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This chapter, stimulated by Professor Bell’s contribution to legal education (as well as to comparative law and legal reasoning), tackles the question of whether traditional doctrinal law has anything to offer, intellectually, to disciplines outside law. That is to say, does law export knowledge to other disciplines or does it just import knowledge? Despite John Bell’s positive agenda asserted some eighteen or so years ago, this examination presents a gloomy picture. This is not to argue that law faculties are making no contributions to the Academy in general – indeed, the opposite is true. But such contributions are largely founded on knowledge imported into law faculties. Comparative lawyers, or some of them such as Professor Bell, offer some hope.
Optical tracking systems typically trade off between astrometric precision and field of view. In this work, we showcase a networked approach to optical tracking using very wide field-of-view imagers that have relatively low astrometric precision on the scheduled OSIRIS-REx slingshot manoeuvre around Earth on 22 Sep 2017. As part of a trajectory designed to get OSIRIS-REx to NEO 101955 Bennu, this flyby event was viewed from 13 remote sensors spread across Australia and New Zealand to promote triangulatable observations. Each observatory in this portable network was constructed to be as lightweight and portable as possible, with hardware based off the successful design of the Desert Fireball Network. Over a 4-h collection window, we gathered 15 439 images of the night sky in the predicted direction of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. Using a specially developed streak detection and orbit determination data pipeline, we detected 2 090 line-of-sight observations. Our fitted orbit was determined to be within about 10 km of orbital telemetry along the observed 109 262 km length of OSIRIS-REx trajectory, and thus demonstrating the impressive capability of a networked approach to Space Surveillance and Tracking.
In this paper, stimulated by the publication some years ago in France of a small book on medical reasoning, legal and medical reasoning are compared. The question that is asked is whether the differences between the two types of reasoning will permit one to have a better understanding of some of the methodological and epistemological issues associated with legal reasoning. It will be argued that although medical and legal reasoners do share things in common, legal reasoning, perhaps unlike medical reasoning, is actually concerned less with the explanation or even comprehension of texts or the facts of a dispute (explicatio causæ) and more with what will be termed the ‘manipulation’ of facts (accommodatio factorum). Lawyers purify and (or) construct ‘virtual’ factual situations out of perceived ‘actual’ factual situations in order to make them conform or not conform in an isomorphic way with factual situations implied by a legal text or precedent. Medical reasoning is equally complex but facts are read in a different way.
Childhood adversity is associated with significantly increased risk of psychiatric disorder. To date, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of children have mainly focused on institutionalisation and investigated conscious processing of affect.
To investigate neural response to pre-attentively presented affect cues in a community sample of children with documented experiences of maltreatment in the home.
A masked dot-probe paradigm involving pre-attentive presentation of angry, happy and neutral facial expressions was employed. Eighteen maltreated children were compared with 23 carefully matched non-maltreated peers.
Increased neural response was observed in the right amygdala for pre-attentively presented angry and happy faces in maltreated v. non-maltreated children. Level of amygdala activation was negatively associated with age at onset for several abuse subtypes.
Maltreatment is associated with heightened neural response to positive and negative facial affect, even to stimuli outside awareness. This may represent a latent neural risk factor for future psychiatric disorder.
A relatively recent collective work published in France examines the extent to which social science knowledge is cumulative. However this work includes no chapter on law. The purpose of this paper is to imagine what a chapter on law might look like had one been invited by the editor. Is legal knowledge cumulative? This present paper is sceptical, although much depends on where one erects the boundaries between law and other social science disciplines. Yet, despite the scepticism, a reflection on cumulativeness and legal knowledge is not without interest. Indeed quite the opposite: for it generates a range of interesting sub-questions such as whether or not there have been paradigm changes in the discipline of law amounting to scientific revolutions.
Anyone familiar with French legal education will know that what a common lawyer would call the contents page to be found at the beginning (often in summary form) or at the end (often in detail) of a French textbook or monograph on law is more than a mere guide for browsers and readers. It forms le plan, that is to say the epistemological framework the intellectual importance of which is equal to the substance of the work. It is what endows the book with its scientific credibility and any thesis or textbook lacking a coherent cartesian plan will by definition lack intellectual credibility. But what of the other guide provided in many academic books, namely the index? Is this guide nothing but a guide, never to be allowed to aspire to an epistemological status like that accorded to le plan? Or is an index, with its strictly alphabetical ordering, capable of having an epistemological role?
