Concussion in professional football is a topic that has generated a significant amount of interest for many years, partly due in recent times to the filing of the class-action litigation and the uncapped compensation injury fund and settlement involving 4,500 retired professional players and the National Football League. The proceedings claimed that the NFL, as the governing body of American football, failed in its duty to protect players’ health during their professional playing careers by exposing players to risks of repetitive (...) concussions and actively concealing links to potential long-term consequences. The NFL litigation sharpened the focus on the fundamental regulatory, governance and ethical considerations for football governing bodies, as self-regulated organisations, when governing the delicate balance between the dynamics of contact and collision sports, entertainment and player-health considerations. It also raised questions about public accountability and responsibilities to all levels of the sport through a framework of public health ethics. The NFL litigation and Congressional hearings have led to changes within the NFL and its regulatory and governance responses. A case study of the NFL responses to concussion in the sport of American football can provide insight into concussion regulation. Australian football governing bodies can align their regulatory and governance responses to concussion within their sports with the aim to avoid similar accusations, and circumvent a more coercive form of intervention. (shrink)
Patronage and Poetry in the Islamic World: Social Mobility and Status in the Medieval Middle East and Central Asia. By Jocelyn Shariet. Library of Middle East History, vol. 24. London: I. B. Tauris, 2011. Pp. x + 326. £62.50, $105.
Jocelyn Maclure and Charles Taylor provide a clearly reasoned, articulate account of the two main principles of secularism—equal respect, and freedom of conscience—and argue that in our religiously diverse, politically interconnected world, secularism, properly understood, may offer the only path to religious and philosophical freedom.
Dans notre monde radicalement artificialisé, seuls les animaux, en nous rappelant ce qu'a été la nature, nous permettront peut-être de nous souvenir de notre propre humanité. Mais saurons-nous vivre avec eux? Le voulons-nous encore? Car l'abattage de masse des animaux, considérés comme simples éléments des " productions animales ", leur inflige une terreur et une souffrance insoutenables, tout en désespérant les éleveurs. Et l'élevage, après 10 000 ans d'existence, est aujourd'hui souvent décrit comme une nuisance, pour l'environnement comme pour notre (...) santé. Une condamnation reposant sur une confusion entre " élevage " et " production animale ", dont il nous faut comprendre les enjeux. Qu'est-ce que l'élevage? Quelles différences entre " élevage " et " productions animales "? Quelle est la place de la mort clans le travail avec les animaux? Peut-on améliorer leur sort dans les systèmes industriels? Faut-il " libérer les animaux " comme le proposent certains philosophes? En répondant ici a ces questions, Jocelyne Porcher explique en quoi la capacité des hommes à coexister pacifiquement dépend de leur capacité à vivre en paix et dignement avec les animaux. Et pourquoi, dès lors, sauver l'élevage en évitant son assujettissement au système d'exploitation et de mise à mort industrielle pourrait être une des plus belles utopies du XXIe siècle. (shrink)
Esteemed philosopher Jocelyn Benoist argues for a renewed realism that takes seriously the context in which intention occurs. "What there is"-the traditional subject of metaphysics-can be determined only in context, Benoist contends, carving out a new path that rejects acontextual ontologies and approaches to the mind.
