Neuroimaging evidence suggests that the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) supports temporary storage of linguistic material during linguistic tasks rather than computing a syntactic representation. The LIFG is not activated by simple sentences but by complex sentences and maintenance of word lists. Under this hypothesis, agrammatism should only disturb comprehension for constructions in which storage is essential.
The character of Tom has the proportions of a mythic figure. His story has little of the melodrama of the secondary plot for his heroism in meeting the trials of slavery is manifested not in outward risks and adventures but in inner strength. In Simon Legree, Tom's final adversary, Stowe provides a perfect antithesis, an ultimate image of what slavery must do to the master who takes advantage of his position and uses his power without restraint; for Legree is (...) an ambitious Vermonter, not a Southern, an owner, not an overseer, and a product of the raw, final phase of slavery in the cotton plantations of the deep South. Legree bends every effort to brutalize Tom as though of necessity to prove that he and the South are right about Negroes and slavery, and Tom remains firm in his humanity and so disproves the sordid myth of his oppressor. It is Legree who is dehumanized by the institution of slavery. Tom emerges from the struggle as an example not simply of a black Christian slave, but of a heroic man in the face of intimidating and humiliating power. Moody E. Prior, emeritus professor of English and former dean of the graduate school of Northwestern University, is the author of The Language of Tragedy, Science and the Humanities, and The Drama of Power-Studies in Shakespeare's History Plays. See also: "The Ethics of Uncle Tom's Children" by Tommie Shelby in Vol. 38, No. 3. (shrink)
While best known for the immensely popular and controversial novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe is also the author of an extensive body of additional work on American culture and politics. Playing many roles--journalist, pamphleteer, novelist, preacher, and advisor on domestic affairs--Stowe used the written word as a vehicle for religious, social, and political commentaries, often leavening them with entertainment in order to reach a broad audience. She had a profound effect on American culture, not because her (...) ideas were unique, but because they were common. What made her so radical was that she insisted on putting her ideas into action. The Oxford Harriet Beecher Stowe Reader offers a focused collection of Stowe's writings from the 1830s through the 1860s. Illustrating her broad range, rhetorical strategies, and cultural designs on the world, it is ideal for courses in nineteenth-century American literature, women's literature, and American history. The volume collects those selections best suited for classroom use, reprinting many pieces here for the first time. Editor Joan D. Hedrick provides a substantial introduction that assesses Stowe's vital impact on nineteenth-century American literature, politics, and culture. The readings are divided into three sections: Early Sketches, Antislavery Writings, and Domestic Culture and Politics. Early Sketches presents the finest writing of Stowe's literary apprenticeship. Antislavery Writings includes Uncle Tom's Cabin in its entirety, placing it in the context of Stowe's considerable and often-overlooked body of other antislavery writings. This section also includes a generous selection from A Key To Uncle Tom's Cabin, a companion volume to the novel. Domestic Culture and Politics shows the scope of Stowe's thinking on the Victorian home, for which she was a major propagandist. The inclusion here of "The True Story of Lady Byron's Life," an exposé of male debauchery and incest at the core of a nineteenth-century home, represents Stowe's willingness to tackle the most challenging political and social issues of her time. (shrink)
This paper presents a systematic empirical investigation of so-called Rullmann Ambiguities (The helicopter was flying less high than a plane can fly). It is shown that many examples constructed after this pattern are in fact unambiguous, and that some but not all examples which replace less with ordinary more/-er are ambiguous. An analysis is proposed which takes into account the inferential properties of the degree predicate in the than-clause plus the way contextual information can be integrated into its meaning. The (...) analysis predicts which Rullmann examples are ambiguous and which are not. Consequences for the analysis of comparatives and for the meaning of adjectives are derived. (shrink)
