The role demographic, personality, and situational factors play in the ethical decision making process has received a significant amount of attention (Ford and Richardson, 1994). However, the empirical research on students' decisions to engage in collegiate cheating has not been included in this literature. This paper reviews the last 25 years of empirical research on collegiate cheating. The individual/situational factor typology from Ford and Richardson's review (1994) is used to compare the two literatures. In addition, issues pertaining to the quantification (...) of academic dishonesty, the perception that cheating is increasing, and methodological considerations are addressed in this review. (shrink)
HOME . ABOUT US . CONTACT US HELP . PUBLISH WITH US . LIBRARIANS Search in or Explore Browse Publications A-Z Browse Subjects A-Z Advanced Search University of Cambridge SIGN IN Register | Why Register? | Sign Out | Got a Voucher? prev abstract next Two Approaches to Reading the Historical Descartes A Devout Catholic? Knowledge of The Mental Thought and Language Descartes as A Natural Philosopher Substance Dualism Notes Two Approaches to Reading the Historical Descartes Author: Desmond M. Clarke (...) DOI: 10.1080/09608780902986680 Publication Frequency: 5 issues per year Published in: British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Volume 17, Issue 3 June 2009 , pages 601 - 616 John Cottingham: Cartesian Reflections: Essays on Descartes's Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008) 40.00 (hb.). ISBN 978-0-19-922697-9 John Cottingham, in a new collection of essays, asks the question: 'what exactly did Descartes himself chiefly take himself to be doing?' (254). 1 While the question is relatively clear, and while it acknowledges implicitly that Descartes was probably doing a range of different things, the answer that is apparently proposed here emerges only on reading the whole collection. Cottingham distinguishes in Chapter 1 - which is a new, synoptic overview of what is discussed in the other chapters, all of which were previously published - between two approaches to reading Descartes. One is to see him as 'a dummy on which to drape various suspect doctrines (such as “Cartesian dualism”)' (3), which contemporary analytic philosophers have shown to be radically mistaken. Another approach is adopted by historians of ideas 'who make it their life's work to pay meticulous scholarly attention to the philosophical works of past ages' (3). Cottingham does not explicitly criticize either of these approaches, but he hints at situating his own as some kind of Aristotelian middle course between the two. Since the two reference points are dangerously close to straw men or what Cottingham calls 'extreme positions', the proposed middle way may simply combine elements of two approaches, each of which is entirely legitimate. I return to this question at the conclusion. In fact, many of these essays were intended to show (rightly!) that Descartes never held the philosophical positions that are often attributed to him. The interpretation of Karol Wojtyla, later Pope John Paul II, provides a good example of how mistaken one can be: The Cogito ergo sum radically changed the way of doing philosophy … After Descartes, philosophy became a science of pure thought: all that is being- the created world, and even the Creator, is situated within the ambit of the Cogito, as contents of human consciousness. Philosophy is concerned with beings as contained in consciousness, and not as existing independently of it. (257) The only way to address such a caricature is to refer back to what Descartes actually wrote. Cottingham does precisely that, often quoting the original Latin or French texts. However, having shown successfully, by a close reading of the texts, that Descartes did not hold many of the views that are attributed to him, it still remains to say what Descartes did hold or teach about various philosophical problems that retain their perennial interest for us. This is how the question arises, intermittently, about what Descartes thought he was 'chiefly' doing, or what was his primary objective, in the course of an intellectual career that spanned three decades. However, the apparently legitimate desire to bring Descartes' intellectual endeavours into sharp focus may be frustrated by the evidence. His life and work manifestly lack the coherence or unity of purpose that one finds, for example, among many of his French or Dutch contemporaries. It is comparatively easy to 'read' the life of Gisbertus Voetius as that of an unwavering Calvinist theologian, to see Antoine Arnauld as a staunch and consistent theological defender of Port Royal, and even to interpret the obviously fragmentary contents of Pascal's unpublished notebooks (subsequently, the Penses) as an extended search for authentic religious faith, in opposition to what he perceived as the corruption of ecclesial structures. In contrast, Descartes' life reveals features that are difficult to integrate into a coherent pattern. He lived and published during a critical juncture in the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century. Although baptized into the Catholic Church soon after his birth in the Loire district of France, he chose to live most of his life in the aggressively Calvinist United Provinces, in which other religious practices were officially (though often ineffectively) banned. Descartes may have