The gift of life argument, the claim that suicide is immoral because our lives are not ours to dispose of as we are their guardians or stewards, is a persistent theme in debates about the morality of suicide, assisted-suicide, and euthanasia. I argue that this argument suffers from a fatal internal incoherence. The gift can either be interpreted literally or analogically. If it is interpreted literally there are serious problems in understanding who receives the gift. If it is understood analogically (...) the question arises whether the gift is understood to be a finite or everlasting existence. If it is finite then it is hard to see how one can be punished for bringing that existence to an end for one will not be around to be punished. If the existence is infinite it is impossible to see how one can be punished for ending one’s life because one cannot end it. However, there is still ethical mileage to be gained from the description of life as a gift and in the concluding section I indicate one way in which this is so. (shrink)
Over the past 10 years the sales of Fair Trade goods - particularly those carrying the Fair Trade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) certification mark - have grown exponentially. Academic interest in Fair Trade has also grown significantly over the past decade with researchers analysing the model from a wide range of theoretical perspectives. Whilst Fair Trade is generally acknowledged as a new supply chain model, it has tended to be studied at the micro/organisational level rather than at the macro/systems level. (...) As a consequence, its wider impact as institutional innovation at the field level appears to have been under-theorised so far. In order to address this research gap, this article uses a neo-institutionalist perspective to analyse Fair Trade not simply as a new exchange model working within existing organisational and economic structures, but rather as an agent of institutional entrepreneurship at, and beyond, the field level. From this latter perspective, Fair Trade brings a new set of transformational meanings to extant exchange and consumption models and reforms fields of economic exchange by disrupting and then re-assembling key institutional elements around modern consumption to roll back commodity fetishism and reconnect consumers and producers. The type of institutional change driven by Fair Trade can be seen as a form of social entrepreneurship. (shrink)
This article examines the post-9/11 policing of points of entry and transfer at US airports and the ways these points become “forbidden places” to those deemed undesirable, in order to expose the ambiguity of forbiddenness with respect to place. It uses Michel Foucault’s theory of biopolitics to argue that the War on Terror has created a class of expendable non-persons whose legal identities (citizenships) are not acknowledged and Giorgio Agamben’s analysis of “the camp” as a metaphor for the spaces in (...) airports that are neither entirely inside nor outside a national jurisdiction. This discussion takes place, in part, through the case study of suspected terrorist Maher Arar, arguing that his case shows the displacement of our sense of prohibition, away from spaces and onto persons. (shrink)
This paper describes the research carried out into small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and corporate responsibility (CR) in the Northwest of England during Phase I of Responsibility Northwest, a partnership programme designed to significantly increase the CR of the region. By engaging with significant numbers of SMEs and SME support providers across the region, key insights were gained in three key areas: • The current attitudes to, understanding of, and management of CR issues in the SME sector.• The barriers to (...) greater implementation of CR management.• The opportunities for overcoming the barriers and improving regional CR. The research revealed a large diversity both in terms of understanding of the issues and their management. Seven key barriers to improve CR performance were identified which centred round the inappropriateness and inaccessibility of current CR approaches and support services on CR, certain characteristics of SMEs which tend to reduce their interest and opportunities for engaging in CR activities and supply-chain barriers. Fortunately there was significant agreement on the mechanisms which should be used to overcome these barriers, in particular the importance of delivering CR support through existing business networks that are valued and trusted by SMEs. These results have been used to create the partnership programme, Responsibility Northwest Phase II that runs until 2008 and aims to significantly increase the overall CR of Northwest England. (shrink)
In his article ‘The case against ethics review in the social sciences’, Schrag asserts that the social sciences should not be subject to ethical review. He recounts a number of examples where ethical review has seemingly failed. He further suggests some alternative models for dealing with ethical review in the social sciences. Finally, he concludes, and we concur, that there is a lack of empirical evidence as to the benefit of research ethics review.
