Taken as a philosophical issue, the idea of representation implies the prior assumption of a difference between reality and its “doubles.” Things are paired with images, concepts, or symbols, acts with rules and norms, events with structures. Traditionally, the problem with representations has been their “accuracy,” the degree of fit between reality and its reproductions in the mind. When philosophers lost the hope of ever determining accuracy , they found consolation in the test of usefulness: a good representation is one (...) that works. The proof of its working is that it enables us to act on the world together.1 In such a frame, science, including anthropology, is conceived as the pursuit of privileged representations, privileged in that, by their nature of by their combination, they establish knowledge of a special kind. In the case of anthropology, “culture” has served as a sort of umbrella concept for representations. The strcuturalists have been most explicit about the need to think of representation in the plural, but their position is shared, in varying degrees, by all those who conceive of knowledge as the selection and combination of signs in systems, patterns, or structures, in short, as some kind of conceptual order ruling perceptual chaos. 1. Remember the connection between the Kantian quest for synthetic forms and Émile Durkheim’s idea of collective representations sustained by the moral authority of a society. Durkheim certainly was one to look for the “ethic” in the “ethnic” primitive, and it makes me wonder whether Stephen A. Tyler’s characterization of postmodern ethnography as a return to “an earlier and more powerful notion of the ethical character of all discourse, as captured in the ancient significance of the family of terms ‘ethos,’ ‘ethnos,’ ‘ethics’” might not signal a return to the Durkheimian fold . Johannes Fabian is professor of cultural anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. His publications include Jamaa: A Charismatic Movement in Katanga , Time and the Other: How Anthropology Makes Its Object , and Language and Colonial Power: The Appropriation of Swahili in the Former Belgian Congo, 1880-1938 . Two books will appear in 1990: History from Below: The Vocabulary of Elisabethville by André Yav, a commented edition-translation of a colonial history written in Swahili by the colonized for the colonized, and Power and Performance, a study of conceptions of power through popular wisdom and theater in Shaba/Zaire. (shrink)
This book collects published and unpublished work over the last dozen years by one of today's most distinguished and provocative anthropologists. Johannes Fabian is widely known outside of his discipline because his work so often overcomes traditional scholarly boundaries to bring fresh insight to central topics in philosophy, history, and cultural studies. The first part of the book addresses questions of current critical concern. The second part extends the work of critique into the past by examining the beginning of (...) modern ethnography in the exploration of Central Africa during the late nineteenth century: the justification of a scientific attitude and the collecting of ethnographic objects. A final essay examines how the Congolese have returned the 'imperial gaze' of Belgium by the work of critical memory in popular history. The ten chapters are framed by two meditations on the relevance of theory and the irrelevance of the millennium. (shrink)
Human Biological Materials are an invaluable resource in biomedical research. Objective To determine if researchers and a Research Ethics Committee at a South African institution addressed ethical issues pertaining to HBMs in collaborative research with developed countries. Study Design Ethically approved retrospective cross-sectional descriptive audit. Results Of the 1305 protocols audited, 151 fulfilled the study's inclusion criteria. Compared to other developed countries, a majority of sponsors were from the USA . The principle investigators in all 151 protocols informed the REC (...) of their intent to store HBMs. Only 132 protocols informed research participants . In 148 protocols informed consent was obtained from research participants, 116 protocols solicited broad consent compared to specific consent [p < 0.0001]. In 105 cases a code was used to maintain confidentiality. HBMs were anonymised in 14 protocols [p < 0.0001]. More protocols informed the REC than the research participants that HBMs would be exported . Export permits and Material Transfer Agreements were not available in 109 and 143 protocols, respectively. Conclusions Researchers and the REC did not adequately address the inter-related ethical and regulatory issues pertaining to HBMs. There was a lack of congruence between the ethical guidelines of developed countries and their actions which are central to the access to HBMs in collaborative research. HBMs may be leaving South Africa without EPs and MTAs during the process of international collaborative research. (shrink)