In this ground-breaking article submitted for publication in mid-1986, Lucinda Vandervort creates a radically new and comprehensive theory of sexual consent as the unequivocal affirmative communication of voluntary agreement. She argues that consent is a social act of communication with normative effects. To consent is to waive a personal legal right to bodily integrity and relieve another person of a correlative legal duty. If the criminal law is to protect the individual’s right of sexual self-determination and physical autonomy, rather (...) than simply to regulate the type and degree of force that may be used to obtain compliance from a victim, the point of reference must be the individual complainant, as a person who makes choices, not social norms or objective tests based on the ordinary person. To determine whether consent is voluntary, attention must be directed to the presence or absence of factors that had a coercive impact on the individual complainant, a specific person with a collection of social, cultural, and psychological experiences, needs, fears, values, and priorities. Individuals have the right to exercise self-determination in accordance with their own values and perceptions, not those of a mythical victim. Accordingly, Vandervort argues that the prosecution may show either refusal, the absence of affirmative voluntary agreement (including passivity or the absence of consent due to unconsciousness), or circumstances that invalidate any apparent consent. Any of these prove the absence of consent for the purposes of establishing the actus reus of sexual assault. -/- The definition of consent as the affirmative communication of voluntary agreement is also shown to have a variety of implications for the interpretation and application of the law of sexual assault and the handling of evidentiary issues at trial in sexual assault cases. Key among these is the pivotal significance of the legal definition of consent as a tool to bar availability of the defence of “mistaken belief in consent.” Vandervort argues that in many cases the defence of “mistaken belief in consent” is based on ignorance of the law of consent, mistake about the legal definition of consent, or a failure to appreciate the legal significance of facts that are well-known, and not on a mistaken belief in an erroneous set of facts. The broad proposition asserted here is that a statutory criminal law is enforceable only if all defences based directly or indirectly on belief in the validity of extra-legal norms that authorize infringement of rights protected by the criminal law are barred. This proposition and the characterization of some mistakes about consent as legal, not factual, are also shown to be useful to exclude rape-myths and stereotypical assumptions---the stuff of which “social” definitions of consent have long been constructed---from the decision-making process at trial. -/- . (shrink)
Resources for Feminist Research, Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 44-45, 1985 In this brief article, written in 1984 and published the following year, Lucinda Vandervort sets out a comprehensive agenda for enforcement of sexual assault laws in Canada. Those familiar with her subsequent writing are aware that the legal implications of the distinction between the “social” and “legal” definitions of sexual assault, identified here as crucial for interpretation and implementation of the law of sexual assault, are analyzed at length (...) in “Mistake of Law and Sexual Assault: Consent and Mens Rea” (1986), published at (1987-88) 2(2) Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, 233 309. In that article the author argued that most mistakes about consent are not mistakes about a “fact” that may sometimes negative mens rea, but are actually mistakes about the law that afford accused no excuse under either Canadian common law or statutory criminal law. She argued further that consent must be interpreted as “voluntary agreement” and must be affirmatively and unequivocally communicated in order to operate as an effective waiver of a person’s legal right to be free from interference with his or her bodily integrity. That article was a central reference point in the consultations leading to the 1992 amendments to the sexual assault provisions in the Canadian Criminal Code and in some key decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada in sexual assault cases in the 1990’s. As a result of a gradual transformation of theoretical analysis of the law of mens rea and consent in Canada, culpable awareness is now understood by many jurists and criminal law theorists quite differently than it was twenty-five years ago. As Vandervort acknowledged in her 1984 Agenda for Action, however, clarity in legal theory and legal doctrine is no guarantee of how sexual assault laws will operate in practice. Theory and practice, doctrine and its implementation, often diverge. This phenomenon is still seen in some decisions taken at the trial, pre-trial, and pre-charge stages in sexual assault cases. Police, prosecutors, and many trial judges, like accused, may often be influenced by traditional attitudes about sexual consent and mistaken about the law of consent. Accordingly, in her recent work Vandervort re-visits and re-examines the exercise of discretion by police, prosecutors, and the judiciary. An example is her 2009 article “Legal Subversion of the Criminal Justice Process? Judicial, Prosecutorial and Police Discretion in R. v. Edmondson, Kindrat and Brown” in Sexual Assault Law, Practice & Activism in a Post-Jane Doe Era, edited by Elizabeth Sheehy (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2012). In this and some of her other recent work, the distinctions between social and legal norms and questions of fact and law, previously analyzed with the objective of clarifying the law, are used to control the effects of social ignorance and partiality in the handling of sexual assault complaints by decision-makers in the criminal justice system at trial and pre-trial. Lucinda Vandervort’s published and unpublished legal and philosophical writings on sexual assault and sexual assault law illustrate the development of a socio-legal scholar’s “Agenda for Action” into a principled, pragmatic, open-ended exercise in “institutional design.” Across two centuries, from the revolutionary era of the 18th century to the present, other radical egalitarians would recognize both the impetus for the project and many features of the political and cultural resistance to it. (shrink)
