_Published in its entirety for the first time, a candid conversation with SusanSontag at the height of her brilliant career_ “One of my oldest crusades is against the distinction between thought and feeling, which is really the basis of all anti-intellectual views: the heart and the head, thinking and feeling, fantasy and judgment... and I don’t believe it’s true.... I have the impression that thinking is a form of feeling and that feeling is a form of thinking.” (...)SusanSontag, one of the most internationally renowned and controversial intellectuals of the latter half of the twentieth century, still provokes. In 1978 Jonathan Cott, a founding contributing editor of _Rolling Stone_ magazine, interviewed Sontag first in Paris and later in New York. Only a third of their twelve hours of discussion ever made it to print. Now, more than three decades later, Yale University Press is proud to publish the entire transcript of Sontag’s remarkable conversation, accompanied by Cott’s preface and recollections. Sontag’s musings and observations reveal the passionate engagement and breadth of her critical intelligence and curiosities at a moment when she was at the peak of her powers. Nearly a decade after her death, these hours of conversation offer a revelatory and indispensable look at the self-described "besotted aesthete" and "obsessed moralist." “I really believe in history, and that’s something people don’t believe in anymore. I know that what we do and think is a historical creation....We were given a vocabulary that came into existence at a particular moment. So when I go to a Patti Smith concert, I enjoy, participate, appreciate, and am tuned in better because I’ve read Nietzsche.” “There’s no incompatibility between observing the world and being tuned into this electronic, multimedia, multi-tracked, McLuhanite world and enjoying what can be enjoyed. I love rock and roll. Rock and roll changed my life....You know, to tell you the truth, I think rock and roll is the reason I got divorced. I think it was Bill Haley and the Comets and Chuck Berry that made me decide that I had to get a divorce and leave the academic world and start a new life.”. (shrink)
Sontag is certainly attracted to the aesthetic she describes but not so wholeheartedly as many readers have assumed.1 One of the ironies of her career has been her reputation as an enthusiast for works toward which she actually expresses considerable ambivalence. Many of her essays include overt advocacy, but it is rarely uncomplicated or uncompromised.2 Despite her reputation for partisanship, she more typically begins her essays by recounting an experience of alienation, annoyance, uncertainty, or shock. For example, she describes (...) the "happening" as an event "designed to tease and abuse the audience"3 and speaks of the "profoundly discouraging," even "hopeless," emotions of her first days in North Vietnam. She is, therefore, often motivated by her sense of difference from the event or object she describes. But it is not her wish merely to find ways of assimilating and dominating unpleasant or alien experience; while that is certainly one of the main impulses in her work - to control apparently impossible subjects, to exhilarate in the Nietzschean will to power over the text - her will to power is always countered by a need to credit and honor the text's otherness. Sontag never finally assumes an easy familiarity with her subject but rather draws its difficult and negating otherness ever closer to herself. Her work may be understood, in a way, as a search for a text that is utterly unknowable, a text that will always elude and contradict what we may say about it, a text, in short, that cannot be contaminated by critical rhetoric. That is a quality she has recently attributed to Artaud's work: "Like Sade and Reich, Artaud is relevant and understandable, a cultural monument, as long as one mainly refers to his ideas without reading much of his work. For anyone who reads Artaud through, he remains fiercely out of reach, an unassimilable voice and presence."4 · 1. There is, to be sure, an atmosphere of iconoclasm and intellectual challenge about Sontag's criticism, but it is not especially self-congratulatory. She is only interested in difficult topics or in topics whose difficulties have been repressed, partly because that context energizes her mind and partly, as she has written of Diane Arbus, because she wants "to violate her own innocence, to undermine her sense of being privileged" · 2. The exception is some of the early reviews included in Against Interpretation, where the polemical requirements of the occasion distinguish those brief judgments from her more careful and extended pieces.· 3. Sontag, Against Interpretation , p. 267.· 4. Sontag, "Artaud," Antonin Artaud: Selected Writings , p. lix. Cary Nelson teaches critical theory at the University of Illinois. He is the author of The Incarnate Word: Literature as Verbal Space and Our Last First Poets: Vision and History in Contemporary American Poetry and Reading Criticism: The Literary Status of Critical Discourse. (shrink)
SusanSontag’s talk at the UNESCO meeting on which the French edition of Diogëne 201 was based has been replaced in this English edition of Diogenes 201 by extracts from her published work: her article ‘Looking At War’ in The New Yorker (December 2002).
