This paper examines the effects of three different types of father absence on the timing of life history events among women in rural Bangladesh. Age at marriage and age at first birth are compared across women who experienced different father presence/absence conditions as children. Survival analyses show that daughters of fathers who divorced their mothers or deserted their families have consistently younger ages at marriage and first birth than other women. In contrast, daughters whose fathers were labor migrants have consistently (...) older ages at marriage and first birth. Daughters whose fathers died when they were children show older ages at marriage and first birth than women with divorced/deserted fathers and women with fathers present. These effects may be mediated by high socioeconomic status and high levels of parental investment among the children of labor migrants, and a combination of low investment, high psychosocial stress, and low alloparental investment among women with divorced/deserted fathers. Our findings are most consistent with the Child Development Theory model of female life history strategies, though the Paternal Investment and Psychosocial Acceleration models also help explain differences between women in low paternal investment situations (e.g., father divorced/abandoned vs. father dead). Father absence in and of itself seems to have little effect on the life history strategies of Bangladeshi women once key reasons for or correlates of absence are controlled, and none of the models is a good predictor of why women with deceased fathers have delayed life histories compared with women whose fathers are present. (shrink)
The Philebus is a difficult dialogue, often criticized for treating obscure ontological questions while neglecting the dramatic aspect characteristic of the Platonic dialogue. In this paper, I argue that, while subtle, the dramatic dimension is essential in understanding the ontological inquiries pursued and the dialogue as a whole. I argue that the Philebus should be read as an agon, a dramatic contest, between Socrates, the advocate of nous, and Philebus, the silent advocate of hēdonē. I show that this contest about (...) the nature of the Good must be executed dramatically because, as Plato brings to light, hēdonē belongs to the Unlimited, and as such, always and necessarily resists reduction to logos, which, as dianoia, is necessarily connected with nous and Limit. (shrink)
What makes words law? -- How law grows up in a group -- The invention of "because I said so" -- The empty idea of authority -- Ideas that endure -- When should we do what law signals? -- How law works -- Evolution and revolution -- Reading to understand each other -- The life of the law.
The Peircean semiotic approach to information that we developed in previous papers raises several new questions, and shows both similarities and differences with regard to other accounts of information. We do not intend to present here any exhaustive discussion about the relationships between our account and other approaches to information. Rather, our interest is mainly to address its relationship to ideas about information put forward by Gregory Bateson and Eva Jablonka. We conclude that all these authors offer quite broad concepts (...) of information, but we argue that they are just as broad as they should be, since information is in itself a sweeping concept. Furthermore, all of them suggest a processual approach to information, which departs from the treatment of information as something that is contained in some structure (e.g., in sequences of nucleotides) and moves towards an understanding of information as a process — in terms of our account, a semiotic process, i.e., semiosis. (shrink)
Some religious believers have defended themselves from philosophical criticism by arguing that religion, properly understood, makes no ontological claims: they are referred to here, for short, as . In order to make sense of the position of NOC-believers, the article discusses the different senses in which children and adults might plausibly claim to believe in Santa Claus. An adult might believe in Santa, in the sense of choosing to engage in a particular social practice; likewise, the NOC-believer chooses to (...) take part in the social practices of prayer and worship. The comparison is used as a basis for illustrating some of the difficulties with the NOC-believer's position. (shrink)
This paper examines some aspects of the cultural codes implied in the iconography of St Nicholas (Santa Claus). The argument posits the iconography of St Nicholas as a vessel for capturing meanings and accumulating them in the construction of public culture. The discussion begins from the earliest developments of the Christian era and proceeds to contemporary depictions (imagology). The study is conducted on the basis of a representative selection of renditions of Saint Nicholas, including 350 pictures of medieval representations (...) (Western and Eastern Christianity), folk extensions and secular representations and it is theoretically grounded in the Tartu School of semiotics. (shrink)
A Christmas season wouldn’t be complete without the annual complaint that the holiday has become too commercialized and that we need to put Christ back into Christmas, that he is the reason for the season. This gripe is not only misguided but has things backwards – Santa Claus is a better representative of the true spirit of Christmas than Jesus ever was or ever could be. As we will see, Christmas was a commercial enterprise in its very origin. Since (...) it was a Christian sales job from the start, it is rather hypocritical to condemn its current retail qualities. But perhaps such hypocrisy isn’t all that bad. In his book Beyond Good and Evil (1886), the great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche inquires into the value of truth and decides that there may be considerable merit in untruth, uncertainty, and ignorance. Nietzsche argues that there is no problem with believing and promulgating fables; the issue is simply which myths are outdated and obsolete, and which ones are socially useful and enhance our lives. I’ll consider Nietzsche’s thoughts on why it was once valuable to believe in God, and why he thinks that is no longer true. Then I’ll argue that the myth of Santa Claus is a finer modern fairy tale, and a truer exemplar of the spirit of Christmas, than the story of Jesus Christ. Santa may be no more real, but he is a more useful fiction. (shrink)
Written for a symposium in the University of San Diego Law School in September 2013 on Laurence Claus, Law’s Evolution and Human Understanding, this article appears in the final issue of volume 52 of the San Diego Law Review. With new illustrations and considerations suggested by the book, the article argues for a number of theses: “Because I/we say so” is never a reasonable ground or formulation of authoritative acts such as enactments or parental or other orders. The moral (...) authority of rule makers is never peremptory in a binary as distinct from presumptive and defeasible sense. Deliberation towards the exercise or acceptance of authority is never primarily a matter of prediction or predictability of action, and is always a matter, rather, of purpose, and of creation by intelligent design than of non-purposive evolution. Those who exercise authority have no right to be obeyed, and the persons with the right correlative to a duty of compliance are those for whose benefit the rule or order was made and/or those who comply with it. The authority to make rules is a responsibility to serve the true interests of a community to which those subject to the rule belong. (shrink)
W NINIEJSZYM opracowaniu analizuję klauzulę dobra wspólnego zawartą w art. 1 Konstytucji Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej z 2 kwietnia 1997 r., zmierzając do uwyraźnienia, w jakim sensie można mówić o jej prawnonaturalnym charakterze (zatem i do zarysowania możliwych znaczeń zwrotu "prawnonaturalny charakter klauzuli dobra wspólnego") oraz do ujawnienia „momentów" prawnonaturalnych, które mogą wchodzić w grę przy interpretacji tej klauzuli.
For several years now, early cinema historians have developed certain notions that can help us define, in a much broader context, the axes of research in intermedial studies. Even though I’ll be giving it a slightly different importance, the notion I will be borrowing from these historians here is that of the “parameter.” Work by André Gaudreault and Philippe Marion on the emergence of the cinematographic medium relies on the idea that the medium appears as the result of a choice (...) made by the historian. To write the history of any given medium and separate it into periods, one must also select the components “that gathered together as a way of giving ‘birth’ to that medium at.. (shrink)