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Poetics and Ethics

The Saying and the Said in the Linguistically Innovative Poetry of Tom Raworth

Robert Sheppard

In 1989 Tom Raworth commented on the focus of his poetry: ‘At the back there is always the hope that there are other people … other minds, who will recognise something that they thought was to one side or not real. I hope that my poems will show them that it is real, that it does exist.’ This article will tease out the implications of this attitude, in terms of Raworth’s poems, but also in terms of a wider poetics of an alternative British poetry. Raworth was part of the growth of an experimental British poetry during the 1960s, and he joins company with Roy Fisher, Lee Harwood, Bob Cobbing and JH Prynne as an important figure in what Eric Mottram called The British Poetry Revival. Raworth’s early poems followed the dictum of Charles Olson’s projectivism that ‘ONE PERCEPTION MUST IMMEDIATELY AND DIRECTLY LEAD TO A FURTHER PERCEPTION’, without reflection, qualification or discrimination, although Raworth’s effects were often comic and surreal. The presentation of sharp detail and rapid re-location of point of view created indeterminate lyrics and fictions. Throughout the decade improvisatory intuition was pitched against a supposedly reductive intellection.

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Epistemology and Ethics

Perspectives from Africa

Henrietta L. Moore

There has been much discussion in anthropology of the problem of belief and of the difficulties inherent in understanding and interpreting alternative life-worlds. One consequence of anthropological understanding and interpretation being intimately tied to the epistemological and ethical project of contextualization is that other people's knowledge is often rendered as parochial, defined by its local contexts and scope. This article discusses the recent conversion to radical Protestant beliefs in a community in northern Kenya that has resulted in new forms of knowledge and agency. The moral continuities and discontinuities between researcher and researched cannot in this situation be glossed by making the informants rational in context or by asserting the existence of culturally distinct worldviews. The article explores how this sets up a series of epistemological and ethical dilemmas that shape both the research project and the research process.

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Michael W. Doyle

In a widely cited and controversial speech, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan highlighted the moral character of the boundaries of political sovereignty when he questioned whether respecting national sovereignty everywhere and always precluded the international protection of human rights. He argued that it did not and highlighted the importance of multilateral authorization. In this article, I explore the difference that multilateral authority, as opposed to unilateral national decision, should make in justifying armed intervention. Should the more salient role of the United Nations lead us to a more expansive tolerance of international intervention? And, if multilateralism does make a difference—and many think its impartiality is key—are good intentions enough? Had the international community also discovered how to intervene more effectively, with a better prospect of self-sustaining self-determination, at an acceptable humanitarian cost? I will conclude that multilateralism should widen our acceptance of intervention, even though the intentions at play are not reliably superior to unilateral intentions.

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Sivane Hirsch and Marie McAndrew

This article analyzes the treatment of the Holocaust in Quebec's history textbooks, in view of the subject's potential and actual contribution to human rights education. Given that Quebec's curriculum includes citizenship education in its history program, it could be argued that the inclusion of the Holocaust has particular relevance in this context, as it contributes to the study of both history and civics, and familiarizes Quebec's youth with representations of Quebec's Jewish community, which is primarily concentrated in Montreal. This article demonstrates that the textbooks' treatment of the Holocaust is often superficial and partial, and prevents Quebec's students from fully grasping the impact of this historical event on contemporary society.

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La santé dans les pays en développement

Défaillances de l'aide, équité et légitimité

Mamadou Barry, Bruno Boidin, and Stéphane Tizio

*Full article is in French

English abstract: The aim of this article is to study the efficiency of health aid through an analysis of recommendations made by those working in development assistance. The central focus concerns the legitimacy of these recommendations. We show that recent directions in health aid still neglect equity and sustainability issues. We also discuss how to introduce ethical considerations into health aid.

