Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 22

Search results for: dualism

22 An Approach from Fichte as a Response to the Kantian Dualism of Subject and Object: The Unity of the Subject and Object in Both Theoretical and Ethical Possibility

Authors: Mengjie Liu


This essay aims at responding to the Kant arguments on how to fit the self-caused subject into the deterministic object which follows the natural laws. This essay mainly adopts the approach abstracted from Fichte’s “Wissenshaftslehre” (Doctrine of Science) to picture a possible solution to the conciliation of Kantian dualism. The Fichte approach is based on the unity of the theoretical and practical reason, which can be understood as a philosophical abstraction from ordinary experience combining both subject and object. This essay will discuss the general Kantian dualism problem and Fichte’s unity approach in the first part. Then the essay will elaborate on the achievement of this unity of the subject and object through Fichte’s “the I posits itself” process in the second section. The following third section is related to the ethical unity of subject and object based on the Fichte approach. The essay will also discuss the limitation of Fichte’s approach from two perspectives: (1) the theoretical possibility of the existence of the pure I and (2) Schelling’s statement that the Absolute I is a result rather than the originating act. This essay demonstrates a possible approach to unifying the subject and object supported by Fichte’s “Absolute I” and ethical theories and also points out the limitations of Fichte’s theories.

Keywords: Fichte, identity, Kantian dualism, Wissenshaftslehre

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21 The Interconnection Between the Material and Spiritual Dimensions of Reality: A Comparative Analysis of Worldviews and Scientific Perspectives

Authors: Alexey Mustafin


This paper explores the complex interplay between materialism, spiritualism, dualism, and non-dualism in the context of both Western and Eastern philosophical traditions. The research question is centered around understanding the implications of these perspectives on our comprehension of reality. The study employs a comparative analysis of worldviews, scientific perspectives, and case studies to achieve its objectives. The theoretical framework examines the critiques of materialism, spiritualism, dualism, and non-dualism, synthesizing different perspectives. A comparative analysis of Western (Greek, Christian, and Enlightenment) and Eastern (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism) philosophical traditions provides a holistic understanding of diverse worldviews. The study further investigates scientific perspectives, including classical physics, quantum physics, biology, neuroscience, and their implications on the understanding of reality. Case studies on near-death experiences, meditation, healing, and parapsychology serve as practical examples of the interplay between these perspectives. The synthesis of findings offers insights into the implications for our understanding of reality and highlights future directions for research in this interdisciplinary field.

Keywords: biocentrism, quantum physics, neurosciense and consciousness, meditation and brain, religion experiences and scientific research, buddhism and science

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20 Models of Copyrights System

Authors: A. G. Matveev


The copyrights system is a combination of different elements. The number, content and the correlation of these elements are different for different legal orders. The models of copyrights systems display this system in terms of the interaction of economic and author's moral rights. Monistic and dualistic models are the most popular ones. The article deals with different points of view on the monism and dualism in copyright system. A specific model of the copyright in Switzerland in the XXth century is analyzed. The evolution of a French dualistic model of copyright is shown. The author believes that one should talk not about one, but rather about a number of dualism forms of copyright system.

Keywords: copyright, exclusive copyright, economic rights, author's moral rights, rights of personality, monistic model, dualistic model

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19 The Myth of Mohini and Ardhanarishvara: A Queer Reading

Authors: Anindita Roy


This paper offers a queer reading of the myth of Mohini and Ardhanarishvara in Indian mythology to explore the transformative capacity of gender performativity with a view to focusing on the notion of female and male as harmonious contributors in culture and nature. The qualitative study of these two narratives ponders on the issues of dualism in Indian mythology. These myths approach different queer experiences in different ways - the first, an incarnation of Vishnu into Mohini by body swapping and the latter, the myth of Ardhanarishvara in which one sacred body upholds two different biological identities together- male and female. Emphasizing on the transformation of sex, the present paper re-reads how these queer-transformations can become transformative in the society. The study is explained in three parts. The first one focuses on the two select myths to explore the idea of gender as performance and the concept of queer ecofeminism where nature/culture, heterosexuality/queer female/male dualism exist in a paradigm. The second segment analyzes whether these myths destabilize or promote the access of queer and the experience of ‘other’ in the society and resistance against domination. The third section inquires to rethink the whole world about the value and hierarchy of men over women, heterosexuality over queer, culture over nature to call for a recovery of the female/male, nature/culture principles as complementary. What the paper intends to investigate is if and how gender transformations in religious myths have the capacity to transform personal and social notions and practices of different hierarchies.