adopted the motto from Ovid, at least early in his career: 'bene vixit qui bene latuit' (he lives well who conceals himself well), and he seems genuinely to have wished to avoid theological controversies. However, he engaged in very public controversies with so many of his contemporaries - including Hobbes, Gassendi, the French Jesuits (collectively) and Father Dinet (in particular), Voetius and the University of Utrecht, Regius, Fermat, Roberval, Revius and other theologians at Leiden - that one might conclude that his claimed preference for a quiet life was a disingenuous mask. 2 Descartes published four books during his lifetime, and wrote at least one other that he had intended to publish. The latter was his first major composition, Le Monde, which he suppressed when he heard about Galileo's condemnation by Rome in 1633. This was followed, in 1637, by Descartes' first book (also written in French), which he tried to publish anonymously by withholding his name from the title page: the Discours de la methode pour bien conduire sa raison, & chercher la verit dans les sciences. Plus la dioptrique, les meteors, et la geometrie, qui sont des essais de cete methode. Four years later Descartes published the first edition (in Latin) of Meditationes de prima philosophia, in quibus Dei existentia et animae immortalitas demonstrator, which also included six sets of objections and replies. The Principia philosophiae appeared (in Latin) in Amsterdam in 1644, and was followed five years later by Les Passions de l'Ame (in French). 3 In parallel with these publications, Descartes carried on a very extensive correspondence over a thirty-year period (in both Latin and French), and preserved copies or drafts of his letters with a view to future publication. Given the range and variety of his interests, and the sheer volume of writings, published or otherwise, that have survived from his pen, one may be tempted to engage in a comparative evaluation, as Cottingham does, by selecting one of Descartes' books as his primary contribution to philosophy. Cottingham claims that the Meditations was Descartes''masterpiece' (44), 'the definitive statement of Descartes's philosophy' (45) and the 'definitive statement of his metaphysics' (68). He also describes the Meditations more narrowly as 'his metaphysical masterpiece' (259, 303) and, more broadly, as 'his philosophical masterpiece' (289), and he lists it with the Discours as one of Descartes' two 'masterworks' (280). The Principia offers some competition in this comparative judgement when it is described as 'the canonical presentation of his metaphysical views' (114), while 'the construction of a moral system … was the crowning aim of his philosophy' (231). Having pitched repeatedly for the Meditations as Descartes' primary text, Cottingham claims that its author was 'a devout Catholic' (215), that he was 'a devoutly religious philosopher' (256), and that he could not free himself 'from the influence of the long years of theological study he had dutifully completed at La Flche' (62). Accordingly, the Meditations should be read as 'in essence a work of theodicy' (220); 'what has pride of place in the construction of his philosophical system is … an appeal to God … the nature and existence of the Deity is something that lies at the very heart of his entire philosophical system' (255). Without quite saying so, there are hints here that Descartes was a devout Christian whose primary intellectual contribution was to write a work of metaphysics, in which God is central and in the course of which the author alternates between proving God's existence and contemplating God - the latter a seventeenth-century version of Bonaventure's Journey of the Soul to God. 'Descartes's attraction to a contemplative mode of philosophizing' (305) is reflected, in the Meditations, in 'the language of the soul's coming to rest in adoring contemplation of the light' (306). Cottingham also accepts the overwhelming evidence from Descartes' correspondence that he 'devoted most of his career not to metaphysics but to science' (108), although he quibbles elsewhere with those who adopt the shorthand term 'science' to describe part of what was called 'natural philosophy' in the seventeenth century (282). He also refers to the '(notoriously lame) argument for the essential incorporeality of the thinking self' in one of Descartes' masterworks (60), and he describes the 'strange, seemingly isolated world of his metaphysical meditations' (139), with its 'creaking ontology' (147), when read in isolation from the rest of his work as a natural philosopher. How should we read him, then, in the twenty-first century? A Devout Catholic? That Descartes was a devout Catholic is possible, unlikely and undecidable. He seems not to have studied theology at all while at school at La Flche, although he completed the pre-theology college cycle in the company of Jesuit students who then continued their studies in theology. Descartes consistently attempted to avoid public entanglement with religious and theological controversies, and said so frequently. 4 Given the alignments that prevailed at the time, both in France. (shrink)
Crown under Law is an investigation of the constitutional idea through an exploration of the political thought of Richard Hooker and John Locke. It should appeal to academics within a number of disciplines including history of ideas, political philosophy, philosophy of law, and theology.
