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Whitewashing History

Pinker’s (Mis)Representation of the Enlightenment and Violence

Philip Dwyer

Enlightenment. The Enlightenment, Empathy, and the Reduction of Violence It is true that the period in history known as the Enlightenment, roughly from the end of the seventeenth to the beginning of the nineteenth century, is a watershed moment in the history of

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The Cine-Fist

Eisenstein’s Attractions, Mirror Neurons, and Contemporary Action Cinema

Maria Belodubrovskaya

“rather than being an involvement with narrative action or empathy with character psychology, the cinema of attractions solicits a highly conscious awareness of the film image engaging the viewer’s curiosity” (1995: 121). Arguing against the myth that

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Jens Eder

achieved by several kinds of empathetic processes. Despite these qualifications, however, a partial approximation of a character’s existential feelings may still be achieved by at least four kinds of empathetic processes 13 : First, by somatic empathy

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Murray Smith

our ordinary empathic capacity “in scope and intensity ” (191). (This argument is also noted by Jane Stadler (90) in her contribution, and as Jerrold Levinson demonstrates (66–7), is one perfectly exemplified by Under the Skin [Jonathan Glazer

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Rihab Azar

Can collaborative, transparent, and open-ended inquiries empower social activism and grassroot change? In my response to “Listening with Displacement,” I argue that it can and that it should. In an age full of unhelpful and dangerous narratives of displacement, I suggest that anthropologists are very well-positioned to take their role a step further to facilitate social understanding and cohesion as they collaboratively explore and create points of contact with and for their subjects.

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Psalms 113–118

Qualified Praise?

Jeremy Schonfield


Psalms 113–118, known collectively as ‘Hallel’, are recited by Jews on New Moons and festivals and are thought to have formed part of Temple practice. I outline the historical development of this unit from two psalms to its full complement of six. Although its rabbinic title suggests that it expresses praise, other more complex associations of the word are explored in the context of reviewing the underlining ‘narrative’ traced by the texts. This spans episodes from patriarchal times to exile, ending with the eventual messianic advent. I propose here that the practice of occasionally abbreviating two of the psalms reflects sympathy for the Egyptian foe, based on rabbinic views concerning the sanctity of human life.

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Rory Conces

Political realism remains a powerful theoretical framework for thinking about international relations, including the war on terrorism. For Morgenthau and other realists, foreign policy is a matter of national interest defined in terms of power. Some writers view this tenet as weakening, if not severing, realism's link with morality. I take up the contrary view that morality is embedded in realist thought, as well as the possibility of realism being thinly and thickly moralised depending on the moral psychology of the agents. I argue that a prima facie case can be made within a thinly moralised realism for a relatively weak ally like Bosnia to enter the war on terrorism. An inflationary model of morality, however, explains how the moral horror of genocide in an ally's past may lead to a thickened moralised realism such that allied policy-makers question their country's entry into the war.

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Antagonistic Insights

Evolving Soviet Atheist Critiques of Religion and Why They Matter for Anthropology

Sonja Luehrmann

This article offers a critique of the common notion in contemporary anthropology that a positive attitude toward the people under study is a necessary precondition for a sophisticated understanding of their social world. The empirical sociology of religion that evolved during the last decades of the Soviet Union's existence started from the premise that religion was a harmful phenomenon slated for disappearance. Nonetheless, atheist sociologists produced increasingly complex accounts of religious life in modern socialist societies. Their ideological framework simultaneously constrained Soviet scholars and forced them to pay closer attention to religious phenomena that contradicted political expectations. Drawing on this extreme example of militant atheist scholarship, I argue that studying 'repugnant cultural others' always requires some form of affective motivation. Antagonism can be as powerful, and as problematic, a motivating force as empathetic suspension of judgment.

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Anthropological Reflections on Lebanese Art

How Empathy, the Human Rights Topos and Ideological Attitudes Interact with Aesthetic Perceptions

Gerald A. P.-Fromm and Bariaa Mourad

This article analyses attitudes of the art public related to subjects of the 2011 art exhibition 'Beirut', shown at the Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna. Some Lebanese artworks, especially those of the (pre-)war generation, were oriented towards utopias of their time and socio-political criticism, and still today revolve around the topoi of human rights. Socio-cultural milieux and institutions seem habited by adherents with congruent values. Art, science and education are thus particularly disputed fields since their common creative quests produce knowledge and, depending on the theme, ideology. We contextualise these topics and highlight a few empirically corroborated explanatory models developed by anthropology in order to elucidate the complex interplay between the individual and society. We appeal to those in academia, education and critical art to play a role in the debate on essential humanistic and ethical principles.

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Teaching globalisation in the social sciences

The effectiveness of a refugee simulation

Stacy Keogh George

of society’ (Lubbers 2002) while generating empathy for the refugees who are forced into the migratory process. By participating in the simulation, students develop a realistic view of the refugee resettlement process. Furthermore, the Refugee