This chapter corrects for SusanSontag's undeserved neglect by contemporary ethical philosophers by bringing awareness to some of the unique metaethical insights born of her reflections on photographic representations of evil. I argue that Sontag's thought provides fertile ground for thinking about: (1) moral perception and its relation to moral knowledge; and (2) the epistemic and moral value of our emotional responses to the misery and suffering of others. I show that, contrary to standard moral perception theory (...) (e.g. Blum 1994), Sontag holds that we can have general moral perceptual knowledge. I then explore Sontag's idea that certain emotional responses, like sympathy and compassion, can sometimes be impertinent, in virtue of their having false or illusory content. I explain why this is so, and show the epistemic and motivational problems it poses for moral sentimentalism. (shrink)
When SusanSontag addresses the problem of pornography and relates it to Hegel, she is not merely describing a path in European philosophy aimed to construct a new language, but she is also committing this aim to the importance of re-reading culture. The fashion in which pornography describes reality is meaningful when we are trying to approach Hegel in his aim to construct a post-religious language that finally will make ready-to-hand life as life. Politics, and society, being two (...) essential elements to understand reality, become singularly interesting when analyzed through the gaze of Sontag in combination of Hegel’s philosophy. The conservative morals that reign over what we understand as pornography, and the cultural moment of Europe since the most progressive moments of the 19 th century, describe a fatalist landscape for the future of society and politics. Yet, the learnings from Hegel remain meaningful. In this paper I examine how a post-religious philosophy, aimed long ago by Hegel’s contribution to philosophy, can serve to the understanding of a post-pornographic society: a society that is able to learn from the contributions of Frankfurt’s school with regards to an efficient cultural tissue, and defeat the old religious morals that are inserted in the backbone of politics and philosophy still today. (shrink)
Can we ever claim to understand a work of art or be objective about it? Why have cultures thought it important to separate out a group of objects and call them art? What does aesthetics contribute to our understanding of the natural landscape? Are the concepts of art and the aesthetic elitist? Addressing these and other issues in aesthetics, this important new Oxford Reader includes articles by authors ranging from Aristotle and Xie-He to Jun'ichiro Tanizaki, Michael Baxandall, and Susan (...)Sontag. It focuses on why art and a variety of aesthetics matter to us, and on how perceivers participate in and contribute to the experience of appreciating a work of art. With its multicultural and multidisciplinary scope, this volume shows how anthropology, art history, Chinese theories of painting, and other perspectives both enrich and provide alternatives to classic philosophical accounts of art and the aesthetic. (shrink)
Essayist SusanSontag alerted us more than 20 years ago to the way in which clusters of metaphors attach themselves to our discussion of certain diseases, and the influence these metaphors exert on public attitudes to the diseases themselves and to those who experience them. This study of feature articles on five diseases—avian flu, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and HIV/AIDS—published recently in the New York Times reveals distinct patterns of metaphor usage around each. While the metaphors used in (...) relation to the diseases Sontag studied—cancer and HIV/AIDS—have become less emotive and more positively informative, the sensationalist connotations of the metaphor clusters that have formed around two diseases that were not on the agenda for wide public debate in her time—avian flu and diabetes—are hardly congruent with the serious intent of the articles in which they appeared. By contrast, discussion of heart disease involved very limited use of metaphor. The article ends with a call for journalists and medical professionals to become more aware of the impact of the metaphors they use and to collaborate in developing sets of metaphors that are factually informative and enhance communication between doctors and their patients. (shrink)