The world’s first living donor liver transplant from an HIV-positive mother to her HIV-negative child, performed by our team in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2017, was necessitated by disease profile and health system challenges. In our country, we have a major shortage of donor organs, which compels us to consider innovative solutions to save lives. Simultaneously, the transition of the HIV pandemic, from a death sentence to a chronic illness with excellent survival on treatment required us to rethink our policies (...) regarding HIV infection and living donor liver transplantation. Although HIV infection in the donor is internationally considered an absolute contraindication for transplant to an HIV-negative recipient, there have been a very small number of unintentional transplants from HIV-positive deceased donors to HIV-negative recipients. These transplant recipients do well on antiretroviral medication and their graft survival is not compromised. We have had a number of HIV-positive parents in our setting express a desire to be living liver donors for their critically ill children. Declining these parents as living donors has become increasingly unjustifiable given the very small deceased donor pool in SA; and because many of these parents are virally suppressed and would otherwise fulfil our eligibility criteria as living donors. This paper discusses the evolution of HIV and transplantation in SA, highlights some of the primary ethical considerations for us when embarking on this case and considers the new ethical issues that have arisen since we undertook this transplant. (shrink)
Peirce's "Neglected Argument" uses more or less standard logical vocabulary, such as "argument," "retroduction," "premise," "conclusion," and "hypothesis." There cannot be any doubt, however, that the musement process as he characterizes it must be regarded as a semiotic process—that is, one that relates a sign to an object by way of forming an interpretant. This assumption follows from the simple observation that, according to Peirce, all processes of thought are semiotically structured. What is more, Peirce quite often uses the term (...) 'argument' for a specific class of sign—namely, one that distinctly indicates1 or represents2 its conclusion. In addition, three years before his 1908... (shrink)
The place of play in the education of young children has been the focus of much interest in the past. But the findings from this research project demonstrate that there remains a significant amount of confusion about the role that play has in young children's education. In particular we found that there is a clear distinction between the rhetoric and reality of play in the reception class. Further, there was evidence of real anguish for some early years workers who were (...) failing to offer the play activities that they knew should be provided. These findings are particularly interesting at present, since the debate on the role of play has once again emerged as fundamental in the attempt to define a curriculum appropriate to the needs of the 3-6 year olds who, from the year 2000, will be required to work within the highly contentious Foundation Stage of the National Curriculum. (shrink)
I review the present status of the problem of initial conditions for inflation and describe several ways to solve this problem for many popular inflationary models, including the recent generation of the models with plateau potentials favored by cosmological observations.
Within the Participatory Design community as well as the Computer Supported Cooperative Work tradition, a lot of effort has been put into the question of letting field studies inform design. In this paper, we describe how game-like approaches can be used as a way of exploring a practice from a design point of view. Thinking of ethnographic fieldwork as a base for sketching, rather than descriptions, creates openness that invites collaborative authoring. The concept of playful collaborative exploration suggests certain ways (...) of interacting with material from field studies so that it becomes a design material for an open-ended design process. We have carried out field studies, transformed the field material into design material, and set up a design game for working with it together with the people we followed in the field. The design game builds on an idea about the power of narratives and the benefits of constraining rules. We believe that this framework for collaboration opens for playfulness, experimentation, and new design ideas. (shrink)
Economists, in stressing the prescriptive implications of their analysis, typically have ignored the potential contributions of their theorems and methodological principles to the understanding of human behavior as an end in itself. The purpose of the paper is to establish the principle, by detailed reference to the literature of economics, that the 'deductive pattern of explanation' constitutes a valid approach to the general study of human behavior. As such, it is a potentially useful method of analysis in the other social (...) sciences. Literature from the philosophy of social science bearing on the applicability of deductive theory to the study of human behavior is subjected to detailed critical analysis. (shrink)
Life is a compelling addition to the Darwin College Lecture Series, in which eight distinguished authors each present an essay from their area of expertise devoted to the theme of 'life'. The book forges connections between art, science and the humanities in a vibrant and thought-provoking collection that exposes both conventional and unconventional views on the meaning of life, the enigmatic boundaries between the living and the dead, and what may or may not follow afterwards. This collection arises from the (...) Darwin College Lecture Series of 2012 and includes contributions from eight distinguished scholars, all of whom are held in esteem not only for their research, but also for their ability to communicate their subject to popular audiences. (shrink)
This book brings together researchers from a range of disciplines that use diverse methodologies to provide new perspectives and formulate answers to questions about the meaning, means, and contextualisation of expressive performance in music.