In this paper we explore the rise of ‘the breast cancer gene’ as a field of medical, cultural and personal knowledge. We address its significance in the Norwegian public health care system in relation to so-called biological citizenship in this particular national context. One of our main findings is that, despite its claims as a measure for health and disease prevention, gaining access to medical knowledge of BRCA 1/2 breast cancer gene mutations can also produce severe instability in the individuals (...) and families affected. That is, although gene testing provides modern subjects with an opportunity to foresee their biological destiny and thereby become patients in waiting, it undoubtedly also comes with difficult existential dilemmas and choices, with implications that resonate beyond the individual and into different family and love relations. By elaborating on this finding we address the question of whether the empowerment slogan, which continues to be advocated through various health, BRCA and breast cancer discourses, reinforces a naïve or an idealized notion of the actively responsible patient: resourceful enough to seek out medical expertise and gain sufficient knowledge, on which to base informed decisions, thereby reducing the future risk of developing disease. In contrast to this ideal, our Norwegian informants tell a different story, in which there is no apparent heroic mastery of genetic fates, but rather a pragmatic attitude to dealing with a dire situation over which they have little control, despite having complied with medical advice through national guidelines and follow-up procedures for BRCA 1/2 carriers. In conclusion we claim that the sense of safety that gene testing and its associated medical solutions allegedly promise to provide proved illusory. Although BRCA-testing offers the potential for protection from adverse DNA-heritage, administered through possibilities for self-monitoring and self-management of the body, the feeling of ‘being in good health’ has hardly been reinforced by the emergence of gene technology. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that scholars such as John Braithwaite and Lode Walgrave rely on fictions when presenting their utopian vision of restorative justice. Three claims in particular are shown to be fictitious. Proponents of restorative justice maintain, first, that the offender and the victim voluntarily attend the restorative conference. Second, that the restorative conference enables the offender and the victim to take on active responsibility. Third, that the reparatory tasks on which the parties agree should not be (...) understood in terms of the intentional infliction of harm. These fictions, so I argue, are not merely a mistake, but instead serve an important function: the various parties need to believe that they adequately capture the reality of the restorative conference as they are more likely to acquiesce if they believe the fictions to be true. I conclude that the fictions are the driving force within the restorative endeavour. (shrink)
Secondary education in Spain suffers a process o permanent legal change that only deepens the helplessness of the public sector and general degradation of the system. In this article, actual moment of general law reform is reviewed and a general change of discussion parameters is proposed.
"The classic and recent essays gathered here will challenge scholars in the natural sciences, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, and women’s studies to examine the role of racism in the construction and application of the sciences. Harding... has also created a useful text for diverse classroom settings." —Library Journal "A rich lode of readily accessible thought on the nature and practice of science in society. Highly recommended." —Choice "This is an excellent collection of essays that should prove useful in a wide (...) range of STS courses." —Science, Technology, and Society "... important and provocative... "—The Women’s Review of Books "The timeliness and utility of this large interdisciplinary reader on the relation of Western science to other cultures and to world history can hardly be overemphasized. It provides a tremendous resource for teaching and for research... "—Ethics "Excellent." —The Reader’s Review "Sandra Harding is an intellectually fearless scholar. She has assembled a bold, impressive collection of essays to make a volume of illuminating power. This brilliantly edited book is essential reading for all who seek understanding of the multicultural debates of our age. Never has a book been more timely." —Darlene Clark Hine These authors dispute science’s legitimation of culturally approved definitions of race difference—including craniology and the measurement of IQ, the notorious Tuskegee syphilis experiments, and the dependence of Third World research on First World agendas. (shrink)
The current study investigated how work-related disagreements—coined as conflicts—relate to workplace bullying, from the perspective of the target as well as the perpetrator. We hypothesized a positive indirect association between task conflicts and bullying through relationship conflicts. This process accounted for both for targets and perpetrators of bullying. Targets are distinguished from perpetrators in our assumption that this indirect effect is boosted by distributive conflict behavior, being yielding for targets and forcing for perpetrators. Results in a large representative sample of (...) the Flemish working population confirmed our hypotheses. Additionally, our study also revealed a direct effect from task conflicts to bullying in the analyses regarding the indirect as well as the conditional indirect effects. For perpetrators, both the indirect and direct relationships are moderated by forcing, underlining the importance of distributive conflict behavior particularly for the enactment of bullying behaviors. (shrink)
