In recent years scientific research and popular opinion have favored the idea that sexual orientations are determined at birth. In this book, Edward Stein, a philosopher and legal theorist, investigates scientific research on sexual orientation and shows that it is deeply flawed. He argues that this research assumes a picture of sexual desire that reflects unquestioned cultural stereotypes rather than cross-cultural scientific facts, and that it suffers from serious methodological problems. He then asks whether sexual orientation is amenable to empirical study and if it is useful for our understanding of human nature to categorize people based on their sexual desires. Perhaps most importantly, Stein examines some of the ethical issues surrounding such research, including gay and lesbian civil rights and the implications of parents trying to select or change the sexual orientation of their children.
For four hundred years--from the first Spanish assaults against the Arawak people of Hispaniola in the 1490s to the U.S. Army's massacre of Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in the 1890s--the indigenous inhabitants of North and South America endured an unending firestorm of violence. During that time the native population of the Western Hemisphere declined by as many as 100 million people. Indeed, as historian David E. Stannard argues in this stunning new book, the European and white American destruction of the native peoples of the Americas was the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world. Stannard begins with a portrait of the enormous richness and diversity of life in the Americas prior to Columbus's fateful voyage in 1492. He then follows the path of genocide from the Indies to Mexico and Central and South America, then north to Florida, Virginia, and New England, and finally out across the Great Plains and Southwest to California and the North Pacific Coast. Stannard reveals that wherever Europeans or white Americans went, the native people were caught between imported plagues and barbarous atrocities, typically resulting in the annihilation of 95 percent of their populations. What kind of people, he asks, do such horrendous things to others? His highly provocative answer: Christians. Digging deeply into ancient European and Christian attitudes toward sex, race, and war, he finds the cultural ground well prepared by the end of the Middle Ages for the centuries-long genocide campaign that Europeans and their descendants launched--and in places continue to wage--against the New World's original inhabitants. Advancing a thesis that is sure to create much controversy, Stannard contends that the perpetrators of the American Holocaust drew on the same ideological wellspring as did the later architects of the Nazi Holocaust. It is an ideology that remains dangerously alive today, he adds, and one that in recent years has surfaced in American justifications for large-scale military intervention in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. At once sweeping in scope and meticulously detailed, American Holocaust is a work of impassioned scholarship that is certain to ignite intense historical and moral debate.
Shakespeare's poems and plays are rich in reference to "measure, number, and weight," which were the key terms of an early modern empirical and quantitative imagination. Shakespeare's investigation of Renaissance measures of reality centers on the consequences of applying principles of measurement to the appraisal of human value. This is especially true of efforts to judge people as better or worse than, or equal to, one another. With special attention to the Sonnets, Measure for Measure, Merchant of Venice, Othello, King Lear, and Hamlet, Paula Blank argues that Shakespeare, in his experiments with measurement, demonstrates the incommensurability of the aims and operations of quantification with human experience. From scales and spans to squares and levels to ratings and rules, Shakespeare's rhetoric of measurement reveals the extent to which language in the Renaissance was itself understood as a set of alternative measures for figuring human worth. In chapters that explore attempts to measure human feeling, weigh human equalities (and inequalities), regulate race relations, and deduce social and economic merit, Blank shows why Shakespeare's measures are so often exposed as "mismeasures"—equivocal, provisional, and as unreliable as the men and women they are designed to assess.
The definitive refutation to the argument of The Bell Curve. When published in 1981, The Mismeasure of Man was immediately hailed as a masterwork, the ringing answer to those who would classify people, rank them according to their supposed genetic gifts and limits. And yet the idea of innate limits—of biology as destiny—dies hard, as witness the attention devoted to The Bell Curve, whose arguments are here so effectively anticipated and thoroughly undermined by Stephen Jay Gould. In this edition Dr. Gould has written a substantial new introduction telling how and why he wrote the book and tracing the subsequent history of the controversy on innateness right through The Bell Curve. Further, he has added five essays on questions of The Bell Curve in particular and on race, racism, and biological determinism in general. These additions strengthen the book's claim to be, as Leo J. Kamin of Princeton University has said, "a major contribution toward deflating pseudo-biological 'explanations' of our present social woes."
After a decade of steady decline, the appearance of conflicting reports regarding crime statistics has led many to call into question the accuracy of the current methods used to compile these statistics. Because the measurement of social phenomena involves human decisions, inevitably errors are made. This book aims to identify and examine the nature of these errors so that social scientists, legislators, and the general public will be able to conduct a healthy dialogue on the topic in order to remedy some of the problems. Before the book goes into much contemporary detail, historical measures of crime are given an overview. The authors then follow with chapters on the three most common methods used to report crime. Official data, self report, and victimization studies are analyzed in depth in order to discuss the specific errors that can occur in each type of measurement. The final chapter of the book describes ways that these measures can be applied to specific situations. The end result is the formation of a clearer picture of the impact these measures can have on the formation of crime prevention and control policies.