Exploring the philosophical foundations of discrimination law as it exists in several jurisdictions, this collection of all new essays bridges the gap between abstract philosophical work on justice and fairness and legal work on specific types of discrimination.
In the social sciences and in everyday speech we often talk about groups as if they behaved in the same way as individuals, thinking and acting as a singular being. We say for example that "Google intends to develop an automated car", "the U.S. Government believes that Syria has used chemical weapons on its people", or that "the NRA wants to protect the rights of gun owners". We also often ascribe legal and moral responsibility to groups. But could groups literally (...) intend things? Is there such a thing as a collective mind? If so, should groups be held morally responsible? Such questions are of vital importance to our understanding of the social world. In this lively, engaging introduction Deborah Tollefsen offers a careful survey of contemporary philosophers? answers to these questions, and argues for the unorthodox view that certain groups should, indeed, be treated as agents and deserve to be held morally accountable. Tollefsen explores the nature of belief, action and intention, and shows the reader how a belief in group agency can be reconciled with our understanding of individual agency and accountability. _Groups as Agents_ will be a vital resource for scholars as well as for students of philosophy and the social sciences encountering the topic for the first time. (shrink)
Rehabilitating some of Bakhtin's neglected ideas and reframing him as a philosopher of aesthetics, Bakhtin Reframed will be essential reading for the huge community of Bakhtin scholars as well as students and practitioners of visual culture ...
Autism is one of the most compelling, controversial, and heartbreaking cognitive disorders. It presents unique philosophical challenges as well, raising intriguing questions in philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and philosophy of language that need to be explored if the autistic population is to be responsibly served. Starting from the "theory of mind" thesis that a fundamental deficit in autism is the inability to recognize that other persons have minds, Deborah R. Barnbaum considers its implications for the nature of consciousness, (...) our understanding of the consciousness of others, meaning theories in philosophy of language, and the modality of mind. This discussion lays the groundwork for consideration of the value of an autistic life, as well as the moral theories available to persons with autism. The book also explores questions about genetic decision making, research into the nature of autism, and the controversial quest for a cure. This is a timely and wide-ranging book on a disorder that commends itself to serious ethical examination. (shrink)
ἔτεκεν δ᾽, ἁνίκα Μοῖραιτέλεϲαν, ταυρόκερων θεὸν 100ϲτεφάνωϲέν τε δρακόντωνϲτεφάνοιϲ, ἔνθεν ἄγραν θηρότροφον μαι-νάδεϲ ἀμφιβάλλονται πλοκάμοιϲ.102-3 θηρότροφον praeeunte Musgrave Allen : -τρόφοι ‹L›P The subject of ἔτεκεν and ϲτεφάνωϲεν is Zeus. If the text is right, Zeus gave birth to Dionysus, and Zeus then crowned him with snakes. This note argues that the text is corrupt because vase painting shows Dionysus born already crowned, and the notion that Zeus should crown anyone is quite exceptional. I conclude that in 101 Euripides (...) probably wrote ϲτεφανωθέντα, not ϲτεφάνωϲέν τε. (shrink)
This article explores, in the first place, Jerome’s creation of pro-virginal propaganda in a selection of his treatises and letters, through the employment of scriptural justification by means of ascetic exegesis and rhetorical strategies. The study focuses, in particular, on his Epistulae 22 and 130, both addressed to virgins, and his treatise Adversus Iovinianum. Jerome interpreted and deployed carefully selected biblical texts and employed classical rhetorical conventions to construct his ascetic ideal mainly based on sexual renunciation. The article argues that (...) by extolling the virginal body through metaphorical figurations and careful textualisation, this ‘apostle of virginity’ aimed to create, in the first instance, for ascetically minded virgins, a means of achieving perfection and union with God, and receiving the awards of heaven. The analysis of the selected works and of Jerome’s ascetic exegesis, however, also reveals some significant markers, indicating his own carefully disguised quest for personal redemption and regaining paradise. (shrink)
What is the trouble with schools and why should we want to make ‘school trouble’? Schooling is implicated in the making of educational and social exclusions and inequalities as well as the making of particular sorts of students and teachers. For this reason schools are important sites of counter- or radical- politics. In this book, Deborah Youdell brings together theories of counter-politics and radical traditions in education to make sense of the politics of daily life inside schools and explores (...) a range of resources for thinking about and enacting political practices that make ‘school trouble’. The book offers a solid introduction to the much-debated issues of ‘intersectionality’ and the limits of identity politics and the relationship between schooling and the wider policy and political context. It pieces together a series of tools and tactics that might destabilize educational inequalities by unsettling the knowledges, meanings, practices, subjectivities and feelings that are normalized and privileged in the ‘business as usual’ of school life. Engaging with curriculum materials, teachers’ lesson plans and accounts of their pedagogy, and ethnographic observations