Over the last several years, as cesarean deliveries have grown increasingly common, there has been a great deal of public and professional interest in the phenomenon of women 'choosing' to deliver by cesarean section in the absence of any specific medical indication. The issue has sparked intense conversation, as it raises questions about the nature of autonomy in birth. Whereas mainstream bioethical discourse is used to associating autonomy with having a large array of choices, this conception of autonomy does not (...) seem adequate to capture concerns and intuitions that have a strong grip outside this discourse. An empirical and conceptual exploration of how delivery decisions ought to be negotiated must be guided by a rich understanding of women's agency and its placement within a complicated set of cultural meanings and pressures surrounding birth. It is too early to be 'for' or 'against' women's access to cesarean delivery in the absence of traditional medical indications – and indeed, a simple pro- or con- position is never going to do justice to the subtlety of the issue. The right question is not whether women ought to be allowed to choose their delivery approach but, rather, taking the value of women's autonomy in decision-making around birth as a given, what sorts of guidelines, practices, and social conditions will best promote and protect women's full inclusion in a safe and positive birth process. (shrink)
We argue that critiques of political process theory are beginning to coalesce into new approach to social movements--a "multi-institutional politics" approach. While the political process model assumes that domination is organized by and around one source of power, the alternative perspective views domination as organized around multiple sources of power, each of which is simultaneously material and symbolic. We examine the conceptions of social movements, politics, actors, goals, and strategies supported by each model, demonstrating that the view of society and (...) power underlying the political process model is too narrow to encompass the diversity of contemporary change efforts. Through empirical examples, we demonstrate that the alternative approach provides powerful analytical tools for the analysis of a wide variety of contemporary change efforts. (shrink)
This report outlines the findings from a Delphi study designed to establish consensus on the definitions of cognitive style and learning style amongst an international style researcher community. The study yields long-needed definitions for each construct that reflect high levels of agreement. In a field that has been criticised for a bewildering array of definitions and a proliferation of terms and concepts, this study represents an important step to address confusion in the meaning of the two terms. New researchers interested (...) in styles are encouraged to draw on these definitions when developing new research agendas aimed at deepening our understanding of style as a core construct in educational psychology. (shrink)
This study describes people's repetitive talk when playing with dogs and explores three hypotheses about that talk. Each of 23 people played with two dogs . Videorecorded participants spoke about 208 words per interaction. Of all words used, eight accounted for more than 50%. Phrases most frequently used and repeated were "come on" and "come here. " In decreasing order of frequency, sentences ranged from imperatives to attention-getting devices, declaratives about the dogs, and questions. Additional declaratives and talk for the (...) dog rarely occurred. Data support the conclusion that repetitive talk to dogs during play has some conversational aspects, but mostly attempts to control the dog. Little evidence exists for "on-line" planning in talk to dogs. (shrink)
This is the first of two volumes announcing the emergence of the new legal realism as a field of study. At a time when the legal academy is turning to social science for new approaches, these volumes chart a new course for interdisciplinary research by synthesizing law on the ground, empirical research, and theory. Volume 1 lays the groundwork for this novel and comprehensive approach with an innovative mix of theoretical, historical, pedagogical, and empirical perspectives. Their empirical work covers such (...) wide-ranging topics as the financial crisis, intellectual property battles, the legal disenfranchisement of African-American landowners, and gender and racial prejudice on law school faculties. The methodological blueprint offered here will be essential for anyone interested in the future of law-and-society. (shrink)
These essays represent an important contribution to modern philosophical theology. They begin with an appreciation of Basil Mitchell's work and then discuss the role of reason in the justification of Christian theism, giving special attention to the nature of informal reasoning in religion and science. The latter essays examine particular arguments raised by specific religious concepts, covering such topics as the problem of evil, conspicuous sanctity, atonement, and the Eucharist. Drawn from a wide spectrum of philosophers and theologians, the (...) contributors include Maurice Wiles, Grace M. Jantzen, Gordon Kaufman, J.R. Lucas, Rom Harr'e, Richard Swinburne, and Michael Dummett. (shrink)
Near the beginning of the last chapter of Life's Dominion, Ronald Dworkin expounds the following problem. Margo has Alzheimer's disease. She suffers from ‘serious and permanent dementia’. It transpires that some years ago, at a time when she was mentally fully competent, Margo executed an advance directive. In this formal document she expressed her wishes concerning what should happen to her if she were to develop Alzheimer's. Should those wishes now be acceded to? For instance, suppose that in her document (...) Margo directed that she should not receive treatment for any life-threatening illness she might contract. Should a doctor therefore now refrain from such treatment? What if, more than this, Margo indicated in her will that after the definitive onset of Alzheimer's ‘she should be killed as soon and as painlessly as possible’? Could it possibly be right to grant that request? (shrink)
Many philosophers have declared that everything which exists is a particular. There is a weak interpretation of this doctrine which I believe to be a true proposition, and a strong one which I believe to be false.
The Bhagavad-Gītā is the most important text in the smrti literature of India, as distinct from the śruti literature which is traditionally regarded as ultimately authoritative. The Bhagavad-Gītā has been assigned a date ranging from the fifth century B.C. to the second century B.C. The Indian religious tradition places the Gītā at the end of the third age of the present cycle of the universe and the beginning of the fourth, namely the Kali Yuga to which we belong.
‘I can't believe that,’ said Alice. ‘Can't you?’ the Queen said in a pitying tone. ‘Try again: draw a long breath and shut your eyes.’ Alice laughed. ‘There's no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can't believe impossible things.’ ‘I dare say you haven't had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘Why sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.’.
It is a pity that the question about the proper purpose of law has so often been formulated in terms of ‘the enforcement of morals’. Not only is that issue highly charged with emotion, but the sense of the expression is unclear and, taken in any ordinary sense, its importance is marginal. What Lord Devlin seems chiefly to be arguing, when he supports the enforcement of morals, is that there are in any society certain central institutions which receive and deserve (...) protection by law and that without such protection the society in question would disintegrate. His examples in our own society are monogamy and private property. It is true that these institutions are closely bound up with parts of our morality in two different ways: certain moral prohibitions are defined in terms of them, e.g. adultery and theft; a host of obligations is associated with them upon whose general acceptance and discharge their continuance depends. But it is only in an extended sense that one could describe the institutions themselves as parts of the common morality. It is possible, therefore, to hold that the law may properly be used to protect such institutions without necessarily taking the further step of maintaining that their protection requires and justifies legal prohibition of acts which offend against the associated morality. Professor Hart states this position clearly : ‘What is essential and to be preserved is the essential core. On this footing it would be an open and empirical question whether any particular moral rule or veto, e.g. on homosexuality, adultery or fornication, is so organically connected with the central core that its maintenance and preservation is required as a vital outwork or bastion.’. (shrink)
Spelman has famously argued against gender realism (the view that women have some social feature in common that makes them women). Many feminist philosophers have accepted Spelman’s argument and gender realist positions are, generally speaking, rejected. I show that Spelman’s arguments are inadequate and do not give good reasons to reject gender realism per se. I also propose a gender realist position that makes use of David Armstrong’s work on complex universals.