In her book, Illness as Metaphor, SusanSontag focuses on metaphors and myths on diseases such as cancer and tuberculosis, which occur in different historical periods. Sontag argues that the metaphors produced related to illness overhaul illness and the things that define illness now have become metaphors produced related to them rather than their concrete and physical aspects. Illness becomes not just an illness, but a phenomenon defined by evil, mystery, fear, evil, madness, passions, wealth and poverty, (...) temporal loginess or speed, and a set of metaphors or myths that are spatially identified with the space. Metaphors and myths turn into means of socially stigmatizing the illness itself rather than giving a meaning to illness. The disease literally turns into a situation that needs to be hidden in order to avoid social stigma. The explanation of mass diseases through metaphors and myths has been seen since ancient times and this understanding of mass diseases continues to exist today. As a matter of fact, the Covid-19 pandemic has also ceased to be the subject of only medical science since it first emerged, and it has turned into an issue that concerns many areas from politics to economics, from sociology to psychology. The metaphors generated on the Covid-19 disease, which we have witnessed its reflections in many areas from the discourses of daily life to the discourse of politicians, from art to literature, have a similar function with the metaphors attributed to diseases like cancer and tuberculosis that Sontag discussed. Covid-19 is not only seen as a disease, but as a disease defined by a series of metaphors such as mysterious, evil, invisible enemy, insidious danger, and democratic virus. The metaphors generated on the disease cause the struggle against the disease itself to be explained with various metaphors. The metaphors derived from Covid-19 such as "invisible enemy" and "biological war" cause the struggle against it to be turned into a military terminology, and the metaphor of "Chinese virus" is a means of social stigmatization / marginalization by racializing the virus directly. This study tackles the issue of how Covid-19, which is the subject of medical science, has become the subject of unscientific myths and metaphors attributed to the disease, and that the disease is perceived through metaphors rather than itself in the context of SusanSontag's thought. In the study, answers for the questions of what kind of effects appeared due to the stigmatizing power of metaphors derived from the Covid-19 and whether the metaphors are the outcomes of the strategy for coping with the pandemic will be sought. (shrink)
Drawing inspiration from SusanSontag’s notion of ‘rhetorical ownership’—applied not only to illness but also to the body more generally—this essay argues that philosophy, like medicine, has privileged a metaphorics of war and violence in its own discourses on embodiment. Drawing inspiration from Barbara Christian’s seminal essay ‘The Race for Theory,’ as well as literary theorist Eve Sedgwick’s account of what she calls ‘paranoid’ forms of inquiry in her book Touching Feeling, this essay explores the status of violence (...) as an especially resonant trope in discourses on materiality. One worry is that the omnipresence of violent metaphors in contemporary philosophy of the body may be narrowing the space for the elaboration of nonviolent understanding of corporeality that would imagine the body otherwise than as a battlefield or a site of violence. (shrink)
In the summer of 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, an event which led to the horror of World War I and which many historians suggest marked the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1992, Sarajevo again lurched into prominence as the focal point of one of the century’s bloodiest civil wars. Yet Sarajevo at one point epitomized the dreams of the Enlightenment, a city where Christians, Jews, and Muslims peacefully coexisted. In the midst of Sarajevo’s recent decline (...) into chaos and destruction, SusanSontag decided to produce Act I of Waiting for Godot, which, despite ever-looming danger, played to packed houses. Why? Why did this city of hope lie crushed at the end of the twentieth century? Why did Sontag stage an artistic production in the middle of such overwhelming tragedy? Why Waiting for Godot ? And, most important, why the appreciative, silent tears of audience members who risked their lives to attend a play in the middle of a war?These are the questions that guide David Toole’s theological reflections in Waiting for Godot in Sarajevo, where he seeks to come to terms with what it means to live a life of dignity in a world of undeniable suffering. Toole skillfully weaves together Friedrich Nietzsche’s views on nihilism with Michel Foucault’s analysis of power to produce a metaphysics of tragedy, or a “politics of dying.” Such politics are then used to shed new theological light on the Christian apocalypse and what it means to be alive at the end of the twentieth century. In making his argument, Toole draws innovative connections between such diverse figures as John Milbank, Alasdair MacIntyre, Euripides, John Howard Yoder, and Norman Maclean (author of A River Runs Through It and Young Men and Fire ), all the while using Beckett’s play as a compass for his direction. The end result is a fascinating, eminently readable, unexpectedly adventurous theological inquiry into the meaning of life. (shrink)
Following an analysis of the work of Stanley Cavell, Arthur Danto, Umberto Eco, SusanSontag, and other philosophers of the 1960s who made aesthetics more responsive to contemporary art, Kelly considers Sontag's aesthetics in greater detail ...