More than 150 alphabetically arranged entries on topics, thinkers, religions, movements, and concepts locate sexuality in its humanistic and social contexts.
The scientist behind the study that made a firm genetic link to behavior tells the inside story of how the discovery was made, and considers the moral implications
Extremely gender variant children and adolescents (minors), increasingly referred to as 'trans' or 'transgender children,' are small in number. In recent years, their situation has become highly sensationalized, whilst the matter of how to best treat them remains an area of controversy. A growing body of research supports emerging treatment approaches, but more research is still needed to answer a host of questions: Do trans minors have a psychiatric disorder or a normal variation of gender presentation? Should treatment be aimed at helping them accept the bodies into which they were born or should parents, clinicians and schools accommodate their wishes of transition? At what age should transition begin? What are the implications – physical, psychological, social and ethical – of various treatment approaches? The first part of this volume explores different clinical approaches to transgender minors in the USA and abroad. The second part contains responses to these approaches by commentators from various fields including biology, child psychiatry, civil rights activism, ethics, law, gender studies, queer theory and psychoanalysis. The work will be an invaluable source for parents and families looking at how to proceed with a trans child, as well as clinicians seeking to make appropriate referrals. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Homosexuality.
A fascinating exploration of the philosophy behind NBC’s hit TV series, 30 Rock With edgy writing and a great cast, 30 Rock is one of the funniest television shows on the air—and where hilarity ensues, philosophical questions abound: Are Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy ethical heroes? Kenneth redefines "goody two shoes", but what does it really mean to be good? Dr. Leo Spaceman routinely demonstrates that medicine is not a science, so what is the role of the incompetent professional in America today? In 30 Rock and Philosophy, Tina Fey and her fellow cast members are thrust onto the philosophical stage with Plato, Aristotle, Kantand other great thinkers to examine these key questions and many others that involve the characters and plotlines of 30 Rock and its fictional TGS with Tracy Jordan comedy show. Takes an entertaining, up-close look at the philosophical issues behind 30 Rock's characters and storylines, from post-feminist ideals to workaholism and the meaning of life Equips you with a new understanding of Liz Lemon, Jack Donaghy, Tracy Jordan, Jenna Maroney, Dr. Spaceman, and other characters Gives you deep and meaningful new reasons (who knew?) for watching Tina Fey and your other favorites on 30 Rock Ideal for both casual and diehard fans, this book is the essential companion for every 30 Rock­-watcher.
To study this transition from universalism to cultural particularism, Richard King focuses on the arguments of major thinkers, movements, and traditions of thought, attempting to construct a map of the ideological positions that were staked out and an intellectual history of this transition.
In exploring the relationship between bureaucratic schooling and the individual child, Waters describes the persistence of educational inequality, child development, and the nature of bureaucracy. The conclusions point out how education bureaucracies frame both schooling and childhood as they relentlessly seek to create ever more perfect children.
Challenging conventional constructions of the Harlem Renaissance and American modernism, Daylanne English links writers from both movements to debates about eugenics in the Progressive Era. She argues that, in the 1920s, the form and content of writings by figures as disparate as W. E. B. Du Bois, T. S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, and Nella Larsen were shaped by anxieties regarding immigration, migration, and intraracial breeding. English's interdisciplinary approach brings together the work of those canonical writers with relatively neglected literary, social scientific, and visual texts. She examines antilynching plays by Angelina Weld Grimke as well as the provocative writings of white female eugenics field workers. English also analyzes the Crisis magazine as a family album filtering uplift through eugenics by means of photographic documentation of an ever-improving black race. English suggests that current scholarship often misreads early-twentieth-century visual, literary, and political culture by applying contemporary social and moral standards to the past. Du Bois, she argues, was actually more of a eugenicist than Eliot. Through such reconfiguration of the modern period, English creates an allegory for the American present: because eugenics was, in its time, widely accepted as a reasonable, progressive ideology, we need to consider the long-term implications of contemporary genetic engineering, fertility enhancement and control, and legislation promoting or discouraging family growth.
White men still hold most of the political and economic cards in the United States; yet stories about wounded and traumatized men dominate popular culture. Why are white men jumping on the victim bandwagon? Examining novels by Philip Roth, John Updike, James Dickey, John Irving, and Pat Conroy and such films as Deliverance, Misery, and Dead Poets Society—as well as other writings, including The Closing of the American Mind—Sally Robinson argues that white men are tempted by the possibilities of pain and the surprisingly pleasurable tensions that come from living in crisis.