of school practices, the book investigates a range of empirical examples of critical action in school, from overt political action pursued by educators to day-to-day pedagogic encounters between teachers and students. The book draws on the work of Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Ernesto Laclau and Chantel Mouffe, and Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari to make sense of these practices and identify the political possibilities for educators who refuse to accept the everyday injustices and wide-reaching social inequalities that face us. _School Trouble_ appears at a moment of political and economic flux and uncertainty, and when the policy moves that have promoted markets and private sector involvement in education around the globe have been subject to intense scrutiny and critique. Against this backdrop, renewed attention is being paid to the questions of how politics might be rejuvenated, how societies might be made fair, and what role education might have in pursing this. This book makes an important intervention into this terrain. By exploring a politics of discourse, an anti-identity politics, a politics of feeling, and a politics of becoming, it shows how the education assemblage can be unsettled and education can be re-imagined. The book will be of interest to advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students and scholars in the fields of education, sociology, cultural studies, and social and political science as well as to critical educators looking for new tools for thinking about their practice. (shrink)
Decades before the environmental movement emerged in the 1960s, Adorno condemned our destructive and self-destructive relationship to the natural world, warning of the catastrophe that may result if we continue to treat nature as an object that exists exclusively for our own benefit. "Adorno on Nature" presents the first detailed examination of the pivotal role of the idea of natural history in Adorno's work. A comparison of Adorno's concerns with those of key ecological theorists - social ecologist Murray Bookchin, ecofeminist (...) Carolyn Merchant, and deep ecologist Arne Naess - reveals how Adorno speaks directly to many of today's most pressing environmental issues. Ending with a discussion of the philosophical conundrum of unity in diversity, "Adorno on Nature" also explores how social solidarity can be promoted as a necessary means of confronting environmental problems. (shrink)
Descartes is often accused of having fragmented the human being into two independent substances, mind and body, with no clear strategy for explaining the apparent unity of human experience. Deborah Brown argues that, contrary to this view, Descartes did in fact have a conception of a single, integrated human being, and that in his view this conception is crucial to the success of human beings as rational and moral agents and as practitioners of science. The passions are pivotal in (...) this, and in a rich and wide-ranging discussion she examines Descartes' place in the tradition of thought about the passions, the metaphysics of actions and passions, sensory representation, and Descartes' account of self-mastery and virtue. Her study is an important and original reading not only of Descartes' account of mind-body unity but also of his theory of mind. (shrink)
Community engagement to protect and empower participating individuals and communities is an ethical requirement in research. There is however limited evidence on effectiveness or relevance of some of the approaches used to improve ethical practice. We conducted a study to understand the rationale, relevance and benefits of community engagement in health research. This paper draws from this wider study and focuses on factors that shaped Community Advisory Group members’ selection processes and functions in Malawi. A qualitative research design was used; (...) two participatory workshops were conducted with CAG members to understand their roles in research. Workshop findings were triangulated with insights from ethnographic field notes, key informant interviews with stakeholders, focus group discussions with community members and document reviews. Data were coded manually and thematic content analysis was used to identify main issues. Results have shown that democratic selection of CAG members presented challenges in both urban and rural settings. We also noted that CAG members perceived their role as a form of employment which potentially led to ineffective representation of community interests. We conclude that democratic voting is not enough to ensure effective representation of community's interests of ethical relevance. CAG members’ abilities to understand research ethics, identify potential harms to community and communicate feedback to researchers is critical to optimise engagement of lay community and avoid tokenistic engagement. (shrink)
The seventeenth century was a period of extraordinary invention, discovery and revolutions in scientific, social and political orders. It was a time of expansive automation, biological discovery, rapid advances in medical knowledge, of animal trials and a questioning of the boundaries between species, human and non-human, between social classes, and of the assumed naturalness of political inequality. This book gives a tour through those objects, ordinary and extraordinary, which captivated the philosophical imagination of the single most important French philosopher of (...) this period, Rene Descartes. Deborah J. Brown and Calvin G. Normore document Descartes' attempt to make sense of the complex, composite objects of human and divine invention, consistent with the fundamental tenets of his metaphysical system. Their central argument is that, far from reducing all the categories of ordinary experience to the two basic categories of substance, mind and body, Descartes' philosophy recognises irreducible composites that resist reduction, and require their own distinctive modes of explanation. (shrink)
