A collection of essays with themes in human rights and legal history, spanning several centuries, containing a tribute to one of the most remarkable jurists of our time. Linked by an historical and contextual approach, these essays add to knowledge of legal history and human rights and provide a reference point for future research.
In this revision of a seminal work, O'Donovan describes the shape of a Christian moral theology which has wide implications for creation, history, knowledge, freedom, and authority--his purpose being to outline a system of theological ethics and to describe the nature of the moral response within redeemed creation: acts of surrender, obedience, and love.
Building on the papers and discussions in this project, my concluding comments indicate fruitful lines of further inquiry into the common and distinctive features of the Christian and Islamic political inheritances and their contemporary appropriation in the two communities. Topics for further exploration include: the hermeneutic approaches to diversity within the authoritative traditions of Christianity and Islam; the extent and nature of the service rendered by political rule to the natural and soteriological goods of moral community; the theological/anthropological underpinnings of (...) the moral limitations and ambiguities of political order and justice; and alternative political modes of accommodating religious plurality in society. (shrink)
Leading political theologian Oliver O'Donovan here takes a fresh look at some traditional moral arguments about war. Modern Christians differ widely on this issue. A few hold that absolute pacifism is the only viable Christian position, others subscribe in various ways to concepts of 'just war' developed out of a Western tradition that arose from the legacies of Augustine and Aquinas, while others still adopt more pragmatically realist postures. Professor O'Donovan re-examines questions of contemporary urgency including the use of biological (...) and nuclear weapons, military intervention, economic sanctions, war crimes trials and the roles of the Geneva Convention, international conventions and the UN. His enquiry opens with a challenging dedication to the new Archbishop of Canterbury and proceeds to shed new light on vital topics with which the Archbishop and others will be very directly engaged. It should be read by anyone concerned with the ethics of warfare. (shrink)
Human memory systems perform various functions beyond simple storage and retrieval of information. They link together information about events, build abstractions, and perform memory updating. In contrast, typical information storage and access technologies, such as note‐taking applications and Wikipedia, tend to store information verbatim. In this article, Katherine Puddifoot and Cian O'Donnell use results from cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and machine learning to argue that the increased dependence on such technologies in education may come at a price: the missed opportunity (...) for memory systems of student learners to form abstractions and insights from newly learned information. This conclusion has important implications for how technologies should be adopted in education. (shrink)
Drawing on an analysis of complaint files that we conducted for the Irish Medical Council, this paper offers three possible explanations for the gap between the ubiquity of official commitments to taking patients’ complaints seriously and medical professional regulators’ dismissal—as not warranting an inquiry—of the vast majority of complaints submitted by members of the public. One explanation points to the “regulatory illiteracy” of many complainants, where the remit and threshold of seriousness of regulators is poorly understood by the general public. (...) Another points to possible processes of “institutional epistemic injustice” that unjustly undermine the credibility of certain complainants, such as those with low levels of formal education. A third explanation highlights the marginalization of the general public from “symbolic power” to define what matters in medical professional regulation. The paper is offered in a spirit of ideas in progress and raising questions rather than definitive insights into the regulatory process. (shrink)
"Content and Comportment argues persuasively that the answer to some long-standing questions in epistemology and metaphysics lies in taking up the neglected question of the role of our bodily activity in establishing connections between representational states—knowledge and belief in particular—and their objects in the world. It takes up these ideas from both current mainstream analytic philosophy—Frege, Dummett, Davidson, Evans—and from mainstream continental work—Heidegger and his commentators and critics—and bings them together successfully in a way that should surprise only those who (...) persist in maintaining this barren dichotymization of the field.". (shrink)
The Incorporated Self demonstrates that although embodiment has long been a central concern of the theoretical humanities, its potential to alter epistemology and open up new areas of dualistic inquiry has not been pursued far enough. This anthology collects the the works of scholars from a broad range of disciplines, each examining the nature of the body and the necessity of embodiment to the human experience -- for our self awareness, our sense of identity, and the workings of the mind.