This article examines the distinction between judicial reasoning flawed by errors on questions of law, properly addressed on appeal, and errors that constitute judicial misconduct and are grounds for removal from the bench. Examples analysed are from the transcripts and reasons for decision in R v George SKQB (2015), appealed to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal (2016) and the Supreme Court of Canada (2017), and from the sentencing decision rendered by the same judge more than a decade earlier in R (...) v Edmondson SKQB (2003). Both were sexual assault cases. In George a thirty-five year old woman with five children was tried and ultimately acquitted of sexual assault and sexual interference after she was assaulted in her home by a fourteen year old male. Striking similarities between the reasoning and language in the trial decision in George and the sentencing decision in Edmondson demonstrate entrenched antipathy for sexual assault law and the fundamental principles of justice, equality, and impartiality. This is arguably judicial misconduct, persisting despite access in the interim to many years of judicial education programming, not merely legal error. The problem does not lie with the judge alone, however. A toxic mix of misogyny and blindly zealous enforcement of the law appears to have undermined the administration of justice in George from the outset at all levels. The problems are systemic. Were this not the case, it is likely that Barbara George would not have been charged. (shrink)
The author examines two proposals to expand legal recognition of individual control over physical integrity. Protections for individual autonomy are discussed in relation to the right to die, euthanasia, medical treatment, and consensual and assaultive sexual behaviours. The author argues that at present, the legal doctrine of consent protects only those individual preferences which are seen to be congruent with dominant societal values; social preferences and convenience override all other individual choices. Under these conditions, more freedom to waive rights of (...) physical integrity can only place socially vulnerable persons at great risk of abuse. (shrink)
This article examines the development of affirmative sexual consent in Canadian jurisprudence and legal theory and its adoption in Canadian law. Affirmative sexual consent requirements were explicitly proposed in Canadian legal literature in 1986, codified in the 1992 Criminal Code amendments, and recognized as an essential element of the common law and statutory definitions of sexual consent by the Supreme Court of Canada in a series of cases decided since 1994. Although sexual violence and non-enforcement of sexual assault laws are (...) worldwide phenomena, the international scholarly literature reflects limited awareness of these developments in Canadian law. This article remedies that gap in the literature. The Canadian experience with the definition of sexual consent as communicated “voluntary agreement” demonstrates the value of this conceptualization of consent; the definition provides a well-defined set of nondiscretionary reference points for legal analysis of the facts in sexual assault offenses. The effect is to facilitate effective enforcement of the sexual assault laws and affirm the right to sexual autonomy, sexual self-determination, and equality, consistent with fundamental principles of individual human rights. For all these reasons, familiarity with the Canadian experience may be useful to those engaged with the reform of rape and sexual assault laws in other jurisdictions. (shrink)
This article proposes a rigorous method to “map” the law on to the facts in the legal analysis of “sexual consent” using a series of mandatory questions of law designed to eliminate the legal errors often made by decision-makers who routinely rely on personal beliefs about and attitudes towards “normal sexual behavior” in screening and deciding cases. In Canada, sexual consent is affirmative consent, the communication by words or conduct of “voluntary agreement” to a specific sexual activity, with a specific (...) person. As in many jurisdictions, however, the sexual assault laws are often not enforced. Reporting is lowest and non-enforcement highest in cases involving the most common type of assailants, those who are not strangers but instead persons the complainant knows, often quite well -- acquaintances, supervisors or co-workers, and family members. Reliance on popular narratives about “seduction” and “stranger-danger” leads complainants, police, prosecutors, lawyers, and trial judges, to truncate legal analysis of the facts and leap to erroneous conclusions about “consent.” Wrongful convictions and perverse acquittals, questionable plea bargains and ill-considered decisions not to charge, result. This proposal is designed to curtail the impact of pre-judgments, assumptions, and biases in legal reasoning about voluntariness and affirmative agreement and produce decisions that are legally sound, based on the application of the rule of law to the material facts. Law has long had better tools than the age-old and popular tales of “ravishment” and “seduction.” Those tools can and should be used. (shrink)
