Saturday, December 18, 2010

Heads-up for 18 December 2010

New Books In History
Ann Fabian, “The Skull Collectors: Race, Science and America’s Unburied Dead”
What should we study? The eighteenth-century luminary and poet Alexander Pope had this to say on the subject: “Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man ” (An Essay on Man, 1733). He was not alone in this opinion. The philosophers of the Enlightenment–of which we may count Pope–all believed that humans would benefit most from a proper comprehension of temporal things, and most particularly humanity itself. For them, understanding humanity meant, first and foremost, understanding the human body. Naturally, then, the philosophes and their successors paid close attention to the body. They cut it up, took it apart, measured it and attempted to see how it worked. They were most interested in one part in particular–the human head. It was the seat of the human characteristic the Enlightenment scientists admired most: intelligence. If one could get a handle on the human cranium, then one would understand what it meant to be human. Or at least so they thought.
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London School of Economics: Public lectures and events
Valuing the Humanities
James Ladyman is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bristol and co-editor of the British Journal of the Philosophy of Science. Martha Nussbaum is Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. Lord Rees of Ludlow is President of the Royal Society, Astronomer Royal and Master of Trinity College Cambridge. Richard Smith is a Former editor of the British Medical Journal and Director of the Ovations Institute. Mark Lawson from BBC Radio 4 and The Guardian.
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Big Ideas
Art historian Francis Broun on The Art of Sir Edwin Landseer
Art historian Francis Broun presents his lecture entitled Genius Denied: The Art of Sir Edwin Landseer. It was recorded at the Women's Art Association in Toronto on May 24th, 2010.
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Philosophy Bites
Philip Pettit on Group Agency
When a group of people acts together we can hold that group morally and legally responsible. But how does the group decide to act? Is a decision of the group simply the majoritarian sum of individual group members' views? Princeton philosopher Philip Pettit, who has written a book about this topic with Christian List of the LSE, discusses these issues with Nigel Warburton for the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.
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Veertien Achttien
Charles Mangin en het succes van de vijfde golf (zondag 17 december 1916)
'De slager' noemden de soldaten hem wel. Erger nog: 'de menseneter'. Charles Mangin nam in het krijgsbedrijf menselijke verliezen voor lief. Met het eind van de oorlog had hij ook geen vrede.
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