The past year in bioethics in Australia has been relatively predictable. We continue to struggle with rising healthcare costs, though thankfully not on par with numerous other countries due to a relatively positive economic outlook. We are still fighting difficulties associated with higher medical indemnity costs, which have again caused many physicians to leave private practice, particularly in high-risk and specialty practice areas. In response, the federal government delayed the imposition of the medical indemnity levy for physicians until mid (...) 2005. In May, the Australian Law Reform Commission and the Australian Health Ethics Commission issued their final joint report on genetic testing entitled “Essentially Yours” and endorsed use of genetic tests by insurance companies, despite the concerns of some geneticists and many members of the public about their scientific reliability. However, they also advocated the establishment of the Human Genetics Commission of Australia to oversee such uses of genetic tests in terms of both scientific and actuarial reliability, and debates continue over the implementation of this and a number of their other recommendations. And state governments continue to phase in smoking bans in public places, with most implementing full bans in enclosed restaurants and cafes and planning to require provision of nonsmoking areas in all pubs within the next year. a. (shrink)
This paper weakens the expectation dependence concept due to Wright and its higher-order extensions proposed by Li to conform with the preferences generating the almost stochastic dominance rules introduced in Leshno and Levy. A new dependence concept, called excess dependence is introduced and studied in addition to expectation dependence. This new concept coincides with expectation dependence at first-degree but provides distinct higher-order extensions. Three applications, to portfolio diversification, to the determination of the sign of the equity premium in the (...) consumption-based CAPM, and to optimal investment in the presence of a background risk, illustrate the usefulness of the approach proposed in the present paper. (shrink)
I Am Dynamite ignites an alternative theory of the self and will, wrapped up in a combustible assault upon scholarly convention. Asking why the real effort of constructing and living within an identity is so often overlooked, it examines the subjective experience of existing in the world, with the power to define and transform oneself. Considering the trials and triumphs of five very different modern subjects--Primo Levi, Ben Glaser, Stanley Spencer, Rachel Silberstein and Friedrich Nietzsche--Nigel Rapport asks: can consciousness (...) of being a self in the world enable control over one's life within it? Calling for a renewed appreciation of the extraordinary within us all, this richly inventive work seeks to restore knowledge to its essential practical and moral aims--aiding and informing the lives we actually live. (shrink)
Giorgio Levi Della Vida (1886-1967) was not only an eminent Islamologist, he was also a man with solid roots in his own time. He taught in Naples and Rome, then for the ten years 1939-1948 at the University of Pennsylvania. He was one of the few university teachers who, when the oath of loyalty to the Italian fascist regime was introduced in October 1931, opted not to accept that act of submission. His memoirs, Fantasmi ritrovati, were published in 1966; the (...) book, now out of print, conjures up a tableau vivant of half a century of intellectual encounters in Italy and Europe between the wars. Among the portraits he paints there is the astounding story of those crucial days in June 1924 when the fascist government became a full-blown regime. This article presents extended extracts from that story. (shrink)
Over the last fifty years, traditional farming has been replaced by industrial farming. Unlike traditional farming, industrial farming is abhorrently cruel to animals, environmentally destructive, awful for rural America, and wretched for human health. In this essay, I document those facts, explain why the industrial system has become dominant, and argue that we should boycott industrially produced meat. Also, I argue that we should not even kill animals humanely for food, given our uncertainty about which creatures possess a right to (...) life. In practice, then, we should be vegetarians. To underscore the importance of these issues, I use statistics to show that industrial farming has caused more pain and suffering than the Holocaust. (shrink)
‘An honest religious thinker’, Wittgenstein remarked, ‘is like a tightrope walker. He almost looks as though he were walking on nothing but air. His support is the slenderest imaginable. And yet it really is possible to walk on it’.
