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Radiocarbon observations (Δ14C) in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) of seawater provide useful information about ocean carbon cycling and ocean circulation. To deliver high-quality observations, the Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics (LIP) at ETH-Zurich developed a new simplified method allowing the rapid analysis of radiocarbon in DIC of small seawater samples, which is continually assessed by following internal quality controls. However, a comparison with externally produced 14C measurements to better establish an equivalency between methods was still missing. Here, we make the first intercomparison with the National Ocean Sciences Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (NOSAMS) facility based on 14 duplicate seawater samples collected in 2020. We also compare with prior deep-water observations from the 1970s to 1990s. The results show a very good agreement in both comparisons. The mean Δ14C of 12 duplicate samples measured by LIP and NOSAMS were statistically identical within one sigma uncertainty while two other duplicate samples agreed within two sigma. Based on this small number of duplicate samples, LIP values appear to be slightly lower than the NOSAMS values, but more measurements will be needed for confirmation. We also comment on storage and preservation techniques used in this study, including the freezing of samples collected in foil bags.
The senses provide important everyday and symbolic media through which social order is routinely looked at. Throughout these multifold processes and in relation to exchange and imitation, we are able to discern a number of important issues that arise in the agenda to compose a sensory anthropology of Asia. First, senses serve as vehicles of knowledge across the whole array of everyday social domains in terms of how they organise human–nonhuman experience. Second, comparative approaches initiated herein are not only a response to either Western- or Asian-centric sensory analysis. They further advance the scope of sensory scholarship by prompting inter- and intra-cultural dialogue on the subject. Third, sensory transnationalism illustrates how sensory orders and practices work, and where established sensory norms are responded to by social actors adhering to different sensory scripts in cross-cultural exchanges. The broader intention is to spotlight how sensory cultures, sentient practices and encounters transpire as a way of comprehending Asia through sense perception as a newer perspective in social and cultural anthropology. In doing so, I inquire further both into the breadth and depth of how to articulate the social lives and textures of the senses toward crafting the future of sensory anthropology.
Hermann Lotze argued that the fact that consciousness simultaneously “holds objects together as well as apart” such that they can be compared implies (a) that there is a simple thinker and (b) that consciousness is an ‘indivisible unity.’ I offer a reconstruction and evaluation of Lotze’s Argument from Comparison. I contend that it does not deliver (a) but makes a good case for (b). I will relate Lotze’s argument to the contemporary debate between “top-down” and “bottom-up” views of the unity of consciousness and locate it in its historical context. (Kant and Herbart figure prominently here.)
When comparing a pair of attribute values, English speakers can use a “larger” comparative (“A is larger/longer/higher/more than B”) or a “smaller” comparative (“B is smaller/shorter/lower/less than A”). This choice matters because it affects people’s inferences about the absolute magnitudes of the compared items, and influences the perceived truthfulness of the comparative sentence itself. In 4 studies (total N = 2335), we investigated the language that people use to describe ordinal relations between attributes. Specifically, we examined whether demography, emotion, and personality predict the tendency to use “larger” comparatives rather than “smaller” ones. Participants viewed pairs of items differing in a single attribute and indicated the word they would use to describe the relationship between them; they also completed a series of self-report measures. Replicating previous work, we found a robust tendency to use “larger” comparatives, both when people chose between two adjectives and when they freely produced their own words in a sentence completion task. We also found that this tendency was more pronounced in older participants, those with positive mood or outlook, and among people high in agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability. However, these effects were very small, with meta-analytic effect sizes indicating they explain less than 1% of the variance. We conclude that, although people’s use of comparative adjectives is influenced by properties of the items that are being compared, the way that people describe magnitude relations is relatively stable across variation in a range of important traits and dispositions, protecting decision-makers from a potentially undesirable source of bias in their inferences and representations of described options.
