In this paper, we explain and showcase the promising methodology of testimonial network analysis and visualization for experimental epistemology, arguing that it can be used to gain insights and answer philosophical questions in social epistemology. Our use case is the epistemic community that discusses vaccine safety primarily in English on Twitter. In two studies, we show, using both statistical analysis and exploratory data visualization, that there is almost no neutral or ambivalent discussion of vaccine safety on Twitter. Roughly half the (...) accounts engaging with this topic are pro-vaccine, while the other half are con-vaccine. We also show that these two camps rarely engage with one another, and that the con-vaccine camp has greater epistemic reach and receptivity than the pro-vaccine camp. In light of these findings, we question whether testimonial networks as they are currently constituted on popular fora such as Twitter are living up to their promise of delivering the wisdom of crowds. We conclude by pointing to directions for further research in digital social epistemology. (shrink)
Social epistemologists should be well-equipped to explain and evaluate the growing vulnerabilities associated with filter bubbles, echo chambers, and group polarization in social media. However, almost all social epistemology has been built for social contexts that involve merely a speaker-hearer dyad. Filter bubbles, echo chambers, and group polarization all presuppose much larger and more complex network structures. In this paper, we lay the groundwork for a properly social epistemology that gives the role and structure of networks their due. In particular, (...) we formally define epistemic constructs that quantify the structural epistemic position of each node within an interconnected network. We argue for the epistemic value of a structure that we call the (m,k)-observer. We then present empirical evidence that (m,k)-observers are rare in social media discussions of controversial topics, which suggests that people suffer from serious problems of epistemic vulnerability. We conclude by arguing that social epistemologists and computer scientists should work together to develop minimal interventions that improve the structure of epistemic networks. (shrink)
Debates over the 'end of art' have tended to obscure Hegel's work on the arts themselves. Benjamin Rutter opens this study with a defence of art's indispensability to Hegel's conception of modernity; he then seeks to reorient discussion toward the distinctive values of painting, poetry, and the novel. Working carefully through Hegel's four lecture series on aesthetics, he identifies the expressive possibilities particular to each medium. Thus, Dutch genre scenes animate the everyday with an appearance of vitality; metaphor frees (...) language from prose; and Goethe's lyrics revive the banal routines of love with imagination and wit. Rutter's important study reconstructs Hegel's view not only of modern art but of modern life and will appeal to philosophers, literary theorists, and art historians alike. (shrink)
Blighted and accursed families are an inescapable feature of Greek tragedy. N.J. Sewell-Rutter gives the familiar issues of inherited guilt, curses, and divine causation a fresh appraisal, with particular reference to Aeschylus' Seven against Thebes and the Phoenician Women of Euripides. All Greek quotations are translated.
Following thinkers of the archive such as Derrida, Foucault and Groys, among others, one of the ethical functions of the archive is to enable differentiation: to do archival work is to unlock difference. Yet how is one to deem the archival content outside of those moments in which we deliberately engage with it? More specifically, how is one to think the spectatorial relation to images that, assigned to the sequestered space of the archive, remain most of the time without spectators?In (...) approaching the archival mode through the philosophical lens of sublation and its Hegelian precursor of Aufhebung that performs alteration through preservation-as-cancellation, this essay sets out to articulate a phenomenology of the archived photograph as an image of, or in, sublation. Exploring the fragile dynamics at stake between the archived and its non-archived outside, emphasis is laid on the critical contradictions inherent in the logics of archivization: seeking to preserve its documents, the archive cannot do so without also provoking further differentiation. (shrink)
Research with predominately minority, urban students has documented an educational “gender gap,” where girls tend to be more likely to go to college, make higher grades, and aspire to higher status occupations than boys. We know less, however, about inequality, gender, and schooling in rural contexts. Does a similar gap emerge among the rural poor? How does gender shape the educational experiences of rural students? This article explores these questions by drawing on participant observation and student interviews at a predominately (...) white and low-income rural high school. I find a substantial gap favoring girls in this context, and I analyze how understandings of masculinity shaped schooling using the theory of hegemonic masculinity. The findings suggest that boys' underachievement is actually rooted in masculine dominance and related to particular constructions of gender and social class. (shrink)
