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Kelly Hills
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Wait, you mean it's NOT normal to talk to your cats when it's just you and them? Crap, I really have turned into a crazy cat lady.
Toggle Commented Feb 18, 2012 on in which a suitcase is packed at WWdN: In Exile
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Wow, when did Joanne move to the disability studies program? (I had her in my first year at UW, in a history and philosophy of science course.) Energetic and interesting teacher - she's a lot of fun to listen to!
Well, I think bioethicists cling to autonomy because there's an undeniable pressure for some kind of measurement criteria, especially from the group(s) that keep pushing for a code of bioethics. This would include a list of how-to's and what to do's and so forth, both in medical ethical situations and in research and writing in general. I think that the "answer" is that in an environment where bioethics is as measured and scrutinized under scientific guidelines as those in the humanities, there are some people - who have been vocal and in a position to publish and otherwise be heard - who like autonomy because it's easy to measure. We have guidelines that people have agreed upon for what it means to be an autonomous individual, and the notion of autonomy is the same in sciences and humanities. This last bit, in particular, I think is really important - because it's one of the few times where you're going to find sciences-as-a-whole and humanities-as-a-whole speaking the same language. Add to that that bioethics is a uniquely American field - in that while medical ethics has been a vague sort of medicine for, oh, ever, bioethics and the primacy of autonomy largely comes out of the Seattle God Squad case and crew - and Americans view "freedom" and "autonomy" as synonymous, you get something that's easy to measure, with a lexicon and concept/premise that "all Americans" understand (and has been exported to places where similar American values have ended up - see, for example, the difficulty in pushing autonomy in Asian countries).
Pain and suffering are phenomenologically distinct; it is possible to suffer without pain, and it is also possible, albeit perhaps less likely, to experience pain without suffering. Hey, that sounds familiar. ;-) I think it would definitely help if medicine stopped separating the brain out as something different or special, at least when it comes to function. When a tendon in my hand snaps, we go "ack, lack of expected function - bad! fix!" We should stop thinking of a misfiring brain as anything other than another example of lack of expected function, and work on fixing it. Something going 'wrong' in the brain is just as physical as something going 'wrong' in my wrist - the difference is just the location, and shouldn't be viewed as any differently as any other location-specific injury or disruption on the body.
Toggle Commented Oct 12, 2010 on On Psychological Pain at Medical Humanities Blog
Yeah, but I think we both know what the refrain from That Group would be - he was only an atheist and socialist because of Other Evil Factors - immoral women, immoral men, Godless society, whatever. Free will, free decisions, choices - they're just as alien to That Group as is the idea that sex can be for more than just procreation, or the idea that there can be such a thing as a happy and fulfilled life without God. It is sort of amazing the power That Group simultaneously gives and tries to deny women and their sexuality, though - you can really see a literal playing out of the Madonna/Whore dichotomy in daily life and beliefs.
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"He already WAS a bad match for that woman." Well, yes - but they're not saying that's your fault. They are, however, saying that it's some other woman's fault - the woman that tempted him in the first place. You, on the other hand, are probably to blame for some other guy being ruined for a "decent Christian woman". That, unfortunately, is the way that many of the conservative views crowd sees things. Women control sexuality, and it's therefore up to All Women to Remain Pure, so that All Men are also Pure. It's basically a contagion theory - Elizabeth Grosz beautifully discusses this in her book "Volatile Bodies." Women are the guardians of sexual fluids because they are sponges - they absorb the 'dirt' of men. And they can transmit it to other men. This is why a woman must remain 'pure' - so that she cannot contaminate another man. This sort of belief is strongly woven through all the attitudes and beliefs the religiously Conservative crowd has, from why women are viewed as possessions to why it's necessary to control a woman's sexuality. So yeah. It does all come back to a woman 'ruining' your husband - it might not have been you, but in their eyes, some woman did - just like you 'ruined' other men. Contagion. Not just for infections anymore. :/
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Mmm... bioethics saved philosophy, and now public health will save bioethics? Somehow, that strikes me as rather inaccurate. Until I can swim across the street to the library, I'm stuck responding only to the abstract, of course, but here's my take: 1 - Agreed. Bioethics often does collapse into medical ethics. I think this is probably a function of two things. The first is age/origin; bioethics is younger than medical ethics, and medical ethics is something like the parent of bioethics. Until the field gets some more years under it's belt - time to establish itself as a genuinely separate field, this conflation will keep happening. 2 - Mmm. If you don't want to conflate bioethics and medical ethics, point two probably shouldn't be focusing on medical ethics instead of bioethics. As to the charge, I think there are bigger issues in medical ethics that this skirts around, and it goes back to the conflict and resentment that seems to happen when non-MDs "invade" the medical world. 3 - Well, I think I already made my point about public health ethics "rescuing" bioethics, but I'm longwinded... a few years ago, someone I worked with expressed concern that bioethics was moving away/out from philosophy. More and more, if not most, "professional" bioethicists were coming out of public health programs, and the problem there is that public health doesn't teach thinking in the same way that philosophy does. In fact, I'd say that an emphasis on public health is moving exactly away from the sort of critical, Socratic dialog that Dawson is indicating he thinks the field itself needs.