Artificial intelligence and normative ethics: Who is responsible for the crime of LAWS?In his text “Killer Robots”, Robert Sparrow holds that killer robots should be forbidden. This conclusion is based on two premises. The first is that attributive responsibility is a necessary condition for admitting an action; the second premise is that the use of killer robots is accompanied by a responsibility gap. Although there are good reasons to conclude that killer robots should be banned, the article shows that Sparrow's (...) argument for the ban is not correct. (shrink)
Defining the Enlightenment as the "long eighteenth century," the Encyclopedia focuses on the entire range of philosophic and social changes engendered by the Enlightenment. It extends the conventional geographical boundaries of the Enlightenment, covering not only France, England, Scotland, the Low Countries, Italy, English-speaking North America, the German states, and Hapsburg Austria but also Iberian, Ibero-American, Jewish, Russian, and Eastern European cultures. Nor does the Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment limit itself to major centers like Paris in France and Edinburgh in (...) Scotland, but shares the rich lode of recent scholarship on "secondary" and "provincial" centers such as Berlin and Geneva; Philadelphia and Milan. The Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment brings a similar spirit of inclusion to the new theoretical and methodological approaches that have flowered in the humanities during the past two decades. Including feminist and various post-modernist reassessments alongside more traditional perspectives, the four volumes offer the broadest possible range of current knowledge. Accessibility combined with scholarly rigor make the encyclopedia the first choice for researching any aspect of the Enlightenment. Designed and organized for ease of use, its special features include more than 700 signed articles; annotated bibliographies following each article to guide further study; an extensive system of cross-references; a synoptic outline of contents; a comprehensive topical index providing easy access to networks of related articles; and high quality illustrations, including photographs, line drawings, and maps. (shrink)
In secondary literature one can often read that Arendt, when she writes about violence, differs from Benjamin and Sorel. Indeed, while she considers violence as something instrumental, the two others write about a kind of violence that does not serve a goal. In the present essay it is argued that this presentation of the debate is not correct, and that the relationship between the three philosophers regarding the issue of violence is more complex.
BackgroundIn many countries health insurers, employers and especially governments are increasingly using pressure and coercion to enhance healthier lifestyles. For example by ever higher taxes on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, and ever stricter smoke-free policies. Such interventions can enhance healthier behaviour, but when they become too intrusive, an unfree society can emerge. Which lifestyle interventions that use pressure or coercion are justifiable and which are not? We tried to develop an assessment model that can be used for answering this question, (...) on a generally acceptable way, for all sorts of lifestyle interventions.MethodsThe intended assessment model was developed in three phases. In the first phase the model was theoretically developed on the basis of literature study and reasoning. In the second phase the model was empirically tested by assessing two detailed cases from everyday practice using the model. The model was improved again and again. In the third phase the 10th version of the model was developed while writing this article.ResultsAn assessment model for the justification of intrusive lifestyle interventions. It comprises three components: 12 assessment criteria ; an assessment structure with three filters ; a way of assessing.ConclusionsWe have developed an assessment model for the justification of lifestyle interventions that use pressure or coercion to promote health. The correctness, completeness and practicality of the model are likely. Important principles for the justification are the logic and completeness of the underlying argumentation and the proper use of the available scientific information. Parties for and against a particular intervention could use the model to test and strengthen their argumentation and to improve the quality of the intervention. (shrink)
