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In Vitro Anthropos

New Conception Models for a Recursive Anthropology?

Sarah Franklin

Drawing on fieldwork in U.K. stem cell labs, where early human development is modelled in vitro using cell culture systems, and cultured cell lines are used to make new diagnostic tools, this article explores a new meaning for the phrase 'conception model'. In the London labs where the author has conducted fieldwork since the 1990s are many examples of how human reproductive cells are being used to manufacture and 'road test' new diagnostic tools. This article explores the recursion involved in modelling early development 'in man' (as opposed to mouse, axolotl or sea urchin), and develops anthropological analyses of living human cell systems grown in Petri dishes that are aimed at illuminating the causes of human pathology. It is argued that several different levels of recursive modelling occur via 'in vitro anthropos', and that these cellular models introduce a useful perspective on the debate over 'reflexive' anthropology, and the more recent turn to a 'recursive' anthropology. However, different kinds of difference are at stake in these two projects. Using cell culture modelling practices, and the 'conception model' offered by dish life as an analytic vantage point, the article offers a 'looped' view to illustrate what the 'recursive turn' might look like, or reveal, as an ethnographic project. In contrast to the 'loopy' view of much reflexive anthropology, fieldwork through the looking glass, including the explicit turn to a recursive anthropology, is argued to be both an empirically robust and a conceptually creative practice.

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Gavin Rae

Sartre's phenomenological ontology discloses that understanding consciousness and its mode of being requires an analysis of its relation with other consciousnesses. The primordial manner in which the Other relates to consciousness is through the look. Sartre claims that consciousness tends to adopt a pre-reflective fundamental project that leads it to view the Other as a threat to its pure subjective freedom. This creates a conflictual social relation in which each consciousness tries to objectify the Other to maintain its subjective freedom. But Sartre also notes that consciousnesses can establish a social relation called the “we” in which each consciousness is a free subject. While certain commentators have noted that communication allows each consciousness to learn that the Other is not simply a threatening object but another subject, communication can only play this positive role if both consciousnesses have undergone a specific process called conversion. Only conversion brings consciousness to recognise, respect, and affirm the Other's practical freedom in the way necessary to create a we-relation. To support my argument, I spend significant time outlining what conversion and the social relations created post-conversion entail.

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Kathleen Wider

In this paper I examine the role of emotions in the initial development of self-awareness through intersubjective communication between mother and infant. I argue that the empirical evidence suggests that the infant's ability to communicate is initially an ability of the infant to share emotions with the mother. In section one I examine the biological foundations that allow infants from birth to interact with others of their own kind, focusing on the abilities which allow them to engage in emotional relationships with others. These include an infant's ability to express, share, and regulate emotions as well as her brain's ability to imitate the neuronal activity of another. In section two, I explore the fit between Sartre's phenomenologically-based account of intersubjectivity in Being and Nothingness and the accounts from psychology and neuroscience that I've examined in section one, focusing on his phenomenology of the Look and the emotional response he claims it elicits. In section three I examine the explanatory gap objection that Sartre among others could raise to my attempt to understand phenomenological accounts of human reality and scientific ones in light of each other. I don't have any final answer to this objection, but I offer some thoughts on why I think it's less of a problem than it might first appear to be.

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Jacques Samson

This reading of Hergé's Tintin au Tibet uses the notions of 'the daydream' and 'the haunting idea' in order to approach the text not at the level of its plot, but at that of the imaginary that underlies it, whose presence is betrayed through two series of obsessive reiterations and wordplays around the name of Tchang, the lost object of Tintin's quest. A digression via Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass establishes it as an important intertext, prefiguring Hergé's album in a number of ways: the metaphorical function of the chess game and its close association with the state of dreaming or daydreaming, and the way in which the use of language, particularly the proper name, becomes analogous to dreamwork as words exceed their literal meaning and slide along the signifying chain, destabilising meaning and identity. The article then focuses on Tintin au Tibet, demonstrating the key importance of the famous large panel on the second page, in which the word 'Tchang', cried out by Tintin on waking, is substituted by Hergé for any images of the dream itself. The reverberation of the word, and of words resembling it, is tracked through the remainder of the text, along with a more generalised problematic around proper names and a compulsive tendency to repetition, symptoms of an unconscious grappling with the elusiveness and fluctuating nature of self and other, ontological questions that linger after narrative resolution has been achieved.

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. ( 2017 ), The Look of a Woman: Facial Feminization Surgery and the Aims of Trans-Medicine ( Durham, NC : Duke University Press ). 10.1215/9780822372707 Povinelli , E. A. ( 2016 ), Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism ( Durham, NC : Duke

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Catrin Gibson

are conflictual. ‘The essence of relations between consciousnesses is not the Mitsein ; it is conflict’ ( BN , 451). The struggle begins from the first moment we are aware of the Other-as-subject, in theLook’ ( BN , 281–284). Sartre illustrates this

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Daniel O'Shiel

well-known section, ‘The Look’, 53 in his part on being-for-others. 54 ‘The look’ (le regard) is the principle that allows a third dimension of our being—for-others—to be given to us. The look of the Other, which can be instantiated in a particular

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Experiencing In-betweenness

Literary Spatialities

Tahmineh Hooshyar Emami

: 143 ). “Alice’s Alternative Wonderland” is the fictitious account of a child’s experiences on the European refugee trail and of events as they unfold along her journey. Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking

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Cameron Bassiri

imposes order. It becomes the look of all third parties . Language, in the context of the statutory group, has a practical function, in truth a practical necessity, in so far as it unifies all of the third parties and makes possible a further

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Damon Boria, Thomas Meagher, Adrian van den Hoven, and Matthew C. Eshleman

’s notion of being-for-others and “the look” through an examination of racialized modes of seeing and being seen. Though clear thematics link these chapters, the text as a whole avoids an argumentative through-line. Taking each essay on its own terms, the