This article examines the operation of “reasonable steps” as a statutory standard for analysis of the availability of the defence of belief in consent in sexual assault cases and concludes that application of section 273.2(b) of the Criminal Code, as presently worded, often undermines the legal validity and correctness of decisions about whether the accused acted with mens rea, a guilty, blameworthy state of mind. When the conduct of an accused who is alleged to have made a mistake about whether (...) a complainant communicated consent is assessed by the hybrid subjective-objective reasonableness standard prescribed by s. 273.2, many decision-makers rely on extra-legal criteria and assumptions grounded on their personal experience and opinion about what is reasonable. In the midst of debate over what the accused knew and what steps were “reasonable” given what the accused knew, the legal definition of consent in section 273.1 is easily over-looked and decision-makers focus on facts that are legally irrelevant and prejudice rational deliberation. -/- That is precisely what we see here; the result is often failure to enforce the law. The author proposes: -/- (a) that section 273.2 be amended to reflect the significant developments achieved in sexual consent jurisprudence since enactment of the provision in 1992; and -/- (b) that, in the interim, the judiciary act with resolve to make full and proper use of the statutory and common law tools that are presently available to determine whether the accused acted with mens rea in relation to the absence of sexual consent. (shrink)
In 2001, three non-Aboriginal men in their twenties were charged with the sexual assault of a twelve year old Aboriginal girl in rural Saskatchewan. Legal proceedings lasted almost seven years and included two preliminary hearings, two jury trials, two retrials with juries, and appeals to the provincial appeal court and the Supreme Court of Canada. One accused was convicted. The case raises questions about the administration of justice in sexual assault cases in Saskatchewan. Based on observation and analysis of the (...) record, this paper: (1) examines relationships between legal errors dealing with availability of the defence of “belief in consent” and interpretation of the “all reasonable steps” provision, the need for retrials, and apprehended race-gender-age bias and discrimination; and 2) proposes incremental and systemic remedies to address the weaknesses in police, prosecutorial and judicial policy and practice highlighted by this case. (shrink)
Two experiments were conducted to examine adult learners' ability to extract multiple statistics in simultaneously presented visual and auditory input. Experiment 1 used a cross-situational learning paradigm to test whether English speakers were able to use co-occurrences to learn word-to-object mappings and concurrently form object categories based on the commonalities across training stimuli. Experiment 2 replicated the first experiment and further examined whether speakers of Mandarin, a language in which final syllables of object names are more predictive of category membership (...) than English, were able to learn words and form object categories when trained with the same type of structures. The results indicate that both groups of learners successfully extracted multiple levels of co-occurrence and used them to learn words and object categories simultaneously. However, marked individual differences in performance were also found, suggesting possible interference and competition in processing the two concurrent streams of regularities. (shrink)
The public interest in the administration of justice requires access to justice for all. But access to justice must be “meaningful” access. Meaningful access requires procedures, processes, and institutional structures that facilitate communication among participants and decision-makers and ensure that judges and other decision-makers have the resources they need to render fully informed and sound decisions. Working from that premise, which is based on a reconceptualization of the objectives and methods of the justice process, the author proposes numerous specific changes (...) in decision-making processes and practices. These changes are required to achieve a standard of decision-making that is consistent with the public interest in the administration of justice within a constitutional framework under the social and political conditions of the early 21st century. The essay illustrates the application of the principles and methods of legitecture to analysis of problems of institutional design in law. (shrink)
This is a review and critical commentary on Michael Plaxton's 2015 book, Implied Consent and Sexual Assault, in which he proposes that the legal definition of sexual consent be amended to permit sexual partners to define the terms and conditions of sexual consent in accordance with private "normative commitments" between themselves. The proposed "reform" is intended to permit an individual to agree to be a party to sexual activity that would otherwise constitute sexual assault under Canadian law. For reasons explained (...) in the review, this reviewer concludes that Plaxton's proposal and the rationale he presents in support of its adoption are unpersuasive. (shrink)