Yeah, I know a Rawls scholar who's tried to argue that with me, as well. The problem is, Rawls's theories (in any of the books) require that you accept as a basic premise that people are able to separate their motivations from their actions. That is, Rawls assumes that any religious person will be able to justify their beliefs in non-religious terms, or won't bring them into the public sphere for debate. This shows, to me, a fundamental lack of understanding of the religious person. ;) Rawls' theories are great, if you're a dispassionate robot... ;)
I think that in some ways, the cherished grasp on neutrality (even though it's an impossible dream) is a reflection of the acknowledgment that we don't have a model of functionality for how to work with multiple, varying, conflicting points of view to achieve any kind of resolution. Right now, the only way we know how to get a group consensus is if we pretend that everyone strips off their bias and beliefs when they "approach a problem objectively." (This, fwiw, has always been my problem with Rawls's solutions for how we can possibly function in a pluralistic society.)
there are ways of theorizing justice that do not treat it as a principle qua part of the Western moral tradition of principlism. Oh, I know people who would argue that Rawls's approach to justice completely shuns any notion of principlism. I don't think you're going to find much disagreement with that basic idea. Ultimately, I think that the failure of principlism (and here I'll just hope some former professors never see this) is the same as the failure of modern virtue ethics: who decides what the important principles (or virtues, or vices) are? These sorts of value judgments vary in time, space, and place - trying to base any solid theory on such socially relevant anchors to find some sort of universality seems ultimately doomed to failure.
Would you not consider Daniels' work to be just that (an application of justice outside principlist framework)? I think principlism is a fine tool in a bioethicist's toolbox, but one that needs to be wielded carefully. Do you remember potholder looms? Where you could make potholders or other detritus for the kitchen? (You might have escaped that, being male.) Principlism strikes me as being, well, a potholder; each principle is one of the loops making up the potholder, and if you don't use all four, you end up with a nonfunctional potholder. (The analogy works well in my head. Honest.) Too much of a focus on justice (or beneficence, or non-maleficence) is going to be just as problematic as too much a focus on autonomy. Of course, I'm a pragmatic casuistrist, what do I know? ;-)
Pfft. The article could just stop at "autonomy-based bioethics"; autonomy itself is a concept that is directly at odds with any idea of social-based whatever, and at least in bioethics-via-principlism, autonomy and justice are separate concerns. Bioethics has gotten itself all out of whack by elevating autonomy above the other principles (non-maleficence, beneficence, justice), and placing emphasis there instead of on a balance of the four. This, more than anything else, is a reflection of the fact that Americans are somewhat obsessed with individualism and bootstrapping themselves up - quite naturally, that entire way of looking at the world is going to fail massively when you import it to a society/culture that is not so individualistically focused. (Which is not to say anything negative Azétsop and Rennie; it's more a negative reflection on bioethics, that such a thing should even need to be pointed out!)
I have this odd sense of deja vu... I don't think the issue is that schools are run like businesses, or even that there is a growing divide between disciplines. The real problem, the immediate one that education needs to tackle, somehow and some way, before we can even get into interdisciplinary education or how schools should be organized or students tested, is the fact that America has become anti-intellectual. The reason that Liltle Johnny doesn't need to be able to recite anything about the Peloponesian War is because we don't value knowledge for knowledge's sake. The reason that science and math have been largely exempt from this anti-intellectual growth is because, as the author notes, science and math largely hide away in the lab, in their own world. No one goes to prison if they espouse an incorrect theory, but likewise, that theory affects no one but their closed circle/colleagues. Science and math have been successful at defining themselves within the Ivory Tower, something the humanities used to have as well, but lost somewhere along the way. ...it's almost like I've had this conversation... ;-) I look forward to reading part two.