This paper is dedicated to a discussion of Gilles Deleuze’s Coldness and Cruelty and its special place in French Sade studies. In this text, Deleuze famously argues against the notion of ‘sadomasochism’ as a unity. Sadism and masochism are, on his view, two entirely separate and incompatible ways of making use of pain and suffering in perversion. What is less known about Deleuze’s text is that he argues, against the current in French philosophy, psychiatry, and even intuition, that the essence (...) of sadism is a kind of thinking rather than a pleasure in causing pain to others. In this essay, we try to make sense of the idea that the sadist, at heart, is a metaphysician who thinks by means of suffering and indifference. Our paper also addresses the related concern about how to account for the properly sexual nature of this metaphysical perversion. We argue that the sexuality of thinking is rooted in pre-genital sexual life as described by Freud in his Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. (shrink)
Summary Mining companies after the Gold Rush depended heavily on foreign expertise, and yet historians of mining have glorified ?German engineering? in America. The application of German technology in America was fraught with difficulties, and most advances were micro- rather than macro-innovations, such as Philip Deidesheimer's famous square-set timbering on the Comstock Lode. The problem began at German mining schools, such as the Freiberg Mining Academy, where Americans like Louis and Henry Janin, while they acquired advanced training and adopted (...) an engineering ethos, struggled to learn about Mexican and American mining. Having complemented their course of study to remedy this deficiency, the brothers returned to the US intending to modernize mining on the frontier. Louis attempted the ?Freiberg Process? of amalgamation on the Comstock Lode, but locally developed methods proved more feasible, and the experiment failed. He came to apply his training rather toward the micro-level problem of how to reprocess amalgamation waste heaps. (shrink)
The decades immediately following the Second World War saw extensive interest in the literary novels of Sade. Compared with the Sade studies of Maurice Blanchot, Jacques Lacan, and Gilles Deleuze, Simone de Beauvoir offers a unique perspective in her essay Must We Burn De Sade?. Indeed, unlike her contemporaries, Beauvoir focuses not only on Sade's prose but also on Sade's life and the relationship between Sade's life and literature. The latter is interpreted in two different ways. Thus, Beauvoir uses at (...) least three different perspectives to understand the Marquis de Sade. In our essay, each of these three approaches, not clearly distinguished by Beauvoir's interpreters, will be discussed separately. This discussion will be linked to the important point that Beauvoir mentions three different notions of sadistic enjoyment. It will be argued that the distinction between these different notions coincides with the distinction between the three perspectives Beauvoir uses in her reading of Sade. We will evaluate both how Beauvoir's study on Sade is related to her existentialist philosophy, and the relationship between Must We Burn De Sade? and the studies of Beauvoir's contemporaries, a relationship which is neglected by most scholars in continental philosophy. (shrink)
Alfenvs Varvs of Cremona, a quondam friend of Catullus, studied law with the great Seruius Sulpicius—some of whose lectures he published—served to the advantage of Vergil as land commissioner in Cisalpine Gaul, became consul suffectus in 39 B.C., and provided Horace with the point of a joke. He seems also—hence this note—to have been the versifier whom Catullus calls Suffenus in c. 14 and 22. If he is, we have here a somewhat rare instance of Horace's adapting to his own (...) use a suggestion from Catullus. (shrink)
In 1975, Gauthier discussed Schelling’spure coordination gamesand Hodgson’sHi-Lo game. While developing an original analysis of how rational players coordinate on ‘focal points,’ Gauthier argued, contrary to Schelling and Hodgson, that successful coordination in these games does not depend on deviations from conventional principles of individually rational choice. I argue that Gauthier’s analysis of constrained maximization inMorals by Agreement, which famously deviates from conventional game theory, has significant similarities with Schelling’s and Hodgson’s analyses of coordination. Constrained maximization can be thought of (...) as a pragmatic and contractarian variant of the team-reasoning approach pioneered by Hodgson.En 1975, David Gauthier a discuté la question desjeux de coordination purede Schelling et desjeux Hi-Lode Hodgson. Tout en proposant une analyse originale de la façon dont les joueurs rationnels se coordonnent sur des «points focaux», Gauthier a soutenu contre Schelling et Hodgson que dans ces jeux, une coordination réussie ne dépend pas de déviations par rapport aux principes conventionnels du choix rationnel individuel. J’avance que l’analyse de la maximisation contrainte proposée par Gauthier dansMorals by Agreement, qui s’éloigne de façon notoire de la théorie des jeux conventionnelle, présente d’importantes similarités avec les analyses de la coordination de Schelling et Hodgson. La maximisation contrainte peut être envisagée comme une variante pragmatique et contractualiste de l’approche du raisonnement par équipe introduite par Hodgson. (shrink)
In this article the author discusses Pierre Klossowski’s first and second interpretation of the novels of Marquis de Sade. It is often stressed that there is a big difference between these interpretations: the first interprets Sade from a theological perspective; the second puts that Sade is an exponent of modernity. One can however argue that also Klossowski’s first theological reading interprets Sade as a product of modern thinking.