The current study evaluated the interpersonal circumplex as a theoretical model of companion animal personality and companion animal attachment. To this end, the study surveyed 266 companion animal guardians —89 reporting their most recent pet a cat and 177 reporting their most recent pet a dog—to assess the relationships between interpersonal complementarity and companion animal attachment. The study used MANOVA to evaluate differences in interpersonal traits for cats, dogs, and people who self-identified that cats or dogs were their ideal pets. (...) Results indicated that cats—and people who identified cats as their ideal pet—were more hostile in their orientation than were dogs or people who preferred dogs. In hierarchical regression-analysis, the study also confirmed the positive relationship between interpersonal complementarity and companion-animal attachment. (shrink)
What can the "Lotus Sūtra" teach us about social responsibility? This question is explored through the lens of gender by examining the specifically female-gendered images in the "Lotus Sūtra" in order to assess its messages regarding normative gender relations, and the implications of these messages for gender justice in the contemporary world. First, gender imagery in the Lotus is explored. Second, these images are compared with those found elsewhere in the Buddhist tradition in order to provide a clearer assessment of (...) how representative the "Lotus'" messages are regarding gender in Buddhism more generally. Measuring the gender imagery in the "Lotus Sūtra" against that in comparable Buddhist texts reinforces an assessment that this text reflects somewhat ambivalent and contradictory messages regarding women's capacity for Enlightenment. (shrink)
BackgroundThere is growing interest in the collection, storage and reuse of biological samples for future research. Storage and future use of biological samples raise ethical concerns and questions about approaches that safeguard the interests of participants. The situation is further complicated in Africa where there is a general lack of governing ethical frameworks that could guide the research community on appropriate approaches for sample storage and use. Furthermore, there is limited empirical data to guide development of such frameworks. A qualitative (...) study to address this gap was conducted with key stakeholders in Malawi to understand their experiences and perspectives regarding storage and usage of samples for future research.MethodsThis study conducted 13 in-depth interviews with ethics committee members, regulators and researchers, and five focus group discussions with community representatives and clinical trial participants in Malawi. Interviews and focus group discussions were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and thematically analysed.ResultsOn the current regulatory guidelines that governs the collection, storage and reuse of samples in Malawi, participants highlighted their different understanding of it, with some indicating that it prohibited the reuse and sharing of samples, while others believed it permitted.Views on the informed consent model used in Malawi, some stakeholders expressed that the current model limited options for sample contributors regarding future use. Researchers supported storing samples for future use in order to maximize their value and reduce research costs. However, they expressed concern over the exportation of samples highlighting that it could lead to misuse and would not support the development of research capacity within Malawi. They recommended use of broad consent or tiered consent and establishment of biobanks to address these concerns.ConclusionsStudy findings highlighted the need for a review of the current regulatory guideline and the development of infrastructure to support the use of stored biological samples for future use among the research community in Malawi. At the moment, there are ethical and practical concerns arising from the collection, storage and secondary use of biological samples make it hard to reconcile scientific progress and the protection of participants. (shrink)
Philosophers of technology are not playing the public role that our own theoretical perspectives motivate us to take. A great variety of theories and perspectives within philosophy of technology, including those of Marcuse, Feenberg, Borgmann, Ihde, Michelfelder, Bush, Winner, Latour, and Verbeek, either support or directly call for various sorts of intervention—a call that we have failed to heed adequately. Barriers to such intervention are discussed, and three proposals for reform are advanced: post-publication peer-reviewed reprinting of public philosophy, increased emphasis (...) on true open access publication, and increased efforts to publicize and adapt traditional academic research. (shrink)
Only rarely have feminist theorists addressed the adequacy of just -war theory, a set of principles developed over hundreds of years to assess the justice of going to war and the morality of conduct in war. Recently, a few feminist scholars have found just -war theory inadequate, yet their own counterproposals are also deficient. I assess feminist contributions to just -war theorizing and suggest ways of strengthening, rather than abandoning, this moral approach to war.
