This essay offers a critical analysis of Hannah Arendt's notion of natality through the lens of Adriana Cavarero's feminist philosophy of birth. First, I argue that the strength of Arendtian natality is its rootedness in an ontology of uniqueness, and a commitment to human plurality and relationality. Next, I trace with Cavarero three critical concerns regarding Arendtian natality, namely that it is curiously abstract; problematically disembodied and sexually neutral; and dependent on a model of vulnerability that assumes equality rather than (...) asymmetry. This last issue is further developed in the final section of the essay, where I examine the idea that birth, for Cavarero, becomes the very concept by which we can distinguish and normatively differentiate acts of care and love from acts of wounding and violence. Upholding the normative distinction here depends on a conceptual distinction between vulnerability and helplessness. To maintain the ethical potential of the scene of birth, I argue that we have to insist on the very characteristics Cavarero attributes to it—ones, as this essay aims to show, that are ultimately missing in the Arendtian account thereof. (shrink)
Philosophers are accustomed to thinking about human existence as finite and deathbound. Anne O'Byrne focuses instead on birth as a way to make sense of being alive. Building on the work of Heidegger, Dilthey, Arendt, and Nancy, O'Byrne discusses how the world becomes ours and how meaning emerges from our relations to generations past and to come. Themes such as creation, time, inheritance, birth and action, embodiment, biological determinism, and cloning anchor this sensitive and powerful analysis. O'Byrne's thinking advances and (...) deepens important discussions at the intersections of feminism, continental philosophy, philosophy of religion, and social and political thought. (shrink)
Jurgen Habermas has argued that carrying out pre-natal germline enhancements would be inimical to the future child's autonomy. In this article, I suggest that many of the objections that have been made against Habermas' arguments by liberals in the enhancement debate misconstrue his claims. To explain why, I begin by explaining how Habermas' view of personal autonomy confers particular importance to the agent's embodiment and social environment. In view of this, I explain that it is possible to draw two (...) arguments against germline enhancements from Habermas' thought. I call these arguments ‘the argument from negative freedom’ and ‘the argument from natality’. Although I argue that many of the common liberal objections to Habermas are not applicable when his arguments are properly understood, I go on to suggest ways in which supporters of enhancement might appropriately respond to Habermas' arguments. (shrink)
Anti-Natalism Anti-natalism is the extremely provocative view that it is either always or usually impermissible to procreate. Some find the view so offensive that they do not think it should be discussed. Others think their strongly intuitive disagreement with it is enough in itself to reject all arguments for anti-natalism. In the first twenty years … Continue reading Anti-Natalism →.
In this article I rethink death and mortality on the basis of birth and natality, drawing on the work of the Italian feminist philosopher Adriana Cavarero. She understands birth to be the corporeal event whereby a unique person emerges from the mother’s body into the common world. On this basis Cavarero reconceives death as consisting in bodily dissolution and re-integration into cosmic life. This impersonal conception of death coheres badly with her view that birth is never exclusively material but always (...) has ontological significance as the appearance of someone new and singular in the world of relations with others. This view of birth calls for a relational conception of death, which I develop in this article. On this conception, death is always collective, affecting all those with whom the one who dies has maintained relations: As such, our different deaths shade into one another. Moreover, because each person is unique in virtue of consisting of a unique web of relations with others, death always happens to persons as webs of relations. Death is relational in this way as a corporeal, and specifically biological, phenomenon, to which we are subject as bodily beings and as interdependent living organisms. I explore this with reference to Simone de Beauvoir’s memoir of her mother’s death from cancer. Finally I argue that, on this relational conception, death is something to be feared. (shrink)
Biomedical ontologies are emerging as critical tools in genomic and proteomic research where complex data in disparate resources need to be integrated. A number of ontologies exist that describe the properties that can be attributed to proteins; for example, protein functions are described by Gene Ontology, while human diseases are described by Disease Ontology. There is, however, a gap in the current set of ontologies—one that describes the protein entities themselves and their relationships. We have designed a PRotein Ontology (PRO) (...) to facilitate protein annotation and to guide new experiments. The components of PRO extend from the classification of proteins on the basis of evolutionary relationships to the representation of the multiple protein forms of a gene (products generated by genetic variation, alternative splicing, proteolytic cleavage, and other post-translational modification). PRO will allow the specification of relationships between PRO, GO and other OBO Foundry ontologies. Here we describe the initial development of PRO, illustrated using human proteins from the TGF-beta signaling pathway. (shrink)
Must opponents of creating conscious artificial agents embrace anti-natalism? Must anti-natalists be against the creation of conscious artificial agents? This article examines three attempts to argue against the creation of potentially conscious artificial intelligence (AI) in the context of these questions. The examination reveals that the argumentative strategy each author pursues commits them to the anti-natalist position with respect to procreation; that is to say, each author's argument, if applied consistently, should lead them to embrace the conclusion that procreation is, (...) at best, morally problematic. However, the article also argues that anti-natalists can find the production of some possible artificially conscious AI permissible. Thus, the creation of potentially conscious AI could be accepted by both friends and foes of anti-natalism. (shrink)