In his stimulating contribution, Corrado Roversi uses speech act theory to propose a more nuanced and shaded account of how agents can relate themselves to institutions than H. Hart’s binary distinction between the internal and external point of view. Although we agree on the central importance of Hart in charting recent work in social ontology, we propose to recast Roversi’s contribution in terms of the various ways in which an agent’s commitment to an institution can corrode or strengthen an institution. (...) In the first part we highlight several features of the internal/external distinction as developed by Hart and others. Whereas the internal point of view is manifested by following the rules and criticizing others for failing to do so, the external point of view can be characterized by, amongst others, a rejection of the rules or a theoretical understanding from the outside. The second part critically examines Roversi’s proposal as exemplified with the different kinds of chess players. Instead, several points at which a player might fail to commit himself to the institution of chess are identified, arguing that this provides a better taxonomy than the one proposed by Roversi. The last section deals with the ‘perlocutionary’ goal of institutions, stressing that all institutions attempt to solve pre-institutional coordination problems. (shrink)
In the Netherlands, in 1995 approximately 9700 people explicitly requested euthanasia or assisted suicide, and EAS was performed approximately 3600 times. The most important reasons for not performing EAS when requested by a patient were that the patient died before EAS was performed, or that the physician refused the request.
Among the French philosophers who discuss the literature of writer Marquis de Sade, Maurice Blanchot presents a unique interpretation. For Blanchot, literature is the theme par excellence on which his entire oeuvre has been built. It is not, however, the case that Blanchot reads several literary forms and invents new concepts to map out a certain form of literature. His thinking about literature is indeed accompanied by an ideal and his interest goes out to a particular kind of writer, namely (...) the writer who feels closely related to revolution. This implies that Blanchot is interested in Sade because his literature is both an illustration of a certain ideal, and is stuck in the revolutionary moment of radical negation. (shrink)
Je potěšením stát na břehu a vidět lodě, jak vyplouvají na moře; je potěšením stát v okně hradu a pozorovat bitvu a její zápletky dole; avšak žádné potěšení se nevyrovná tomu, když stojíme na vyvýšené půdě pravdy ... a vidíme chyby, omyly, zmatení a bouře v údolí pod námi.