The purpose of this paper is to examine a new work on legal reasoning by two American jurists whose aim is to ‘demystify’ it. The paper will not dispute the authors' central thesis that the existence of special forms of reasoning in law is false, but it will argue that a social science epistemologist would find their analysis at best inadequate. It will be argued that legal reasoning is not just reasoning from and about rules; it is also reasoning about facts and about the construction of factual situations. Consequently, it is vital for anyone wishing to have a serious understanding of how lawyers reason to have a familiarity with how social scientists, and indeed natural scientists, reason about fact. Such reasoning certainly involves induction, deduction and analogy but these methods are by no means adequate as an epistemological framework; schemes of intelligibility and paradigm orientations are equally important. If there is one paradigm orientation that is special to certain disciplines like theology and law, it is the authority paradigm, an orientation that must be distinguished from an inquiry paradigm. The problem with works by legal philosophers on legal reasoning is, it will be implied, that they are often conducted from within the authority paradigm and that this, in the end, prevents any demystification.
The question to be pursued in this article has the merit of simplicity even if the response to it proves somewhat complex. The question is this: is law truly a social science? This may seem an odd question to many in the common law world since it is not uncommon, at least in England, for law schools to find themselves located in faculties of social science. Moreover there are a number of individuals, perhaps a considerable number in common law departments and faculties throughout the world, whose research and scholarship undoubtedly qualifies as social science research. So, before one can even begin to reflect upon the question to be pursued in this paper, a preliminary question must first be asked. Why should one wish even to pose the question?
If much of Chapter 9 dealt with the cult of respectable, high-status deities, linked with the new image of kingship in the new Brahmanical and Buddhist states of the post-Mauryan and the Gupta periods, on both śramaṇa (Buddhist) and Brahmanical sides, Chapter 10 introduces religious forms of a less respectable and more ambiguous kind. The practice of these forms of religion was for the most part, initially at least, the preserve of more marginal groups. It will become evident, however, that they were not unimportant for all that, and they were to become more important over the following centuries.
Tantric studies, and especially Tantric historiography, as Urban (1999), Wedemeyer (2001) and others have noted, has, like other fields of study, been historically dominated in various ways by Western fantasy (partly shared by Indian scholars under Western influence). The term itself is problematic, particularly in the Śaiva, Vaiṣṇava and Jaina contexts, though less so for the Buddhists where the Tibetans had an explicit category of works in the canon labelled ‘Tantra’ (rgyud). Many of the Śaiva works that are now customarily labelled ‘Tantric’ might have been called kaula or by other labels, particularly before the tenth and eleventh centuries; Tantra as a standard category of Śaiva texts emerged only at a fairly late period.
Defining Tantra remains a problematic business; the articles in Katherine Harper and Robert Brown's collection The Roots of Tantra (2002) spend quite a few pages on this topic without providing much enlightenment.
Part Two of the book is focused on the period from the fourth to twelfth centuries CE, essentially from the foundation of the Gupta Empire in around 320 CE to the final establishment of Muslim rule over North and Northeast India. I shall be particularly concerned with the growth of ‘Tantric’ forms of religion. To begin with, some discussion is necessary regarding the years between Part One and Part Two. This is the period in which what might be regarded as the classical synthesis of Indian culture took shape, a synthesis that is most familiar through the great artistic and literary achievements of the Gupta period in North India.
Part One closed with the initial development of what were to become the two alternative and parallel cultural patterns that would shape the history of Indic religions over the centuries to follow. These were the Buddhist/Jain pattern and the Brahmanical pattern. The Buddhist/Jain pattern worked in terms of large monastic religious centres and treated the world of popular and civic religion and of the rituals of everyday life as a parallel sphere that was largely beyond the concern of Buddhist and Jain religious specialists. It appears to have been closely linked to urban centres and the trading and administrative groups within these centres, and initially received a high level of state support.
I begin this chapter with an overview of evidence about South Asian religion before 500 BCE. This discusses both archaeological evidence, mainly relating to the Indus Valley urban tradition and textual sources relating to the early religion of Indo-Aryan speaking peoples. In subsequent sections, I look at the development of Vedic-Brahmanical religion in the Kuru-Pañcāla region, and at other aspects of early Indian religion, particularly the religion of local gods and spirits
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOURCES FOR EARLY INDIC RELIGION
I have already provided some discussion of religion in the Indus Valley cultural tradition in Chapter 1. I suggested there that while there are certainly features of the Indus Valley material that might be interpreted in terms of continuities with later periods, we know very little for certain. The evidence is capable of many interpretations, and analyses are so heavily dependent on reading later practices and concepts into the material that they are of little help in evaluating whether there really were continuities.
One intriguing indication of possible continuities in religious practices is provided by a striking group of terracotta figurines from Mehrgarh, dated to about 2800–2600 BCE, so two or three centuries before the Indus Valley Integration era. Some of the female figurines from Mehrgarh have a hair-parting with a streak of red pigment, and it has been suggested that this can be related to the modern Hindu practice of women placing sindhur in their hair-parting as a sign of their married status (e.g. Kenoyer 1998: 44–5).