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In 1880s Britain, Victoria Welby (1837–1912) began creating a rich, wide-ranging metaphysical system. At its heart lies Motion, 'the great fact, the supreme category'. Drawing extensively on archive materials, this Element offers the first study of Welby's metaphysics. It portrays her universe as a complex of motions: motions comprise material bodies, living beings, and conscious minds. This dynamic universe, 'Motion', underlies many other elements of her thought, including her views on idealism, panpsychism, change, space, and anti-realism about time. This study shows that Welby's metaphysics are deeply embedded in the scientific-philosophical debates of her period, and variously draw on vortex theories of matter in physics; Victorian panpsychisms, fuelled by debates over the continuity of mind in Darwinian evolution; and new conceptions of time as the 'fourth dimension' of space. Victoria Welby significantly advances our understanding of Welby's philosophy, opening paths for future scholarship.
August Wilson had one of the most impressive debuts in the history of theater in America, an area whose highest echelons had previously been dominated, overwhelmingly, by white playwrights. The four plays Wilson brought to Broadway between 1984 and 1990, however, not only changed the scope of American drama but also the shape of its audience, drawing Black theatergoers to Broadway in numbers significant enough to impact Broadway’s sense of its audience and of the infinite possibilities of live theater. These 1980s productions thus not only set the parameters of Wilson’s ten-play cycle – one play set in each decade of the twentieth century – as it explores the tension in African American history between community expectation and heroic disappointment, but, within those parameters, also enabled Wilson to create on the American mainstage some portion of the history that might have been visible in a world where American history is always already Black.
Across his career, as the previous work of this chapter’s author and that of other critics such as Andrzej Duszenko, M. Keith Booker, David Ben-Merre, Jeffrey Drouin, and Ruben Borg has shown, James Joyce frequently included reflections on a changing landscape of time in response to Einstein’s ‘new physics’. However, while there has been important recent research touching on this topic, including the author’s wider survey of work in modernist studies, no critic has yet fully centred the watch as a technological index of Joyce’s attitudes to time. In this essay, three specific examples of Joyce’s concern with watch technology are looked at, located in the relationship of timepiece and character; firstly, Bertha’s wristwatch in Joyce’s play Exiles (1918), followed by Bloom’s pocket watch in Ulysses (1922) and, finally, HCE’s timepiece in Finnegans Wake. Each of these watches evidence Joyce’s complex feelings about connections between embodiment, sexuality, and technology.
Few concepts have become as closely associated with war literature as trauma. War literature revolves around the isolated voices of soldiers and their deeply unsettled afterlives – it takes as its subject matter the individual experience and consequences of war. This chapter argues, however, that the mass may be more than incidental in our understanding of how war literature embodies trauma. An overwhelming experience, trauma is deeply entangled with mass warfare, industrialisation, and the homogenous, empty time of global capitalism. The question of mass or scale is central to how we have come to conceptualise trauma more generally, whether in relation to genocide, pandemics, ecological limits to growth, or the political consequences of global finance or even mass trauma itself. Understood as a structural condition of anxiety, trauma is now even encroaching upon the future as a pre-traumatic foreboding of militarism and the threat of global catastrophe. Examining these links between war and the mass, this chapter suggests a reconceptualization of trauma that associates its characteristic temporal dislocations with questions of scale, uniformity, and incomprehension.
We used correlation and spectral analyses to investigate the cognitive structures and processes producing biased judgments. We used 5 different sets of driving problems to exemplify problems that trigger biases, specifically: (1) underestimation of the impact of occasional slow speeds on mean speed judgments, (2) overestimation of braking capacity after a speed increase, (3) the time saving bias (overestimation of the time saved by increasing a high speed further, and underestimation of time saved when increasing a low speed), (4) underestimation of increase of fatal accident risk when speed is increased, and (5) underestimation of the increase of stopping distance when speed is increased. The results verified the predicted biases. A correlation analysis found no strong links between biases; only accident risk and stopping distance biases were correlated significantly. Spectral analysis of judgments was used to identify different decision rules. Most participants were consistent in their use of a single rule within a problem set with the same bias. The participants used difference, average, weighed average and ratio rules, all producing biased judgments. Among the rules, difference rules were used most frequently across the different biases. We found no personal consistency in the rules used across problem sets. The complexity of rules varied across problem sets for most participants.
