Supportive peer relationships are crucial for mental and physical health. Early adolescence is an especially important period in which peer influence and school environment strongly shape psychological development and maturation of core social-emotional regulatory functions. Yet, there is no integrated evidence based model of SPR in this age group to inform future research and practice. The current meta-analysis synthetizes evidence from 364 studies into an integrated model of potential determinants of SPR in early adolescence. The model encompasses links with 93 (...) variables referring to individual and environmental potential influences on SPR based on cross-sectional correlational data. Findings suggest the central importance of identity and social–emotional skills in SPR. School environment stands out as a compelling setting for future prevention programs. Finally, we underscore an alarming gap of research on the influence of the virtual and online environment on youth's social realm given its unquestionable importance as a globally expanding social interaction setting. Hence, we propose an integrated model that can serve as organizational framework, which may ultimately lead to the adoption of a more structured and integrated approach to understanding peer relationship processes in youth and contribute to overcoming marked fragmentation in the field. (shrink)
Socrates famously compares himself to a midwife in Plato's Theaetetus. Much less well known is the developed metaphor of pregnancy at the centre of the initiation ritual that begins Brahmanical education. In this ritual, called Upanayana, the teacher is presented as becoming pregnant with the student. The Arthavaveda states: The teacher leads the student towards himself, makes him an embryo within; he bears him in his belly three nights.
Down Girl is a broad, original, and far ranging analysis of what misogyny really is, how it works, its purpose, and how to fight it. The philosopher Kate Manne argues that modern society's failure to recognize women's full humanity and autonomy is not actually the problem. She argues instead that it is women's manifestations of human capacities -- autonomy, agency, political engagement -- is what engenders misogynist hostility.
Oregon is the only state in the United States where a physician may legally prescribe a lethal dose of barbiturate for a patient intending suicide. The Oregon Death with Dignity Act was passed by voters in 1994 and came into effect after much legal wrangling in October of 1997. At the same time, a cabinetmaker named Pat Matheny was struggling with progressive weakness from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. I met with Pat and his family for a lengthy interview in (...) October 1998 in Coos Bay, Oregon, for a television news report on his decision to get a lethal prescription. Below is an extract from that interview. On the day this introduction was written, 10 March 1999, Pat took the prescribed lethal overdose of barbiturates and died at home. His illness was taking his voice, he could not move his hands or legs, and breathing was becoming very difficult. His mother told me he knew that was for him. (shrink)
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has existed in name for over 70 years. It is practiced in many countries and it is studied in academia around the world. However, CSR is not a universally adopted concept as it is understood differentially despite increasing pressures for its incorporation into business practices. This lack of a clear definition is complicated by the use of ambiguous terms in the proffered definitions and disputes as to where corporate governance is best addressed by many of the (...) national bodies legislating, mandating, or recommending CSR. This article explores the definitions of CSR as published on the Internet by governments in four countries (United Kingdom (UK), France, the United States, and Canada). We look for a consensus of understanding in an attempt to propose a more universal framework to enhance international adoption and practice of CSR using the triple bottom line. Our results concur with the findings of both national and international bodies and suggest that both within and among the countries in our study there exists no clear definition of the concept of CSR. While there are some similarities, there are substantial differences that must be addressed. We present a number of proposals for a more universal framework to define CSR. (shrink)
'This is an excellent book. It addresses what, in both conceptual and political terms, is arguably the most important source of tension and confusion in current arguments about the environment, namely the concept of nature; and it does so in a way that is both sensitive to, and critical of, the two antithetical ways of understanding this that dominate existing discussions.' Russell Keat, University of Edinburgh.