Spanish abstract: Este artículo examina las condiciones de la eficiencia de la ayuda para la salud, dadas las opciones de políticas de salud preconizadas por los actores de la ayuda al desarrollo. La pregunta sobre la legitimidad de estas preconizaciones constituye el centro de la reflexión. El artículo muestra que las recientes orientaciones en la ayuda al desarrollo en el campo de la salud dejan de lado asuntos de equidad y sostenibilidad de las políticas. En este contexto se proponen pistas que permitan introducir consideraciones éticas en la ayuda a la salud.

French abstract: Cet article s'interroge sur les conditions d'efficacité de l'aide à la santé compte tenu des options de politiques de santé préconisées par les acteurs de l'aide au développement. La question de la légitimité de ces préconisations est au cœur de notre réflexion. Nous montrons que les orientations récentes de l'aide au développement dans le domaine de la santé négligent toujours les questions d'équité et de soutenabilité des politiques. Nous proposons alors des pistes perme ant d'introduire des considérations éthiques dans l'aide à la santé.

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On “tribes” and bribes

“Iraq tribal study,” al-Anbar's awakening, and social science

Roberto J. González

The concept of the “tribe” has captured the imagination of military planners, who have been inspired partly by social scientists. Interest in tribes stems from events in Iraq's al-Anbar province, where the US military has co-opted Sunni “tribal” leaders. Some social scientists have capitalized on these developments by doing contract work for the Pentagon. For example, the “Iraq tribal study”—prepared by a private company consisting of anthropologists and political scientists among others—suggests employing colonial-era techniques (such as divide and conquer) for social control. It also advocates bribing local leaders, a method that has become part of the US military's pacification strategy. Such imperial policing techniques are likely to aggravate armed conflict between and among ethnic groups and religious sects. Observers report that the US strategy is creating a dangerous situation resembling the Lebanese civil war, raising ethical questions about social scientists' involvement in these processes.

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On Anticipatory Accounts

Adjudicating Moral Being and Becoming in the Los Angeles Mental Health Court

Abigail Jane Mack

Abstract

Engaging an account of a judicial decision made in the Los Angeles Mental Health Court, this article interrogates the role of anticipation in the lived negotiation of moral, social and institutional orders. As Judge Samuel Benton recounts his attempt to let himself ‘emotionally off the hook’ in the wake of a patient's suicide, anticipation emerges as: 1) an ordered, linear sequencing of events towards logical ends; 2) unsettled, temporally disjunctive engagements with the past in order to make sense of present experience and ambiguous futures; 3) existential negotiations of one's potential morality and social belonging; and 4) distributed organization of information between people and across objects in order to elaborate present and future experience. These manifestations of anticipation reveal the social and temporal contingency and deep intersubjectivity of our negotiations with uncertainty in the unsettling process of becoming moral.

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Lesley Gill

Debates about the relationship of anthropology to the U.S. national security establishment are not new, and anthropologists are now forced to confront the issue again. Since the 11 September attacks, the U.S. military has stepped up efforts to recruit anthropologists to fight the so-called "war on terror," and a group of self-identified "security anthropologists" have organized for more recognition and legitimation within the American Anthropological Association. The article considers what is new about the current controversy, and it examines the issues at stake for anthropologists and the people who they study. It argues that anthropologists need to raise anew basic questions about their disciplinary and intellectual endeavors and that they must re-educate themselves on the realities of power.

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Ruth Kitchen

For Sartre, shame is not an ethical but an ontological experience. With this in mind, the article examines the philosophical connection between shame and ambiguity through analysis of the experiences of abortion and the Nazi Occupation. The article demonstrates how Beauvoir develops Sartre's ontological notion of shame into an ethical philosophy of ambiguity as a result of wartime experiences. It demonstrates how encounters with shame, abortion, ambiguity and Occupation life in Beauvoir's 1945 novel Le sang des autres elucidate and are developed by Sartre and Beauvoir's philosophies of shame and ambiguity. The paper proposes that Sartre's and Beauvoir's thought was shaped by living through the Nazi Occupation and reveals how the memory of wartime shame is activated in contemporary ethical dilemmas in later literary works of both writers.