This chapter critically examines the notion of a limit. It questions whether a putative opposition of philosophical “camps” emphasized in recent years is actually tenable. This opposition is taken to hold between classical approaches in a Kantian spirit, operating with the notion of necessary limits to human cognition and sense-making, and a recent “speculative” turn in philosophy championed by Quentin Meillassoux, looking to overcome such limits. The chapter’s contention against this dichotomy is that the rhetoric of unlimitedness depends on ideas (...) about limits that are rooted in the very Kantian way of thinking it claims to oppose. What is more, these ideas are just as questionable for they, in turn, rely on a notion of “the Absolute” which they claim to undermine. The chapter investigates these foundations of modern thought about limits and finitude in perception and thought, and the consequences these ideas have had. It closes by arguing that the notion of a limit as it has been formative for recent philosophy is inconsistent, and that our focus in philosophy should rather rest on the contextual conditions of thought: on this picture, thoughts articulate a contextually determined grip on reality, which presupposes that reality is used in a certain way. (shrink)
Animal production, especially pork production, is facing growing international criticism. The greatest concerns relate to the environment, the animals’ living conditions, and the occupational diseases. But human and animal conditions are rarely considered together. Yet the living conditions at work and the emotional bond that inevitably forms bring the farm workers and the animals to live very close, which leads to shared suffering. Suffering does spread from animals to human beings and can cause workers physical, mental, and also moral suffering, (...) which is all the more harmful due to the fact that it is concealed. The conceptual tools used to conceal suffering ( animal welfare, stress, pain) suggest that the industrial system can be improved, whereas for farmers it is by definition incompatible with animal husbandry. (shrink)
In absence of effective pharmaceutical treatments, the individual's compliance with a series of behavioral recommendations provided by the public health authorities play a critical role in the control and prevention of SARS-CoV2 infection. However, we still do not know much about the rate and determinants of adoption of the recommended health behaviors. This paper examines the compliance with the main behavioral recommendations, and compares sociocultural, psychosocial, and social cognitive explanations for its variation in the French population. Based on the current (...) literature, these 3 categories of factors were identified as potential determinants of individual differences in the health preventive behaviors. The data used for these analyses are drawn from 2 cross-sectional studies conducted after the lockdown and before the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic in France. The participants were drawn from a larger internet consumer panel where recruitment was stratified to generate a socio-demographically representative sample of the French adult population. Overall, the results show a very high rate of compliance with the behavioral recommendations among the participants. A hierarchical regression analysis was then performed to assess the potential explanatory power of these approaches in complying with these recommendations by successively entering sociocultural factors, psychosocial factors, social cognitive factors in the model. Only the inclusion of the cognitive variables substantially increased the explained variance of the self-reported adoption of preventive behaviors, providing better support for the social cognitive than the sociocultural and psychosocial explanations. (shrink)
To date, ethics discussions about stem cell research overwhelmingly have centered on the morality and acceptability of using human embryonic stem cells. Governments in many jurisdictions have now answered these “first-level questions” and many have now begun to address ethical issues related to the donation of cells, gametes, or embryos for research. In this commentary, we move beyond these ethical concerns to discuss new themes that scientists on the forefront of NRM development anticipate, providing a preliminary framework for further discussion (...) between scientists and ethicists. Fostering strong partnerships between neuroscientists and ethicists that operate and collaborate within this evolving framework will maximize the translation of NRM discoveries on the brain into cures that are safe and address the needs of science and society. (shrink)
Jocelyn Maclure | : Alan Patten’s Equal Recognition is a major contribution to the normative literature on minority rights. I nonetheless suggest that liberal culturalism as a normative theory, even in Patten’s sophisticated version, is ill suited to deal with the challenges related to the status of religion in the public sphere that are so prevalent in contemporary democracies. In addition, I submit that Patten did not supply a fully convincing answer to the argument that liberal egalitarianism, well understood, (...) is capacious enough to secure fair terms of social cooperation for members of cultural minorities, making the language of “cultural rights” and “cultural recognition” superfluous. | : Le livre Equal Recognition d’Alan Patten contribue de façon majeure aux travaux de philosophie politique sur les droits des minorités culturelles. Je suggère néanmoins que la théorie normative qu’est le « culturalisme libéral », y compris dans la version sophistiquée défendue par Patten, n’est pas outillée pour penser les omniprésents défis concernant le statut de la religion dans l’espace public. De plus, j’avance que Patten n’a pas été en mesure d’offrir une réponse pleinement satisfaisante à ceux qui soutiennent que l’égalitarisme libéral bien compris est en mesure d’offrir des termes de coopération sociale justes aux membres des minorités culturelles, sans devoir être complété par des « droits culturels » ou par le langage de la « reconnaissance » des cultures. (shrink)