A witty and addictively readable day-by-day literary companion. At once a love letter to literature and a charming guide to the books most worth reading, A Reader's Book of Days features bite-size accounts of events in the lives of great authors for every day of the year. Here is Marcel Proust starting In Search of Lost Time and Virginia Woolf scribbling in the margin of her own writing, "Is it nonsense, or is it brilliance?" Fictional events that take place within beloved books are also included: the birth of Harry Potter’s enemy Draco Malfoy, the blood-soaked prom in Stephen King’s Carrie. A Reader's Book of Days is filled with memorable and surprising tales from the lives and works of Martin Amis, Jane Austen, James Baldwin, Roberto Bolano, the Brontë sisters, Junot Díaz, Philip K. Dick, Charles Dickens, Joan Didion, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Keats, Hilary Mantel, Haruki Murakami, Flannery O’Connor, Orhan Pamuk, George Plimpton, Marilynne Robinson, W. G. Sebald, Dr. Seuss, Zadie Smith, Susan Sontag, Hunter S. Thompson, Leo Tolstoy, David Foster Wallace, and many more. The book also notes the days on which famous authors were born and died; it includes lists of recommended reading for every month of the year as well as snippets from book reviews as they appeared across literary history; and throughout there are wry illustrations by acclaimed artist Joanna Neborsky. Brimming with nearly 2,000 stories, A Reader's Book of Days will have readers of every stripe reaching for their favorite books and discovering new ones.
Offering a philosophical perspective to the educational improvement agenda, this engaging text provides a new language for research into educational improvement, bringing leading-edge philosophy to current practice. Drawing on philosophical work, including that of Derrida, Foucault and Heidegger, the authors deconstruct the ethic of improvement before exploring key dimensions of education, its institutions and technologies. Each chapter draws on international case studies, provides engaging questions and makes suggestions for further reading to support the reader. Topics covered include: Â •Â The Ethic of Improvement •Â Teacher Education •Â Leadership and Management •Â Lifelong Learning •Â The Rhetoric of Numbers • The Governance of Childhood • The State of Education Research An essential text for all looking at how we think and talk about education and improvement.
Cedric J. Robinson offers a new understanding of race in America through his analysis of theater and film of the early twentieth century. He argues that economic, political, and cultural forces present in the eras of silent film and the early "talkies" firmly entrenched limited representations of African Americans. Robinson grounds his study in contexts that illuminate the parallel growth of racial beliefs and capitalism, beginning with Shakespearean England and the development of international trade. He demonstrates how the needs of American commerce determined the construction of successive racial regimes that were publicized in the theater and in motion pictures, particularly through plantation and jungle films. In addition to providing new depth and complexity to the history of black representation, Robinson examines black resistance to these practices. Whereas D. W. Griffith appropriated black minstrelsy and romanticized a national myth of origins, Robinson argues that Oscar Micheaux transcended uplift films to create explicitly political critiques of the American national myth. Robinson's analysis marks a new way of approaching the intellectual, political, and media racism present in the beginnings of American narrative cinema.
In June 1975, the distinguished Harvard entomologist Edward O. Wilson published a truly huge book entitled, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis. In this book, drawing on both fact and theory, Wilson tried to present a com prehensive overview of the rapidly growing subject of 'sociobiology', the study of the biological nature and foundations of animal behaviour, more precisely animal social behaviour. Although, as the title rather implies, Wilson was more surveying and synthesising than developing new material, he com pensated by giving the most thorough and inclusive treatment possible, beginning in the animal world with the most simple of forms, and progressing via insects, lower invertebrates, mammals and primates, right up to and in cluding our own species, Homo sapiens. Initial reaction to the book was very favourable, but before the year was out it came under withering attack from a group of radical scientists in the Boston area, who styled themselves 'The Science for the People Sociobiology Study Group'. Criticism, of course, is what every academic gets (and needs!); but, for two reasons, this attack was particularly unpleasant. First, not only were Wilson's ideas attacked, but he himself was smeared by being linked with the most reactionary of political thinkers, including the Nazis.
Considered by many during his lifetime as the most well-known scientist in the world, Stephen Jay Gould left an enormous and influential body of work. A Harvard professor of paleontology, evolutionary biology, and the history of science, Gould provided major insights into our understanding of the history of life. He helped to reinvigorate paleontology, launch macroevolution on a new course, and provide a context in which the biological developmental stages of an organism's embryonic growth could be integrated into an understanding of evolution. This book is a set of reflections on the many areas of Gould's intellectual life by the people who knew and understood him best: former students and prominent close collaborators. Mostly a critical assessment of his legacy, the chapters are not technical contributions but rather offer a combination of intellectual bibliography, personal memoir, and reflection on Gould's diverse scientific achievements. The work includes the most complete bibliography of his writings to date and offers a multi-dimensional view of Gould's life-work not to be found in any other volume.

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