Annie Besant is primarily remembered as the international president of the Theosophical Society. One of the most important aspects of her career were the years that she was a professional atheist, which has given her a place in history as a pioneer feminist. _The Origins of Theosophy _contains thirteen of Besant’s pamphlets, originally published from 1883-1890. This book is ideal for students of theology.
Siopis has always engaged in a critical and controversial way with the concepts of ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’ in South Africa. For politically sensitive artists whose work has involved confronting the injustices of apartheid, the current post-apartheid situation has forced a reassessment of their practice and the terms on which they might engage with the fundamental changes which are now affecting all of South African society. Where mythologies of race and ethnicity have been strategically foregrounded in the art of any engaged (...) artist, to the exclusion of many other concerns, the demise of apartheid offers the possibility of exploring other dimensions of lived experience in South Africa. For feminists, this is potentially a very positive moment when questions of gender – so long subordinated to the structural issue of ‘race’ under apartheid – can now be explored. Penny Siopis’ work has long been concerned with the lived and historical relations between black and white women in South Africa. The discussion focuses on the ambivalent and dependent relationships formed between white middle-class women and black domestic labour during apartheid. Siopis’ work engages with how the appropriation of black women's time, lives, labour and bodies has shaped her ‘own’ history. (shrink)
David Annis is professor of philosophy at Ball State University. In this essay, Annis offers an alternative to the foundationalist-coherent controversy: "contextualism." This theory rejects both the idea of intrinsically basic beliefs in the foundational sense and the thesis that coherence is sufficient for justification. he argues that justification is relative to the varying norms of social practices.
In a recent paper, Al Mele (2003) suggests that the Simple View of intentional action is “fiction” because it is “wholly unconstrained” by a widely shared (folk) concept of intentional action. The Simple View (Adams, 1986, McCann, 1986) states that an action is intentional only if intended. As evidence that the Simple View is not in accord with the folk notion of intentional action, Mele appeals to recent surveys of folk judgments by Joshua Knobe (2003, 2004a, 2004b). Knobe’s surveys appear (...) to show that the folk judge unintended but known side effects of actions to be performed intentionally. In this paper we will reject Mele’s suggestion that the Simple View is “fiction.” We will also discuss the relationship between surveys and philosophical theories, and the abilities of surveys to access folk core concepts. We will argue that considerations of both fail to support Mele’s suggestion. (shrink)
The analysis of meat and its place in Western culture has been central to Human-Animal Studies as a field. _Meat Culture_ brings into focus urgent critiques of hegemonic ‘meat culture’, animal farming and the wider animal industrial complex.
As the country becomes increasingly diverse, new issues arise within the American educational system. This book examines the effects of underrepresentation of African Americans in colleges and universities. It also discusses the challenges facing Blacks trying to get into the academy and issues that confront those who penetrate the system.
UK National statistics for science, engineering and technology studies and careers confirm the under-representation of women in these disciplines. A literature review formed the basis for developing survey questionnaires exploring issues of female students' attraction to, and retention in, engineering and technology studies. Findings indicate that having family members in the engineering or technology industry plays an important part in the students' choice of degree topic and future career. In particular, we found that female students need to be encouraged to (...) study a "male dominated" subject, such as engineering or technology but that teachers do not contribute much to such encouragement. While at university, female students were more comfortable in small practical sessions rather than in a large lecture theatre environment and, when evaluating self-confidence in their skills at graduation, the female students were less confident than their male colleagues. In addition, the study highlights that gaining work experience through an industrial placement should be one of the priorities for engineering and technology students. A high level of determination and wanting to do engineering or technology is especially necessary for women who may be discouraged by the stereotyped image of engineering and technology studies and professions. (shrink)
Twenty-first-century biology rejects genetic determinism, yet an exaggerated view of the power of genes in the making of bodies and minds remains a problem. What accounts for such tenacity? This article reports an exploratory study suggesting that the common reliance on Mendelian examples and concepts at the start of teaching in basic genetics is an eliminable source of support for determinism. Undergraduate students who attended a standard ‘Mendelian approach’ university course in introductory genetics on average showed no change in their (...) determinist views about genes. By contrast, students who attended an alternative course which, inspired by the work of a critic of early Mendelism, W. F. R. Weldon, replaced an emphasis on Mendel’s peas with an emphasis on developmental contexts and their role in bringing about phenotypic variability, were less determinist about genes by the end of teaching. Improvements in both the new Weldonian curriculum and the study design are in view for the future. (shrink)
