Arthur C. Danto is the Johnsonian Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Columbia University and the most influential philosopher of art in the last half-century. As an art critic for the Nation and frequent contributor to other widely read outlets such as the New York Review of Books, Danto also has become one of the most respected public intellectuals of his generation. He is the author of some two dozen important books, along with hundreds of articles and reviews that have been (...) the center of both controversy and discussion. In this volume Danto offers his intellectual autobiography and responds to essays by 27 of the keenest critics of his thought from the worlds of philosophy and the arts. (shrink)
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." --Genesis 1:24-26 In this crucial passage from the Old Testament, God grants mankind power over animals. But with this privilege comes the grave responsibility to respect life, to treat animals with (...) simple dignity and compassion. Somewhere along the way, something has gone wrong. In Dominion , we witness the annual convention of Safari Club International, an organization whose wealthier members will pay up to $20,000 to hunt an elephant, a lion or another animal, either abroad or in American "safari ranches," where the animals are fenced in pens. We attend the annual International Whaling Commission conference, where the skewed politics of the whaling industry come to light, and the focus is on developing more lethal, but not more merciful, methods of harvesting "living marine resources." And we visit a gargantuan American "factory farm," where animals are treated as mere product and raised in conditions of mass confinement, bred for passivity and bulk, inseminated and fed with machines, kept in tightly confined stalls for the entirety of their lives, and slaughtered in a way that maximizes profits and minimizes decency. Throughout Dominion , Scully counters the hypocritical arguments that attempt to excuse animal abuse: from those who argue that the Bible's message permits mankind to use animals as it pleases, to the hunter's argument that through hunting animal populations are controlled, to the popular and "scientifically proven" notions that animals cannot feel pain, experience no emotions, and are not conscious of their own lives. The result is eye opening, painful and infuriating, insightful and rewarding. Dominion is a plea for human benevolence and mercy, a scathing attack on those who would dismiss animal activists as mere sentimentalists, and a demand for reform from the government down to the individual. Matthew Scully has created a groundbreaking work, a book of lasting power and importance for all of us. (shrink)
A cross sectional study of a sample of Australian accounting students during 2011 is used to test whether the relationship concept of guanxi is accepted as a social networking concept across cultures. While favour-seeking guanxi appears to be equally important across cultural groups (as a universal set of values), its negative variant, rent-seeking guanxi continues to be sanctioned to a greater extent by students holding temporary visas from Mainland China. Contrary to the findings of Fan, Woodbine, and Scully (2012) (...) involving Chinese auditors, this study of Australian and Chinese students did not identify favour-seeking guanxi as a factor influencing ethical judgment, whereas rent-seeking guanxi was strongly significant as a predictor of judgment making for Australian students. Major concerns are expressed about the need to sensitize Chinese students to make them more aware of unethical practices prevalent in their home country. These findings have significant implications for educators delivering ethics courses to cohorts that include international students as well as the professional bodies involved in designing development programs. (shrink)
The last few years have seen feminist bioethics experiencing a growing interest in the theme of disability: how bioethics as a whole can or should approach disability, and how the different perspectives brought by feminist bioethics can contribute to bioethical thinking about it. This interest was apparent in the pioneer work of disabled feminists such as Adrienne Asch, continued through the engagement of feminist theorists like Eva Feder Kittay, and appears more generally in feminist bioethics, for example in Jackie Leach (...)Scully's "Disability Bioethics," in the section on disability in Feminist Bioethics: At the Center, on the Margins (Scully, Baldwin-Ragaven, and Fitzpatrick 2010), and in IJFAB's special issue .. (shrink)