Atlas, S. On the relation between subject and object.--Bamberger, B. Religion and the arts.--Bemporad, J. Man, God, and history.--Braude, W. C. The two lives of Hillel's sandwich.--Chapman, C. B. The health guilds, the public interest and the malpractice dilemma.--Feuer, L. Influence of Abba Hillel Silver on the evolution of Reform Judaism.--Hackerman, N. Ignorance, the motivation for understanding.--Hartshorne, C. Whitehead's metaphysical system.--Ogden, S. M. Prolegomena to a Christian theology of nature.--Sandmel, S. The rationalist denial of Jewish tradition in Philo.--Shakow, D. Educating (...) the mental health researcher for potential development in man.--Turner, D. An Ashendene dozen from the Levi A. Olan collection of fine books.--Olan, L. A. A preliminary summing up. (shrink)
This article analyzes new material on the history of the amicable numbers. It discusses Hebrew texts which throw new light on the diffusion in Medieval Europe of Ṯābit ibn Qurra's work. We find Ṯābit's theorem on amicable numbers in a Hebrew translation, made in Saragossa in 1395, of an arithmetical commentary written by Abū al-Ṣalt al-Andalusī, and also in an original Hebrew text probably written by the Jewish Provençal scholar Qalonymos ben Qalonymos. These texts lend strong support to the surmise (...) that the Arabic tradition concerning amicable numbers could not have remained unknown to European mathematicians before the work of Descartes and Fermat in the 17th century. Dans cet article, on analyse des données nouvelles concernant l'histoire des nombres amiables. Les textes hébreux qui sont cités permettent d'éclairer la diffusion, dans l'Europe médiévale, des résultats établis par Tābit ibn Qurra au IX e siècle: en effet, le théorème sur les nombres amiables auquel est attaché son nom apparaît aussi bien dans une traduction effectuée à Saragosse, en 1395, d'un commentaire arithmétique d'Abū al-Ṣalt al-Andalusī, que dans une composition originale attribuée au savant juif provençal Qalonymos ben Qalonymos d'Arles. Ces témoignages renforcent l'hypothèse selon laquelle la tradition arabe dans ce domaine n'a pas pu être ignorée des mathématiciens européens, avant les résultats énoncés par Descartes et Fermat au XVII e siècle. (shrink)
If funding allocation is an indicator of a field’s priorities, then the priorities of the field of bioethics are misaligned because they perpetuate injustice. Social justice mandates priority for the factors that drive systematic disadvantage, which tend not to be the areas supported by funding within academic bioethics. Current funding priorities violate social justice by overemphasizing technologies that aim to enhance the human condition without addressing underlying structural inequalities grounded in racism, and by deemphasizing areas of inquiry most frequently pursued (...) by Scholars of Color. This lack of attention to upstream determinants of health in bioethics research perpetuates a gap in the resources needed to understand the experiences of communities disproportionately experiencing poor health, which is itself a form of epistemic injustice. Both social and epistemic injustices are apparent in the impact of these funding priorities on people of color, both in the public and in the bioethics community. (shrink)
When the modern artist is seen as moving about in a nebulous area between two opposing worlds, that of life or immediate experience and that of art or established truth, I think it is appropriate to discuss this activity in terms of metaphor. Indeed the present concern for metaphor in the academic and artistic communities is but one of many reflections of our sense that life is a process of the gradual attainment of knowledge through experience, whether sensuous or intellectual. (...) Like our artists, we strive to create a picture of our world, yet that picture is never complete; for we continually pass on to new experiences and new images of reality. Not only do we grow and change but our world seems to change with us. Although the truths revealed through our art are founded in our experience, they seem more permanent and public than the acts of discovery leading to them. A principle once established and integrated with a body of other established truths enters into recorded history perhaps to be revered, disputed, or reinterpreted, but nevertheless to remain. The individual experience or discovery, however, passes; with the individual, only the sense of the continuing search yields personal identity. In a changing world, metaphor renders the truth of experience as the truth of knowledge, for it is the means of passing from individual immediacy to an established public world; the new must be linked to the old, and the experience of any individual must be connected with that of his society. Excluding the possibility of the creation of entirely new worlds and the resultant transformation of all personal identities, acts of genius or dramatic breakthroughs in fields of study can affect our present world order only if they are joined to it by means of a powerful metaphor. Indeed establishing the metaphoric bridge itself may be considered the act of genius, and the entry into new areas of knowledge is its consequence. Richard Shiff is associate professor of art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His contributions to Critical Inquiry are "Seeing Cézanne" and, with Carl Pletsch, "History and Innovation". (shrink)
