According to religious pluralism, the profound differences among the chief objects of adoration in the great religious traditions are largely due to the different ways in which a single transcendent reality is experienced and conceived in human life. The most prominent developer and defender of religious pluralism in the twentieth century is John Hick. Hick uses the expression ‘the Real’ to designate the transcendent reality ‘authentically experienced’ as the different gods and impersonal absolutes worshipped in the major religious traditions. (...) A central claim Hick makes is that, apart from some purely formal characteristics, the Real is ineffable in that the intrinsic properties making up its nature are beyond the scope of any human concepts. I explore this central claim and argue that it implies the dubious, if not incoherent, view that the Real in itself has neither one of many pairs of contradictory properties. (shrink)
Thomas Reid developed an important theory of freedom and moral responsibility resting on the concept of agent-causation, by which he meant the power of a rational agent to cause or not cause a volition resulting in an action. He held that this power is limited in that occasions occur when one's emotions or other forces may preclude its exercise. John Martin Fischer has raised an objection – the not enough ‘Oomph’ objection – against any incompatibilist account of freedom and (...) moral responsibility. In this essay I argue that Fischer's not enough ‘Oomph’ objection fails to provide any reasons for rejecting Reid's incompatibilist, agent-causation account of freedom and moral responsibility. (shrink)
We extend the concept that life is an informational phenomenon, at every level of organisation, from molecules to the global ecological system. According to this thesis: living is information processing, in which memory is maintained by both molecular states and ecological states as well as the more obvious nucleic acid coding; this information processing has one overall function—to perpetuate itself; and the processing method is filtration of, and synthesis of, information at lower levels to appear at higher levels in complex (...) systems . We show how information patterns, are united by the creation of mutual context, generating persistent consequences, to result in ‘functional information’. This constructive process forms arbitrarily large complexes of information, the combined effects of which include the functions of life. Molecules and simple organisms have already been measured in terms of functional information content; we show how quantification may be extended to each level of organisation up to the ecological. In terms of a computer analogy, life is both the data and the program and its biochemical structure is the way the information is embodied. This idea supports the seamless integration of life at all scales with the physical universe. The innovation reported here is essentially to integrate these ideas, basing information on the ‘general definition’ of information, rather than simply the statistics of information, thereby explaining how functional information operates throughout life. (shrink)
O objetivo deste texto é analisar o argumento da economia que justificaria a tolerância como um dos maiores fatores para o desenvolvimento dos povos, no século XVII, segundo a interpretação de Locke. Expressando de outro modo, este texto pretende responder a seguinte questão: qual o lugar da dimensão econômica na teoria lockiana sobre a tolerância?
A detailed outline is presented of several convergent points of view connecting the self-dual and anti-self-dual fields with their free data. This is done for the Maxwell and for linearized gravity as exemplifying the approaches. The Sparling equation provides one tool of great power and characterizes one approach. The twistor theory of Penrose yields another equally powerful point of view. The links between these two basic approaches given in this paper provide a unification that allows workers and others with interest (...) in this area to proceed more readily toward the goal of understanding the full nonlinear Einstein equations. (shrink)
In this review, we describe some of the central philosophical issues facing origins-of-life research and provide a targeted history of the developments that have led to the multidisciplinary field of origins-of-life studies. We outline these issues and developments to guide researchers and students from all fields. With respect to philosophy, we provide brief summaries of debates with respect to (1) definitions (or theories) of life, what life is and how research should be conducted in the absence of an accepted theory (...) of life, (2) the distinctions between synthetic, historical, and universal projects in origins-of-life studies, issues with strategies for inferring the origins of life, such as (3) the nature of the first living entities (the “bottom up” approach) and (4) how to infer the nature of the last universal common ancestor (the “top down” approach), and (5) the status of origins of life as a science. Each of these debates influences the others. Although there are clusters of researchers that agree on some answers to these issues, each of these debates is still open. With respect to history, we outline several independent paths that have led to some of the approaches now prevalent in origins-of-life studies. These include one path from early views of life through the scientific revolutions brought about by Linnaeus (von Linn.), Wöhler, Miller, and others. In this approach, new theories, tools, and evidence guide new thoughts about the nature of life and its origin.We also describe another family of paths motivated by a” circularity” approach to life, which is guided by such thinkers as Maturana & Varela, Gánti, Rosen, and others. These views echo ideas developed by Kant and Aristotle, though they do so using modern science in ways that produce exciting avenues of investigation. By exploring the history of these ideas, we can see how many of the issues that currently interest us have been guided by the contexts in which the ideas were developed. The disciplinary backgrounds of each of these scholars has influenced the questions they sought to answer, the experiments they envisioned, and the kinds of data they collected. We conclude by encouraging scientists and scholars in the humanities and social sciences to explore ways in which they can interact to provide a deeper understanding of the conceptual assumptions, structure, and history of origins-of-life research. This may be useful to help frame future research agendas and bring awareness to the multifaceted issues facing this challenging scientific question. (shrink)
Review of "John Stuart Mill: Tres ensayos sobre la religión (La naturaleza; La utilidad de la religión; El teísmo), editado y traducido por Carlos Mellizo, Madrid, Editorial Tecnos, 2012. ISBN 13: 978-84-309-5502-2".