Stephen Scully both offers a reading of Hesiod's Theogony and traces the reception and shadows of this authoritative Greek creation story in Greek and Roman texts up to Milton's own creation myth, which sought to "soar above th' Aonian Mount [i.e., the Theogony]...and justify the ways of God to men." Scully also considers the poem in light of Near Eastern creation stories, including the Enûma elish and Genesis, as well as the most striking of modern "scientific myths," Freud's (...) Civilization and its Discontents. Scully reads Hesiod's poem as a hymn to Zeus and a city-state creation myth, arguing that Olympus is portrayed as an idealized polity and--with but one exception--a place of communal harmony. This reading informs his study of the Theogony's reception in later writings about polity, discord, and justice. The rich and various story of reception pays particular attention to the long Homeric Hymns, Solon, the Presocratics, Pindar, Aeschylus, Aristophanes, and Plato in the Archaic and Classical periods; to the Alexandrian scholars, Callimachus, Euhemerus, and the Stoics in the Hellenistic period; to Ovid, Apollodorus, Lucian, a few Church fathers, and the Neoplatonists in the Roman period. Tracing the poem's reception in the Byzantine, medieval, and early Renaissance, including Petrarch and Erasmus, the book ends with a lengthy exploration of Milton's imitations of the poem in Paradise Lost. Scully also compares what he considers Hesiod's artful interplay of narrative, genealogical lists, and keen use of personified abstractions in the Theogony to Homeric narrative techniques and treatment of epic verse. (shrink)
This paper is based on linked qualitative studies of the donation of human embryos to stem cell research carried out in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and China. All three studies used semi-structured interview protocols to allow an in-depth examination of donors’ and non-donors’ rationales for their donation decisions, with the aim of gaining information on contextual and other factors that play a role in donor decisions and identifying how these relate to factors that are more usually included in evaluations made (...) by theoretical ethics. Our findings have implications for one factor that has previously been suggested as being of ethical concern: the role of gratitude. Our empirical work shows no evidence that interpersonal gratitude is an important factor, but it does support the existence of a solidarity-based desire to “give something back” to medical research. Thus, we use empirical data to expand and refine the conceptual basis of bioethically theorizing the IVF–stem cell interface. (shrink)
A study of 612 CPAs employed in four separate regions of the People’s Republic of China shows that they exhibit ethical orientations that are not significantly different from one another and that they do not, as a group identify with the Subjectivist description provided in the Forsyth et al. (Journal of Business Ethics 8(83):813–833, 2008) meta-analytic international study involving the Ethical Position Questionnaire. Confirmatory factor analysis did however establish the validity of the instrument as a measure of idealistic and relativistic (...) tendencies. It was established that the ethical tone within local accounting firms plays a significant role in forming ethical positions and that these variables together work to influence ethical judgement making with respect to issues involving independence and objectivity. The constructs of relativism and idealism act as reliable predictors of moral choice, but need to be carefully interpreted in the context of field research. The study highlights concerns about the ethicality of a fledgling group of professionals having to cope with the exigencies associated with the world’s fastest developing economy. (shrink)
The Wigner distribution has proven to be a useful tool in many quantum problems requiring a joint distribution of position and momentum. In the present paper we develop a joint distribution for spin components within the spirit of the Wigner distribution. This distribution provides an insight into the quantum theory of measurement. We also discuss how one may write joint distributions for two arbitrary noncommuting operators.
Two-classes of phase-space spin quasi-distribution functions are introduced and discussed. The first class of these distributions is based on the delta function construction. It is shown that such a construction can be carried out for an arbitrary spin s and an arbitrary ordering of the spin operators. The second class of the spin distributions is constructed with the help of the spin coherent states. The connection of the spin coherent states to the Stratonovich formalism is established and discussed. It is (...) shown that the c-number phase-space description of quantum fluctuations provides a simple statistical picture of quantum fluctuations of spinoperators in terms of random directions on a unit sphere. For quantum states of the spin system the statistics of these random orientations is given by non-positive spin quasi-distribution functions. It is shown that the application of these spin quasi-distribution functions to the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen correlations provide an insight into the quantum theory of measurement. (shrink)
We have conducted an experimental study of V-type electromagnetically induced transparency in sodium. Its principles are elucidated by a simple model. Measurements show decreased fluorescence and absorption depending on the detuning of the driving and probe fields, which is in agreement with the results of numerical simulation.
In the present paper we expand upon ideas published some time ago in connection with which path detectors based on the micromaser. Frequently questions arise concerning the time ordering of detection and eraser events. We here show, by a detailed and careful analysis of a quantum eraser experimental setup, that the experimenter can choose to ascertain particle-like which path information or wavelike interference information even after the atom has hit the screen.