The exculpatory rhetorical power of the term “honest belief” continues to invite reliance on the bare credibility of belief in consent to determine culpability in sexual assault. In law, however, only a comprehensive analysis of mens rea, including an examination of the material facts and circumstances of which the accused was aware, demonstrates whether a “belief” in consent was or was not reckless or wilfully blind. An accused's “honest belief” routinely begs this question, leading to a truncated analysis of criminal (...) responsibility, and error. The problem illustrates how easily old rhetoric perpetuates assumptions that no longer have a place in Canadian law. (shrink)
The reasons for judgment by the Supreme Court of Canada on the appeal in Mabior (2012 SCC 47) fail to address or resolve a number of significant questions. The reasons acknowledge the fundamental role of sexual consent in protecting sexual autonomy, equality, and human dignity, but do not use the law of consent as a tool to assist the Court in crafting a fresh approach to the issue on appeal. Instead the Court adopts the same general approach to analysis of (...) the elements of aggravated sexual assault committed by fraud it used in 1998 in Cuerrier. Fifteen years later, it should be possible to re-conceptualize the problem in a more straightforward manner that reflects Charter values, fundamental common law principles, recent developments in sexual assault law, and the limitations and uncertainties of current HIV treatment and diagnosis. -/- Ironically, the two pronged legal test ultimately proposed by the Court -- non-disclosure of HIV-positive status and a “realistic possibility of transmission,” is likely to give false confidence to individuals who adhere to a regime of anti-retroviral treatment, use good quality latex condoms, and routinely conceal their HIV-positive status from their sexual partners. Research shows that HIV viral loads fluctuate widely in response to a myriad of factors. An inevitable consequence of reliance on the Mabior test will be accused who are shocked to find themselves charged under s. 273, charges that would not apply had they disclosed their HIV-positive status to their sexual partner(s). There are further practical consequences. Non-disclosure will tend to increase the risk of transmission because non-HIV-positive sexual partner(s) will not fully appreciate the actual hazards of improper condom use. As a direct result, careless sexual practices will be more common. And finally, the decision will not contribute to reducing the social stigma that haunts the lives of those who are HIV-positive -- even those who are skilled at deceit. That stigma will not be reduced or eliminated by a ruling that can be seen as tacitly validating stigmatization and fear by appearing to permit infected individuals to pretend they are not HIV-positive when they know or suspect this to be false. Deceit harms the human dignity of the deceived and deceiver alike, and does nothing to build authentic social trust and cohesion. For all these reasons, the problem on appeal in Mabior requires a different approach. This article proposes one. (shrink)
Despite amendments to the sexual assault provisions in the Criminal Code, decisions about the availability and operation of the defence of belief in consent remain vulnerable to the influence of legally extraneous considerations. The author proposes an approach designed to limit the influence of such considerations.
Two studies examined human perceptions of dog personality attributes based upon exposure to pictures of dogs of select breeds. The proposed hypotheses evaluated the validity of “big, black dog syndrome”—whereby large, black dog breeds are reportedly spurned for adoption due to negatively perceived personality attributes—by assessing each dog’s relative trait dominance and affiliation based upon a taxonomy drawn from the eight-factor interpersonal circumplex. Results of two separate studies indicated that among participants’ ratings, breed-specific differences were more powerful predictors of interpersonal (...) trait attributions than the color or size of the dog. In general, with the exception of the golden retriever, black labs were perceived as consistently less dominant and less hostile than other large breeds, contrary to the assumption that large, black dogs are viewed negatively. (shrink)