Among philosophers, there are at least two prevalent views about the core concept of intentional action. View I (Adams 1986, 1997; McCann 1986) holds that an agent S intentionally does an action A only if S intends to do A. View II (Bratman 1987; Harman 1976; and Mele 1992) holds that there are cases where S intentionally does A without intending to do A, as long as doing A is foreseen and S is willing to accept A as a consequence (...) of S’s action. Joshua Knobe (2003a) presents intriguing data that may be taken to support the second view.1 Knobe’s data show an asymmetry in folk judgements. People are more inclined to judge that S did A intentionally, even when not intended, if A was perceived as causing a harm (e.g. harming the environment). There is an asymmetry because people are not inclined to see S’s action as intentional, when not intended, if A is perceived as causing a beneﬁt (e.g. helping the environment). In this paper we will discuss Knobe’s results in detail. We will raise the question of whether his ordinary language surveys of folk judgments have accessed core concepts of intentional action. We suspect that instead Knobe’s surveys are tapping into pragmatic aspects of intentional language and its role in moral praise and blame. We will suggest alternative surveys that we plan to conduct to get at this difference, and we will attempt to explain the pragmatic usage of intentional language. (shrink)
In principle Claude Bernard criticizes historical reflection, which he character- izes as a waste of time. But in spite of strong statements condemning it, Bernard makes use of history frequently and in several different ways. The coexistence of this openly antihistorical stance with a use of the historical perspective poses a problem. I will try to show that these two attitudes lead toward a common goal: promoting science. They combine to create a broad strategy that contributed a great deal to (...) the development of scientism in the nineteenth century. Bernard's arguments may be one of the sources of the distrust some scientists still feel toward the history of science. (shrink)
In this study, we examined the perception of actual and ideal ethical climate type among 95 nurses working in the internal medicine wards of one central hospital in the state of Israel. We also examined whether nurses’ demographic characteristics influence that perception and if a relationship between perceptions of an actual and an ideal ethical climate type influences nurses’ job satisfaction. A questionnaire composed of three subquestionnaires was administered and the responses analyzed using multiple linear regressions, analysis of variance and (...) Pearson’s correlation coefficient. The results demonstrated that demographic characteristics (such as: gender, job tenure and level of education) partially influence the perception of an ideal ethical climate. Incongruence in perceptions of ‘caring’ and ‘independence’ climate types indicated a decline in nurses’ job satisfaction, while perception of actual ‘caring’ and ‘service’ climates positively influenced all aspects of job satisfaction. We recommend constructing training programs emphasizing the ethics of nursing practice and also to help lead nurses to clarify an ethical framework and guide nursing staff in dealing with ethical dilemmas. (shrink)
Policies and position statements regarding decision-making for extremely premature babies exist in many countries and are often directive, focusing on parental choice and expected outcomes. These recommendations often state survival and handicap as reasons for optional intervention. The fact that such outcome statistics would not justify such approaches in other populations suggests that some other powerful factors are at work. The value of neonatal intensive care has been scrutinized far more than intensive care for older patients and suggests that neonatal (...) care is held to a higher standard of justification. The relative value placed on the life of newborns, in particular the preterm, is less than expected by any objective medical data or any prevailing moral frameworks about the value of individual lives. Why do we feel less obligated to treat the premature baby? Do we put newborns in a special and lesser moral category? We explore this question from a legal and ethical perspective and offer several hypotheses pertaining to personhood, reproductive choices, “precious children,” and probable evolutionary and anthropological factors. (shrink)
This paper argues that the augmented reality gaming application for smart devices, _Pokémon GO_ shows the fate of the legal subject as a neoliberal monster subjugated to the limitations imposed by hypercapitalism. The game, derived from Nintendo’s iconic Pokémon franchise, reveals the legal subject as a frenzied, diminished and impulsive being, allowed to see, move, catch and accumulate but unable to participate in more meaningful self-narration. It is not that the game is lawless, notwithstanding, anxieties in the semiosphere about users (...) trespassing or engaging in criminal behaviour. Rather the game is over structured and highly limited, both within its game-play which is repetitive and impulsive, and in its absence of narrative. Unlike the classic Nintendo Pokémon games which are within the role-playing game genre, _Pokémon GO_ abstracts the seeing, moving, catching and accumulating features of the classic games without the overarching narrative, questing and competition. In this _Pokémon GO_ manifests the transformation of the liberal legal subject of capitalism to the neoliberal subject of a digital orientated hypercapitalism where seeing, moving, catching and accumulating is immediate and impulsive, obliterating the ‘prudent’ subject participating in their own self-narration. (shrink)
Friendship was an important topic for classical philosophers; the analysis, Value, And duties of friendship all received considerable attention. But friendship has been a relatively dormant topic among more recent philosophers. This paper (a) presents an analysis of friendship and explains its core elements, (b) discusses several different models for explaining the value of friendship, And (c) argues that there are special duties of friendship and that these aren't based solely on utilitarian considerations.