In November 2004, the Swiss population voted to accept a law on research using human embryonic stem cells. In this paper, we use Switzerland as a case study of the shaping of the ostensibly ethical debate on the use of embryos in embryonic stem cell research by legal, political and social constraints. We describe how the national and international context affected the content and wording of the law. We discuss the consequences of the revised law's separation of stem cell research (...) from other forms of embryo research, its definitions of embryo and of spare embryos, and the introduction of donorship into the Swiss ethical debate on IVF. We focus on the exclusion of the potential embryo donors' voices and perspectives from the debate, and consider the effects of this exclusion on ethical discourse and the political process. (shrink)
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the birth of the celebrated Wigner distribution function. Many advances made in various areas of science during the 50 year period can be attributed to the physical insights that the Wigner distribution function provides when applied to specific problems. In this paper the usefulness of the Wigner distribution function in collision theory is described.
When Humpty-Dumpty had his great fall nobody could put him together again. A vastly more moderate challenge is to reunite the two partial beams of a Stern-Gerlach apparatus with such precision that the original spin state is recovered. Nevertheless, as we demonstrate, a substantial loss of spin coherence always occurs, unless the experimenter is able to control the magnetic field's inhomogeneity with an accuracy of at least one part in 105.
It is found that a coherent state of the cavity field can be generated in a micromaser with injected atoms in a coherent superposition of the upper and lower states. The dependence of the density matrix elements of the field on the number of injected atoms indicates that due to the same initial atomic coherence the emission of separately injected single atoms in the cavity is a cooperative process.
This chapter examines the early insular history of Bede's Chronica Maiora in a universal context. It considers Bede's treatment of salvation history in the Chronica Maiora's account of the archipelago in the era of the Roman conquest and the barbarian invasions, viewed within the context of contemporary world history. The chapter explains that the Chronica Maiora is located in Bede's magisterial survey of divine and human time and traces the providential unfolding of universal history through the six ages of this (...) world. (shrink)
A Λ-type inversionless laser scheme is analyzed in which lasing is achieved under conditions when a conventional or a Raman laser would fail to operate. The dependence of gain on the parameters of the system is studied numerically. A realization in heliumlike ions is proposed which permits laser action at a wavelength of around 6 nm.
Hilary of Poitiers is an anomaly in the standard scholarly classification of Patristic Greek and Latin soteriology, for, though he is Latin, his soteriology shows such resemblance to Greek mystical theory that he is considered one of its major proponents. Since Harnack, the Greek mystical model is said to depend upon Platonism. However, this paper argues that Hilary teaches a "Greek" mystical model of redemption based on Christ‘s assumption of all humanity without recourse to Platonism. Hilary‘s soteriology is instead a (...) development of Latin Stoicism and a literal exegetical understanding of the Pauline Adam-Christ parallel. (shrink)
This article reviews recent developments within a number of academic disciplines pointing toward an increasing importance of imagination for understanding morality and cognition. Using elements from hermeneutics and metaphor theory, it works toward a framework for a more context-sensitive understanding of human agency, especially focusing on moral deliberation and change. The analytic framework is used to analyze the story of a patient making tough decisions in the context of prenatal diagnosis. We show how a relatively stable outlook on the world, (...) here called the “baseline of choice,” is challenged by unexpected events and how imaginative processes enter into the active creation of a new moral order. The ensuing interpretation is then placed within a broader philosophical landscape. John Dewey’s notion of “dramatic rehearsal” is put forward as one particularly promising way of understanding moral imagination, deliberation, and decision-making. (shrink)
In the 1980s, when the American art market flourished, critics were heavily concerned with theory. In T_he Aesthete in the City_ David Carrier offers a personal view on the artistic activity of that decade. He begins with a theoretical perspective on the relationship between two very different forms of artwriting: art criticism and art history writing. Carrier surveys the developments within theory during the 1980s, focusing on constructive critical analysis of the then fashionable work of Jean Baudrillard, Walter Benjamin, T. (...) J. Clark, and Jacques Derrida. He provides detailed accounts of a number of painters, among them Thomas Nozkowski, David Reed, and SeanScully, whose development he followed closely. Carrier argues that the greatest American artistic tradition,Expressionism, provides the basis for an ongoing tradition of abstract painting, a rich system whose potential has not yet been exhausted. Carrier's earlier work was concerned with a philosophical study of the methods of art criticism. This book turns to the theory and practice of art criticism, concentrating on a concrete discussion of individual theorists and artists. (shrink)
Physicist Sean Carroll has developed a new theory of the fundamental nature of reality, which he calls “Poetic Naturalism,” with the stated goal of developing a theory of what is real that is consistent with the findings of natural science. Carroll claims to prove that morality cannot be seen as objectively true. This essay argues that Carroll's conclusion is not convincing; there is no good reason to reject moral objectivity within a purely naturalistic worldview.
