Frances Burney is primarily known as a novelist and playwright, but in recent years there has been an increased interest in the medical writings found within her private letters and journals. John Wiltshire advocates Burney as the unconscious pioneer of the modern genre of pathography, or the illness narrative. Through her dramatic accounts of distinct medical events, such as her own infamous operation without anaesthetic, to those she witnessed, including the 'madness' of George III and the inoculation of her (...) son against smallpox, Burney exposes the ethical issues and conflicts between patients and doctors. Her accounts are linked to a range of modern narratives in which similar events occur in the changed conditions of the public hospital. The genre that Burney initiated continues to make an important contribution to our understanding of medical practice in the modern world. (shrink)
The growing field of machine morality has becoming increasingly concerned with how to develop artificial moral agents. However, there is little consensus on what constitutes an ideal moral agent let alone an artificial one. Leveraging a recent account of heroism in humans, the aim of this paper is to provide a prospective framework for conceptualizing, and in turn designing ideal artificial moral agents, namely those that would be considered heroic robots. First, an overview of what it means to be an (...) artificial moral agent is provided. Then, an overview of a recent account of heroism that seeks to define the construct as the dynamic and interactive integration of character strengths and situational constraints that afford the opportunity for moral behavior . With this as a foundation, a discussion is provided for what it might mean for a robot to be an ideal moral agent by proposing a dynamic and interactive connectionist model of robotic heroism. Given the limited accounts of robots engaging in moral behavior, a case for extending robotic moral capacities beyond just being a moral agent to the level of heroism is supported by drawing from exemplar situations where robots demonstrate heroism in popular film and fiction. (shrink)
This paper examines the current use of the terms ‘story’, ‘narrative’ and ‘voice’ within health care. It argues that the focus on narrative forms is related to nursing's professional development of an alternative epistemology to science, and to nursing theorists' mistrust of ‘Enlightenment’ modes. However, in order for this project to be productively developed it is necessary to distinguish story from narrative: the former is an informal activity, the latter is meditative and theoretical. Both have dierapeutic dimensions.
In this paper, we analyse the recent rapid growth of âbingeâ drinking in the UK. This means the rapid consumption of large amounts of alcohol, especially by young people, leading to serious anti-social and criminal behaviour in urban centres. British soccer fans have often exhibited this kind of behaviour abroad, but it has become widespread amongst young people within Britain itself. Vomiting, collapsing in the street, shouting and chanting loudly, intimidating passers-by and fighting are now regular night-time features of many (...) British towns and cities. A particularly disturbing aspect is the huge rise in drunken and anti-social behaviour amongst young females. Increasingly, policy makers in the West are concerned about how not just to regulate but to alter social behaviour. Smoking and obesity are obvious examples, and in the UK âbingeâ drinking has become a focus of acute policy concern. We show how a simple agent based model approach, combined with a limited amount of easily acquired information, can provide useful insights for policy makers in the context of behavioural regulation. We show that the hypothesis that the rise in binge drinking is a fashion-related phenomenon, with imitative behaviour spreading across social networks, is sufficient to account for the empirically observed patterns of binge drinking behaviour. The results show that a small world network, rather than a scale-free or random one, offers the best description of the data. (shrink)
This review essay examines the emergence of the patient narrative or “pathography” in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century in relation to the great cultural, epistemological, and ethical transformations that enabled the formation of modern medicine. John Wiltshire’s book provides an historical overview of this complex process, as well as laying the basis for a contemporary critique of some of its key assumptions.
Caroline of Ansbach, wife of George II, occupied a crucial position in the public life of early 18th-century Britain. She was seen to exert considerable influence on the politics of the court and, as mother to the Hanoverian dynasty's next generation, she became an important emblem for the nation's political well-being. This paper examines how such emblematic significance was challenged and qualified when Caroline's body could no longer be portrayed as healthy and life giving. Using private memoirs and (...) correspondence from the time of her death in 1737, the paper explores the metaphorical potential of the queen's strangulated hernia, as well as the particular problems it posed for the public image of her dynasty. Through these investigations, the paper will comment upon the haphazard nature of public discussion in the early 18th century, and reveal the complex relationship between political speculation and medical diagnosis. (shrink)
This essay offers a Deleuzian reading of Drift, a multilingual project by the cross-disciplinary artist Caroline Bergvall. It argues that the text- and performance-project promotes forms of deterritorialization that give radical witness to the contemporary humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean where thousands of people drown each year as they try to reach Europe. In breaking down barriers between languages, the artistic work employs non-representational modes of address to reflect on what it means to lack citizenship and recognition in the (...) context of the crisis. Close readings challenge postcolonial accusations that the writings of Deleuze and Guattari are at best utopian and at worst politically naive and without purchase on the real-life catastrophes of Fortress Europe. Instead, Deleuzian strategies are shown to enable Bergvall to actualize a multilingual politics of speech and performance that points towards the historical and contemporary imbrications of the West in mass-drownings of recent... (shrink)
The nature of the contributions to astronomy of Caroline Lucretia Herschel are explored in this article. Her accomplishments included new observational discoveries and the skilled and accurate transcription and reduction of astronomical data. Although she made important additions to the sum total of astronomical facts available to the scientist, she herself showed little interest or ability in applying these data to explain phenomena. Love of her brother, Sir William Herschel, motivated her achievements in astronomy. Barred from the ranks of (...) creative astronomers by both her inability and her disinterest in abstract concepts, she substituted other qualities such as accuracy and perseverance which assured her a place in the history of astronomy. (shrink)
This book is the result of a survey conducted across different segments of Indian populace to understand the influence of religion on the country and how sometimes the political ideas and the ground realities are at loggerheads. The authors juxtapose their findings in India with the studies in the West:.