Keywords: dualism, Indian myth, queer, transformativity

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18 Natural Disaster Tourism as a Type of Dark Tourism

Authors: Dorota Rucińska


This theoretical paper combines the academic discourse regarding a specific part of dark tourism. Based on the literature analysis, distinction of natural disasters in thanatourism was investigated, which is connected with dynamic geographical conditions. Natural disasters used to play an important role in social life by their appearance in myths and religions. Nowadays, tourists pursuing natural hazards can be divided into three groups: Those interested in natural hazards themselves; those interested in landscape deformation and experiencing emotions shortly after extreme events - natural disasters - occur; and finally those interested in historic places log after an extreme event takes place. An important element of the natural disaster tourism is quick access to information on the location of a disaster and the destination of a potential excursion. Natural disaster tourism suits alternative tourism, yet it is opposed culture tourism, and sustainable tourism. The paper compares types and groups of tourists. It also considers the contradictions that describe dualism, which exists in dark tourism.

Keywords: dark tourism, dualism, natural disasters, natural hazards, thanatoursim

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17 A Critical Analysis of Cognitive Explanations of Afterlife Belief

Authors: Mahdi Biabanaki


Religion is present in all human societies and has been for tens of thousands of years. What is noteworthy is that although religious traditions vary in different societies, there are considerable similarities in their religious beliefs. In all human cultures, for example, there is a widespread belief in the afterlife. Cognitive science of Religion (CSR), an emerging branch of cognitive science, searches for the root of these widespread similarities and the widespread prevalence of beliefs such as beliefs in the afterlife in common mental structures among humans. Accordingly, the cognitive architecture of the human mind has evolved to produce such beliefs automatically and non-reflectively. For CSR researchers, belief in the afterlife is an intuitive belief resulting from the functioning of mental tools. Our purpose in this article is to extract and evaluate the cognitive explanations presented in the CSR field for explaining beliefs in the afterlife. Our research shows that there are two basic theories in this area of CSR, namely "intuitive dualism" and "simulation constraint" theory. We show that these two theories face four major challenges and limitations in explaining belief in the afterlife: inability to provide a causal explanation, inability to explain cultural/religious differences in afterlife belief, the lack of distinction between the natural and the rational foundations of belief in the afterlife and disregarding the supernatural foundations of the afterlife belief.

Keywords: afterlife, cognitive science of religion, intuitive dualism, simulation constraint

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16 Cognitivism in Classical Japanese Art and Literature: The Cognitive Value of Haiku and Zen Painting

Authors: Benito Garcia-Valero


This paper analyses the cognitivist value of traditional Japanese theories about aesthetics, art, and literature. These reflections were developed several centuries before actual Cognitive Studies, which started in the seventies of the last century. A comparative methodology is employed to shed light on the similarities between traditional Japanese conceptions about art and current cognitivist principles. The Japanese texts to be compared are Zeami’s treatise on noh art, Okura Toraaki’s Waranbe-gusa on kabuki theatre, and several Buddhist canonical texts about wisdom and knowledge, like the Prajnaparamitahrdaya or Heart Sutra. Japanese contemporary critical sources on these works are also referred, like Nishida Kitaro’s reflections on Zen painting or Ichikawa Hiroshi’s analysis of body/mind dualism in Japanese physical practices. Their ideas are compared with cognitivist authors like George Lakoff, Mark Johnson, Mark Turner and Margaret Freeman. This comparative review reveals the anticipatory ideas of Japanese thinking on body/mind interrelationship, which agrees with cognitivist criticism against dualism, since both elucidate the physical grounds acting upon the formation of concepts and schemes during the production of knowledge. It also highlights the necessity of recovering ancient Japanese treatises on cognition to continue enlightening current research on art and literature. The artistic examples used to illustrate the theory are Sesshu’s Zen paintings and Basho’s classical haiku poetry. Zen painting is an excellent field to demonstrate how monk artists conceived human perception and guessed the active role of beholders during the contemplation of art. On the other hand, some haikus by Matsuo Basho aim at factoring subjectivity out from artistic praxis, which constitutes an ideal of illumination that cannot be achieved using art, due to the embodied nature of perception; a constraint consciously explored by the poet himself. These ideas consolidate the conclusions drawn today by cognitivism about the interrelation between subject and object and the concept of intersubjectivity.

Keywords: cognitivism, dualism, haiku, Zen painting

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15 The Posthuman Condition and a Translational Ethics of Entanglement