Delayed-choice erasure is investigated in two-photon two-slit experiments that are generalizations of the micromaser experiment of Scully et al. (Nature 351:111–116, 1991). Applying quantum mechanics to the localization detector, it is shown that erasure with delayed choice in the sense of Scully, has an analogous structure as simple erasure. The description goes beyond probabilities. The EPR-type disentanglement, consisting in two mutually incompatible distant measurements, is used as a general framework in both parts of this study. Two simple coherence (...) cases are shown to emerge naturally, and they are precisely the two experiments of Scully et al. The treatment seems to require the relative-reality-of-unitarily-evolving-state (RRUES) approach. Besides insight in the experiments, this study has also the goal of insight in quantum mechanics. The question is if the latter can be more than just a “book-keeping device” for calculating probabilities as Scully et al. modestly and cautiously claim. (shrink)
Narratives of the experience of pulmonary tuberculosis are relatively rare in the Irish context. A scourge of the early twentieth century, TB was as much a social as a physically debilitating disease that rendered sufferers silent about their experience. Thus, the personal diaries and letters of Irish poet, Seán Ó Ríordáin, are rare. This article presents translations of his personal papers in a historico-medical context to chronicle Ó Ríordáin’s experience of a life marred by respiratory disease. Familiar to generations of (...) schoolchildren are his imaginative poems, whose lively metre punctuated the Irish language curriculum from primary through to secondary schooling; for most they leave an indelible mark. Such buoyant poems however belie the reality of his existence, lived in the shadow of chronic illness, and punctuated with despair over his condition and anxiety about the periods of extended sick leave his illness necessitated. Although despair dominated his diaries and he routinely begged God, Mary, the Saints and the devil for death, they were also the locus where his creativity developed. In his diaries, caricatures of friends and sketches of everyday things nestle among the first lines of some of his most influential poems and quotes from distinguished philosophers and writers. Evocative and tragic, his diaries offer a unique prism to the experience of respiratory disease in Ireland. (shrink)
The anthology, Feminist Bioethics, edited by Jackie Leach Scully, Laurel E. Baldwin-Ragaven, and Petya Fitzpatrick, examines how feminist bioethics theoretically and methodologically challenges mainstream bioethics, and whether these approaches are useful for exploring difference in other contexts. It offers critical conceptual analyses of "autonomy", "universality", and "trust", and covers topics such as testing for hereditary cancer, prenatal selection for sexual orientation, midwifery, public health, disability, Indigenous research reform in Australia, and China's one child policy.
Sean B. Carroll’s new book, The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why it Matters, is a well-written mix of history of science and philosophy of biology. In his book, Carroll articulates a set of ecological generalisations, the Serengeti Rules, which are supposed to make salient the structures in ecosystems that ensure the persistence of those ecosystems. In this essay review, I evaluate Carroll’s use of the controversial concept of regulation and his thesis that ecosystems (...) have a natural balance comparable to that of human bodies. My conclusion is optimistic. Carroll’s generalisations provide a tool-kit for building relatively simple models that are accurate enough to be widely applied in experimental ecology and conservation science, guiding interventions upon unhealthy ecosystems. (shrink)
Sean Carroll argues that we should endorse atheism since there are no good reasons for affirming the more complex thesis of theism over the less complexthesis of materialism. However, this argument relies on an epistemological minimalism we should reject.