Kant's Critique of Judgment has often been interpreted by scholars as comprising separate treatments of three uneasily connected topics: beauty, biology, and empirical knowledge. Rachel Zuckert's book interprets the Critique as a unified argument concerning all three domains. She argues that on Kant's view, human beings demonstrate a distinctive cognitive ability in appreciating beauty and understanding organic life: an ability to anticipate a whole that we do not completely understand according to preconceived categories. This ability is necessary, moreover, for (...) human beings to gain knowledge of nature in its empirical character as it is, not as we might assume it to be. Her wide-ranging and original study will be valuable for readers in all areas of Kant's philosophy. (shrink)
This article, a contribution to the Common Knowledge symposium “Fuzzy Studies: On the Consequence of Blur,” documents how some modern artists and critics have argued against any sort of verbal thinking about art. Beyond describing works of visual art and pronouncing on their relative quality, critics often assume responsibility for explaining what a given work means. Because paintings and sculptures are less precisely codified, less articulate, than verbalized communications, they may seem to require verbal translation. Yet some artists and critics (...) have warned that the advantageous emotional force of a visual presentation is diminished or even destroyed by the generalizing classifications that verbal thinking entails. Sensation suffers from any reconstitution in words. “Watch Out for Thinking” focuses on the views of two critics (Clement Greenberg, Charles Harrison) and two artists (Willem de Kooning, Donald Judd), each of whom was sympathetic to the principle that visual observation and expression should remain independent of verbal explanation. Their common principle required that each develop some method of dealing with the gap between the experience of sensation and the thoughts generated by or directed at such feeling. On this issue, each disagreed with the others, whether expressing his difference directly or indirectly; and the differences often hinged on matters of aesthetic judgment. Ironically, the practice of such judgment demanded verbal concepts for its articulation. In turn, the verbal discourse tended to render the initial aesthetic judgment more extreme, more polarizing, than it may have felt as a lived response to a specific work of art. To remedy the situation, a viewer might allow feeling to divert the logical course of thinking. (shrink)
From Bishop Wilberforce in the 1860s to the advocates of "creation science" today, defenders of traditional mores have condemned Darwin's theory of evolution as a threat to society's values. Darwin's defenders, like Stephen Jay Gould, have usually replied that there is no conflict between science and religion--that values and biological facts occupy separate realms. But as James Rachels points out in this thought-provoking study, Darwin himself would disagree with Gould. Darwin, who had once planned on being a clergyman, was convinced (...) that natural selection overthrew our age-old religious beliefs. Created from Animals offers a provocative look at how Darwinian evolution undermines many tenets of traditional philosophy and religion. James Rachels begins by examining Darwin's own life and work, presenting an astonishingly vivid and compressed biography. We see Darwin's studies of the psychological links in evolution (such as emotions in dogs, and the "mental powers" of worms), and how he addressed the moral implications of his work, especially in his concern for the welfare of animals. Rachels goes on to present a lively and accessible survey of the controversies that followed in Darwin's wake, ranging from Herbert Spencer's Social Darwinism to Edward O. Wilson's sociobiology, and discusses how the work of such influential intellects as Descartes, Hume, Kant, T.H. Huxley, Henri Bergson, B.F. Skinner, and Stephen Jay Gould has contributed to--or been overthrown by--evolutionary science. Western philosophy and religion, Rachels argues, have been shaken by the implications of Darwin's work, most notably the controversial idea that humans are simply a more complex kind of animal. Rachels assesses a number of studies that suggest how closely humans are linked to other primates in behavior, and then goes on to show how this idea undercuts the work of many prominent philosophers. Kant's famous argument that suicide reduces one to the level of an animal, for instance, is meaningless if humans are, in fact, animals. Indeed, humanity's membership in the animal kingdom calls into question the classic notions of human dignity and the sacredness of human life. What we need now, Rachels contends, is a philosophy that does not discriminate between different species, one that addresses each being on an individual basis. With this sweeping survey of the arguments, the philosophers, and the deep implications surrounding Darwinism, Rachels lays the foundations for a new view of morality. Vibrantly written and provocatively argued, Created from Animals offers a new perspective on issues ranging from suicide to euthanasia to animal rights. (shrink)
The following is a transcript of the interview I (Yasuko Kitano) conducted with Neil Levy (The Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, CAPPE) on the 23rd in July 2009, while he was in Tokyo to give a series of lectures on neuroethics at The University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy. I edited his words for publication with his approval.