In the current paper we investigate how feedback over decision outcomes may affect future decisions. In an experimental study we demonstrate that if people receive feedback over the outcomes they obtained (“factual outcomes”) and the outcomes they would have obtained had they decided differently (“counterfactual outcomes”), they become regret-averse in subsequent decisions. This effect is not only observed when this feedback evoked regret (with counterfactual outcomes being higher than factual outcomes), but even when the feedback evoked no regret (with factual outcomes being equal to counterfactual outcomes). The findings suggest that this effect on subsequent decisions is at least partly due to the transfer of a comparison mind-set triggered in the prior choice.
Past research has shown that many people prefer natural foods and medicines over artificial counterparts. The present study focused on examination of aversive events and hazards. Preferences were compared by having subjects consider pairs of scenarios, one natural and one artificial, matched in negative outcome and severity. Pairings were also rated along several dimensions of risk perception such as dangerousness, scariness, likelihood, and fairness. As hypothesized, natural hazards were consistently preferred to functionally identical artificial ones. Additionally, natural hazards tended to be considered less scary and dangerous, but not necessarily more unfair or unlikely than equivalent artificial counterparts. Results are discussed in terms of risk perception, and how that can lead to people diminishing risks associated with natural hazards.
This chapter explains the nature of the social-scientific interpretation of biblical texts, tracing its recent development from the early 1970s and focusing on contributions that have come from sociology, anthropology, and social psychology.
In January 1909, the students of the Azhar, the Islamic world’s most prestigious university, went on strike. Protesting recent curricular and administrative changes introduced by the Egyptian Khedive, they demanded increased material support and asserted the university’s right to govern itself. After several weeks of demonstrations that drew thousands of supporters into the streets of Cairo, the Khedive suspended the reforms that first caused the Azharis to walk out. Oddly, this remarkable mobilization has nearly vanished into obscurity. Drawing on reporting from the Egyptian press and intelligence memoranda from the Egyptian Ministry of Interior, this article argues that the apparent incongruity of Azharis on strike was no mistake. Their willful rejection of ascribed categories helps to explain both why this movement of unionized seminarians speaking a language of self-government proved so striking for contemporary supporters and critics alike and why this event has slipped through the cracks of a historiography still framed by those very categories. Long forgotten in histories of both nationalism and organized labor, the Azhar strike represented a pivotal moment in the emergence of mass politics in Egypt. In invoking “union,” the Azharis engaged in multiple, overlapping acts of comparison. Inspired by the modular repertoires of militant labor, they simultaneously hailed the constitutional revolution of the Ottoman Committee of Union and Progress as a model for political transformation. Rooted in a self-conscious critique of colonial comparativism, their struggle thereby furnished new materials with which to elaborate a telescopic series of anti-colonial solidarities that were themselves fundamentally comparative.
Just as the world is imagined as consisting of nations and conceived of as an international assemblage in modernity, the modern world projects the Babelian vision of a single humanity fragmented into many individual languages. This vision of the international juxtaposition of languages cannot be apprehended unless the modern regime of translation is taken into account, according to which two languages are postulated as distinct and individuated unities. This chapter investigates how a new set of presumptions led to a particular representation of two distinct languages as individuated, countable, and comparable unities between which translation is to take place. The modern regime of translation represents the event of translation in terms of two separate figures or schemata, just like two distinct territories of state sovereignties in the international world as sanctioned by the system of international law (Jus Publicum Europaeum).
Quite a few elastic terms on the Chinese top-10 list are similar to their English counterparts or near-counterparts: keneng (可能) and may; chang (常)/tongchang (通常) and usually/often; hen (很) and very; geng (更) and more; duo (多)/xuduo (許多) and many/most. These cover epistemic, scalar and approximate stretchers. While the most frequently used general stretcher in Chinese is deng, the most commonly used general stretcher in English is things. In terms of how the four categories of EL are distributed, the Chinese and the English data exhibit two different patterns, i.e., SC-AQ-GE-EP and EP-AQ-SC-GE respectively. A series of comparisons of the most-used stretchers of each of the four categories in the Chinese and the English corpora yield some interesting findings. There is a clear preferred epistemic stretcher in online health information in Chinese and in English respectively, i.e. keneng (可能) and may.