Nonostante non tutti gli studiosi concordino sul valore e sulla validità della testimonianza di Agostino, non si può oggi mettere in dubbio che questi ebbe una conoscenza molto precisa non solo della dottrina manichea, ma anche delle pratiche rituali in uso nelle comunità delle sette, e in modo particolare di quelle che si imponevano agli Uditori. Del resto, egli stesso non manca di definirsi esperto dell’affare manicheo al fine di affermare l’autorità del suo modo di procedere nella polemica.Certo non si (...) può cercare in questi testi antimanichei un’esposizione serena né uno studio sistematico del catechismo manicheo poiché tali scritti hanno il carattere di un’“opera d’assalto” che Agostino, al di là degli aspetti anche caricaturali che mette in luce esponendo la dottrina avversa, dedica a quanti, come lui, corrono il rischio di essere sedotti e intrappolati da tale dottrina eretica.Quella lunga permanenza nella setta, nove anni come lui stesso afferma, e l’attività dispiegata al suo servizio permise ad Agostino di avere una larga conoscenza dell’organizzazione interna delle comunità, delle riunioni liturgiche e della catechesi, infine dei rapporti tra le due professiones che costituivano la chiesa manichea, i laici, Uditori o Catecumeni da una parte e, dall’altra, i religiosi, Eletti o Santi, tenuti, quest’ultimi, ad osservare rigide regole ascetiche raggruppate sotto tre capi, tria signacula appunto, relativi a tre ordini di attività, corrispondenti ad altrettanti organi quali bocca, mano, seno, ai quali il perfetto manicheo apporrà come un sigillo che rispetterà scrupolosamente.In particolare, lo studio del “sigillo della bocca”, quello, cioè, che ordina di astenersi dalle cibarie carnee e sanguinolente; dal vino; dalle bevande fermentate come la birra; nonché dai pensieri malvagi; dai discorsi menzogneri, violenti o blasfemi , permette di ricostruire, sempre attraverso la polemica agostiniana, la problematicità degli aspetti legati alle pratiche e alle abitudini alimentari della setta.Apporre un sigillo alla bocca, così come alla mano o al seno, significa chiudere, per usare una metafora cara al medioevo, le porte dei sensi: occhi, orecchie, naso, bocca, mani. Viceversa, aprirle o lasciarle aperte equivale a provocare e a permettere l’irruzione al proprio interno dei “demoni esteriori”, e, quindi, esporsi a peccare. Operare la “chiusura dei sensi” significa perciò sottrarsi alle sollecitazioni della carne e del mondo, rifiutando il male e conservando, così, la propria anima integralmente pura e buona quale essa è per essenza.Di fatto, la regola dei “tre sigilli” non viene osservata nel suo rigore più stretto che dai fedeli giunti o chiamati alla perfezione, dagli “Eletti” e dai “Santi”. Meno severe sono, infatti, le leggi che regolano il comportamento dei semplici credenti, degli “Uditori” o dei “Catecumeni”. La delineazione di quella che senza dubbio si potrebbe definire una sorta di “doppia morale”, una duplice regola di condotta, emerge chiaramente nei passi relativi alle pratiche alimentari, laddove, per esempio, Agostino fa notare come agli Uditori, per esempio, sia permesso persino dedicarsi ad attività profane quali l’agricoltura e tutto ciò che ad essa consegue come seminare e raccogliere, operazioni ritenute sacrileghe dagli Eletti, o, ancora, poter mangiar carne e bere vino.Diversamente vanno, invece, le cose per i “Perfetti”, il cui regime di sussistenza è ridotto allo stretto indispensabile secondo uno stile di vita improntato al digiuno, alla preghiera e all’astinenza. Sono così loro proibiti i cibi grassi, le bevande inebrianti ed ogni gesto dannoso perpetuato nei confronti dei vegetali.Tali proibizioni alimentari, discussi da Agostino nell’oris signaculum, la cui critica occupa da sola i tre quarti dello sviluppo dedicato ai tre sigilli nel suo De moribus manichaeorum, sono fonte di grande interesse per il vescovo d’Ippona il quale non manca di prendere in esame, spesso con tono sarcastico, ciascun aspetto di questi rigidi precetti rivelandone quelle che per lui sono immancabili contraddizioni: «Smettete ... di lusingare gli ignoranti celebrando il sigillo della bocca come qualcosa di grande. A meno che per caso non riteniate il mangiare crne e il non bere vino un sigillo della bocca degno di ammirazione e lode».Il colore, l’odore e il sapore, tre criteri che guidano e orientano i manichei nella scelta dei cibi e che corrispondono ad altrettanti organi sensoriali, la vista, l’olfatto sentinella del terzo dei sensi chiamati in causa, quello del gusto, divengono per Agostino occasione non solo di riflessione ma di spunto polemico al fine di dimostrare come, spesso, limitarsi a giudicare la bontà o meno di un cibo servendosi di solo uno di questi sensi alla volta , porti a cadere in terribili errori di giudizio. Del resto, Dio non è qualcosa di materiale che possa essere percepito con i sensi ed è, dunque, assurdo ritenere che lo si possa scoprire con la vista, con l’olfatto, o con il gusto. (shrink)
In many countries health insurers, employers and especially governments are increasingly using pressure and coercion to enhance healthier lifestyles. For example by ever higher taxes on cigarettes and alcoholi..