In this article I employ Deleuzian theory in an exploration of men’s and women’s experiences of sexuality and sexual relations when encountering erectile difficulties and/or using sexuopharmaceuticals such as Viagra. I analyse the ways in which accounts of the function of Viagra-assisted erections can be seen to restore or re-establish previous sexual conventions or patterns, and the ways in which Viagra use may change or challenge such patterns. Also examined are the alternative stories of those for whom Viagra hasn’t ‘worked’; (...) these accounts demonstrate how the persistence of erectile difficulties produces positive opportunities for experimentation, creativity and transformation in the realm of the erotic. (shrink)
Children acquiring languages with noun classes have ample statistical information available that characterizes the distribution of nouns into these classes, but their use of this information to classify novel nouns differs from the predictions made by an optimal Bayesian classifier. We use rational analysis to investigate the hypothesis that children are classifying nouns optimally with respect to a distribution that does not match the surface distribution of statistical features in their input. We propose three ways in which children's apparent statistical (...) insensitivity might arise, and find that all three provide ways to account for the difference between children's behavior and the optimal classifier. A fourth model combines two of these proposals and finds that children's insensitivity is best modeled as a bias to ignore certain features during classification, rather than an inability to encode those features during learning. These results provide insight into children's developing knowledge of noun classes and highlight the complex ways in which statistical information from the input interacts with children's learning processes. (shrink)
The history of brushtail possums in New Zealand is bleak. The colonists who forcibly transported possums from their native Australia to New Zealand in the nineteenth century valued them as economic assets, quickly establishing a profitable fur industry. Over the past 80 or so years, however, New Zealand has increasingly scapegoated possums for the unanticipated negative impact their presence has had on the native environment and wildlife. Now this marsupial—blamed and despised—suffers the most miserable of reputations and is extensively targeted (...) as the nation's number one pest. This paper examines anti-possum rhetoric in New Zealand, identifying the operation of several distinct—yet related—discourses negatively situating the possum as an unwanted foreign invader and a threat to what makes New Zealand unique; the subject of revenge and punishment ; and recognizably “cute, but...” merely a pest and therefore unworthy of compassion. This paper argues that the demonization of possums in New Zealand is overdetermined, extreme, and unhelpfully entangled in notions of patriotism and nationalism. (shrink)
Kant’s treatment of laughter in section 54 of the Critique of Judgment is intriguing: he places laughter among the arts, but does not deem it serious enough to be a fine art. According to Kant, laughter is an agreeable art, and ministers only to the senses. But when he describes to us what laughter actually does, it turns out that this bodily phenomenon is actually a moral phenomenon akin to the sublime in that it elevates and humbles us at the (...) same time. This paper revisits Kant’s aesthetic themes, shows the distinctive role of laughter in the third Critique, and explores the possibilities of a true reunification of law and freedom through laughter. (shrink)
For a minority of children managed in the NICU, there is a need for more complex technologic assistance in order to sustain life, mitigate a more chronic debilitation from a pervasive life-limiting condition, or provide a bridge from life-sustaining therapy to a more semi-permanent treatment such as organ transplantation. This chapter will address two major types of technology assistance for infants and children—tracheostomy and assisted home ventilation, and dialysis—and the myriad complications and considerations that they raise. Some attention to why (...) clinicians may be so inclined to impose technology as a solution to life-limiting conditions will be noted, as well as why some parents may seem to insist on pursuing technology. (shrink)
Non-heterosexual men have long existed on the social and cultural margins. Gay and bisexual male characters in literature, too, have done so for many generations. This essay explores the construction of gay masculinity in the short story “Brokeback Mountain” in relation to the “imaginative leap” that its author, Annie Proulx, undertook in order to conceptualize and represent this noteworthy form of marginalized otherness. It demonstrates that, despite the story’s various refreshing elements, “Brokeback Mountain” ultimately relies far too extensively on (...) the logic of melodrama when telling the tale of Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, who fall in love in 1963 and continue their sexual relationship over the course of two decades. As a result, this story ends up positioning its two queer protagonists as enemies of the patriarchal social order and the larger society within which it so comfortably exists, implicitly perpetuating both heterosexism and homophobia as it does its cultural work. (shrink)