Human microbiome research makes causal connections between entire microbial communities and a wide array of traits that range from physiological diseases to psychological states. To evaluate these causal claims, we first examine a well-known single-microbe causal explanation: of Helicobacter pylori causing ulcers. This apparently straightforward causal explanation is not so simple, however. It does not achieve a key explanatory standard in microbiology, of Koch’s postulates, which rely on manipulations of single-microorganism cultures to infer causal relationships to disease. When Koch’s postulates (...) are framed by an interventionist causal framework, it is clearer what the H. pylori explanation achieves and where its explanatory strengths lie. After assessing this ‘simple’, single-microbe case, we apply the interventionist framework to two key areas of microbiome research, in which obesity and mental health states are purportedly explained by microbiomes. Despite the experimental data available, interventionist criteria for explanation show that many of the causal claims generated by microbiome research are weak or misleading. We focus on the stability, specificity and proportionality of proposed microbiome causal explanations, and evaluate how effectively these dimensions of causal explanation are achieved in some promising avenues of research. We suggest some conceptual and explanatory strategies to improve how causal claims about microbiomes are made. (shrink)
GPs usually care for their patients for an extended period of time, therefore, requests to not only discontinue a patient’s treatment but to assist a patient in a suicide are likely to create intensely stressful situations for physicians. However, in order to ensure the best patient care possible, the competent communication about the option of physician assisted suicide as well as the assessment of the origin and sincerity of the request are very important. This is especially true, since patients’ requests (...) for PAS can also be an indicator for unmet needs or concerns. Twenty-three qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted to in-depth explore this multifaceted, complex topic while enabling GPs to express possible difficulties when being asked for assistance. The analysis of the gathered data shows three main themes why GPs may find it difficult to professionally communicate about PAS: concerns for their own psychological well-being, conflicting personal values or their understanding of their professional role. In the discussion part of this paper we re-assess these different themes in order to ethically discuss and analyse how potential barriers to professional communication concerning PAS could be overcome. (shrink)
Although corporate social responsibility practice increasingly addresses gender issues, and gender and CSR scholarship is expanding, feminist theory is rarely explicitly referenced or discussed in the CSR literature. We contend that this omission is a key limitation of the field. We argue that CSR theorization and research on gender can be improved through more explicit and systematic reference to feminist theories, and particularly those from feminist organization studies. Addressing this gap, we review developments in feminist organization theory, mapping their relevance (...) to CSR. With reference to six major theoretical perspectives in CSR scholarship, we note feminist research relating to each. Drawing upon FOS theory and CSR theory, we then develop an integrated theoretical framework for the analysis of gender issues in CSR. Our framework enables us to identify research strengths in the gender and CSR literature, as well as gaps therein, to open new conversations and to posit future research directions for this emerging area of scholarship. Our paper illustrates how a better grounding of CSR in feminist theory can contribute to CSR research more broadly. (shrink)
One variety of love is familiar in everyday life and qualifies in every reasonable sense as a reactive attitude. ‘Reactive love’ is paradigmatically (a) an affectionate attachment to another person, (b) appropriately felt as a non-self-interested response to particular kinds of morally laudable features of character expressed by the loved one in interaction with the lover, and (c) paradigmatically manifested in certain kinds of acts of goodwill and characteristic affective, desiderative and other motivational responses (including other-regarding concern and a desire (...) to be with the beloved). ‘Virtues of intimacy’ as expressed in interaction with the lover are agent-relative reasons for reactive love, and like other reactive attitudes, reactive love generates reasons in its own right. Within a broad conception of the virtues, reactive love sheds light on the reactive attitudes more generally. (shrink)
By looking at the politics of classification within machine learning systems, this article demonstrates why the automated interpretation of images is an inherently social and political project. We begin by asking what work images do in computer vision systems, and what is meant by the claim that computers can “recognize” an image? Next, we look at the method for introducing images into computer systems and look at how taxonomies order the foundational concepts that will determine how a system interprets the (...) world. Then we turn to the question of labeling: how humans tell computers which words will relate to a given image. What is at stake in the way AI systems use these labels to classify humans, including by race, gender, emotions, ability, sexuality, and personality? Finally, we turn to the purposes that computer vision is meant to serve in our society—the judgments, choices, and consequences of providing computers with these capacities. Methodologically, we call this an archeology of datasets: studying the material layers of training images and labels, cataloguing the principles and values by which taxonomies are constructed, and analyzing how these taxonomies create the parameters of intelligibility for an AI system. By doing this, we can critically engage with the underlying politics and values of a system, and analyze which normative patterns of life are assumed, supported, and reproduced. (shrink)