Urban agriculture in Cuba has rapidly become a significant source of fresh produce for the urban and suburban populations. A large number of urban gardens in Havana and other major cities have emerged as a grassroots movement in response to the crisis brought about by the loss of trade, with the collapse of the socialist bloc in 1989. These gardens are helping to stabilize the supply of fresh produce to Cuba's urban centers. During 1996, Havana's urban farms provided the city's (...) urban population with 8,500 tons of agricultural produce, 4 million dozens of flowers, 7.5 million eggs, and 3,650 tons of meat. This system of urban agriculture, composed of about 8,000 gardens nationwide has been developed and managed along agroecological principles, which eliminate the use of synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilizers, emphasizing diversification, recycling, and the use of local resources. This article explores the systems utilized by Cuba's urban farmers, and the impact that this movement has had on Cuban food security. (shrink)
Newborn screening is the programme through which newborn babies are screened for a variety of conditions shortly after birth. Programmes such as this are individually oriented but resemble traditional public health programmes because they are targeted at large groups of the population and they are offered as preventive interventions to a population considered healthy. As such, an ethical tension exists between the goals of promoting the high uptake of supposedly ‘effective’ population-oriented programmes and the goal of promoting genuinely informed decision-making. (...) There is, however, a lack of understanding with regard to how parents experience the tension between promoting uptake and facilitating informed choice. This paper addresses this issue, and data are presented to show how aspects of the timing, presentation of information and procedural routinisation of newborn screening serves to impact on the decisions made by parents. (shrink)
Two different types of functional dependencies are compared: dependencies that are functional due to the laws of nature and dependencies that are functional if all involved agents behave rationally. The first type of dependencies was axiomatized by Armstrong. This article gives a formal definition of the second type of functional dependencies in terms of strategic games and describes a sound and complete axiomatization of their properties. The axiomatization is significantly different from the Armstrong’s axioms.
The UK has a long established programme of newborn bloodspot screening. This operates under a model of informed choice. Understanding is central to the `informed’ element of an informed choice yet it is rarely assessed. To date most research within the context of newborn bloodspot screening has focussed on parental recall of information. In this paper I argue that simplistic assessments of knowledge through recall fail to reflect more complex notions of understanding. In support of this contention I draw on (...) qualitative interviews with parents of children who have undergone newborn bloodspot screening. (shrink)
Few thinkers have left such an influence across such a diverse range of studies as Michel Foucault has. This book pays homage to that diversity by presenting a multidisciplinary series of analyses dedicated to the question of power today.
Adaptation to right-shifting prisms improves left neglect for mental number line bisection. This study examined whether adaptation affects the mental number line in normal participants. Thirty-six participants completed a mental number line task before and after adaptation to either: left-shifting prisms, right-shifting prisms or control spectacles that did not shift the visual scene. Participants viewed number triplets (e.g. 16, 36, 55) and determined whether the numerical distance was greater on the left or right side of the inner number. Participants demonstrated (...) a leftward bias (i.e. overestimated the length occupied by numbers located on the left side of the number line) that was consistent with the effect of pseudoneglect. The leftward bias was corrected by a short period of visuomotor adaptation to left-shifting prisms, but remained unaffected by adaptation to right-shifting prisms and control spectacles. The findings demonstrate that a simple visuomotor task alters the representation of space on the mental number line in normal participants. (shrink)
This article examines the respective interpretations of the Arrernte tribe of central Australian Aborigines adopted by the English biologist Baldwin Spencer and the German missionary Carl Strehlow. These interpretations are explored in relation to the broader theoretical debates in the theory of myth that took place in England and Germany in the latter half of the 19th century. In Britain, these debates were initially shaped by the comparative philology of F. Max Müller, before being transformed by the evolutionism of Edward (...) Burnett Tylor and James George Frazer. The article shows how the research of Spencer and Strehlow was both influenced by and exerted an influence upon these theoretical debates, before assessing their research findings in relation to the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer and the theories of myth offered by Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer and Hans Blumenberg. (shrink)
Music and Social Justice Protests demanding social justice as the alternative to an unacceptable status quo have been mounted in response to war, political and social inequality, poverty, and other constraints on economic and development opportunities. Although social justice is typically thought of as a political agenda, many justice movements have used music as a […].
An emergent contradiction in the contemporary development of biological control is that of the prevalence of the substitution of periodic releases of natural enemies for chemical insecticides and the dominance of biotechnologically developed transgenic crops. Input substitution leaves in place the monoculture nature of agroecosystems, which in itself is a key factor in encouraging pest problems. Biotechnology, now under corporate control, creates more dependency and can potentially lead to Bt resistance, thus excluding from the market a key biopesticide. Approaches for (...) putting back biological control into the hands of farmers (from artesanal biotechnology for grassroots biopesticide production Cuban style to farmer-to-farmer IPM networks, etc.) have been developed as a way to create a farmer centered approach to biological control. (shrink)
This article examines how undocumented immigrants mobilize for greater rights in inhospitable political and discursive environments. We would expect that such environments would dissuade this particularly vulnerable group of immigrants from mobilizing in high profile campaigns because such campaigns would carry high risks (deportation) and have little chance of success. However, we have witnessed many mobilizations by undocumented immigrants in both Europe and the United States over the past 20 years. This article uses the case of undocumented youths in the (...) United States (DREAMers) to examine how a group of undocumented immigrants have overcome important barriers and become a powerful voice for immigrant rights in the country. The article suggests that while undocumented immigrants faced inhospitable contexts, cracks and “niche-openings” they continued to present themselves to groups with the right set of cultural, legal, and economic attributes. Immigrants in possession of these attributes (in this case, youth) could target a niche-opening and argue that they are particularly deserving of legalization. This article also highlights an important dilemma: In contexts characterized by general closure and hostility, narrow mobilizations targeting niche-openings provide the only path to legal status for some, but they can also differentiate (discursively and legally) between “deserving” and “undeserving” undocumented immigrants. Differentiation can contribute to stratifying the immigrant population, with those deemed more deserving facing greater rights and entitlements and those deemed less deserving facing greater restrictions and repression. This carries the risk of magnifying normative and legal inequalities between immigrant groups while introducing many points of conflict within the broader immigrant rights movement. (shrink)
We think that Kripke’s arguments that there are contingent a priori truths and that there are necessary a posteriori truths about named and essentially described entities fail. They fail for the reasons that there are ambiguities in each of the three eases. In the first ease, what is known apriori is not what is contingent. In the latter two cases, what is necessary or essential is not what is known a posteriori.