Substance-free phonology or SFP (Reiss 2017) has renewed interest in the question of abstraction in phonology. Perhaps the most common form of abstraction through the absence of substance is underspecification, where some aspects of speech lack representation in memorized representations, within the phonology or in the phonetic implementation (Archangeli 1988, Keating 1988, Lahiri and Reetz 2010 among many others). The fundamental basis for phonology is argued to be a mental model of speech events in time, following Raimy (2000) and Papillon (2020). Each event can have properties (one-place predicates that are true of the event), which include the usual phonological features, and also structural entities for extended events like moras and syllables. Features can be bound together in an event, yielding segment-like properties. Pairs of events can be ordered in time by the temporal logic precedence relation represented by ‘<’. Events, features and precedence form a directed multigraph structure with edges in the graph interpreted as “maybe next”. Some infant bimodal speech perception results are examined using this framework, arguing for underspecification in time in the developing phonological representations.
This chapter explores some philosophical quandaries facing the natural law outlook, with particular emphasis on the prospects for a natural law account of human rights. The chapter begins by considering challenges to natural law’s reliance on the notion of human nature. It then examines the role of time in natural law theories, focusing on the question of whether natural law changes. Next, the chapter looks at the place of rights in the natural law tradition, critically discussing the suggestion that the notion of rights is at odds with the core themes of the natural law outlook, before considering what natural law has to offer to human rights theory. Finally, I turn to the place of God within natural law theories, raising the issue of whether natural law assumes a theistic worldview. I argue throughout the chapter that a hermeneutic and historicised view of natural law, which sees it as shaped by and discovered through human social practices, holds important advantages in responding to each of these challenges.
The Anthropocene rupture refers to the beginning of our current geological epoch in which humans constitute a collective geological force that alters the trajectory of the Earth system. An increased engagement with this notion of a rupture has prompted a lively debate on the inherent anthropocentrism of International Relations (IR), and whether it is possible to transform it into something new that embraces diverse forms of existence, human as well as non-human. This article challenges that possibility. It shows how much of the current debate rests on the idea fulfilling future desirable ideals, which are pushed perpetually beyond a horizon of human thought, making them unreachable. As an alternative, the article turns to Jacques Derrida's understanding of the future to come (l'avenir), highlighting the significance of unpredictability and unexpected events. This understanding of the future shows how life within and of the international rests on encounters with the future as something radically other. On this basis, it is argued that responding to our current predicament should proceed not by seeking to fulfil future ideals but by encountering the future as incalculable and other, whose arrival represents an opportunity as much as a threat to established forms of international life.
Much has been written on the relationship between the nature of temporal reality and the God of Classical Theism. Despite the popularity of this general area, what the physics and metaphysics of spacetime might mean for specific theological doctrines has received less attention. Recently, however, interest in this rich and dynamic interplay of ideas has seen rapid growth. This Element provides both an introduction to the physics and metaphysics of spacetime and a jumping-off point for understanding how these can – and in fact should – inform both Christian theology and the philosophy of religion more generally. The author will argue that the nature of spacetime raises particular and pressing problems for Christianity, specifically the interrelated doctrines of salvation and eschatology, and explore whether adequate solutions to these problems are available.
The climate emergency is strengthening the understanding that humans, non-humans and the planet are intrinsically interconnected. International law has both participated in the creation of the paradigm that has led to these entangled socio-ecological problems and has proven to be inadequate for their remediation. This article argues that, through the multiple enclosure of natures, knowledges and times, international law imposes a vision of the world that is incompatible with the conception and functioning of the interconnected web of life. In light of this, we suggest that the political notion of commoning could offer useful intellectual opportunities for engagement with and a radical rethinking of international law as an element of ecological systems. By not treating natures, times and knowledges as objects of law, commoning opens an intellectual and confrontational space to rethink the premises, processes and aims of international law.