In this provocative book, a professor of philosophy examines the arguments for and against euthanasia, analyzes specific case studies, including those of Baby Jane Doe and Barney Clark, and offers an alternate theory on the morality of euthanasia. Various traditional distinctions--between "human" and "non-human," intentional and nonintentional, killing and "letting die"--are taken into account to determine whether euthanasia is permissible or not. Rachels presents a systematic argument against the traditional view, defending an alternative position based on the belief that there (...) is a profound difference between having a life and merely being alive. (shrink)
There's been a great deal of interest in epistemology regarding what it takes for a hearer to come to know on the basis of a speaker's say-so. That is, there's been much work on the epistemology of testimony. However, what about when hearers don't believe speakers when they should? In other words, what are we to make of when testimony goes wrong? A recent topic of interest in epistemology and feminist philosophy is how we sometimes fail to believe speakers due (...) to inappropriate prejudices – implicit or explicit. This is known as epistemic injustice. In this article, I discuss Miranda Fricker's groundbreaking work on epistemic injustice, as well as more recent developments that both offer critique and expansion on the nature and extent of epistemic injustice. (shrink)
What words we use, and what meanings they have, is important. We shouldn't use slurs; we should use 'rape' to include spousal rape (for centuries we didn’t); we should have a word which picks out the sexual harassment suffered by people in the workplace and elsewhere (for centuries we didn’t). Sometimes we need to change the word-meaning pairs in circulation, either by getting rid of the pair completely (slurs), changing the meaning (as we did with 'rape'), or adding brand new (...) word-meaning pairs (as with 'sexual harassment'). A problem, though, is how to do this. One might worry that any attempt to change language in this way will lead to widespread miscommunication and confusion. I argue that this is indeed so, but that's a feature, not a bug of attempting to change word-meaning pairs. The miscommunications and confusion such changes cause can lead us, via a process I call transformative communicative disruption, to reflect on our language and its use, and this can be further, rather than hinder, our goal of improving language. (shrink)
While different groups of viewers may have sought different values in Cézanne's art, the artist's manner of painting and personality both contributed to the ambiguity of his work. Until the last decade of his life he seldom exhibited, and even then his paintings seemed unfinished. He was generally regarded as an "incomplete" artist and often as a "primitive," one whose art was in some way simple or rudimentary, devoid of the refinements and complexities of his materialistic, industrialized society.1 He was (...) seen as an isolated man who lived apart from other painters and found human relationship and communication difficult. Yet for some symbolists it was this alienation and mystery which made Cézanne's art so attractive. As early as 1891, Fénéon found it appropriate to refer to "the Cézanne tradition," a designation which indicates the influence of the legendary account of the artist promulgated by Gauguin and his associates.2 Gauguin had painted landscapes with the reclusive artist during the summer of 1881, was impressed by his odd style, both personal and pictorial, and in a letter to Emile Schuffenecker of 14 January 1885 described Cézanne as embodying the mysticism of the Orient.3 Such a characterization held special meaning for those like Gauguin who had come more and more to search for an ultimate truth in the experience of the mystical, the transcendental, the intensely real. For the symbolist painter or writer, primitives lived in harmony with the real world; they had an intuitive, mythic understanding of their environment. Most modern Europeans, in contrast, viewed the world through false and short-sighted analytic reason and thus saw only immediate causes and effects, not eternal universal principles. They were Christians who could not see the truth of Buddhism; they were socially indoctrinated Parisians who could not see the purer structure of human society in provincial Brittany; they were refined painters of nature who could not see the expressive power of a flat area of color surrounded by a broad outline. For Gauguin and the symbolists, Cézanne, living in isolation in his seemingly unsophisticated native Provence, qualified as an enlightened contemporary, an inspiring force, a primitive artist. · 1. For Cézanne as "incomplete," see, e.g. Thadée Natanson, "Paul Cézanne." Revue blanche 9 , p. 496; and Gustave Geoffrey, "Paul Cézanne" , in La Vie artistique , p. 218. For Cézanne as "primitive," see, e.g., Georges Lecomte, L'Arte impressionniste , pp. 30-31; and Maurice Denis, "Cézanne" , in Théories, 1890-1910: Du symbolisme et de Gauguin vers un nouvel ordre classique, 2d ed. , p. 246. The late nineteenth-century notion of the "primitive" artist was very broad. Included in the category of primitives were artists of the ancient Orient, artists of the earlier stages of development of various Western styles , provincial or uneducated European artists, and those of contemporary non-European societies. With regard to the negative evaluation of modern Western European society, see, e.g., Victor de Laprade, Le Sentiment de la nature chez les modernes, 2d ed. , pp. 483-88; and Albert Aurier, "Essai sur une nouvelle méthode de critique" , "Le Symbolisme en peinture: Paul Gauguin" , and "Les Isolés: Vincent van Gogh" , in Oeuvres posthumes , pp. 202, 216, 262-63.