There is no general agreement among scholars that Aristotle had a unified concept of phantasia. That is evident from the most cursory glance through the literature. Freudenthal speaks of the contradictions into which Aristotle seems to fall in his remarks about phantasia, and explains the contradictions as due to the border position which phantasia occupies between Wahrnehmung and thinking. Ross, in Aristotle , p. 143, talks of passages on phantasia in De Anima 3. 3 which constitute ‘a reversal of his (...) doctrine of sensation’ and perhaps do not ‘represent his deliberate view’. This is a serious state of affairs, since De Anima 3. 3 is Aristotle’s main discussion of phantasia. Of passages on phantasia, appearances and images in De Anima 3. 3, Hamlyn says: ‘There is clearly little consistency here’. Even Schofield, who is more optimistic about saving the unity of Aristotle’s concept than the last two scholars, grants that ‘some of the inconsistencies of Aristotle’s account seem more than merely apparent’.1 He thinks of Aristotle’s phantasia as a ‘loose-knit, family concept’ . My purpose here is to suggest that Aristotle is more consistent in his use of phantasia than his critics will allow him to be. The translation of the term as imagination frequently adds unnecessarily to the confusion, so I shall avoid it and use transliteration instead. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 3 - 34 The article, based on a course taught at the Collegium Phaenomenologicum in 2015, has three sections: 1) Derrida’s first major seminar on Heidegger, taught in 1964–65, asks whether the language of _Sein_ is ontological or mere “ontic metaphor”; 2) Derrida notes that the first paragraphs on historicity in _Being and Time_ offer an intriguing interpretation of birth as “the other end of Dasein”; 3) Derrida focuses on the theme of the (...) past as an _ekstasis_, which is literally “_une sortie hors de soi_.”. (shrink)
The Protein Ontology (PRO) provides a formal, logically-based classification of specific protein classes including structured representations of protein isoforms, variants and modified forms. Initially focused on proteins found in human, mouse and Escherichia coli, PRO now includes representations of protein complexes. The PRO Consortium works in concert with the developers of other biomedical ontologies and protein knowledge bases to provide the ability to formally organize and integrate representations of precise protein forms so as to enhance accessibility to results of protein (...) research. PRO (http://pir.georgetown.edu/pro) is part of the Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Foundry. (shrink)
During the perinatal period, the establishment of the attachment relationship with the fetus and subsequently with the real child is crucial for the parents' and the child's well-being. Coherently with the assumption that the attachment relationship starts to develop during pregnancy, this systematic review aims to analyze and systematize studies focused on the association between pre-natal attachment and parent-to-infant attachment, in order to clarify the emerging results and provide useful information for clinical purposes. Nineteen studies were included. Sixteen researches (...) identified a positive relationship between pre-natal attachment and parent-to-infant attachment, and three articles highlighted a negative association between antenatal attachment and post-partum bonding disorders. These results were found both in women and men, in normative and at-risk pregnancies, adopting different assessment approaches. However, only small or moderate associations were found. Future studies are needed to further confirm these findings across different populations and with different methodological approaches. Moreover, studies would be needed in order to clarify mechanisms through which pre-natal attachment influences parent-to-infant attachment, as well as protective and risk factors which intervene between these two variables. (shrink)
Este artículo aborda la ‘tierra natal’ como expresión de la pregunta heideggeriana por ‘el sentido de lo que es’. Técnica y civilización mundial son consideradas aquí como tendencias hacia la homogenización de la experiencia humana y como pérdida de ‘lo propio’ representado en la tierra natal, lo que conduce a la disolución de la diferencia y de la interpelación ética del Otro. La filosofía de Heidegger, por el contrario, permite afirmar la tierra natal como apertura a la (...) interpelación del ‘otro’. (shrink)
From an ontological foundation of natality, drawing from Hannah Arendt and Adriana Cavarero, this paper concludes that sexual violence uniquely undermines being-in-theworld and being-in-the-world-with-others. The framework of natality is not usually directly applied to sexual violence. Natality roots us ontologically in birth, beginnings and relationality. While the promise of the natal inclines the subject outwards, towards others, the horror of rape freezes victims in objectification, exploits exposure and entangles victims physically and psychically with their abuser. Sexual violence is the (...) very antitheses to the promise of the natal. (shrink)
There is much still to learn about the nature of fair trade consumers. In light of the Pope's encyclical Caritas in Ventate, this article sought to advance the current understanding by investigating the role of religion in fair trade consumption. In this study, fair trade consumers and non-consumers across many religions as well as the nonreligious described their consumption of fair trade products as well as the use of their religious beliefs in their purchase behavior. It appears that the non-religious (...) are slightly more inclined toward buying fair trade products. Of the religious observers studied, Buddhists have a greater propensity to buy fair trade. The relationship between religion and fair trade consumption is complex in that religious affiliation - group membership - alone is not enough to encourage members to buy fair trade; rather, it is the use of religious beliefs as a criterion in consumption behavior that linked religion to fair trade consumption. (shrink)