In this paper, I offer a personal and professional narrative of how Canada went from prohibition to permission for medical assistance in dying. I describe the legal developments to date and flag what might be coming in the near future. I also offer some personal observations and reflections on the role and impact of bioethics and bioethicists, on what it was like to be a participant in Canada's law reform process, and on lessons that readers in other jurisdictions might take (...) from Canada's experience. (shrink)
This pioneering anthology of Middle English prologues and other excerpts from texts written between 1280 and 1520 is one of the largest collections of vernacular literary theory from the Middle Ages yet published and the first to focus attention on English literary theory before the sixteenth century. It edits, introduces, and glosses some sixty excerpts, all of which reflect on the problems and opportunities associated with writing in the "mother tongue" during a period of revolutionary change for the English language. (...) The excerpts fall into three groups, illustrating the strategies used by medieval writers to establish their cultural authority, the ways they constructed audiences and readerships, and the models they offered for the process of reading. Taken together, the excerpts show how vernacular texts reflected and contributed to the formation of class, gender, professional, and national identity. They open windows onto late medieval debates on women's and popular literacy, on the use of the vernacular for religious instruction or Bible translation, on the complex metaphorical associations contained within the idea of the vernacular, and on the cultural and political role of the "courtly" writing associated with Chaucer and his successors. Besides the excerpts, the book contains five essays that propose new definitions of medieval literary theory, discuss the politics of Middle English writing, the relation of medieval book production to notions of authorship, and the status of the prologue as a genre, and compare the role of the medieval vernacular to that of postcolonial literatures. The book includes a substantial glossary that constitutes the first mapping of the language and terms of Middle English literary theory. _The Idea of the Vernacular_ will be an invaluable asset not only to Middle English survey courses but to courses in English literary and cultural history and courses on the history of literary theory. (shrink)
Although accountability lies at the heart of the “doing gender” perspective, it has received surprisingly little attention from gender scholars. In this article, I analyze the different ways that scholars have conceptualized accountability. I propose a synthesis of these various understandings, and demonstrate the utility of this conceptualization with examples from my research on feminist self-defense training. This analysis sheds light on both the workings of accountability and the process of change in gender expectations and practices. I conclude by considering (...) the implications of this reconceptualization of accountability. (shrink)
Virtue and vice remain at the margins of feminist conceptual analysis although both establish a dualism that denies women full citizenship. To make this argument, this analysis explores the historical case of the Lowell mill girls – the first nearly all-female labour force in the United States between 1826 and 1850. Their public debate illustrates how virtue aligns some women with the economic and political status quo while society affiliates those who challenge its dominant beliefs with vice. This moral location (...) reveals the ‘virtues of vice’ or the political benefits that women may derive from vice which places them outside traditional moral and political discourse, enabling them to question existing moral paradigms, consider alternatives, and politically organize against the status quo. As such, the Lowell mill girl debate can inform contemporary feminist theory by raising serious questions about virtue and suggesting how vice opens up a critical space for ideological innovation, referred to here as a moral middle ground, that may result in a more democratic, feminist ethics. (shrink)
Interpretations of Euripides’ Heracles often focus on Theseus’ and Heracles’ cooperative social values in the final scene as a culmination of themes of philia. I argue that the relationship Theseus forges competes with Heracles’ attachment to his household, oikos, which is the central social relationship Euripides describes. The drama consistently develops Heracles as his household's leader by inviting the audience to compare Heracles with interim caretakers Megara and Amphitryon, and later through the protagonist's performance of emotional attachment before and after (...) his madness. The closing scene continues to reveal the value and vulnerability of household attachment by accentuating Heracles’ exclusion from the identity of human family member. This trajectory suggests a painful misalignment between Heracles’ experience in the oikos and the public position Theseus offers at Athens: of a semi-divine hero receiving public cult and honours. Euripides emphasizes this tension to distinguish the experience of oikos-membership. (shrink)