In our current climate of rapid technological progress, it seems counterintuitive to think that modern science can learn anything of ethical value from the dark recesses of the nineteenth century or earlier. However, this happens to be quite true, with plenty of knowledge and wisdom to be gleaned by studying our scientific predecessors. Presently, our journals are flooded with original concepts and potential breakthroughs, a continuous stream of ideas pushing the frontiers of knowledge ever forward. Some ideas flourish while others (...) flounder; but what sets the two apart? The distinguishing feature between success and failure within this context is the ability to discern the appropriate time to accept an innovation with open arms, versus when to take a more cautious approach. And the primary arbiters for whether an idea will catch on or not are the professional audience. I illustrate this concept by comparing the initial reception of two innovative ideas from Medicine’s past: sterile technique, and prefrontal lobotomy. Sterile technique was first introduced by Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis and was initially ridiculed and rejected, with Semmelweis eventually dying in exile. Conversely, lobotomy was accepted and lauded and its inventor, Dr. Egas Moniz, won the Nobel Prize for his “discovery”. This begs the question: why was a technique with the potential to save millions of lives initially rejected, whereas paradoxically, one that compromised and sometimes destroyed lives, accepted? Here I explore and analyze the potential reasons why, suggest how we can learn from these mistakes of the past and apply new insight to some current ethical dilemmas. (shrink)
Disability or health-related literature has potential to shape public understanding of disability and can also play an important role in medical curricula. However, there appears to be a gap between a health humanities approach which may embrace fictional accounts and a cultural disability studies approach which is deeply sceptical of fiction written by non-disabled authors. This paper seeks to reconcile these perspectives and presents an analysis of the language used by Jonathan Franzen in his description of Parkinson’s disease in the (...) novel The Corrections. We use detailed linguistic analysis, specifically stylistics, to identify the techniques Franzen adopts to represent aspects of impairment and disability. We describe four specific linguistic devices used in the novel: reflector mode, iconicity, body part agency and fragmentation. We show how stylistics offers a unique analytical perspective for understanding representations of disability and impairment. However, we emphasise the need to promote critical and even resistant understandings of such representations and we discuss the potential role of patient/service user input to assess fictional accounts. (shrink)
The article discusses the reception of Grotius by Catholic lawyers at the university of Prague. It focuses on the Grotius commentary by Nicolaus Ignaz Königsmann, which was meant as a response to the discussion of Central European Catholic lawyers on questions of toleration and permissions in law. I argue that Königsmann agreed with Grotius because his conception could be combined with the Catholic belief in free will and dictamen sanae rationis. He grounded natural law in rational human nature and (...) rejected attempts to derive natural law from the highest principle. (shrink)
This book builds on the vast clinical experience of Joseph L. Henderson, who became interested in initiatory symbolism when he began his analysis with Jung in 1929. Henderson studied this symbolism in patients' dreams, fantasies, and active imagination, and demonstrated the archetype of initiation in both men and women's psychology. After Henderson’s book was republished in 2005 Kirsch, Beane Rutter and Singer brought together this collection of essays to allow a new generation to explore the archetype of initiation. _Initiation: (...) The Living Reality of an Archetype_ demonstrates how the archetype of initiation is seen clinically today. Divided into distinct parts, the book explores the archetype of initiation in Dr Henderson’s own life, as well as suggesting its importance in: clinical practice culture aging and death. The chapters in this book amplify and extend the archetype of initiation from the earliest historical periods up to the present day. The editors argue that initiation symbolism often underlies contemporary phenomena, but is rarely recognized; _Initiation _helps to bring a new understanding to these experiences. This book will be of interest to psychotherapists with an interest in psychoanalysis and analytical psychology, as well as those training at analytic institutes. (shrink)
Kagan successfully forces us to re-examine our assumptions and concepts regarding the broad field of “emotion.” His postulated four phases start with the brain state provoked by some stimulus. While that constitutes a reasonable starting point, the specificity of the brain qualities provoked by different types of stimuli remains uncertain. The recommendations on the way forward are the least satisfying aspects of this article. Integration would have been helped by some consideration of the role of animal models, of the ways (...) in which genes operate, and of the multiple varieties of gene—environment interplay. (shrink)
The establishment of the Campanian nation.Carthaginian expedition to Sicily.. Insigni magnis rebus anno additur nihil turn ad rem Romanam pertinere visum, quod Carthaginienses, tanti hostes futuri, turn primum per seditiones Siculorum ad partis alterius auxilium in Sicilian! exercitum traiecere.
The origins of ‘alternative comedy’ are difficult to pinpoint, though it coincided with the rise of Thatcher as Prime Minister in 1979 – that year saw the appearance of something called ‘alternative cabaret’, a term usually associated with Tony Allen, who combined activism and comedy. The acts this article will focus on are those which took a critical approach to comedy and/or politics – ‘alternative’ comedy, therefore, as seeming to promise change through critical awareness. This paper will discuss parody as (...) a means of critical engagement and transformation, in relation to context, and to influences such as punk. Altcom demonstrates an apparent eschewal of approaches which rely on irony and ambiguity, in favour of more ‘direct’ political engagement. It will be argued however that such ‘direct’ approach does not cancel out critical distance, but rather seeks alternative routes to establish it – namely comic and parodic overstatement, and the problematisation of ‘trust’. This entails the key questions of whether parody may take up critical distance without irony, as well as of the political implications of an approach which seeks to eliminate ambiguity. This more ‘direct’ approach however still depends on a balance of engagement and disengagement, requiring distancing from pre-established codes. (shrink)