Culture After Humanism asks what happens to the authority of traditional Western modes of thought in the wake of postcolonial theory. Iain Chambers investigates moments of tension, interruptions which transform our perception of the world and test the limits of language, art and technology. In a series of interlinked discussions, ranging in focus from SusanSontag's novel The Volcano Lover to the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, Jimi Hendrix and Baroque architecture and music, Chambers weaves together a critique of (...) Western humanism, exploring issues of colonization and migration, language and identity. Culture After Humanism offers a new approach to cultural history, a 'post-humanist' perspective which challenges our sense of a world in which the subject is sovereign language, the transparent medium of its agency, and truth, the product of reason. (shrink)
In contrast to [Susan] Sontag, who used the tools of literary criticism to evaluate sexually explicit fiction, I will use the conventions of pornography to interpret a dramatic monologue in which an expected sexual encounter fails to take place. In analyzing Rossetti’s “Jenny,” I will employ an interpretive model based on the work of [Steven] Marcus, [Susan] Griffin, and [Andrea] Dworkin. Despite different assumptions about sexuality—Marcus is a Freudian, Griffin believes in a mystical eros residing in the (...) psyche and waiting to be rediscovered, Dworkin regards heterosexuality as a construct for subjugating women and masking men’s homoerotic drive—they share several ideas applicable to “Jenny.” Although pornography features, and indeed perpetuates, various kinds of masculine power, especially the powers of money, class, and culture, it purports to be ahistorical in order to obscure its status as ideology. It depicts male sexuality as fear-laden aggression resulting in very little pleasure; thus it is not liberating on either a political or a personal basis. Pornography does not include “others.” Women are present only to be silenced, objectified, treated as screens on which a man projects his fantasies. Marcus, Griffin, and Dworkin are all concerned with what Suleiman calls “the representational or fantasmatic content” of pornography and “the political implications of that content.” The risks of emphasizing the representational—most especially, the denigration of language and style that result from Dworkin’s approach—can, as Suleiman says, be mitigated by careful attention to a particular text .In Rossetti’s poem, a young man attempts to purchase a night’s pleasure with a London prostitute named Jenny. After she thwarts his plans by falling asleep, he spends the night meditating about her beauty, speculating about her past, present, and future, and thinking about the causes of prostitution. Although Rossetti’s subject matter is consistent with the etymological definition of pornography as “writing about prostitutes,” he avoids the explicit depiction of sexual activity which has been the common element in most modern accounts of the genre. Indeed, the only physical contact between the narrator and Jenny occurs at daybreak when he places coins in her hair and gives her a parting kiss. Robin Sheets is associate professor of English at the University of Cincinnati. She has written on Thackeray, George Eliot, and other Victorian writers and is coauthor of The Woman Question: Society and Literature in Britain and American, 1837-1883. (shrink)
This article addresses the portrait as a philosophical form of art. Portraits seek to render the subjective objectively visible. In portraiture two fundamental aims come into conflict: the revelatory aim of faithfulness to the subject, and the creative aim of artistic expression. In the first part of my paper, studying works by Rembrandt, I develop a typology of four different things that can be meant when speaking of an image’s power to show a person: accuracy, testimony of presence, emotional characterization, (...) or revelation of the essential “air” (to use Roland Barthes’ term). In the second half of my paper this typology is applied to examples from painting and photography to explore how the two media might differ. I argue that, despite photography’s alleged ‘realism’ and ‘transparency,’ it allows for artistic portraiture and presents the same basic conflict between portraiture’s two aims, the revelatory and the expressive. (shrink)
This book, based on the prestigious Oxford Amnesty Lecture series, focuses on human rights abuses, and the ways in which they are interpreted. The collection includes contributions by Tzvetan Todorov, Michael Ignatieff, Peter Singer, Gitta Sereny, SusanSontag, and Eva Hoffman, with commentaries on their essays by Niall Fergusson, Timothy Garton Ash, John Broome, Hermione Lee and others.