Resumen Este artículo propone una lectura del concepto de lo Natal desde la perspectiva de la ontología de Diferencia y repetición. El estudio de los rasgos ontológicos que esa noción ofrece, en especial en Mil mesetas, arroja una nueva luz sobre el aspecto intensivo de la teoría deleuziana del fundamento. En este sentido, el concepto de lo Natal se vincula especialmente con los conceptos de profundidad y campo de individuación. La consideración conjunta de estas nociones permite postular la (...) novedad de la teoría deleuziana del fundamento en relación con la tradición de la metafísica occidental, que se expresa en el hecho de que el fundamento se presenta como ámbito de la individuación, el devenir y la multiplicidad. En última instancia, el fundamento se ve superado hacia un sin-fondo.This article proposes a reading of the concept of The Natal in the light of the ontology of Difference and repetition. The study of the ontological aspects of this notion in A thousand plateaus brings a new light to the intensive aspect of Deleuze's theory of ground. In this sense, the concept of The Natal is linked with the concepts of depth and field of individuation. The bond between these concepts puts forth the novelty of Deleuze's theory of ground in relation to the tradition of Western metaphysics, expressed in the fact that the ground is presented as a realm of individuation, becoming and multiplicity. The ground is ultimately overcome by an ungrounding. (shrink)
Arendt’s “natality,” a promising foundation for humanness that might be expanded to include those with profound cognitive disabilities, emerges in part out of Arendt’s creative interpretation of Augustine. Returning to Augustine provides natality with resources to escape the weaknesses of Arendt’s thought when viewed from the perspective of disability theory: The traps of grounding human dignity in rationality, of downplaying expressions of creativity in non-political spheres, and of denigrating the role of the body.
Arendt claims that our natality (i.e., our condition of being born) is the “source” or “root” of our capacity to begin (i.e., of our capacity to initiate something new). But she does not fully explain this claim. How does the capacity to begin derive from the condition of birth? That Arendt does not immediately and unambiguously provide an answer to this question can be seen in the fact that her notion of natality has received very different interpretations. In the present (...) paper, I seek to clarify the notion. I bring together and examine Arendt’s scattered remarks about natality and propose a new interpretation that responds to the stated question. Along the way, I show how the various existing interpretations have arisen and argue that, in view of that question, they are inadequate. (shrink)
The article describes techniques for organizing an English lesson that help reduce stress and increase students ' motivation. Comprehensive and continuous use of the described methods is the most important condition for a comfortable stress-free environment in the classroom, which forms a healthy and successful student. The article also contains recommendations for creating a comfortable emotional background in the English lesson by means of special mini-exercises, games, and chants aimed at attracting students attention.
The Marketing of Education has become epidemic. Business practices and principles now commonly suffuse the approach and administration of Higher Education in an attempt to make schools both more competitive and “branded.” This seems to be progressing without reference to the significant ethical challenges as well as the growing costs to society, students, and educators in pursuing a model with such inherent conflicts. The increased focus on narrowly defined degrees targeted to specific job requirements rather than the focus on raising (...) the level of students’ ability to engage in more abstract and critical thinking is accelerating. The impact on student world views and the lack of engagement with meaningful and challenging discourse has severely impaired their ability to become both engaged and reflective. This model has also impacted faculty morale as concern with lack of academic rigor continues to grow. An ethical crisis has emerged within education internationally and intervention is urgently needed. (shrink)
This chapter surveys a few of the so-called “easy” problems, as referred to by Chalmers, in understanding color perception. The obscurity of psycho-neural isomorphism is highlighted by the difficulties encountered in the domain of color, and while this theme has been discussed extensively, the discussion here at least provides an opportunity to review interesting facts and ideas about color vision. Trichromacy is considered first in this chapter, since it provides the most familiar example of physiological explanation in perception—an explanation generally (...) held to be straightforward, simple, and completely satisfactory. However, as is shown in the latter part of this chapter, the neural basis of trichromacy is not yet well understood. The prospects for physiological explanation of less elementary aspects of color vision are also discussed in broad terms, and the conclusions reached here are also discouraging for current theoretical perspectives. (shrink)
This allegory is among the most well-traversed passages in Plato's dialogues and deservedly so. Its emotional impact is undeniable, yet it confronts the reader with several problems of interpretation. There is a strong sense that it is of central importance to the crucial questions of the Platonic philosopher's education and his role in society, and it possibly holds one key to an understanding of the Republic as a whole.