The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of the impact of moral issues on the moral decision-making process within the field of accounting. In particular, the study examined differences in the perceptions of the underlying characteristics of moral issues on the specific steps of the moral decision-making process of four different accounting situations.The research results suggested that student's perception of the components of moral intensity as well as the various stages of the moral decision-making process was (...) influenced by the type and intensity of the moral issue. In general, accounting student's perceptions of the importance of these variables varied between less unethical and more unethical accounting issues. The differences in perceptions of four moral intensity components: magnitude of consequences, concentration of effect, probability of effect and proximity stood out more in the accounting issues analyzed. (shrink)
Deborah Schiffrin looks at two important tasks of language--presenting 'who' we are talking about (the referent) and 'what happened' to them (their actions and attributes) in a narrative--and explores how this presentation alters in relation to emergent forms and meanings. Drawing on examples from both face-to-face talk and public discourse, she analyzes a variety of repairs, reformulations of referents, and retellings of narratives, ranging from word-level repairs within a single turn-at-talk, to life story narratives told years apart.
This is a book about Aristotle's philosophy of language, interpreted in a framework that provides a comprehensive interpretation of Aristotle's metaphysics, philosophy of mind, epistemology and science. The aim of the book is to explicate the description of meaning contained in De Interpretatione and to show the relevance of that theory of meaning to much of the rest of Aristotle's philosophy. In the process Deborah Modrak reveals how that theory of meaning has been much maligned. This is a major (...) reassessment of an underestimated aspect of Aristotle that will be of particular interest to classical philosophers, classicists and historians of psychology and cognitive science. (shrink)
Australia has one of the harshest regimes for the processing of asylum seekers, people who have applied for refugee status but are still awaiting an answer. It has received sharp rebuke for its policies from international human rights bodies but continues to exercise its resolve to protect its borders from those seeking protection. One means of doing so is the detention of asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat. Health care providers who care for asylum seekers in these conditions (...) experience a conflict of “dual loyalty,” whereby their role in preserving and maintaining the health of patients can run counter to their employment in detention facilities. Many psychiatrists who have worked in the detention setting engage in forms of political activism in order to change the process of seeking refuge. (shrink)
An essential and neglected distinction between contract and administrative law is in how each conceives of the Crown as a juristic person. This article explores the extent of this distinction, and its implications for the rule of law and the separation of powers. It offers explanations—historical, jurisprudential and pragmatic—for why contract law conceives of the Crown as a corporation aggregate with the powers and liberties of a natural person, and why administrative law disaggregates the State into named officials.
Economists and other social scientists in this century have often supported economic arguments by referring to positions taken by philosophers of science. This important new book looks at the reliability of this practice and, in the process, provides economists, social scientists, and historians with the necessary background to discuss methodological matters with authority. Redman first presents an accurate, critical, yet neutral survey of the modern philosophy of science from the Vienna Circle to the present, focusing particularly on logical positivism, sociological (...) explanations of science (Polanyi, Fleck, Kuhn), the Popper family, and the history of science. She then deals with economic methodology in the twentieth century, looking at a wide range of methodological positions, especially those supported by positions from the philosophy of science. She considers the myth of the feasibility of falsification in economics and, within the context of its significance for economics, discusses the interpretation of Kuhn's philosophy of science as consensus and the danger such a view represents to science. Appendices review the history of the is-ought dispute and list economists whose first works deal with methodological topics. Comprehensive, readable, and accessible to those with little background knowledge, Redman's book will appeal to a wide range of social scientists and philosophers of science. (shrink)
Deborah Puccio est chercheuse associée à l'Institut d'Ethnologie Méditerranéenne et Comparative (MMSH, Aix-en-Provence). Dans le numéro 14 de CLIO, Festins de femmes (automne 2001) elle s'interrogeait, avec « Sainte-Agathe, les femmes et le chocolat », sur le rôle d'une fête religieuse associée, en Aragon, avec le Carnaval, dans la construction de l'identité féminine et la transmission de la fonction génésique entre générations de femmes. Son livre, édition de la thèse qu'elle a souten...