Internalists about reasons following Bernard Williams claim that an agent’s normative reasons for action are constrained in some interesting way by her desires or motivations. In this paper, I offer a new argument for such a position—although one that resonates, I believe, with certain key elements of Williams’ original view. I initially draw on P.F. Strawson’s famous distinction between the interpersonal and the objective stances that we can take to other people, from the second-person point of view. I suggest that (...) we should accept Strawson’s contention that the activity of reasoning with someone about what she ought to do naturally belongs to the interpersonal mode of interaction. I also suggest that reasons for an agent to perform some action are considerations which would be apt to be cited in favor of that action, within an idealized version of this advisory social practice. I then go on to argue that one would take leave of the interpersonal stance towards someone—thus crossing the line, so to speak—in suggesting that she do something one knows she wouldn’t want to do, even following an exhaustive attempt to hash it out with her. An internalist necessity constraint on reasons is defended on this basis. (shrink)
Was Aristotle the ‘father’ and founder of the epigenesis doctrine? Historically, I will argue, this question must be answered with ‘no’. Aristotle did not initiate and had no access to a debate that described itself in terms of ‘epigenesis’ and ‘preformation’, and thus cannot be considered the ‘father’ or founder of the epigenesis-preformation controversy in a literal sense. But many ancient accounts of reproduction and embryological development contain analogies to what early modern scientist called ‘epigenesis’ and ‘preformation’, and, in this (...) analogous sense, Aristotle can be considered a precursor of the epigenesis-preformation controversy. But is Aristotle’s position actually epigenetic, as most of the traditional interpreters hold, or preformationist, as some of the recent scholars believe? I will argue against the one-sidedness of both readings that Aristotle’s account of reproduction and heredity contains mainly epigenetic, but also a few preformationist characteristics. Whereas, for instance, Aristotle’s idea of a successive development of the embryo’s parts is doubtlessly epigenetic, Aristotle’s idea that the development of the embryo is an actualization and enlargement of potential parts, which are simultaneously present in the semen, can be considered a preformationist feature. (shrink)
Food security is becoming an increasingly relevant topic in the Global North, especially in urban areas. Because such areas do not always have good access to nutritionally adequate food, the question of how to supply them is an urgent priority in order to maintain a healthy population. Urban and peri-urban agriculture, as sources of local fresh food, could play an important role. Whereas some scholars do not differentiate between peri-urban and urban agriculture, seeing them as a single entity, our hypothesis (...) is that they are distinct, and that this has important consequences for food security and other issues. This has knock-on effects for food system planning and has not yet been appropriately analysed. The objectives of this study are to provide a systematic understanding of urban and peri-urban agriculture in the Global North, showing their similarities and differences, and to analyse their impact on urban food security. To this end, an extensive literature review was conducted, resulting in the identification and comparison of their spatial, ecological and socio-economic characteristics. The findings are discussed in terms of their impact on food security in relation to the four levels of the food system: food production, processing, distribution and consumption. The results show that urban and peri-urban agriculture in the Global North indeed differ in most of their characteristics and consequently also in their ability to meet the food needs of urban inhabitants. While urban agriculture still meets food needs mainly at the household level, peri-urban agriculture can provide larger quantities and has broader distribution pathways, giving it a separate status in terms of food security. Nevertheless, both possess potential, making them valuable for urban food planning, and both face similar threats regarding urbanisation pressures, necessitating adequate planning measures. (shrink)
According to the normativist, it is built into the nature of belief itself that beliefs are subject to a certain set of norms. I argue here that only a normativist account can explain certain non-normative facts about what it takes to have the capacity for belief. But this way of defending normativism places an explanatory burden on any normativist account that an account on which a truth norm is explanatorily fundamental simply cannot discharge. I develop an alternative account that can (...) achieve explanatory adequacy where this sort of truth privileging account falls short. (shrink)