The dynamic mother-daughter relationship can be loving and supportive at best as well as contentious and tragic. It is a relationship predicated on maternal instinct which can provide direction and support for deep insight into notions of womanhood, personal and political philosophies. However, in providing this guidance, ironically this same maternal guidance can act to stifle the growth of an adolescent daughter as she transitions into womanhood. Jamaica Kincaid’s ‘Annie John’ can be seen as an exemplar of this transition. (...)Annie has to contend with not only her mother’s maternal pressure on her to conform, but she must also adhere to cultural expectations of a creolized culture predicated on both Africana and British understandings of femininity, social expectations, womanhood, and etiquette. This challenges Annie’s own emerging philosophy and desire for independence and self-definition. As discussed in this paper, success can be achieved outside and beyond the mother-daughter dynamic once a daughter has had the opportunity to consider, realize, defy the hypocrisy of being encouraged to be independent whilst being forced to follow one’s mother’s notion of womanhood. In a valiant attempt to avoid the tragedy of replicating her mother’s own flaws, Annie John’s personal growth was no easy feat and created at times a contentious dynamic. However, this journey not only facilitated her success and independence so that she could travel beyond the shores of Antigua, it demonstrated an independence of thought that African Caribbean creolized women must experience in order to realize their own success. (shrink)
The monstrous power of the blind in Diderot’s 1949 Letter is not due to its ability to make people laugh or afraid, as its most common etymology would indicate: monstrum, monstrare, to point to an abnormal fact. The monstrous power of Diderot’s monster is that of one who shows: monere, monitor, in the manner of a guide or pathfinder. It shows us that everything that lives, and especially the human being, is a hybrid. It takes the idea of a possible (...) mixture of animals and humans into account, thus the boldness of an ‘anti-speciesism’ as presented in the fantastical bestiary of Alembert’s Dream. It brings the humanism of essence to an end and invites us to redefine a new social bond. (shrink)
This qualitative study, conducted between August and December 2006, explored the opinions and experiences of New Zealanders who challenge orthodox attitudes to the use and consumption of nonhuman animals. To date, New Zealand has under-investigated the perspectives of those who oppose animal farming, the eating of nonhuman animals, and the exploitation of nonhuman animals. Agriculture substantially influences the economy and cultural heritage of the nation. Given that national identity in New Zealand strongly associates with farming and meat production, this paper (...) investigates how vegetarians living in this country experience and challenge prevalent imagery and ideas about New Zealand. In particular, the paper examines the ways in which “kiwi” vegetarians are disputing the dominant image of New Zealand as “clean and green” and a land of "animal lovers" and how they are experiencing mainstream kiwi culture in their everyday lives. The paper also examines some of the more positive aspects for vegetarians of living in New Zealand. (shrink)
This review calls for portions of Annie Miller's book to be released as a pro-basic-income shorter book. This book as it stands, should be on the shelf of policy-makers who want to work through options in basic income for the legislation they are writing.
Despite recent critiques of agrofuels, the industry is booming, signaling transformations in the world's food and fuels systems. International financial institutions, biotechnology firms, governments, and agribusiness are restructuring control over land, genetic resources, economic space, and market power. These moves prefer transnational capital at the expense of farmers in the North and extensive areas vital to the livelihoods of small producers in the Global South. This article suggests that the agrofuels boom may be a new—and particularly destructive—stage in industry's extractive (...) transformations of agriculture. The movement-based logic of food sovereignty—people's right to define their own food and agriculture systems—suggests a rollback of the “agrofuels transition” is possible. (shrink)