The ArgumentThis paper sets out a framework for understanding how the scientific community constructs computer simulation as an epistemically and pragmatically useful methodology. The framework is based on comparisons between simulation and the loosely-defined categories of “theoretical work” and “experimental work.” Within that framework, the epistemological adequacy of simulation arises from its role as a mathematical manipulation of a complex, abstract theoretical model. To establish that adequacy demands a detailed “theoretical” grasp of the internal structure of the computer program. Simultaneously, (...) the pragmatic usefulness of simulation arises from its role as a “virtual laboratory.” That role is made possible by black-boxing the internal structure of the program, such that the scientist can interact with the computer in an intuitive, “experimental” manner. Thus simulation is rendered authoritative, opening up encoded theories to a novel, “experimental” type of manipulation. (shrink)
In 1241/4 the theology masters at the university at Paris with their chancellor, Odo of Chateauroux, mandated by their bishop, William of Auvergne, met to condemn ten propositions against theological truth. This book represents the first comprehensive examination of what hitherto has been a largely ignored instrument in a crucial period of the university's early maturation. However, the book's ambition goes wider than this. The condemnation provides a window through which to view the wider doctrinal, intellectual, institutional and historical developments (...) within the emerging university. These include the advent of the Dominicans and Franciscans at the university; and the developing focus of Paris theologians on using their learning for preaching at a time of a rapid and sometimes divergent development of doctrine and concerns over the newly-translated Aristotelian and associated Arab and Jewish works, heresy, the Greek Church and the Jews. The book compares the condemnation's ten articles with the major statement of Catholic principles in the first canon of the Fourth Lateran Council, 1215, and assesses what conclusions can be drawn from their apparent correlation. (shrink)
This study examines whether the financial markets penalize public corporations for unethical business practices. Using event study methodology, it is found that upon the announcement that a firm is under investigation or has in some way engaged in unethical behavior, a statistically significant negative abnormal (excess) return is found. This suggests that firms are indeed penalized for their unethical actions.
Humans have become increasingly datafied with the use of digital technologies that generate information with and about their bodies and everyday lives. The onto-epistemological dimensions of human–data assemblages and their relationship to bodies and selves have yet to be thoroughly theorised. In this essay, I draw on key perspectives espoused in feminist materialism, vital materialism and the anthropology of material culture to examine the ways in which these assemblages operate as part of knowing, perceiving and sensing human bodies. I draw (...) particularly on scholarship that employs organic metaphors and concepts of vitality, growth, making, articulation, composition and decomposition. I show how these metaphors and concepts relate to and build on each other, and how they can be applied to think through humans’ encounters with their digital data. I argue that these theoretical perspectives work to highlight the material and embodied dimensions of human–data assemblages as they grow and are enacted, articulated and incorporated into everyday lives. (shrink)
Australia's policy of mandatory indefinite detention of those seeking asylum and arriving without valid documents has led to terrible human rights abuses and cumulative deterioration in health for those incarcerated. We argue that there is an imperative to research and document the plight of those who have suffered at the hands of the Australian government and its agents. However, the normal tools available to those engaged in health research may further erode the rights and well being of this population, requiring (...) a rethink of existing research ethics paradigms to approaches that foster advocacy research and drawing on the voices of those directly affected, including those bestowed with duty of care for this population. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Bearing the Other and Bearing Sexuality: Women and Gender in Levinas’s “And God Created Woman”Deborah Achtenberg (bio)Much ink has been spilled on the question of the role of women for Levinas’s ethics in accounts containing a gamut of claims, from Stella Sandford’s that woman is aligned with sexual difference in such a way that Levinas’s attempts to install her within the human fail,1 to Diane Perpich’s that one (...) reason Otherwise than Being is preferable to Totality and Infinity is that the ethics in the former does not rest on a failed narrative of family life and woman’s role in it as ethics does in the latter,2 to Claire Katz’s that there is a rich, positive ethical component to women’s role for Levinas since he uses maternity as an example of being-for-the-other.3This essay complements those accounts by giving a detailed analysis of the discussion of women in Levinas’s talmudic commentary, “And God Created Woman.”4 Specifically, I ask whether Levinas is right, in his commentary, that, according to Talmud Berakhot 