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Kenneth Shockley

English abstract: The likelihood that the poor will suffer disproportionately from the effects of climate change makes it necessary that any just scheme for addressing the costs and burdens of climate change integrate those disproportionate effects. The Greenhouse Development Rights (GDRs) framework attempts to do just this. The GDRs framework is a burden-sharing approach to climate change that assigns national obligations on the basis of historical emissions and current capacity to provide assistance. It does so by including only those emissions that correspond to income exceeding a development threshold. According to the GDRs framework, this development threshold considers the right to develop to be held by individuals rather than the nations in which those individuals find themselves. The article provides a critique of this framework, focusing on three concerns: First, in generating national obligations the GDRs framework collapses significantly different moral considerations into a single index, presenting both theoretical and practical problems. Second, the framework relies on a contentious and underdeveloped conception of the right to develop. Third, the framework's exclusive focus on individual concerns systematically overlooks irreducibly social concerns. The article concludes by pointing to an alternative approach to balancing development against the burdens of climate change.

Spanish abstract: La alta probabilidad de que los pobres sufran de manera desproporcionada los efectos del cambio climático requiere que cualquier sistema que se supone de hacer frente a los costos y las responsabilidades del cambio climático incorpore precisamente estos efectos desproporcionados. Esto es precisamente lo que el modelo de Derechos al Desarrollo con Emisiones Responsables de Gases de Efecto Invernadero (GDR por sus siglas en inglés) está tratando de hacer. El modelo promueve un enfoque para compartir la carga relacionada con los efectos del cambio climático asignando obligaciones nacionales sobre la base de las emisiones históricas y la capacidad actual de prestar asistencia. Lo hace mediante la inclusión de sólo aquellas emisiones que corresponden a un ingreso superior a un 'umbral de desarrollo' definido. De acuerdo con el modelo GDR, este umbral implica el derecho al desarrollo que tienen las personas individuales, no los países en que viven. En este artículo presento una evaluación crítica del modelo propuesto con base en tres puntos principales. Primero, cuando el GDR genera obligaciones nacionales, colapsa significativamente diferentes consideraciones morales en un solo índice, presentando problemas teóricos y metodológicos. Segundo, el modelo se basa en una polémica y poco desarrollada concepción del derecho al desarrollo. Tercero, el enfoque exclusivo en las cuestiones individuales ignora sistemáticamente las irreductibles preocupaciones sociales. Concluyo esbozando un enfoque alternativo para equilibrar el desarrollo contra de las cargas del cambio climático.

French abstract: La très forte probabilité que les pauvres souffrent de façon disproportionnée des effets du changement climatique exige qu'un système qui aborde les coûts et les responsabilités du changement climatique intègre justement ces effets disproportionnés. C'est précisément ce que le système des Droits au Développement dans un Monde sous Contrainte Carbone (DDMCC - anglais GDR, Greenhouse Development Rights) essaie de faire. Ce modèle propose la répartition entre les pays des responsabilités/contraintes associés aux effets du changement climatique en assignant des obligations nationales sur la base de leurs émissions cumulées et de leur capacité actuelle à apporter une aide. Ce e approche inclut uniquement les émissions de gaz correspondant aux revenus dépassant un certain seuil de développement. D'après le modèle DDMCC, le seuil de développement considère un droit au développement qui revient aux personnes individuellement, et non aux pays dans lesquels elles vivent. Dans cet article, je dresse un bilan critique du modèle proposé sur la base de trois points principaux. Premièrement, le modèle DDMCC confond différentes considérations morales en un seul index quand il génère des obligations nationales, ce qui pose des problèmes à la fois théoriques et pratiques. Deuxièmement, il se base sur une conception du droit au développement suje e à polémique et trop peu développée. Troisièmement, l'accent mis exclusivement sur les préoccupations individuelles néglige systématiquement les préoccupations sociales pourtant incontournables. Je conclus en esquissant une approche alternative perme ant d'équilibrer les exigences du développement et les contraintes du changement climatique.