34880 Chapters
Medium 9780253001122

3. Semi-Free: Thermodynamics, Probability, and the New Worldview

Dorothea E. Olkowski Indiana University Press ePub

What might be surprising about modern science, what might go against our expectations, at least if we follow Arendt’s account, is that it already revealed the human capacity to “think in terms of the universe while remaining on the earth … to use cosmic laws as guiding principles for terrestrial action.”1 The view that the sun is the center of our solar system, for example, requires the idea that the universe is not a small, cozy place, that the stars are too far away to manifest any parallax (the apparent shift in the position of objects due to the observer’s motion), and even the possibility that the universe is infinite, that it has no center and no periphery, so there is no motion either toward or away from the center of the universe. It requires the ability to imagine that humans are not the center of creation but just specks of dust in a universe of empty space.2

So, perhaps, although alienation from enduring, worldly things in favor of what can be produced and immediately consumed may describe the socioeconomic development of modern society, earthly alienation, the view of nature from a point in the universe beyond the earth, might in the end be the more persuasive and pervasive structure. At the same time, if the same sort of mathematical structures allow human beings to understand both heavenly and terrestrial bodies, if the ideas of philosophers only gained acceptance when validated by the factual consequences of repeatable experiments carried out in the newly developing natural sciences, then what is meant by “naturalism” might well be a function of the “demonstrable and ever-quickening increase in human knowledge and power, which in turn arose as earth alienation and the instruments developed to measure it which ushered in the modern age so as to create the very idea of science.”3

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253006349

4 Opposition, Depression, and the Rejection of Pauperism

Brent Ruswick Indiana University Press ePub

Scientific charity’s leaders directed almost as much scorn at other charitable institutions as they did at the paupers who supposedly benefited from those institutions’ misguided generosity. They advertised scientific charity as a corrective for the ill-conceived and poorly executed work of the entrenched charities that engaged in indiscriminate, unscientific, and counterproductive almsgiving. Belying the effusive overtures of friendship and camaraderie with more established charities, scientific charity’s advocates spoke in stark terms of the old and the new in a manner that assumed that the public could not help but accept the self-evident correctness of their new methods, even though topics like distinguishing the worthy from the unworthy, renewing social bonds, and improving the suspect behaviors of the poor had been of interest to charitable reformers for decades. Although charity organization often succeeded at bringing Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish charities into cooperation, religious tensions also regularly surfaced, since many leading authors tended to be religiously liberal or unorthodox Protestants who wrote critically of the misguided application of biblical enjoinders to aid the poor. Protestant charities often were suspicious of scientific charity’s avowed secularism. Catholic charities worried that the often overwhelmingly Protestant orientation of the COS’s leadership and of the charities cooperating with the COS might make it a Trojan horse for assimilation and evangelism. Churches in general and Catholic ones in particular were reluctant to turn over lists of their poor to an outside source. It also did not help that in New York City, Josephine Shaw Lowell and fellow scientific charity stalwart Homer Folks led the fight to curtail state support for Catholic charities under the auspices that it promoted indiscriminate outdoor relief.1 While some cities, like Indianapolis, enjoyed support from or even were founded by the highest social circles of the city, in New York City and elsewhere the same social fragmentation that motivated the growth of scientific charity also ensured it would not find broad-based support from the highest rungs of the philanthropic class, who were themselves no longer homogeneous and might prefer any of several charitable approaches.2