61a, women are not ultimately inferior to men because both men and women are human and their humanity precedes the division of humanity into male [End Page 137] and female. I pursue the question by reading the talmudic passage the way Levinas, in his commentary, tells us that we should read Talmud, namely, by situating texts quoted in it in their broader textual context in Torah rather than treating them as proof texts.When I put quotations cited in Berakhot 61a in their textual context, I find that the male figures treated in the texts from Torah are dismayingly dismissive of women in distress, suggesting that women are treated as inferior, but then learn their mistake and treat the women as equal or even superior, suggesting that Talmud does see them as having a humanity that precedes sexual difference. Nonetheless, I go on to argue, though the talmudic passage does not see women as ultimately inferior to men, it nonetheless treats them as inferior on the day-to-day level and such treatment belies the attempt to treat them as human.I go on to ask about Levinas’s stance toward this problem in the talmudic text, Does he accept the treatment of women as inferior? I argue, to the contrary, that Levinas sees the problem and attempts to overcome it by criticizing two ways the talmudic passage treats women as inferior on the day-to-day level: he rejects the passages’ prohibitions on certain types of male contact with women—such as looking at them!—and he reinterprets its association of women with makeup and deception. His stance is more complicated, though, because he goes on to find a kernel of truth to preserve in each of the problematic talmudic positions: in the first, the fundamental ethical ambiguity of sexuality, since sexuality points toward the other as other but also toward one’s own satisfaction; in the second, what we might anachronistically call women’s ways of knowing that, for Levinas, have a certain ethical superiority over the ways men know. The two resolutions have their own problems, I maintain, since if Levinas is to avoid gender norming and gender hierarchy, he needs to make it clear that both the problematic ethical ambiguity of sexuality and also the ways of knowing he thinks are ethically superior are not essentially associated more with women than with men. [End Page 138]1Reading Levinas’s way, I search out the context of quotations, taking them not as proof texts, but as invitations to interpret. In “And God Created Woman,” he says, “each time a biblical verse is brought in as proof it is not likely that the sages of the Talmud are looking in these texts, squeezed every which way in spite of grammar, for a direct proof of the thesis they are upholding. It is always an invitation to search out the context of the quotation” (NT 166/DSS 130–31). As a feminist, when I search out the context of the quotations Levinas refers to in his reading of Berakhot 61a, I... (shrink)
In everyday discourse and in the context of social scientific research we often attribute intentional states to groups. Contemporary approaches to group intentionality have either dismissed these attributions as metaphorical or provided an analysis of our attributions in terms of the intentional states of individuals in the group.Insection1, the author argues that these approaches are problematic. In sections 2 and 3, the author defends the view that certain groups are literally intentional agents. In section 4, the author argues that there (...) are significant reasons for social scientists and philosophers of social science to acknowledge the adequacy of macro-level explanations that involve the attribution of intentional states to groups. In section 5, the author considers and responds to some criticisms of the thesis she defends. (shrink)
_Lost Lullaby_ makes one think the unthinkable: how a loving parent can pray for the death of her child. It is Deborah Alecson's story of her daughter, Andrea, who was born after a full-term, uneventful pregnancy, weighing 7 pounds 11 ounces, perfectly formed and exquisitely featured. But an inexplicable accident at birth left her with massive and irreversible brain damage. On a vitality scale of one to ten, her initial reading was one. And so begins Deborah Alecson's heart-rending (...) struggle to come to terms with two desperately conflicting and powerful emotions: her desire to nurture and love Andrea, and her desire to do everything in her power to bring about her death. Told in a mother's voice, with a simplicity and directness that heighten the intensity of the drama that unfolds, _Lost Lullaby_ reaffirms the human dimension of what is too often an abstract and purely theoretical discussion. During the two months that Andrea spent in the Infant Intensive Care Unit, Ms. Alecson spoke with lawyers, doctors, and ethicists in an effort to understand the legal, medical and ethical implications of her plight. She recounts those discussions and describes legal cases that have a direct bearing on her own situation. Her battle—both in coming to the agonizing decision to let her child die and in convincing the medical and legal establishments to respect that decision—will engender empathy for the plight of many families, and an awareness of the need to use medical technology with restraint. It is a must-read for everyone who cares about how we make life-and-death decisions on these new medical, legal, and moral frontiers. (shrink)