The third edition of Being and Logos—consisting in a revised text of the second edition and a "recomposed preface"—twenty-one years after the book's first appearance, is ample testimony to the continuing success of John Sallis's work. Originally part of the Duquesne Philosophical Series, a series dedicated mainly to phenomenology and other related disciplines, Sallis adopts a phenomenological approach and language at the outset, which sometimes leads to genuinely gnomic utterances, but which is inspired at root by the simple and admirable (...) wish to read six Platonic dialogues with as few unnecessary assumptions and as little theatrical baggage as possible, and to read them as individual wholes rather than as fragmentary lode-bearers of some pre-established or Procrustean "philosophy of Plato". (shrink)
In Horae canonicae W. H. Auden ha messo a tema la dimensione mimetica della condizione umana. Il saggio ricostruisce in tal senso l’antropologia negativa di Auden, prendendo le mosse dall’analisi del desiderio di riconoscimento quale elemento centrale dell’identità storica. Attraverso una lettura dei motivi della folla e del doppio, e sullo sfondo del poema The Age of Anxiety e della produzione saggistica di Auden, si mostra che la «routine della lode e del biasimo» innesca meccanismi imitativi di sdoppiamento e (...) rivalità che, se da un lato anticipano le tesi di Canetti e Girard, dall’altro rinviano a una concezione mimetico-rituale e mimetico-negativa della poesia.In Horae canonicae W.H. Auden brings into focus the mimetic dimension of human condition. This essay reconstructs Auden's negative anthropology, starting from his analysis of the desire for recognition as a central feature of historical identity. Through an interpretation of the themes of the crowd and of the double, and on the background of the long poem The age of anxiety and of his literary essays, it will be shown that for Auden the «routine of praise and blame» ignites mechanisms of rivalry and doubling that, besides anticipating some ideas of Canetti and Girard, are connected with a ritual and negative mimetic conception of poetry. (shrink)
This article addresses the issue of why some languages permit the interpretation of what are basically simple‐action transitive verbs (e.g. beat) as causative change‐of‐state verbs in the context of a ‘resultative’ adjective (e.g. beat the metal flat), while others do not. This crosslinguistic asymmetry has not received an entirely satisfactory explanation, despite the fact that resultative predication has been widely discussed from a variety of perspectives. We note that languages show a systematic correlation between (1) the presence of a grammaticalized (...) opposition between perfective and imperfective aspect lexically/morphologically encoded in verb forms and (2) the absence of secondary syntactic predication encoding result states in combination with verbs otherwise denoting simple actions. Greek and English are taken as representative of the two ‘types’ of language. Building on the insights of Talmy (1985), Tenny (1987, 1994) and Snyder (1995), among others, an explanation is proposed for the absence of such secondary predication in Greek and similar languages based on the restrictive effects of grammatical aspect marking on the contextual (re)interpretation of a verb's inherent aspectual character (Aktionsart)—effects which render impossible the conversion by syntactic means of VPs denoting atelic activities into VPs denoting accomplishments. We also show that the ‘failure’ of some languages to allow the unaccusativization of agentive verbs of motion (e.g. unergative walked in the park v. unaccusative walked into the park) is closely related to this issue, though the outcome is also subject to a given language having the resources to mark ‘goals’ unambiguously. An important conclusion of the analysis is that the ‘deficit’ of languages like Greek in not encoding such resultative predication syntactically is not syntactic in character, but located at the interface of inflectional morphology and lexical semantics. (shrink)