I passed the CFP around. A friend asked if this was actually an attempt to punk me. ;) It's a very fascinating field, and I love the intersection of pop culture and medicine (and I'm glad more people are finally writing about the problems with House), but it becomes problematic to consider doing things in because it is such a broad and diverse area.
Sure! You know I always like to read that kind of stuff. :-)
Pfft. Texans. ...I wonder how many people read their organizational acronyms and think "Stay At Home Moms? What are they doing in Louisville?" That aside, it sounds like an interesting conference, and I hear Louisville is pretty that time of year. Are you considering an abstract? (Is anyone else reading this considering or already submitted?)
Some fantastic people are involved in putting this on; I highly recommend it to anyone who is in the area!
Thought the first: I should check that listserv out. Thought the second: Has he done a follow-up correlating being kicked out of a gang and kicked out of an academic circle? *snort* ;)
But about Kevin Kelly's number: $100,000 a year from my work? That's more than "modest" for me. I'd love to earn $100,000 a year from my work. Yeah, my eyes just about bugged out when I saw this was "modest" - tenured faculty chairs at major universities are so lucky to make healthy six figures in medium to large cities, so... (then again, maybe that's just the life of an academic). I will say that I understand the model, though - I'd definitely consider myself a "season pass holder" for, say, Mike Doughty. I'll drive to NYC to hear him play, his new album was in my hands the day it came out, etc - ditto for Cowboy Junkies and a few other major musicians. (Well, major for me.) The problem I see with this model, though, in books, is that I don't reread a book as often as I listen to music, so (as a broke graduate student) it makes sense for me to spend the money on a CD that I might not otherwise be able to spend on a book. Sure, I'll enjoy the book - but not every night/week/while working on my dis. That said, I have noticed I am MUCH more likely to buy books/products when at a signing, or I know a book signing will be happening. The tangible experience of chitchatting lightly with the author, hearing things read, the Q&A, signature on book or shirt or whatever - those things add up to the book purchase being financially do-able. Two cents and food for thought. :-)
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But about Kevin Kelly's number: $100,000 a year from my work? That's more than "modest" for me. I'd love to earn $100,000 a year from my work. Yeah, my eyes just about bugged out when I saw this was "modest" - tenured faculty chairs at major universities are so lucky to make healthy six figures in medium to large cities, so... (then again, maybe that's just the life of an academic). I will say that I understand the model, though - I'd definitely consider myself a "season pass holder" for, say, Mike Doughty. I'll drive to NYC to hear him play, his new album was in my hands the day it came out, etc - ditto for Cowboy Junkies and a few other major musicians. (Well, major for me.) The problem I see with this model, though, in books, is that I don't reread a book as often as I listen to music, so (as a broke graduate student) it makes sense for me to spend the money on a CD that I might not otherwise be able to spend on a book. Sure, I'll enjoy the book - but not every night/week/while working on my dis. That said, I have noticed I am MUCH more likely to buy books/products when at a signing, or I know a book signing will be happening. The tangible experience of chitchatting lightly with the author, hearing things read, the Q&A, signature on book or shirt or whatever - those things add up to the book purchase being financially do-able. Two cents and food for thought. :-)
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Thanks for the burnout bit, Wil - it's a wall I've hit myself the last month, with the result of just letting everything fall by the wayside the past few weeks. All choices that are logical and rational if I step back (midterms, sick, etc), but can become this paralyzing mantra of failure, all the same.
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Thanks for the burnout bit, Wil - it's a wall I've hit myself the last month, with the result of just letting everything fall by the wayside the past few weeks. All choices that are logical and rational if I step back (midterms, sick, etc), but can become this paralyzing mantra of failure, all the same.
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There will be 10 kinds of people in the world: those who get this shirt, and those who don't. (Okay, that was taking it just a little to far, I will admit.) Sigh. I am now forced to admit that I actually had to re-read the sentence before several times, before seeing the TEN, instead of the TWO. And I don't even work in the damned industry anymore. I am so, so sad.
Toggle Commented Jan 31, 2008 on the loneliest number at WWdN: In Exile
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