According to many, joint intentional action must be understood in terms of joint intentions. Most accounts of joint intention appeal to a set of sophisticated individual intentional states. The author argues that standard accounts of joint intention exclude the possibility of joint action in young children because they presuppose that the participants have a robust theory of mind, something young children lack. But young children do engage in joint action. The author offers a revision of Michael Bratmans analysis of joint (...) intention that reflects the socio-cognitive abilities young children do have. This revision makes sense of joint action among young children and equally well explains simple joint actions involving adults. Key Words: collective intentionality joint action childs theory of mind joint attention. (shrink)
Background While community engagement is increasingly promoted in global health research to improve ethical research practice, it can sometimes coerce participation and thereby compromise ethical research. This paper seeks to discuss some of the ethical issues arising from community engagement in a low resource setting. Methods A qualitative study design focusing on the engagement activities of three biomedical research projects as ethnographic case studies was used to gain in-depth understanding of community engagement as experienced by multiple stakeholders in Malawi. Data (...) was collected through participant observation, 43 In-depth interviews and 17 focus group discussions with community leaders, research staff, community members and research participants. Thematic analysis was used to analyse and interpret the findings. Results The results showed that structural coercion arose due to an interplay of factors pertaining to social-economic context, study design and power relations among research stakeholders. The involvement of community leaders, government stakeholders, and power inequalities among research stakeholders affected some participants’ ability to make autonomous decisions about research participation. These results have been presented under the themes of perception of research as development, research participants’ motivation to access individual benefits, the power of vernacular translations to influence research participation, and coercive power of leaders. Conclusion The study identified ethical issues in community engagement practices pertaining to structural coercion. We conclude that community engagement alone did not address underlying structural inequalities to ensure adequate protection of communities. These results raise important questions on how to balance between engaging communities to improve research participation and ensure that informed consent is voluntarily given. (shrink)
Digital health technologies are often advocated as a way of helping people monitor, promote and manage their health, care for others and reduce the burden on healthcare systems. Yet these technologies have also been subject to criticism for limiting human flourishing and exacerbating socioeconomic disadvantage. Bioethical appraisals of digital health technologies tend to take a conventional risk‐benefit approach, positioning the human subject as a rational, autonomous agent who is acted on by technologies. In this paper, I present a case for (...) adopting an alternative more‐than‐human perspective on bioethics. A more‐than‐human approach considers human‐technological assemblages and agencies as distributed, relational, situated and emergent. To illustrate the insights that this perspective can offer, I draw on the findings of four empirical projects I have conducted on people’s use of digital devices and platforms used for health‐related purposes, including social media groups and online forums, mobile apps and wearable devices. I conclude with the argument that a more‐than‐human approach to bioethics can begin to incorporate a new ‘zoë ethics’ that can acknowledge and address the deeper affective, multisensory and relational dimensions of humans’ encounters with and enactments of material things and nonhuman creatures. (shrink)
Has the diversity of corporate boards of directors improved? Should it? What role does diversity play in reducing corporate wrongdoing? Will diversity result in a more focused board of directors or more board autonomy? Examining the state of Tennessee as a case study, the authors collected data on the board composition of publicly traded corporations and compared those data to an original study conducted in 1995. Data indicate only a modest improvement in board diversity. This article discusses reasons for the (...) scarcity of women on boards and concludes that, to enhance strategic decisions, board membership should reflect the corporation''s consumer population. Thus, women are a critical but overlooked resource. Areas for future research are also considered. (shrink)
This commentary is an attempt to begin to identify and think through some of the ways in which sociocultural theory may contribute to understandings of the relationship between humans and digital data. I develop an argument that rests largely on the work of two scholars in the field of science and technology studies: Donna Haraway and Annemarie Mol. Both authors emphasised materiality and multiple ontologies in their writing. I argue that these concepts have much to offer critical data studies. I (...) employ the tropes of companion species, drawn from Haraway, and eating data, from Mol, and demonstrate how these may be employed to theorise digital data–human assemblages. (shrink)