Prosthetic devices that replace an absent body part are generally considered to be either cosmetic or functional. Functional prostheses aim to restore lost physical functioning. Cosmetic prostheses attempt to restore a “normal” appearance to bodies that lack limbs by emulating the absent body part’s looks. In this article, we investigate how cosmetic prostheses establish a normal appearance by drawing on the stories of the users of a specific type of artificial limb: the facial prosthesis. Given that prostheses are first and (...) foremost devices worn upon the body, such an analysis requires an understanding of the ways in which bodies and technologies interact. We thus interpret users’ stories by critically engaging with the work of disability researcher and Actor-Network theorist Myriam Winance, as well as with the postphenomenological scholarship of Don Ihde and Peter-Paul Verbeek. Using this framework, we explore users’ attempts to achieve a proper fit between their faces and their prostheses, the technological transparency such a fit enables, and the ways in which transparency mediates users’ everyday exchanges with others. We conclude that a normal appearance, when it is achieved by means of prosthetics, enables the device’s user to navigate a precarious social environment as they encounter and interact with others in public. (shrink)
By analyzing descriptions of illusory and nonillusory figures, Richer called into question the common assumption that illusory and nonillusory perceptions were experientially the same and differed only in terms of their accuracy. The present study attempted to replicate Richer's work with a focus on identifying within the subjects' descriptions any orienting attitudes corresponding to these two forms of perception. Nineteen student volunteers were asked to describe two illusory figures and a nonillusory control of similar complexity. The descriptions revealed consistent differences (...) between the two forms. However, the Hering and Zollner figures were not always described in illusory terms, and surprisingly, several subjects described the control as if it were illusory. Further, perceptual accuracy was not guaranteed by nonillusory experience. Subjects described the figures from within one of three different orienting attitudes-atomizing, representational, and geometrical-organizing. The latter attitude appeared necessary for the phenomena of illusory perception and experience. Though the present findings confirmed Richer's distinction between illusory and nonillusory experience, they also indicate the need for further differentiation- illusory perception versus illusory experience. Finally, the findings also supported Luria's and Segall, Campbell, and Herskovits's position on the importance of particular cultural and educational experiences and codes in relation to perceptual illusions. (shrink)
In recent years, facial difference is increasingly on the public and academic agenda. This is evidenced by the growing public presence of individuals with an atypical face, and the simultaneous emergence of research investigating the issues associated with facial variance. The scholarship on facial difference approaches this topic either through a medical and rehabilitation perspective, or a psycho-social one. However, having a different face also encompasses an embodied dimension. In this paper, we explore this embodied dimension by interpreting the stories (...) of individuals with facial limb absence against the background of phenomenological theories of the body, illness and disability. Our findings suggest that the atypical face disrupts these individuals’ engagement with everyday projects when it gives rise to disruptive perceptions, sensations, and observations. The face then ceases to be the absent background to perception, and becomes foregrounded in awareness. The disruptions evoked by facial difference call for adjustments: as they come to terms with their altered face, the participants in our study gradually develop various new bodily habits that re-establish their face’s absence, or relate to its disruptive presence. It is through these emergent habits that facial difference comes to be embodied. By analyzing the everyday experiences of individuals with facial limb absence, this article provides a much-needed exploration of the embodied aspects of facial difference. It also exemplifies how a phenomenological account of illness and disability can do justice both to the impairments and appearance issues associated with atypical embodiment. (shrink)
This review-article of Martha Roth's Law Collections focuses on selected sections in the Laws of Ur-Namma, Eshnunna, Hammurabi, Lipit-Ishtar, and the Neo-Babylonian Laws. It discusses potentially misleading divisions of sections and problems of rendering the term awīlum (lú). It also asserts that students of law will benefit from Roth's translations for generations.
This book appears as the eighth installment of the series Controversies, which is edited by Marcelo Dascal at Tel Aviv University. The series has as its stated goal publishing "studies in the theory of controversy, . . . studies in the history of controversy forms and their evolution, case studies of particular or current controversies, . . . and other controversy focused books". Senderowicz is a Kantian scholar, having also written The Coherence of Kant's Transcendental Idealism and several papers interpreting (...) Kant. Both of these themes are evident in Controversies and the Metaphysics of Mind. The book offers a decidedly neo-Kantian interpretation of the role that controversies play in metaphysical theorizing and applies this interpretation to two recent debates in the metaphysics of mind. The first is the debate about physicalism and the second is the debate about personal identity. The issues that are addressed include the relation of metaphysics to science and whether or not metaphysics deals with a distinctive subject matter or uses a distinctive method. This puts the book amongst the growing number of works in metametaphysics. (shrink)
KANT’S GOAL IN THE TRANSCENDENTAL DEDUCTION was to demonstrate that the categories are applicable to objects of sensible intuition. He carried out this task by disclosing the necessity of a transcendental synthesis. In the Transcendental Deduction in the second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason transcendental synthesis has two subspecies: synthesis intellectualis and synthesis speciosa. The distinction between the two types of transcendental synthesis is also mirrored in the structure of the proof of the B Deduction. As several commentators (...) have noted, the B Deduction in fact contains two parts. Each part seems to provide an account of a distinctive kind of transcendental synthesis. The first part provides an account of intellectual synthesis while the second part provides an account of figurative synthesis. (shrink)
Medicine has undergone substantial changes in the way medical dilemmas are being dealt with. Here we explore the attitude of Israeli physicians to two debatable dilemmas: disclosing the full truth to patients...
In analogy with Rousseau's concept of ?civil religion? as a system of ?positive dogmas?, ?without which?, as he observed, ?a man cannot be a good citizen?, this paper advances the concept of ?civil epistemology? as the positive dogmas without which the agents of government actions cannot be held accountable by democratic citizens. The civil epistemology of democracy shapes the citizen's views on the nature of political reality, on how the facts of political reality can be known and by whom. Modern (...) liberal democratic politics assumes that the exercise of political power can be manifest in a visible domain of publicly accessible facts. It rests on the Enlightenment faith in the powers of light and visibility to demystify political power, render political actors more exposed and therefore more honestly accountable and enlist the sense of sight as a vehicle of universal political participation. It is, in this context, that technology has come to play such an important symbolic role in the construction of the particular democratic genre of public action as a political spectacle. Democratic civil epistemology, and technology ? in the widest sense of the word ? as the prototype of action which can be observed in the field of visual perception, uphold the democratic conception of politics as a view. Together they define political actors as visible performers, journalists as observers (who translate actual seeing into virtual seeing) and the citizens as witnesses. (shrink)
This chapter focuses on the potential second “career” of the banality of evil thesis in the profoundly different context of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Considering the continual violence between the sides, the urgent problem in this context is not only how to understand evil committed in the past, but how to frame it in a way congenial for the social psychology and politics of reconciliation between the antagonistic parties.
In this article we examine the “phenotype” concept in light of recent technological advances in Genome-Wide Association Studies . By observing the technology and its presuppositions, we put forward the thesis that at least in this case genotype and phenotype are effectively coidentifled one by means of the other. We suggest that the coidentiflcation of genotype-phenotype couples in expression-based GWAS also indicates a conceptual dependence, which we call “co-deñnition.” We note that viewing these terms as codeflned runs against possible expectations, (...) viz., that genotypes and phenotypes could ultimately be expressed independently from one another. In addition, the co-definition of genotypes and phenotypes in this context emphasizes the correlative character of both genotypes and phenotypes in GWAS. (shrink)