This chapter identifies various similarities and differences between the Taiwanese and Australian data. An approximate correlation was found between the severity of a disease and the difficulty of understanding EL. The intensity of items of EL in the excerpt also affects the perception of difficulty with EL. The more different elastic expressions there are in the excerpt, the higher the rate of difficulty the excerpt is likely to have. Our interview data further explain what makes it hard to understand EL. Some of the interview responses in Chinese correspond to those in English. Nevertheless, a striking difference was also identified as one response in the Taiwanese interview data was more oriented towards a perspective that considers society as a collective group or community, a phenomenon not found in the Australian data. Culture may also play a role, but culture cannot be simplified and reduced to one determinant held accountable for any given cultural differences. We suggest three broad factors that affect discourse comprehension difficulty caused by EL/VL: the reader, the health topic and the text.
Demystifying Emotions provides a comprehensive typology of emotion theories in psychology (evolutionary, network, appraisal, goal-directed, psychological constructionist, and social) and philosophy (feeling, judgmental, quasi-judgmental, perceptual, embodied, and motivational) in a systematic manner with the help of tools from philosophy of science, allowing scholars in both fields to understand the commonalities and differences between these theories. Agnes Moors also proposes her own novel, skeptical theory of emotions, called the goal-directed theory, based on the central idea that all kinds of behaviors and feelings are grounded in goal-striving. Whereas most scholars of emotion do not call the notion of emotion itself into question, this review engages in a critical examination of its scientific legitimacy. This book will appeal to readers in psychology, philosophy, and related disciplines who want to gain a deeper understanding of the controversies at play in the emotion domain.
In the nineteenth century, Qajar Iran was beset by both internal and external threats to its cohesion. In considering Qajar responses to this condition of threat, scholars have largely emphasized the rise of nationalism and a traumatic encounter with Europe. In this article, instead, I use the two Khuzestan travel narratives of royal engineer Najm al-Molk to draw out an alternative thread of reform discourse based on comparisons and connections with the Ottoman Empire. In his safarnamehs, Najm al-Molk joined the style and preoccupations of modern engineering to existing Persianate discourses on rule to elaborate the concept of abadi, a social, political, and material condition encompassing land, people, and state. His advocacy for making Khuzestan abadan was aimed at integrating the region more fully into the Qajar domains. In thinking about what constituted abadi and why it was missing in Khuzestan, the engineer’s major reference point was Ottoman Basra. Traveling around the Basra-Khuzestan borderlands helped Najm al-Molk frame the Ottoman Empire as an example for the Qajar future and a factor in producing the Qajar present. The article both analyzes and follows Najm al-Molk’s use of comparison in order to draw out a broader imperial comparison between late imperial rule in the Ottoman and Qajar lands. I argue that taking seriously Najm al-Molk’s view that the Qajars and Ottomans were comparable can help us use their peripheries to understand late Qajar history outside the national frame of “Iran.”
Medieval societies did not exclusively and inflexibly conceive kingship as the remit of a mature man, even if adult male rulers were more typical. This introduction shows the urgency and timeliness of looking beyond the ‘unspoken hegemony’ of adulthood to understand the intersections between childhood and kingship. Focusing first on the interconnectedness of representation and reality, the chapter highlights the necessity of uniting an emphasis on children’s lived experiences as political actors with an examination of cultural representations of ideas about childhood and rulership. The introduction then turns to consider three essential components which shape this study’s methodology: a comparative approach, a diachronic analysis and a holistic approach to the sources. This section argues for the importance of contextualising child kingship within a wider comparative framework which accounts for political, social, cultural and legal change. It also sketches the benefits of adopting a broad approach to the source material which incorporates chronicle, documentary, didactic, epistolary, legal and literary sources.
Chapter 1 is about the social and semiotic mediation of comparative grounds. In particular, the way people come to understand and alter the relative intensity of entities and events. Focusing on the multiple processes that mediate people’s understandings of landslides in a Mayan village in highland Guatemala, it shows the ways comparative grounds relate to communicative practices and social conventions. In addition, it highlights the political, economic, affective, and ecological stakes at work in such forms of mediation.