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253018380

4 Mobility and Travel Narratives: Geovisualizing the Cultural Politics of Belonging to the Land

Jane Stadler Indiana University Press ePub

In 2011 an endearing story about a dog the same color as the dusty red Outback broke box office records to become one of the top ten highest grossing Australian films of all time. The name of the film and its eponymous protagonist, “Red Dog,” derive from the reddish brown coat that is characteristic of the Red Cloud Kelpie, a breed of Australian sheep and cattle dog that is widely believed to be part dingo.1 The tale of Red Dog wandering the country in search of his master eclipsed even well-loved travel narratives such as The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Stephan Elliott, 1994). The perennial popularity of travel narratives and their capacity to dramatize the geopolitical relationship between the land and its people make the genre significant for investigating the nexus between travel, colonialism, and cultural perceptions of place and belonging (see Gilbert and Johnston; Bishop, “Driving”). For Indigenous Australians, the landscape itself is believed to have been created through a kind of travel narrative in that the land takes its form from ancestral beings that traversed the continent during the Dreamtime and marked it with the story of their passage. Contemporary Aborigines use cultural rituals including walkabout, song, dance, and storytelling to honor these ancestral beings who still reside in landmarks such as water holes and rock formations: “The narrated songlines of Australian Indigenous peoples offer an example of the cultural representation of complex and culturally specific forms of spatial cognition and connection between people and place” (Mills). Settler-colonial explorers first traversed the interior of the Australian continent in 1800–1860, charting their journeys in journals and maps. These travelogues were soon supplemented by literary fiction and plays that dramatized exploration and convict transportation, and, by the turn of the century, the “sightseeing” films of early cinema afforded “a way for the less wealthy classes to see what otherwise was only accessible to them in still film through painting or photography” (M. Lefebvre, Introduction xi). Among the earliest travel films of Australia are the tourism narratives and Indigenous mythologies created by Gaston Méliès, brother and business partner of the better-known director George Méliès. For instance, in Gaston Méliès’s Captured by Aborigines (1913), an Aboriginal elder rescues an English explorer in Queensland from cannibals. By 2014, the top fifty Australian feature films ranked by total gross Australian box office included sixteen travel narratives (“Australian Content”). Excluding fourteen films on the top fifty list that take place overseas, travel narratives represent 44% of the most popular features, including Mad Max (George Miller, 1979), Wolf Creek (Greg McLean, 2005), Australia (Baz Luhrmann, 2008), and Bran Nue Dae (Rachel Perkins, 2009). Not only have travel narratives come to occupy a prominent place in Australia’s cultural industries, their evolution from the early travelogues and sightseeing films suggests they instantiate a form of storytelling ideally suited to reflecting changing understandings of space and place and especially how exploration, development, and the experience of the “other”—Indigenous peoples, immigrants, and landscapes—shape sociopolitical perceptions and practices.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781576752685

Chapter 4: Stakeholder Theory and Its Critics

Phillips, Robert Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Ethics has long been a part of the study of economics and commercial interaction. Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill (to name but two of the better known) are as well known for their thinking on matters of moral philosophy as they are of their work on political economy. As the study of economics proceeded, however, it became an ever more technical discipline with the concomitant deemphasis of that which could not be measured, including concern over morals. In On Ethics and Economics, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen comments unfavorably on the schism that has evolved between the two intimately connected disciplines. Sen writes:

[T]he subject of ethics was for a long time seen as something like a branch of economics. … In fact, in the 1930’s when Lionel Robbins in his influential book An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science, argued that “it does not seem logically possible to associate the two studies [economics and ethics] in any form but mere juxtaposition,”95 he was taking a position that was quite unfashionable then, though extremely fashionable now.96 63

See All Chapters
Medium 9780946439065


Bion, Wilfred R. Karnac Books ePub

I SHALL represent the table set out in the last chapter by the sign I.1 I do not propose to discuss what meaning if any is to be attached to classes represented by co-ordinates such as 5.1. We need not suppose that such elements exist. Nevertheless I do not wish to discard them for the present; I propose to reconsider the axes of the framework in the search for elements. When I use the sign I, I mean it to represent either the whole table or any one or more of the compartments I have distinguished by co-ordinates. As an example suppose that in the course of an analysis the material suggests the predominance of I. This impression should be gained as a result of relaxed or free-floating attention; this state of mind approximates to that represented by D4 (since I am already disposed by my personality and psycho-analytic training to entertain certain expectations). A state of attention, being receptive to the material the patient is producing, approximates to a pre-conception and therefore the change from attention to preconception is represented by a move from D4 on the grid to E4. If I seek confirmation from other material that the patient is presenting, E3 and E5 are swept into activity; if I begin to verbalize my impressions F5 is also involved. If it now appears that the time is ripe for an interpretation a further shift takes place, this time towards G6 with a view to a formulation intended to affect the patient.

See All Chapters

See All Chapters