There has been much debate on the question of rights in African communitarian thinking. Some scholars have averred that duties are prior to rights in African communitarian society, and that to prioritise rights is foreign to the non-Western perspective. Yet, there are others who argue that in non-Western societies rights are prior to duties. I share this view. I present my position by arguing that economic rights in African communitarianism affirms autonomy of the individual, though the same rights are expressed through the ideas of consensus and human well-being. In my argument I state that human well-being is well expressed as a communal effort climaxed through consensus where all these are premised on individual autonomy. By arguing in this way, I respond to the accusation that says African philosophers who argue for the priority of rights have failed to demonstrate how rights are considered prior to duties in African societies.
William W. Darrow
Public health in the United States has lost its edge. It made a significant impact on human well-being, capacities, and potential in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Now it takes a backseat to biomedical research and therapeutic medicine. Population health with its traditional emphasis on preventing harm has been displaced by an exorbitantly expensive and continually expanding medical care system devoted almost exclusively to restoring or rehabilitating the health of patients – no matter the cost. The failure to control the spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the United States can be attributed to adherence to an inadequate biomedical model that ignores the social. Social quality theory, designed to further social justice, solidarity, equal value, and human dignity, can contribute to identifying and correcting deficiencies in biomedical approaches to HIV prevention and other public health problems that continue to plague the people of the United States.
Over the past decade a shift can be noticed from ecological restoration to ecological design, where ecological design stands for a technocratic approach that courts hubris and mastery rather than humility and self-restraint. Following Eric Higgs, this shift can be seen as a “hyperactive and heedless response“ to global environmental change, especially climate change. The new technocratic approach may be best characterized as enlightened (or prudential) anthropocentrism, where nature is only allowed that degree of agency which is required to deliver the services that are essential for human well-being. It is not only questionable if we have the scientific and technical abilities to purposeful design ecosystems that will serve our needs, but also if the new approach will be sufficient to protect biodiversity in the long run.
Conceptions of the ‘good life’ and the various accounts of human well-being almost always entail some reference—direct or indirect—to physical and psychic health. The very term ‘disease’ implies ‘disease’, an absence of that which renders the human condition agreeable. There are many dimensions to disease, and to its counterpoint, ‘good health’. These range from concerns with therapy and the therapeutic to the advance of our understanding—in the modern world through the natural and social sciences—of illness, and from the cultural significance of disease to the economic costs and implications of ill-health and its management. Under the conditions of ‘modernity’ the nature and meaning of illness and of disease, though still culturally contested, has changed. Modern science has rendered the previously ‘inscrutable’ open to scrutiny and explanation. The advance of therapy is now inextricably bound up with the explanation of illness at the microbial, molecular and genetic levels. One consequence of the modern science of medicine has been to underwrite a quest for cures—paradigmatically embodied in new surgical interventions and technologies as well as, iconically, in the quest for ‘magic bullets’ represented, to begin with, by Paul Ehrlich’s salvarsan and later extended to antibiotics and to new-generation ‘designer drugs’.
David E. Cooper
Among the general educated public, the question whether humanism and science are antagonists would receive various answers, primarily because the question itself would be variously taken. There are those who, echoing F.R. Leavis’s retort to C.P. Snow’s call for ‘two cultures’, would insist that science has little or no place alongside humane studies in the education of the civilised person. But there are those – members, perhaps, of the British or American Humanist Association – who would insist that humanism in the modern world just is scientific humanism. The appearance of a necessary opposition between these two groups would, however, be illusory. The followers of Leavis have in mind by humanism the pursuit of the literae humaniores and their descendants, such as history. This is the humanism intended when the word was coined, early in the nineteenth century, to refer to the pursuits of the Renaissance umaniste. Members of the BHAor AHAhave something different in mind: humanism as a practical concern with human well-being which eschews religious and other ‘supernaturalist’ doctrines. Clearly a humanist in this second sense need not exclude science from a central place in education. Conversely, a Leavisite humanist need not subscribe to the antireligious viewpoint of Humanist Associations.
Veronica Davidov, Danielle DiNovelli-Lang, James F. Weiner, Emily Yates-Doerr, Marissa Shaver, Bret Gustafson, Peter Cuasay, Andrew DeWit, Jeremy F. Walton, Christopher Krupa, David Lipset, Jerry Jacka, John Walker, John Johnson, Erik W. Davis, J. Brantley Hightower, Genese Marie Sodikoff, Heater E. Young-Leslie, Patrick Kaiku, and Brock Ternes
DOVE, Michael R., Percy E. SAJISE, and Amity A. DOOLITTLE, eds., Beyond the Sacred Forest: Complicating Conservation in Southeast Asia
FIENUP-RIORDAN, Ann, and Alice REARDEN, Ellavut/Our Yup’ik World & Weather: Continuity and Change on the Bering Sea Coast
INGOLD, Tim, Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description
KINCHY, Abby, Seeds, Science, and Struggle: The Global Politics of Transgenic Crops
KNUDSEN, Stale, Fishers and Scientists in Modern Turkey: The Management of Natural Resources, Knowledge and Identity on the Eastern Black Sea Coast
LATTA, Alex, and Hannah WITTMAN, eds., Environment and Citizenship in Latin America: Natures, Subjects and Struggles
MCKINNON, Katharine, Development Professionals in Northern Thailand: Hope, Politics, and Practice
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underpinnings, the ideology of pan-Africanism has always been premised on an otherwise universal telos – the preservation and promotion of human well-being. The ethical imperative to defeat injustice at the political, cultural, economic, and epistemic front was
Analyzing the Social-Ecological Impacts of Forest Conservation and Management over the Long Term
Daniel C. Miller, Pushpendra Rana, and Catherine Benson Wahlén
). Figure 2 shows an increase in peer-reviewed impact evaluations of forest conservation interventions over the past decade and a half. Ecological impacts have been much more commonly studied than social or human well-being impacts. Typical indicators of
Insights gained from a cross-border perspective
Alejandro Yáñez-Arancibia and John W. Day
scientists studying ecosystem and goods services (e.g., Costanza et al., 1997 ). He defines ecosystem services as the ecological characteristics, functions, and processes that directly or indirectly contribute to human well-being; the benefits people derive
Victoria C. Ramenzoni and David Yoskowitz
included a varied collection of economic, ecological, and social attributes such as social and economic capital, economic growth and performance, life quality measures, human well-being and development, impact assessment, and pollution and biodiversity