The concluding Chapter 7 answers the research questions and provides a comparative analysis of unfolding low-carbon transitions in the three focal systems. It also inductively draws conclusions about cross-cutting topics with salient differences and similarities between the three systems, including: the roles of incumbent firms, governance style and politics, users, wider publics and civil society organisations, and exogenous ‘landscape’ developments and shocks. Chapter 7 ends by discussing future low-carbon transitions, articulating policy recommendations, and offering suggestions for future research.
This chapter looks at the spread of global history globally and the abandonment of historiographical nationalism. It examines the long practice of comparative, transnational and global history writing since the Enlightenments. It also looks at the construction of peculiarities and exceptionalisms through comparison as well as their critique. It distinguishes between comparative and global history and links the rise of both to the renewed crisis of historicism since the 1980s. It also discusses the controvery between comparative historians and historians of cultural transfer, arguing that both approaches need to be united. The chapter highlights the idea of circulations and examines the explosion of global history around particular themes. It also underlines its usefulness in overcoming Western-centric models of development and questioning universalisms. Transnational, comparative and global histories have all contributed to decentring collective identity constructions and making historians more aware of the ways in which historical writing has been connected to the construction of such collective identities. This is shown in relation to spatial boundaries, be they national or supra-national, but also in relation to class, racial and gender identities. Postcolonial perspectives on global history have been particularly adept at questioning the Western-centrism of historical writing and understanding diverse regimes of colonialism. It has also made transnational global history more aware of its own temptation to further global identities.
In the past two decades comparative law scholars have rediscovered the importance of the debate on method. For a long time left in the background as a by-product of the old controversy on the epistemic status of the discipline, the ‘struggle for the methods’ has experienced a sudden revival. But does it really make sense to keep on engaging in a wearying confrontation among the various possible paradigms, once one recognizes that, as Patrick Glenn observed, ‘the history of comparative law is not one of adherence to a methodological norm but rather one of deviation and variety’? It makes sense, indeed, because ‘eclecticism’ as a theoretical perspective is itself the sign of the times and cannot strive for universal validity. Looking back at the history of comparative law, one is struck by the circumstance that throughout the formative era, the idea that obtained most credit in European intellectual circles was the opposite one, namely that ‘there is a comparative method’ (rectius: ‘Comparative Method’, as it was once written). This chapter is aimed at bringing back to light some distinctive traits of the original discourse on the ‘comparative method’ and highlighting the importance of the ‘scientific paradigm’ for the acceptance of comparative law as an autonomous subject of legal research.
Many of the historical and contemporary phenomena in which social scientists are interested are difficult to study using traditional methods of comparative analysis. Since most cases are complex systems – marked by interdependence and operating at multiple levels of analysis at once – controlling comparisons to adjudicate causality is fraught with difficulty. This chapter argues that scholars can use historical archival research to help disaggregate the temporal and spatial properties of the phenomena we hope to compare while also tracing connections among those disaggregated elements. Specifically, practices associated with archival inquiry – classifying, contextualizing, layering, and linking – allow us to identify the boundaries around subsystems that can be treated as relatively independent while identifying the hierarchical connections tying those substemic activities together. The chapter concludes by showing how William Tuttle’s masterful history of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 provides a template for comparing complex cases.
Comparison is a key tool in the social sciences. Scholars make comparisons across time and place to better understand our social and political worlds. A central technique that scholars use is often called ‘controlled comparison.’ Controlled comparisons rely on scholars holding possible explanations for the outcome of interest (e.g., revolutions or political participation) constant across different cases. This approach has been central to some of the most influential works of social science. It has helped scholars explain everything from divergent development outcomes to difference in regime type. Yet controlled comparisons are not the only form of comparison that scholars utilize to answer important questions. There is little guidance, however, for how to design or execute these comparisons or why research that does not rely on controlled comparisons can offer important insights. The goal of this edited volume is to begin to develop some of these guidelines. To do so, this volume explores two of the most fundamental questions in the study of politics: (1) why do scholars compare what they compare and (2) how do the methodological assumptions scholars make about why and how they compare shape the knowledge they produce? By answering these questions, the volume creates new resources for future students and researchers to draw upon in their efforts to advance knowledge.