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)
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)
Obwohl in nahezu allen Ethiklehrbüchern auf den grundsätzlichen Gegensatz zwischen deontologischen und konsequentialistischen Theorien hingewiesen wird, ist unklar, was eigentlich unter Deontologie zu verstehen ist. Das traditionelle und vielleicht immer noch beliebteste Unterscheidungskriterium zwischen beiden Arten von Theorien ist die moralische Relevanz der Handlungskonsequenzen. Wie ich zeigen will, werden aber gerade mit diesem Kriterium deontologische Theorien meist falsch und als ziemlich unplausible Theorien charakterisiert. Dieses falsche Verständnis deontologischer Theorien, das ich als „absolutistisches Missverständnis der Deontologie“ bezeichnen werde, behandle ich im (...) zweiten Teil des Aufsatzes, nachdem im ersten Teil die Unterscheidung zwischen Deontologie und Konsequentialismus anhand des genannten Kriteriums geklärt worden ist. Im dritten Teil schließlich wird der Einwand entkräftet, dass das Kriterium unbrauchbar sei, weil es eine scharfe Trennung zwischen Handlungen und Konsequenzen voraussetze, die es so nicht gebe. Da dieser Einwand nicht stichhaltig ist, kann das Kriterium beibehalten werden, sofern man das absolutistische Missverständnis vermeidet. (shrink)
In this paper I argue for the following conclusions: 1. The widely shared beliefs that in utilitarianism and consequentialism (a) the good has priority over the right and (b) the right is derived from the good, are both false. 2. The most plausible components of utilitarianism that are used to present it as an intuitively compelling moral theory - welfarism, consequentialism and maximization - do not in fact support utilitarianism because they do not establish that the best state of affairs (...) is the one with the highest sum total of the non-moral good. These components cannot determine which state of affairs is the best and therefore leave it entirely open whether one should opt for distribution-insensitive utilitarianism or a distribution-sensitive welfarist consequentialism. Since this is left open, it is not the case that distribution-insensitive utilitarianism is the default option and every deviation from it towards a more just distribution needs to be defended against utilitarianism. Rather, in light of our moral intuitions and the persistence of the objection from justice against utilitarianism, it seems to be the other way round, that distribution-sensitivity is the default option and any deviation from it bears the burden of proof. (shrink)
This paper describes novel tobacco control laws passed in New York City in 2017. These laws are designed to improve the city's strategy of using price to decrease tobacco consumption, and over time, change the city's landscape by making tobacco less accessible.
Traditionell gilt der Utilitarismus als unvereinbar mit Verteilungsgerechtigkeit. In dem Aufsatz werden zunächst mögliche Gründe für diese Unvereinbarkeit unterschieden. Anschließend wird gezeigt, dass diese Gründe den Ausschluss von Verteilungsgerechtigkeit nicht rechtfertigen können. Insbesondere wird begründet, dass Welfarismus, Maximierung und Konsequentialismus entgegen der allgemein vertretenen Auffassung nicht unvereinbar mit Verteilungsgerechtigkeit sind. Da diese drei Komponenten von Utilitaristen als stärkste Gründe für ihre Theorie betrachtet werden, folgt, dass die besten Argumente für den Utilitarismus nicht zu dessen Begründung hinreichen. Man kann an allen (...) drei Komponenten festhalten und dennoch den Utilitarismus ablehnen. Berücksichtigt man zudem die intuitiv große moralische Bedeutung von Verteilungsgerechtigkeit, so sprechen alle vermeintlichen Argumente für den Utilitarismus in Wirklichkeit für einen distributionssensitiven Konsequentialismus. Die Argumentation in dem Aufsatz beruht wesentlich darauf, dass Verteilungsgerechtigkeit nicht als Gut, sondern als Prinzip des Rechten verstanden werden muss. (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)
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.
Cutting across boundaries of art and science, evolution is a fundamental process that has beguiled thinkers through the ages. This collection draws together world renowned thinkers and communicators with their own intriguing insights. In these essays they offer a feast of dazzling thoughts and ideas to challenge and enthrall the reader. Why and how do civilisations and societies change over time? Why do our cells develop the way they do? Why are some villages still villages while others have grown into (...) vast cities? Can we learn from our evolutionary past to plan a better future for our health and society? Tracing a line from the history of biological evolution, through the evolution of cultures, society, science and the universe, Evolution brings together intriguing parallels from all levels of life. From the evolution of the developing embryo to the evolution of a developing star, common threads develop into a fascinating story. (shrink)