This essay explores the relationship between fact and faith developed by two cinematic representations of the trial and execution of Joan of Arc: Carl Theodor Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc and Robert Bresson's The Trial of Joan of Arc. Both films are preoccupied with how to present evidence - the proof of Joan's supposedly divine visions - that is ultimately unverifiable, and turn this epistemological problem into their chief aesthetic concern. Through readings of Aquinas, SusanSontag, (...) and Hayden White, the essay tracks what the stakes of such a problem might be, finding especially in Bresson's method a negative definition of truth or meaning through the sudden but persistent withholding of even its most pronounced historical, cultural, and material content. Whereas Dreyer's film pursues the total legibility of its subject through a constant focus on faces and gazes, showing us literally all that it can, Bresson's film insists on the integrity of that which is unseen, creating what I come to call a kind of meaning effect. (shrink)
A peculiar trait unites Roland Barthes and SusanSontag’s famous accounts of photography: both emphasize the anti-Proustian character of the medium. Two versions of the same assertion are presented in Camera Lucida and On Photography, namely that the nature of photography prevents it from being able to provide the experience needed to regain what was lost in time. Curiously enough, in Raoul Ruiz’s film adaptation, Marcel Proust’s Time Regained, photographs are used by the director to set the world (...) of the novel into motion. Does the opening scene, which shows the writer browsing through photographs of the people he used to know, merely present Proust’s documented habit of collecting photographs of the... (shrink)
"El cuerpo es siempre un inconveniente", sostiene SusanSontag sobre la convicción de que es antes un espacio de sufrimiento que de placer. Los avatares de la enfermedad trazan una taxonomía en la cual la responsabilidad del sujeto parece seleccionar las fallas orgánicas. Sobre la conducta irresponsable y apasionada de los travestis chilenos, Pedro Lemebel establece en Loco afán un catálogo de degradación corporal articulado con un lenguaje barroco. El efecto del SIDA en los años 80 y 90 (...) sobre los cuerpos marginales es una "colonización por el contagio" que traslada a la crónica arrabalera las torturas impuestas desde los 70 por la dictadura militar chilena que Roberto Bolaño convierte en performances gore en el relato descarnado de Estrella distante. Allí los aspectos góticos de la corporeidad decadente encuentran una formulación futurista en que la crueldad resulta alentada. En la complementariedad y la tergiversación de las estéticas, el cuerpo se desintegra en un espectáculo que combina lo grotesco y lo fúnebre. "Body is always an inconvenient", writes SusanSontag on the conviction that it is an space of suffer rather than pleasure. The alternatives of illness trace a taxonomy in which the responsibility of the individual seems choice the organic failures. On the Chilean transvestites' irresponsive and passionate behavior, Pedro Lemebel establishes in Loco afán a catalog of body degradation articulated with baroque language. AIDS' effect in the 80 and 90 on marginal bodies is a "colonization by the contagion" that moves the torture imposed by Chilean military dictatorship since the 70 to the suburban chronicles that Roberto Bolaño makes performances gore in the discarnated narrative Estrella distante. There the gothic aspects of decadent corporality find a futurist formulation in which cruelty is encouraged. In complementarity and distortion of aesthetics, the body is disintegrated in a show combining the grotesque and the funeral. (shrink)
After September 11, Sullivan wrote that while he wasnâ€™t worried about the heartland, â€œdecadent coastal liberals may well mount a fifth column.â€ This in response, as is well known, to a thoughtful New Yorker essay by SusanSontag. Sullivan, who Eric Altermanâ€”not usually a sharp wordsmithâ€”memorably calls â€œYoung Roy Cohnâ€ later issued â€œSontag awards.â€ His attitude and his popularization of a sort of Lynne Cheneyist position on what â€œViewsâ€ are improper and thus should not be publicly aired, probably (...) did far more damage to civil liberties than Joe McCarthyâ€™s pal Roy, who at the very least didnâ€™t take himself seriously. (shrink)
While contemporary pop culture is nowadays considered part of the cultural mainstream, its practices of codification and its use and circulation of signifiers are still shaped by its roots in counterculture. This leads to a second order esthetic that reflects upon mass culture and subverts it by means of transgression and rearrangement. This essay argues that this subversive logic of reference is closely linked to what SusanSontag has described as “camp.” While doing so it not only sheds (...) light on the aspect of subversion and identity building, but also on the aspect of performance and staging that plays an important role for camp, as well as pop culture and its play with artificiality and authenticity. As a consequence the concept of camp is used to examine the practice and performance of artists like David Bowie, Madonna, Christina Aguilera and Janelle Monáe, and finding structural similarity in their practice and production, which uncovers a tendency towards apersonal self-historization which is typical for pop and is closely linked to its ability to generate new meanings out of materials that stem from other contexts originally. (shrink)