However widely--and differently--Jacques Derrida may be viewed as a "foundational" French thinker, the most basic questions concerning his work still remain unanswered: Is Derrida a friend of reason, or philosophy, or rather the most radical of skeptics? Are language-related themes--writing, semiosis--his central concern, or does he really write about something else? And does his thought form a system of its own, or does it primarily consist of commentaries on individual texts? This book seeks to address these questions by returning to (...) what it claims is essential history: the development of Derrida's core thought through his engagement with Husserlian phenomenology. Joshua Kates recasts what has come to be known as the Derrida/Husserl debate, by approaching Derrida's thought historically, through its development. Based on this developmental work, Essential History culminates by offering discrete interpretations of Derrida's two book-length 1967 texts, interpretations that elucidate the until now largely opaque relation of Derrida's interest in language to his focus on philosophical concerns. A fundamental reinterpretation of Derrida's project and the works for which he is best known, Kates's study fashions a new manner of working with the French thinker that respects the radical singularity of his thought as well as the often different aims of those he reads. Such a view is in fact "essential" if Derrida studies are to remain a vital field of scholarly inquiry, and if the humanities, more generally, are to have access to a replenishing source of living theoretical concerns. (shrink)
There are growing discontinuities between the research practices of data science and established tools of research ethics regulation. Some of the core commitments of existing research ethics regulations, such as the distinction between research and practice, cannot be cleanly exported from biomedical research to data science research. Such discontinuities have led some data science practitioners and researchers to move toward rejecting ethics regulations outright. These shifts occur at the same time as a proposal for major revisions to the Common Rule—the (...) primary regulation governing human-subjects research in the USA—is under consideration for the first time in decades. We contextualize these revisions in long-running complaints about regulation of social science research and argue data science should be understood as continuous with social sciences in this regard. The proposed regulations are more flexible and scalable to the methods of non-biomedical research, yet problematically largely exclude data science methods from human-subjects regulation, particularly uses of public datasets. The ethical frameworks for Big Data research are highly contested and in flux, and the potential harms of data science research are unpredictable. We examine several contentious cases of research harms in data science, including the 2014 Facebook emotional contagion study and the 2016 use of geographical data techniques to identify the pseudonymous artist Banksy. To address disputes about application of human-subjects research ethics in data science, critical data studies should offer a historically nuanced theory of “data subjectivity” responsive to the epistemic methods, harms and benefits of data science and commerce. (shrink)
The antinomy of teleological judgment is one of the most controversial passages of Kant’s "Critique of the Power of Judgment". Having developed the idea of an explanation of organized beings by mechanical and teleological natural laws in §§ 61-68, in §§ 69-78 Kant raises the question of whether higher order mechanical and teleological natural laws, which unify the particular empirical laws of organized beings, might pose an antinomy of conflicting principles within the power of judgment. I will argue against alternative (...) views that this antinomy is neither a conflict between objective constitutive principles of the determining power of judgment nor a conflict between an objective constitutive principle of the determining power of judgment and a subjective regulative maxim of the reflecting power of judgment nor does it consist in a confusion of a pair of subjective regulative maxims of the reflecting power of judgment with a pair of objective constitutive principles of the determining power of judgment, but does consist in an apparent conflict between mechanical and teleological natural laws as subjective regulative maxims of the reflecting power of judgment. I will further argue that Kant’s resolution of the antinomy consists in the regulative idea of a supersensible that represents the unity of both kinds of natural laws and justifies the unification of both kinds of natural laws in the human power of judgment. Kant uses three notions when he talks about the supersensible – the regulative idea of a divine artisan, the regulative idea of a divine intuitive understanding, and the regulative idea of an underdetermined, supernatural ground of nature. I will show how each of these notions accounts for the unity of both kinds of natural laws and will discuss possible correlations between them. I will then explain how the unity of both kinds of natural laws in the regulative idea of a supersensible accounts for the unification of both kinds of natural laws in the human power of judgment. While the divine intuitive understanding is perfect and uncreated and, thus, capable of a representation of the unity of both kinds of natural laws, the human discursive understanding is imperfect and created; it is capable only of the representation of the unification of both kinds of natural laws in form of a hierarchy of laws. (shrink)
Denis, Lara. Moral Self-Regard: Duties to Oneself in Kant's Moral Theory. New York: Garland Publishing. 2001. Engstrom, Stephen. “The Concept ofthe Highest Good in Kant's Moral The- ory.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52, ...