The authors discussed the reasons for the recent economic collapse as caused by the lack of large businesses and global corporations losing touch with the people they serve. Losing touch has caused a distancing of understanding of the customers as people by these businesses and corporations. An antidote to this is that decisions that have to be made in global businesses as well as domestic organizations reflect some level of empathy. The objective is to highlight the fact that these businesses (...) are corporate citizens and in themselves must be aware of the culture in which they conduct themselves. The authors discuss how empathie decision-making can become part of the corporate fabric without losing any sense of appropriate business judgment. A process is defined to enable the empathie process. Finally, a straw man is set up to fund/enable the process while creating a positive and profitable business environment. (shrink)
There is much still to learn about the nature of fair trade consumers. In light of the Pope’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate, this article sought to advance the current understanding by investigating the role of religion in fair trade consumption. In this study, fair trade consumers and non-consumers across many religions as well as the non-religious described their consumption of fair trade products as well as the use of their religious beliefs in their purchase behavior. It appears that the non-religious (...) are slightly more inclined toward buying fair trade products. Of the religious observers studied, Buddhists have a greater propensity to buy fair trade. The relationship between religion and fair trade consumption is complex in that religious affiliation – group membership – alone is not enough to encourage members to buy fair trade; rather, it is the use of religious beliefs as a criterion in consumption behavior that linked religion to fair trade consumption. (shrink)
The reception of Elaine Scarry’s landmark text, The Body in Pain, focuses in part on exploring how pain might be understood as beneficial or therapeutic. Childbirth is often cited as the paradigmatic instance of this kind of beneficial pain. This essay examines conceptualizations of labour pain in biomedical, natural childbirth and reproductive justice movements that explore the limits of Scarry’s description of pain as ‘unshareable’. Political struggles over pain in childbirth centre on the legibility of pain in labour. Feminist and (...) natural childbirth activists have developed an understanding of pain at birth as central to maternal subjectivity, where pain is a biopolitical force and its management a means of self-transformation. Alongside calls for reproductive justice, the essay considers how the visibility and expressivity of labour pain could contribute to what Imogen Tyler and Lisa Baraitser term a new ‘natal politics’ that addresses concerns for the disproportionate injury and death experienced by Black birth givers. (shrink)
Luce Irigaray’s confrontations with some of the canonical figures in Western Philosophy invite and often challenge us to reconstruct or reconsider how they might respond to her many penetrating insights and searching criticisms. A philosophical figure that, arguably, looms larger than any other for Irigaray is Martin Heidegger. In the following paper, I will gloss some ideas and themes from Heidegger’s work in ways that might push the conversation between Heidegger and Irigaray further or at least shed light on the (...) conversation already taking place. I will do this with the notion of birth/natality in mind, by revisiting Heidegger’s concerns with the importance of nothingness in any projected attempt at an overcoming of Western metaphysics. Against this backdrop we can perhaps begin to see Luce Irigaray’s work as an attempt to offer a thinking that might inaugurate a new or different kind of metaphysics and thus as an overcoming of traditional metaphysics. (shrink)
Reconstruction of human ecosystems and their stability over time provides knowledge of the processes of adaptability developed by isolated communities. Seasonality of vital events is a good indicator of the effects of different lifestyles, which in turn depend on the ecological context in which a population developed specific subsistence models. Seasonality of births reflects the cultural attitude towards the best time to conceive, in relation to work activities and loads; the latter may also affect physiological functions related to fertility. The (...) present research concerns gross birth rates and seasonality of births and conceptions during four centuries in south-central Italy. Birth rates were between 33·0 and 36·5 per 1000. The pattern of seasonality of births and, by extension, of conceptions defines a southern-type agricultural area for the earlier periods. However, it also shows a progressive shift towards an increasing concentration of conceptions in spring namely from April to August – with a large increase in summer in the 19th century with respect to the previous periods. The new 19th century pattern is reported by Crisafulli, Dalla Zuanna & Solero (2000) as being representative of the central Adriatic region, a geographical classification to which Abruzzo can also be attributed. (shrink)