This chapter examines a series of teapots, produced in the 1760s, whose material and decorative contradictions prompted questions about scale, knowledge, and mortality. By examining these different registers, the chapter reveals the diverse roles these diminutive and densely patterned teapots played in the cultural and social life of eighteenth-century Britain. The designs featured on these teapots sought to represent rock formations and fossils. In a culture increasingly interested in the emerging discipline of geology and the history of the earth, such designs prompted important conversations. At the same time, the materiality of these wares, which was both highly breakable and durable, allowed for questions about material knowledge. The material qualities also asked about the nature of human lives and mortality. Ceramics could be bequeathed over generations and broken in an instant. Finally, the function of these pots and their role in tea drinking, meant that these objects were constantly handled and made animate. The form of these wares was unusual, however, and their discordant features highlighted the “otherness” of objects. In exploring the different decorative, material, and functional aspects of these pots, the chapter shows how relatively small things were particularly adept at asking big questions.
This chapter examines the temporality around which international law is articulated, with an emphasis on the doctrine of international responsibility. The chapter specifically elaborates on how the doctrine of international responsibility suspends international law’s one-directional temporality and provides discursive devices that allow one to travel back and forth between the past of wrongfulness and the present of responsibility. Such two-directional temporality, the chapter argues, is at the service of the narrative function of international responsibility in that such two-way time travel allows a re-representation of the real produced by legal claims made under the doctrine of international responsibility. The chapter ends with concluding remarks on the distinction between the imaginary and the real.
This chapter guides the reader through three related enigmas of modern physics. The first is a mystery of quantum mechanics. Important aspects of quantum mechanics are still not truly understood, although competing theories have been proposed, including the Many-Worlds approach. The second enigma is the emergence of spacetime, and especially the way it interacts with gravity. Rather than following the traditional methodology of ‘quantising’ classical theories, the author proposes an alternative approach and instead seeks gravity within quantum mechanics. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the mystery of the arrow of time: what distinguishes the past from the future. Together, these three mysteries of modern physics serve as an important reminder of the endurance of enigmas in the very foundations of scholarly fields. Re-examining founding principles can provide a constructive alternative means of investigating mysteries, not only in modern science but also across other disciplines.
Upending conventional scholarship on Milton and modernity, Lee Morrissey recasts Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes as narrating three alternative responses to a world in upheaval: adjustment, avoidance and antagonism. Through incisive engagement with narrative, form, and genre, Morrissey shows how each work, considered specifically as a fiction, grapples with the vicissitudes of a modern world characterised more by paradoxes, ambiguities, subversions and shifting temporalities than by any rigid historical periodization. The interpretations made possible by this book are as invaluable as they are counterintuitive, opening new definitions and stimulating avenues of research for Milton students and specialists, as well as for those working in the broader field of early modern studies. Morrissey invites us to rethink where Milton stands in relation to the greatest products of modernity, and in particular to that most modern of genres, the novel.
Persistence realism is the view that ordinary sentences that we think and utter about persisting objects are often true. Persistence realism involves both a semantic claim, about what it would take for those sentences to be true, and an ontological claim about the way things are. According to persistence realism, given what it would take for persistence sentences to be true, and given the ontology of our world, often such sentences are true. According to persistence error-theory, they are not. This Element considers several different views about the conditions under which those sentences are true. It argues for a view on which it is relatively easy to vindicate persistence realism, because all it takes is for the world to be the way it seems to us. Thereby it argues for the view that relations of numerical identity, or of being-part-of-the-same-object, are neither necessary nor sufficient for persistence realism.