An action-oriented epistemology takes the idea that our capacity for belief subserves our capacity for action as the starting point for epistemological theorizing. This paper argues that an action-oriented epistemology is especially well-positioned to explain why it is that, at least for believers like us, whether or not conforming with the epistemic norms that govern belief-regulation would lead us to believe that p always bears on whether we have normative reasons to believe that p. If the arguments of this paper (...) are successful, then an action-oriented approach has a kind of explanatory power that has proved elusive, and so merits serious and sustained philosophical attention that it has yet to receive. (shrink)
Knowledge is a presumed motivator for changed consumption practices in ethical eating discourse: the consumer learns more about where their food comes from and makes different consumption choices. Despite intuitive appeal, scholars are beginning to illuminate the limits of knowledge-focused praxis for ethical eating. In this paper, we draw from qualitative interviews and focus groups with Toronto mothers to explore the role of knowledge in conceptions of ethical foodwork. While the goal of educating children about their food has become central (...) to Canadian and American discourses of “good” mothering, we identify a paradoxical maternal expectation surrounding meat consumption: to raise informed child consumers who know where their food comes from, and to protect children from the harsh realities of animal slaughter. Rather than revealing the story behind the meat on a child’s plate, mothers seek to shield children from knowledge of meat production. Our analysis of the child consumer contributes to ethical eating scholarship and illuminates a larger paradox surrounding knowledge of meat in an industrialized food system. In the practice of feeding children, mothers confront the visceral discomforts of meat consumption; their reactions speak to discordant feelings involved with eating meat in a setting far-removed from the lives and deaths of animals. Ultimately, the paper illustrates the limits of consumer-focused strategies for food-system change that call on individual mothers to educate young consumers and protect childhood innocence, all while getting ethically-sourced meals on the table. (shrink)
A high heritability estimate usually corresponds to a situation in which trait variation is largely caused by genetic variation. However, in some cases of gene-environment covariance, causal intuitions about the sources of trait difference can vary, leading experts to disagree as to how the heritability estimate should be interpreted. We argue that the source of contention for these cases is an inconsistency in the interpretation of the concepts ‘genotype’, ‘phenotype’, and ‘environment’. We propose an interpretation of these terms under which (...) trait variance initially caused by genetic variance is subsumed into a heritability for all cases of gene-environment covariance. (shrink)
?Vulnerability? is now a popular term in the lexicon of every-day life and a notion frequently drawn upon by policy-makers, academics, journalists, welfare workers and local authorities. This essay explores some of the ethical and practical implications of ?vulnerability? as a concept in social welfare. It highlights how ideas about vulnerability shape the ways in which we manage and classify people, justify state intervention in citizens? lives, allocate resources in society and define our social obligations. The lack of clarity and (...) limited analysis of the concept of ?vulnerability? in welfare arenas is highlighted as concerning, particularly given that those seen as most in need of support seem to be implicated in commonly held views about ?the vulnerable?. I argue that far from being innocuous, ?vulnerability? is so loaded with political, moral and practical implications that it is potentially damaging to the pursuit of social justice. Two opposing presentations of the notion are set out in order to illustrate that ?vulnerability? is a concept that should be handled with more care. (shrink)
More than two hundred years after its publication, David Hume's Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals is still widely regarded as either a footnote to the more philosophically interesting third book of the Treatise, or an abbreviated, more stylish, version of that earlier work. These standard interpretations are rather difficult to square with Hume's own assessment of the second Enquiry. Are we to think that Hume called the EPM “incomparably the best” of all his writings only because he preferred that (...) later style of exposition? Or worse, should we take his preference for the second Enquiry as a sign of aging literary vanity? Does Hume's stated preference for the EPM in no way speak to its philosophical content? (shrink)