In this paper, I examine the ways bell hooks has adapted the model of liberatory pedagogy that Brazilian educator Paulo Freire expounded in Pedagogy of the Oppressed to the students one encounters in the significantly more materially privileged North American context. I begin with an overview of Freire's idea of educating the oppressed about oppression and then move to examination of the different, yet related, challenge that hooks is taking on: educating the privileged about oppression. I deploy these analyses of (...) emancipatory teaching in two different contexts, both grounded in a philosophy of love, in order to show the extent to which this theorizing has helped those of us who attempt to advance a progressive politics in wealthy and/or privileged societies. (shrink)
This paper explores how sustainability has been integrated into and communicated in Canadian Master’s of Business Administration programs. We content analyzed university, business school, and MBA program mission and values statements; communicated strategic priorities; and relevant academic calendar content, as well as sustainability rankings and select media depictions of sustainable MBA programs and practices. We explore the potential for greenwashing practices in relation to the integration of sustainability in business education. We found some evidence of a decoupling between university and/or (...) business school mission and claims, and MBA policies and practices. We conclude with a discussion of our findings, study limitations and some relevant implications for academia. (shrink)
The article studies properties of interchangeability of pure, mixed, strict, and strict mixed Nash equilibria. The main result is a sound and complete axiomatic system that describes properties of interchangeability in all four settings. It has been previously shown that the same axiomatic system also describes properties of independence in probability theory, nondeducibility in information flow, and non-interference in concurrency theory.
Debate concerning virtual reality is often drawn in terms of sharply defined dichotomies--for example, between "real" (or "actual") and "virtual," "authentic" and "inauthentic," and "natural" and "artificial." In this paper we offer an alternative approach by suggesting a conception of a virtual world that highlights a continuity and commonality with our sense of everyday reality. We accomplish this in part by an examination of the English picturesque garden as if it were a virtual world partially constructed out of ideas and (...) objects collected during travels to foreign lands on the Grand Tour. Such foreign travel transformed not only the English person's sense of self, but also altered the English landscape. We conclude that in one sense the "real" England is also a "virtual" reality. (shrink)
This article responds to Terry Eagleton's claim that Spivak's latest book, A Critique of Postcolonial Reason, works against the intent of postcolonial criticism. Reading the work as a search for a just representational strategy, we explore the implications of Spivak's engagement with philosophy - Kant, Hegel, and Marx. As a disciplinary machine, philosophy produces Western subjects who are engendered by simultaneously including and excluding the other. Working through this production of the double location of the 'other' we suggest that systematic (...) thought is inhabited by an absence that is present within, a disturbing otherness that ultimately questions authority and stability, and opens up the question of politics and representation. Drawing Spivak into the representational problematic opened up by Lyotard, we suggest that a responsible postcolonial intervention can be performed in the difficult exergue between representability and unrepresentability. In this account, representation is open to invention, to finding new idioms for articulating otherness. (shrink)
Over the last 20 years, the global North has witnessed the growing prominence of immigrant rights movements. This article examines how this highly stigmatized population has achieved a certain degree of legitimacy in hostile political environments. The central claim of the article is that this kind of legitimacy is initially achieved through the efforts of activists to represent undocumented immigrants in ways that resonate with the normative values of the nation. The author examines how activist networks are formed to present (...) their cases within national political fields and the effects of this process on the political identities of immigrants and their respective citizenship regimes. The process of gaining legitimacy is contradictory. It contributes to nationalizing the political identities of foreigners and reproducing the exclusionary logic of national citizenship regimes. But in doing this, it encourages those who cannot conform to national values to embrace more radical and universal conceptions of rights. The generation of competing discourses and notions of rights therefore arises through struggles to make undocumented immigrants into legitimate political subjects. (shrink)