Huey P. Newton, founder of the Black Panther Party, is perhaps one of the most interesting and intriguing American intellectuals from the last half of the 20th century. Newton’s genius rested in his ability to amalgamate and synthesize others’ thinking, and then reinterpreting and making it relevant to the situation that existed in the United States in his time, particularly for African-Americans in the densely populated urban centers in the North and West. Newton saw himself continuing the Marxist-Leninist tradition and (...) one of the most important aspects of his thought was his reinterpretation of Marxist class structure. This paper presents Newton’s position that it is the urban poor—who Newton identifies with the lumpenproletariat—that act as the revolutionary class that will bring about a change in the socio-economic order. To that end, there is first a discussion of Newton’s view of the lumpenproletariat and how it differs from the traditional Marxist understanding. Then there is an explanation of the role of the vanguard and its relationship to the lumpenproletariat. The paper concludes with a comparison of Frantz Fanon’s and Newton’s understanding of the lumpenproletariat, and responds to the “problem of lumpenization” in the Black Panther Party. (shrink)
This article is a discussion of the political thought of Huey P. Newton, and by extension, the theory and practice of the Black Panther Party. More specifically, this article will explore a tension that exists between Newton's theory of Intercommunalism and the Black Panther Party Platform. To that end, there is, first, a discussion of the ideological development of the Black Panther Party, which culminated in Newton's theory of Intercommunalism. Second, there is a presentation of what will be broadly construed (...) as the Party Platform, which articulates the basic principles and practices of the Black Panther Party. Finally, there is a discussion of several ways in which there seems to be a conflict between Newton's ideology and his political practice. While some are only apparent contradictions, there does remain a deep conflict between the dialectical basis of Intercommunalism and the foundational basis of the Party Platform. (shrink)
This essay is a review of Daniel Garber's "Descartes' Metaphysical Physics" (Chicago U P 1992) and Michael Friedman's "Kant and the Exact Sciences" (Harvard U P 1992). Garber's study of Descartes is scrupulous but his historicist assumptions result in a failure to grasp Descartes' originality or the unity and power of his thought. Friedman, by taking Kant's conception of science seriously, sheds great light on Kant's thought generally and implicitly raises important philosophical problems for the present day.
In his early, unpublished “Spirit of Christianit y and Its Fate,” Hegel used the term Wechsel-Stil to refer to a st yle of writing he considered inappropriate for the expression of feeling. The term seems to appear nowhere else in German literature, and its meaning has puzzled his readers. My suggestion: Hegel coined the term Wechsel-Stil to render in German the Greek word τροπή (trope). He wanted to say that the figurative language of tropes was not a natural way to (...) put feelings into words. (shrink)
The principle of informed consent is now well established within the National Health Service (NHS) in relation to any type of medical treatment. However, this ethical principle appears to be far less well established in relation to medical screening programmes such as Britain's national cervical screening programme. This article will critically examine the case for health care providers vigorously pursuing women to accept an invitation to be screened. It will discuss the type of information which women would need in order (...) to make an informed decision about whether or not to be screened. The lack of such information in current patient leaflets on the "smear test" will then be documented. Finally, the article will explore possible ways of maximising women's autonomy in relation to the cervical screening programme without sacrificing any of its main benefits. (shrink)
An experimental survey was undertakento explore the links between thecharacteristics of a moral issue, the degree ofmoral intensity/moral imperative associatedwith the issue, and people'sstated willingness to pay for policy toaddress the issue. Two farm animal welfareissues were chosen for comparison and thecontingent valuation method was used to elicitpeople's wtp. The findings of the surveysuggest that increases in moral characteristicsdo appear to result in an increase in moralintensity and the degree of moral imperativeassociated with an issue. Moreover, there was apositive link (...) between moral intensity/moralimperative associated with an issue andpeople's stated wtp for policy to address theissue. The paper discusses the relevance of thefindings of the survey in the context of thedebate concerning the relationship betweenmoral and economic values and the use of thecontingent valuation method to estimatepeople's wtp of policy options with moraldimensions. (shrink)
When discussing Eastern philosophy there is often a difficulty since characteristically Eastern ways of thinking do not map well onto Western philosophic categories. Yet, P. J. Ivanhoe suggests that a careful reading of Confucianism can illuminate and expand Western approaches to ethics. Ivanhoe maintains that the best way to understand Confucian ethics is as a hybrid of virtue ethics and consequentialism, a view he calls character consequentialism (CC). The paper will progress in the following way. First, I present Ivanhoe’s conception (...) of character consequentialism. Second, I discuss how CC, particularly as it is developed by Charles Goodman as a way to interpret Mahayana Buddhist ethics, relates to aspects of Mill’s utilitarianism. This suggests that there is nothing especially new about CC. However, the similarities actually underscore the ways that Eastern and Western ethical theories can illuminate each other. Finally, I respond to Damien Keown’s concern that CC is hopeless confused. (shrink)
Context Physicians are regularly confronted with research that is funded or presented by industry. Objective To assess whether physicians discount for conflicts of interest when weighing evidence for prescribing a new drug. Design and setting Participants were presented with an abstract from a single clinical trial finding positive results for a fictitious new drug. Physicians were randomly assigned one version of a hypothetical scenario, which varied on conflict of interest: ‘presenter conflict’, ‘researcher conflict’ and ‘no conflict’. Participants 515 randomly selected (...) Fellows in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network; 253 surveys (49%) were returned. Main object measures The self-reported likelihood that physicians would prescribe the new drug as a first-line therapy. Results Physicians do not significantly discount for conflicts of interest in their self-reported likelihood of prescribing the new drug after reading the single abstract and scenario. However, when asked explicitly to compare conflict and no conflict, 69% report that they would discount for researcher conflict and 57% report that they would discount for presenter conflict. When asked to guess how favourable the results of this study were towards the new drug, compared with the other trials published so far, their perceptions were not significantly influenced by conflict of interest information. Conclusion While physicians believe that they should discount the value of information from conflicted sources, they did not do so in the absence of a direct comparison between two studies. This brings into question the effectiveness of merely disclosing the funding sources of published studies. (shrink)