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Reconciliation is being urged upon people who have been bitter and murderous enemies, upon victims and perpetrators of terrible human rights abuses, and upon groups of individuals whose very self-conceptions have been structured in terms of historical and often state-sanctioned relations of dominance and submission. The rhetoric of reconciliation is particularly common in situations where traditional judicial responses to past wrongdoing are unavailable because of corruption in the legal system, staggeringly large numbers of offenders, or anxiety about the political consequences of trials and punishment.
But what is reconciliation? How is reconciliation to be achieved? And under what conditions should it be sought? The notable lack of answers to these questions prompts the worry that talk of reconciliation is merely a ruse to disguise the fact that a “purer” type of justice cannot be realized–that, in being asked to focus on reconciliation rather than on punishment, victims of past wrongdoing are having to settle for the morally second best. By mining our pretheoretical understandings of reconciliation, the essay arrives at a core concept of reconciliation as narrative incorporation that at the same time suggests a way in which reconciliation might be pursued and grounds a response to moral qualms provoked by the use of an unanalyzed conception of reconciliation.
Philosopher Christina Hoff Sommers's target in Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women is “gender feminism.” Her aim is to convince us that gender feminists are anti-intellectual opportunists who deliberately spread lies about the incidence of date rape (chap. 10), domestic battery (Preface, chap. 9) and about the general state of male-female relations in America (chaps. 1, 9 and 11), thereby generating fear and resentment of men (chap. 2), all so that they may secure vast amounts of government funding and high-paying jobs in the academy (chaps. 4, 5 and 6). Because gender feminists are condescending to and contemptuous of the “average woman,” they lack a grass-roots constituency (p. 22). Nonetheless, they are powerful enough to be feared. Gender feminists have managed to dupe the U.S. Congress (chap. 8), and an otherwise sceptical press literally eats out of their hands (p. 15). Gender feminism is also a leading cause of the weakening of the American university (p. 52), and has “made the American campus a less happy place” (p. 112).
Barresi & Moore's account has at least two implications for moral psychology. First, it appears to provide support for cognitive theories of moral competence. Second, their claim that the development of social understanding depends upon domain-general changes in cognitive ability appears to oppose the idea that moral competence is under-pinned by a moral module.
Some cases of implicit knowledge involve representations of
(implicitly) known propositions, but this is not the only important
type of implicit knowledge. Chomskian linguistics suggests another model
of how humans can know more than is accessible to consciousness. Innate
capacities to focus on a small range of possibilities, thereby ignoring
many others, need not be grounded by inner representations of any
possibilities ignored. This model may apply to many domains where human
cognition “fills a gap” between stimuli and judgment.
To determine glove use and handwashing practices, the factors associated with infection control practices, and the frequency of potential microbial transmission in a long-term–care facility (LTCF).
Observational study of 230 staff-resident interactions in an LTCF. We recorded resident characteristics, type of activity, staff credentials, and movements of the staff member's hands, then used the LTCF's guidelines to judge appropriateness of glove use and handwashing.
255-bed, university-based LTCF in Baltimore, Maryland.
A systematic sample of staff-resident interactions.
Gloves were worn in 139 (82%) of 170 interactions when indicated, but changed appropriately in only 21 (16%) of 132. Hands were washed when needed before an interaction in 27%, during an interaction in 0%, and after an interaction in 63%. Gloves were less likely to be used when caring for residents with gastrostomy tubes compared with other residents (relative risk, 0.85; 95% confidence interval, 0.73-0.98). Guidelines were followed more frequently during wound care than during other activities. Microbial transmission potentially could have occurred in 158 (82%) of 193 evaluable interactions.
We documented marked deficiencies in glove use and handwashing, demonstrated the possible impact of these deficiencies, and identified factors associated with inadequate handwashing and glove use. This information can be used in future educational and research efforts to improve infection control practices.
We propose that the generalizations of linguistic theory serve to ascribe beliefs to humans. Ordinary speakers would explicitly (and sincerely) deny having these rather esoteric beliefs about language—e.g., the belief that an anaphor must be bound in its governing category. Such ascriptions can also seem problematic in light of certain theoretical considerations having to do with concept possession, revisability, and so on. Nonetheless, we argue that ordinary speakers believe the propositions expressed by certain sentences of linguistic theory, and that linguistics can therefore teach us something about belief as well as language. Rather than insisting that ordinary speakers lack the linguistic beliefs in question, philosophers should try to show how these empirically motivated belief ascriptions can be correct. We argue that Stalnaker's (1984) “pragmatic” account—according to which beliefs are dispositions, and propositions are sets of possible worlds—does just this. Moreover, our construal of explanation in linguistics motivates (and helps provide) responses to two difficulties for the pragmatic account of belief: the phenomenon of opacity, and the so-called problem of deduction.
In recent years, historians have conducted an extended debate on the nature and level of violence in early modern English society. This debate has come to focus on the murder rate as an index of violence and to turn on highly specialized points of statistical analysis. In some ways it can be characterized as a debate between optimistic and pessimistic historians. Lawrence Stone, representing the “pessimists,” paints a portrait of early modern society as violent, unloving, and uncaring until civilized by the eighteenth century; J. A. Sharpe, representing the “optimists,” emphasizes the problems of the data used by Stone and argues, like Alan Macfarlane, that English society in the early modern period was little different from that of today. J. S. Cockburn, the latest entrant into the fray, leans toward the optimists but has expressed some hesitation about the debate itself: he notes not only the serious problems with the data involved but also the difficulties of defining what constitutes a violent society, as “it is not at all clear that homicide rates are a reliable measure of the overall level of violent behavior in a particular society.” This caution suggests that we should take an entirely different approach to the problem of violence, to look for “the social meaning of violence.” We must move beyond the statistical data (important though they be) to a broader context for thinking about violence.
The way historians think about violence has been deeply influenced by the work of Max Weber and his assertion that “legal coercion by violence is the monopoly of the state”; it is often forgotten that the first word of that sentence is “Today.”
We describe an innovative microwave instrument, designed in collaboration with and owned by Raytheon Company. The instrument permits the manipulation of biological specimens in their fluid milieu during the actual period of rapid tissue fixation. The specimen chamber is designed for sample containers up to 1.7 cm in diameter and 4.5 cm in height. Reflected power is reproducibly low, limiting the need for pretuning the microwave output to the sample. Microwave exposure can be controlled in 1 msecond increments with a range of 10 mseconds to 10 seconds. Mammalian cells and tissues fixed by this microwave device were evaluated by light and electron microscopy. Preliminary findings show large regions of excellent preservation in tissues and in cell suspensions in -100 mseconds.