· 2. Félix Fénéon, "Paul Gauguin" , in Oeuvres plus que complètes, ed. Joan Halperin, 2 vols. , 1:192.· 3. Lettres de Gauguin à sa femme et à ses amis, ed. Maurice Malingue , p. 45. Félix Fénéon, André Mellerio, and Emile Bernard also associated Cézanne's style with mysticism. Richard Shiff is an associate professor of art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has written a related article, "The End of Impressionism: A Study of Theories of Artistic Expression". His contributions to Critical Inquiry are "Art and Life: A Metaphoric Relationship" and, with Carl Pletsch, "History and Innovation". (shrink)
F. A. Hayek is uniquely responsible for his fellow economists grasping the importance of the decentralization of knowledge: as Hayek shows in his pathbreaking “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” knowledge nowhere exists as a coherent whole and to pretend otherwise is a most serious error. Hayek also shares responsibility for the popularity of a strong form of the methodological individualist research program which asserts that since collectives as such have no impact on the choices of individuals, investigators ought to (...) purge any reliance on collectives from our analysis. (shrink)
In this volume, Rachel Giora explores how the salient meanings of words - the meanings that stand out as most prominent and accessible in our minds - shape how we think and how we speak. For Giora, salient meanings display interesting effects in both figurative and literal language. In both domains, speakers and writers creatively exploit the possibilities inherent in the fact that, while words have multiple meanings, some meanings are more accessible than others. Of the various meanings weencode (...) in our mental lexicon for a given word or expression, we ascribe greater cognitive priority to some over others. Interestingly, the most salient meaning is not always the literal meaning. Giora argues that it is cognitively prominent salient meanings, rather than literal meanings, that play the most important role in the comprehension and production of language. She shows that even though context begins to affect comprehension immediately, it does so without obstructing the early accessing of salient meanings. Thus, the meaning we first attend to is the salient word meaning, regardless of contextual bias. Knowledge of salient meanings turns out to play a major role, perhaps the most important role, in the process of using and understanding of language. Going beyond the familiar effects of literal meaning and context, the Graded Salience Hypothesis presents the most comprehensive explanation for how we use language for meaning. In this volume, Giora presents her new model for the first time in a book-length treatment, with original and illuminating perspectives that will be of interest to linguists, philosophers, psychologists, and all who want to know more about just how we understand what we mean. (shrink)
Some assertions give rise to the acquaintance inference: the inference that the speaker is acquainted with some individual. Discussion of the acquaintance inference has previously focused on assertions about aesthetic matters and personal tastes (e.g. 'The cake is tasty'), but it also arises with reports about how things seem (e.g. 'Tom seems like he's cooking'). 'Seem'-reports give rise to puzzling acquaintance behavior, with no analogue in the previously-discussed domains. In particular, these reports call for a distinction between the specific acquaintance (...) inference (that the speaker is acquainted with a specific individual) and the general acquaintance inference (that the speaker is acquainted with something or other of relevance). We frame a novel empirical generalization -- the specific with stage-level generalization -- that systematizes the observed behavior, in terms of the semantics of the embedded 'like'-clause. We present supporting experimental work, and explain why the generalization makes sense given the evidential role of 'seem'-reports. Finally, we discuss the relevance of this result for extant proposals about the semantics of 'seem'-reports. More modestly, it fills a gap in previous theories by identifying which reports get which of two possible interpretations; more radically, it suggests a revision of the kind of explanation that should be given for the acquaintance behavior in question. (shrink)
ome Remarks on the Crisis of Capitalism What are the causes and consequences of the crisis of capitalism ? What are the plausible scenarios forthe outcome of the crisis ? To what extent is the current crisis comparable to that of 1929, and to whatextent does it differ from the crisis of the 1970s ? To what extent can one speak of a crisis of neoliberalism ? These are some of the questions which the authors of The Crisis of Neoliberalism (...) address here. (shrink)
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