This chapter develops an analytically functional concept of EV and begins to identify its sources, pathways, and outlets into the global ecosystem and everyday life. The chapter then expands on the core concepts of Earth Systems theory, complex adaptive systems and human niche construction to address topics such as vulnerability and violence, especially cultural, structural, and direct violence. The next step will be to build and parse a heuristic model that conveys the range of the concept’s applications and traces EV’s production, pathways, mediators, and outlets, as well as its facilitators and effects throughout its cycling. Next, the chapter examines previously developed and related concepts of ecologically associated violence. The purpose of this is not to take issue with them, but rather to synthesize and build upon previous iterations. The chapter closes with a brief discussion of the nuances and politics of EV. These ideas will be developed further in Chapter 6. Nevertheless, a brief presentation is useful here because it helps to understand how EV has become normalized and ingrained in the everyday life of the contemporary human niche.
Beginning with “multidisciplinary approaches to the study of self,” the chapter explores the “collective experience” of Africa through poetry. The chapter, in its depiction of the interwoven relationship between self and narrative, establishes the perpetuity of self with words such as “ever-changing,” “evolving,” “becoming,” and “actualization.” Further, the chapter establishes how self is discovered through a consciousness of belonging to a larger society vis-à-vis self’s relationship with other aspects of the society. Poetry gives the reader the opportunity to feel a larger expression of the narrative, such as the energies, events, and experiences felt by the poet. However, understanding these expressions requires the possession of the same level of sensitivity by the reader. With references to his poetic collection, the author proceeds to examine the narration of self to portray existing socio-cultural values/desires and their importance in Africa. They include eulogizing and celebrating individuals, extolling the mother both as the carrier and nurturer of life, and the pride in face marks as ethnic identity, amongst others.
This chapter explores cultural themes in Africa with “narrative politics” and its cultural values central to the discourse. In expounding “narrative,” the chapter brings to the fore its two most potent modes (literature and history), which reflect reality but are different in their modus operandi – through imagination (creativity) and verifiable facts. Written beautifully and with references, this chapter blurs the contrast between the two “narrative devices” and focuses instead on espousing their working togetherness. This is because a co-adoption of both in the narrative adds creativity to facts presentation, which thus makes it interesting to read and sustain readers’ interest just as their Yoruba derivative, Alo and Itan, is often a mixture of both.
The chapter also asserts the importance of autoethnography and how through personal experience and identity, the society’s “collective consciousness” is exhibited and manifested. Also, there are references made to the cultural relevance and implication of “time and season,” “taboos and superstitions,” “greetings and reverence,” as well as “namings and places” in Yorubaland.
This essay explores how the drafters of international humanitarian law (IHL) incorporated the past into their work between 1860 and 2020, and how they approached time, memory and history as indicators for this view of the past. Its sources consist of the complete series of general conventional and customary IHL instruments as well as the leading commentaries on them. For the IHL view of time, the impact of legal principles on the perception of time is scrutinized. Balancing nonretroactivity against customary international law and the humanity principle broadens the temporal scope towards the past, while balancing legal forgetting against imprescriptibility and State succession broadens it towards the future. For the IHL view of memory, dead persons and cultural heritage are seen as crucial vectors. Attention to the fate of the dead has been a constant hallmark of IHL, while care for cultural heritage has an even longer pedigree. For the IHL view of history, the essay highlights that the International Committee of the Red Cross has consistently advocated State duties to the war dead and has organized an archival infrastructure to satisfy the need – later converted into a right – of families and society to search for the historical truth about them.
Furthermore, the responses of IHL drafters to five major historical challenges are examined. First, while in the realm of war crimes impunity prevailed for most of history, after World War II a system of war crimes trials was mounted, culminating in the International Criminal Court. Second, soul-searching about the atrocities of World War II, including the Holocaust, helped create Geneva Convention IV of 1949, which protects civilians in wartime. Third, the human rights idea was not fully embraced by IHL treaty drafters until 1968. Fourth, the IHL approach to civil wars was slow and incomplete, but its appearance in 1949 and coming of age in 1977 were breakthroughs nevertheless. Fifth, colonial conflicts were not recognized as international wars in 1949, when this could have had considerable impact, but only in 1977, when decolonization was largely over. In all cases, the responses to these historical challenges came after long delays. Clearly, the IHL view of the past has to be assessed on a transgenerational scale.