Over the last few years, the idea that we live in a globalized world has significantly gained ground. Across various disciplines, this had led to severe critiques not only of methodological nationalism, but also of methodological Eurocentrism. But what does it mean to leave Eurocentrism behind? What kind of theorizing can and should we engage in when we attempt to provincialize, decenter, or even decolonize our thinking? This article distinguishes, presents, and critically discusses four trajectories beyond Eurocentrism in political and (...) social theory: enlarging the canon, inter-contextual dialogue, taking the impacts of European colonialism and imperialism into account, as well as shifts in theoretical agenda setting. It argues that if political and social theory truly attempts to transcend methodological Eurocentrism, it must not only bring in non-Western thought, but must also critically address both discursive and institutional aspects of global power relations. (shrink)
In this paper, I investigate the relation of Kant's theory of biology to epigenetic accounts of organic generation and development. In the literature, a dispute about similarities between Blumenbach's epigenetic account and Kant dominated the debate for many years (see Lenoir 1980, 1981, and 1982, 17–34, Richards 2000; 2002, 207–37; Look 2006, and van den Berg 2009). Some more recent interpreters claim that Wolff's, more than Blumenbach's account plays the pivotal role in the development of a vitalistic conception of epigenesis (...) in Kant (see Dupont 2007 and Huneman 2007). Although I myself hold the view that Kant's position contains preformistic and epigenetic characteristics, in the current paper I focus solely on an investigation of epigenetic elements in Kant's account and compare them to the corresponding epigenetic elements in Wolff's theory. Section I of the paper is devoted to an analysis of Wolff's most important epigenetic theorems: the notion of the essential power (vis essentialis) and the conception of the part-whole composition of organized matter. Although Wolff describes the essential power vitalisticly, as a principle of life, he understands it as the cause of mechanical motions explaining the generation, nourishment, and the growth of an organism. Wolff's model of the part-whole composition of organic matter is subtle, but committed to fundamental mechanistic assumptions, such as that the organism as a whole is composed of inorganic parts. In section II, I analyze the corresponding elements in Kant's theory: the notion of the formative power and the conception of the whole-part composition of organized materials. Kant describes the formative power as a principle that causes the purposive form of an organized being such that matter and mechanism are the means to the purpose of the being as their end. The purpose of the whole is a functional unit which is in principle superior to the form and matter of the subordinate parts. The parts are combined into such a whole in being mutually cause and effect of each other and in being related to the superior whole. In section III, I respond to the debate in the literature. Against Dupont (2007) and Huneman (2007) I argue that, according to Wolff, the vis essentialis accounts for mechanic effects in matter, whereas, according to Kant, the formative power explains the intentional order (form, end, purpose) of an individual organized being, its parts, and its species. Since this view is closer to Blumenbach than to Wolff, the ongoing comparison between Kant and Blumenbach in the literature is justified. However, the emphasis on the specific part-whole composition that Kant considers to be the determining feature of an organized being can be found only in Wolff and not in Blumenbach—though Wolff and Kant describe it in opposing ways. This increases the systematic importance of Wolff for Kant. Thus, a fresh look on the historical debate is required. (shrink)
This paper looks at the cultural transformation of nursing. It argues that introducing computers in a female occupation is not simply a case of imposing ‘male’ technology on ‘female’ care-oriented practices and values. In order to understand current changes of nursing practice, three points of view have to be simultaneously kept in focus: 1) the differences between women's interests and ambitions; 2) the readings of a technology that have already been established through previous examples of design and use (in hospitals (...) up to date primarily for the purpose of establishing discipline and management control); and 3) the social practices that dominate a field of work (in the case of health work the already technology-driven cure aspect). (shrink)
Calls for increasing integration of ethical considerations into business education are well documented. Business graduates are perceived to be ethically naive at best, and at worst, constrained in their moral development by the lack of ethical content in their courses. The pedagogic concern is to find effective methods of incorporating ethics into the fabric of business education. The purpose of this paper is to suggest and illustrate role play as an appropriate method for integrating ethical concerns.