Research using explicit measures has linked decreased positive future thinking, but not increased negative future thinking, with clinical depression. However, individuals may be unable or unwilling to express thoughts about the future, and can be unaware of implicit beliefs that can influence their behavior. Implicit measures of cognition may shed light on the role of future thinking in depression. To our knowledge, the current study presents the first implicit measure of positive and negative future thinking. A sample of 71 volunteers (...) completed both implicit and explicit measures of positive and negative future thinking. The findings indicate differences in the evaluation of both positive and negative future events between the two groups. However, group differences were more pronounced on the implicit measure. These findings point to the potential utility of an implicit measure of future thinking in mental health research and clinical practice. (shrink)
Climax is a compound rhetorical figure, consisting of the trope, Crementum, and the scheme, Gradatio, a combination that results in compelling semiotic effects. The component figures impact the conveyed meaning independently and collectively, which we chart by way of the PATH image schema and the Gestalt Figure-Ground relation. These layers of meaning function in a similar fashion to the dual figure visual phenomenon examined by Koffka and Rubin. Key elements of our project include knowledge representation of Climax and component figures, (...) a suite of ontologies that map the cognitive features supporting these complex structures and a base model of surface entities augmented with the related cognitive functions. Our ontologies are developed in the Web Ontology Language, validated for consistency and published online. (shrink)
The historical problem about the origins of the language of rights derives its importance from the conceptual problem: of "two fundamentally different ways of thinking about justice," which is basic? Is justice unitary or plural? This in turn opens up a problem about the moral status of human nature. A narrative of the origins of "rights" is an account of how and when a plural concept of justice comes to the fore, and will be based on the occurrence of definite (...) speech-forms—the occurrence of the plural noun in the sense of "legal properties." The history of this development is currently held to begin with the twelfth-century canonists. Later significant thresholds may be found in the fourteenth, sixteenth, and eighteenth centuries. Wolterstorff's attempt to find the implicit recognition of rights in the Scriptures depends very heavily on what he takes to be implied rather than on what is stated, and at best can establish a pre- history of rights-language. (shrink)
In asking scholars to reflect on the structures and practices of academic knowledge that render alternative knowledge traditions irrelevant and invisible, as well as on the ways these must change for the academy to cease functioning as an instrument of westernization rather than as an authentically global and diverse intellectual commons, the editor of this special issue of the Journal of Academic Ethics is envisaging a world much needed and much resisted. A great deal of the conversation about diversity in (...) higher education emphasizes, rightly, the need for an international and ethnically diverse population of scholars and students. Less attention is paid to the value of cognitive diversity—the diversity of cognition generated by cognitive disabilities. As one aspect of intellectual diversity, cognitive diversity promises novel ways of thinking and new understandings of what knowledge is, who makes it, and how it is made. The unique value of cognitive diversity is its insistence on a radical shift in our conception of who can know and who can produce knowledge. Insisting on the inclusion, as scholars, of persons with minds labelled disabled, an epistemology of disability pushes us to reform the much criticized but still dominant notion of the expert and scholar as able-bodied and hyper-rational. (shrink)
This paper investigates the impact of activism on a large, powerful corporation in Tasmania. Gunns Ltd was a large woodchip processor in Tasmania that fought a long-running battle with environmental activists regarding Gunns’ logging and processing activities. The study focuses on events in 2004–2005, when Gunns applied to build a pulp mill in rural northern Tasmania and began a legal case against activists. The research question is whether there is clear statistical evidence that these events were important, as is widely (...) believed, in the ultimate failure of Gunns in, just 6 years after being the largest and one of the most financially successful Tasmanian companies. We use a mixed methods approach that combines a detailed narrative informed by theory, to examine issues of corporate social responsibility and ethical behaviour, with an econometric time series analysis of the impact of activism on the market value of Gunns. Our analysis supports the contention that the events in 2004–2005 played a significant part in the decline of the long-run market value of Gunns over the subsequent period, through to its failure in 2011. We discuss the underlying causes for Gunns’ failure in terms of agency, stakeholder, legitimacy and leadership theories. Research frequently assesses effects such as those in the Gunns’ case through solely qualitative means. This paper integrates a quantitative analysis into a detailed qualitative narrative and theoretical interpretation of events, to provide additional precision to its findings. It contributes to research in CSR and the impact of activism. (shrink)
In this article, I use a nineteenth-century anatomical collection of wax moulages, currently off-staged in the storage facilities in the university where I work, to think about the matter of human remains. Rather than seeing the gross pathology moulages as inert teaching resources, I propose they are agential assemblages, entangled in which are human remains, and that they can be included amongst the dead. I consider their capacity to perform pastpresence work, a particular kind of work of the dead that (...) foregrounds erasures, such as the erasure of the many confined women suffering from syphilis whose bodies were used to cast moulages. This article considers how such pastpresence work might help us be response-able for uncared-for remains, such as the remains of “disappeared” women and infants who died in so-called Mother and Baby Homes, which have reappeared at the center of contemporary Irish public life. At a time when moulages are being reexhibited in museums internationally, I speculate about whether and how the collection might be restaged to perform subversive and utopian pastpresence work, destabilizing the erasures of conventional narratives of medicine and contributing to the crafting of a new and more careful order of things. (shrink)
The ostensible arguments advanced by Oliver O’Donovan for a confessionally Christian constitutional order are not persuasive, even in the terms of his own scheme, because they presuppose that such a confession may be required as a representative act. Within his theory lies, however, the assumption that confessing Christ is fundamental to all right decision-making, including the political. This renders the confession of Christ not merely a possibility for legitimate governments but rather essential to just political judgments. If O’Donovan’s ostensible arguments (...) prove too little, the underlying logic of his position claims too much. O’Donovan is mistaken in his assumption that political judgments must be placed within the same comprehensive moral vision as personal decisions. Because political judgments bear only an indirect relationship to absolute right they may be rightly made without the express confession of Christ in the constitutional order. (shrink)