Judith Butler argues that every category of personal identity, such as gender, the body, nationality, sexuality, or ethnicity, is predicated in part on a crisis between what that identity affirms and what it excludes. How this crisis manifests itself in everyday life is key to understanding how identities are reinforced, negotiated, subverted, or rejected on both social and individual levels. In this paper I consider three films directed by Kurosawa Kiyoshi between 2001 and 2006, arguing that they are especially competent (...) in not only representing ontological tensions of this kind within their narratives, but also in manifesting these tensions so that they are made viscerally available to the viewer as affect. To understand how this is achieved, I draw on the work of SusanSontag, Judith Butler, and Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, among others, to articulate how a stylistic system, or aesthetic, is developed across these films, and what techniques contribute to its production. I find that key components... (shrink)
“Living involves being exposed to pain every second—not necessarily as an insistent reality, but always as a possibility,” writes Arne Vetlesen in _A Philosophy of Pain_, a thought-provoking look at an inevitable and essential aspect of the human condition. Here, Vetlesen addresses pain in many forms, including the pain inflicted during torture; the pain suffered in disease; the pain accompanying anxiety, grief, and depression; and the pain brought by violence. He examines the dual nature of pain: how we attempt to (...) avoid it as much as possible in our daily lives, and yet conversely, we obtain a thrill from seeking it. Vetlesen’s analysis of pain is revealing, plumbing the very center of many of our most intense and complicated emotions. He looks at pain within different arenas of modern life such as family and work, and he specifically probes at a very common modern phenomenon, the idea of pushing oneself to the limit. Engaging throughout with the ideas of thinkers such as Søren Kierkegaard, Sigmund Freud, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Alice Miller, SusanSontag, and Melanie Klein, _A Philosophy of Pain_ asks which came first, thinking or feeling, and explores the concept and possibility of empathy. Vetlesen offers an original and insightful perspective on something that all of us suffer and endure—from a sprained ankle to a broken heart. Although pain is in itself unpleasant, our ability to feel it reminds us that we are alive. (shrink)
Throughout the history of psychoanalysis, the study of creativity and fine art has been a special concern. _Psychoanalytic Studies of Creativity, Greed and Fine Art: Making Contact with the Self_ makes a distinct contribution to the psychoanalytic study of art by focusing attention on the relationship between creativity and greed. This book also focuses attention on factors in the personality that block creativity, and examines the matter of the self and its ability to be present and exist as the essential (...) element in creativity. Using examples primarily from visual art_ David Levine_ explores the subjects of creativity, empathy, interpretation and thinking through a series of case studies of artists, including Robert Irwin, Ad Reinhardt, Susan Burnstine, and Mark Rothko. _Psychoanalytic Studies of Creativity, Greed and Fine Art_ explores the highly ambivalent attitude of artists toward making their presence known, an ambivalence that is evident in their hostility toward interpretation as a way of knowing. This is discussed with special reference to SusanSontag’s essay on the subject of interpretation. Psychoanalytic Studies of Creativity, Greed and Fine Art contributes to a long tradition of psychoanalytically influenced writing on creativity including the work of Deri, Kohut, Meltzer, Miller and Winnicott among others. It will be of interest to psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic psychotherapists, historians and theorists of art. (shrink)
This collection of new essays focuses on metaethical views from outside the mainstream European tradition. The guiding motivation is that important discussions about the ultimate nature of morality can be found far beyond ancient Greece and modern Europe. The volume’s aim is to show how rich the possibilities are for comparative metaethics, and how much these comparisons can add to contemporary discussions of the foundations of morality. Representing five continents, the thinkers discussed range from ancient Egyptian, ancient Chinese, and the (...) Mexica (Aztec) cultures to more recent thinkers like Augusto Salazar Bondy, Bimal Krishna Matilal, Nishida Kitarō, and SusanSontag. The philosophical topics discussed include religious language, moral discovery, moral disagreement, essences’ relation to evaluative facts, metaphysical harmony, naturalism, moral perception, and the nature of moral realism. This volume will be of interest to anyone interested in metaethics or comparative philosophy. (shrink)