What form does power take in situations of retaliation against whistleblowers? In this article, we move away from dominant perspectives that see power as a resource. In place, we propose a theory of normative power and violence in whistleblower retaliation, drawing on an in-depth empirical study. This enables a deeper understanding of power as it circulates in complex processes of whistleblowing. We offer the following contributions. First, supported by empirical findings we propose a novel theoretical framing of whistleblower retaliation and (...) the role of mental health, which draws upon poststructuralist psychoanalytic thinking. Specifically, we highlight how intra- and inter-psychic affective and ambivalent attachments to organizations influence the use of normative violence in cases of whistleblower retaliation. The second contribution is empirical and builds upon the existing literature on whistleblower retaliation by highlighting how organizations position whistleblower subjects as mentally unstable and unreliable individuals, to undermine their claims. We conclude by highlighting the implications of normative power for the outcomes of whistleblower struggles. (shrink)
This article examines the “Choice Argument” for sweatshops, i.e., the claim that it is morally wrong or impermissible for third parties to interfere with the choice of sweatshop workers to work in sweatshops. The Choice Argument seeks, in other words, to shift the burden of proof onto those who wish to regulate sweatshop labor. It does so by forcing critics of sweatshops to specify the conditions under which it is morally permissible to interfere with sweatshop workers’ choice. My aim in (...) this article is to meet that burden. Unlike other critics of sweatshop labor, however, my argument does not proceed from contested economic or moral assumptions. To the contrary, my strategy will be to demonstrate that even if we grant the truth of the economic and moral assumptions made by defenders of the Choice Argument, it never- theless does not follow that it is morally wrong to interfere with the choice of sweatshop workers to work in sweatshops. The Choice Argument thus fails on its own terms. (shrink)
This article announces the discovery of a Sinhalese version of the traditional meditation ( borān yogāvacara kammaṭṭhāna ) text in which the Consciousness or Mind, personified as a Princess living in a five-branched tree (the body), must understand the nature of death and seek the four gems that are the four noble truths. To do this she must overcome the cravings of the five senses, represented as five birds in the tree. Only in this way will she permanently avoid the (...) attentions of Death, Māra, and his three female servants, Birth, Sickness and Old Age. In this version of the text, when the Princess manages not to succumb to these three, Māra comes and snatches her from her tree and rapes her. The Buddha then appears to her to explain the path to liberation. The text provides a commentary, padārtha , which explains the details of the symbolism of the fruit in terms of rebirth and being born, the tree in terms of the body, etc. The text also offers interpretations of signs of impending death and prognostications regarding the next rebirth. Previously the existence of Khmer and Lānnā versions of this text have been recorded by Francois Bizot and Francois Lagirarde, the former publishing the text as Le Figuier a cinq branches (Le figuier à cinq branches, 1976). The Sinhalese version was redacted for one of the wives of King Kīrti Śrī Rājasiṅha of Kandy by the monk Varañāṇa Mahāthera of Ayutthayā. This confirms earlier speculation that this form of borān/dhammakāya meditation was brought to Sri Lanka with the introduction of the Siyam Nikāya in the mid-eighteenth century. It also shows that in Sri Lanka, as in Ayutthayā, this form of meditation—which in the modern period was to be rejected as ‘unorthodox’—was promoted at the highest levels of court and Saṅgha. (shrink)
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