Authors: Shabnam Naderi


Traditional understandings of ethics considered translators, translations, technologies and other agents as separate and prioritized human agents. In fact, ethics was equated with morality. This disengaged understanding of ethics is superseded by an ethics of relation/entanglement in the posthuman philosophy. According to this ethics of entanglement, human and nonhuman agents are in constant ‘intra-action’. The human is not separate from nature, from technology and from other nonhuman entities, and an ethics of translation in this regard cannot be separated from technology and ecology and get defined merely within the realm of human-human encounter. As such, a posthuman ethics offers opportunities for change and responds to the changing nature of reality, it is negotiable and reveals itself as a moment-by-moment practice (i.e. as temporally emergent and beyond determinacy and permanence). Far from the linguistic or cultural, or individual concerns, posthuman translational ethics discusses how the former rigid norms and laws are challenged in a process ontology which puts emphasis on activity and activation and considers ethics as surfacing in activity, not as a predefined set of rules and values. In this sense, traditional ethical principles like faithfulness, accuracy and representation are superseded by principles of privacy, sustainability, multiplicity and decentralization. The present conceptual study, drawing on Ferrando’s philosophical posthumanism (as a post-humanism, as a post-dualism and as a post-anthropocentrism), Deleuze-Guattarian philosophy of immanence and Barad’s physics-philosophy strives to destabilize traditional understandings of translation ethics and bring an ethics that has loose ends and revolves around multiplicity and decentralization into the picture.

Keywords: ethics of entanglement, post-anthropocentrism, post-dualism, post-humanism, translation

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14 Embodied Neoliberalism and the Mind as Tool to Manage the Body: A Descriptive Study Applied to Young Australian Amateur Athletes

Authors: Alicia Ettlin


Amid the rise of neoliberalism to the leading economic policy model in Western societies in the 1980s, people have started to internalise a neoliberal way of thinking, whereby the human body has become an entity that can and needs to be precisely managed through free yet rational decision-making processes. The neoliberal citizen has consequently become an entrepreneur of the self who is free, independent, rational, productive and responsible for themselves, their health and wellbeing as well as their appearance. The focus on individuals as entrepreneurs who manage their bodies through the rationally thinking mind has, however, become increasingly criticised for viewing the social actor as ‘disembodied’, as a detached, social actor whose powerful mind governs over the passive body. On the other hand, the discourse around embodiment seeks to connect rational decision-making processes to the dominant neoliberal discourse which creates an embodied understanding that the body, just as other areas of people’s lives, can and should be shaped, monitored and managed through cognitive and rational thinking. This perspective offers an understanding of the body regarding its connections with the social environment that reaches beyond the debates around mind-body binary thinking. Hence, following this argument, body management should not be thought of as either solely guided by embodied discourses nor as merely falling into a mind-body dualism, but rather, simultaneously and inseparably as both at once. The descriptive, qualitative analysis of semi-structured in-depth interviews conducted with young Australian amateur athletes between the age of 18 and 24 has shown that most participants are interested in measuring and managing their body to create self-knowledge and self-improvement. The participants thereby connected self-improvement to weight loss, muscle gain or simply staying fit and healthy. Self-knowledge refers to body measurements including weight, BMI or body fat percentage. Self-management and self-knowledge that are reliant on one another to take rational and well-thought-out decisions, are both characteristic values of the neoliberal doctrine. A neoliberal way of thinking and looking after the body has also by many been connected to rewarding themselves for their discipline, hard work or achievement of specific body management goals (e.g. eating chocolate for reaching the daily step count goal). A few participants, however, have shown resistance against these neoliberal values, and in particular, against the precise monitoring and management of the body with the help of self-tracking devices. Ultimately, however, it seems that most participants have internalised the dominant discourses around self-responsibility, and by association, a sense of duty to discipline their body in normative ways. Even those who have indicated their resistance against body work and body management practices that follow neoliberal thinking and measurement systems, are aware and have internalised the concept of the rational operating mind that needs or should decide how to look after the body in terms of health but also appearance ideals. The discussion around the collected data thereby shows that embodiment and the mind/body dualism constitute two connected, rather than two separate or opposing concepts.

Keywords: dualism, embodiment, mind, neoliberalism

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13 Economics of Oil and Its Stability in the Gulf Region

Authors: Al Mutawa A. Amir, Liaqat Ali, Faisal Ali


After the World War II, the world economy was disrupted and changed due to oil and its prices. The research in this paper presents the basic statistical features and economic characteristics of the Gulf economy. The main features of the Gulf economies and its heavy dependence on oil exports, its dualism between modern and traditional sectors and its rapidly increasing affluences are particularly emphasized.  In this context, the research in this paper discussed the problems of growth versus development and has attempted to draw the implications for the future economic development of this area.

Keywords: oil prices, GCC, economic growth, gulf oil

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12 A Comparative Study of Advaita Vedanta’s Doctrine of Illusion (Māyāvāda) as the Basis for the Claim That ‘I Am Brahman’

Authors: Boran Akin Demir


Notions such as ‘I’, ‘self’, and ‘mind’ are typically used synonymously in Western dualist philosophy, in a way that distances itself from the material world. This has rendered it increasingly difficult for the dualist Western philosopher to truly understand the Vedantic claim that all is one, and ultimately that ‘I am Brahman’. In Advaita Vedanta, we are introduced to one of the most exhilarating theories of non-dualism through its Doctrine of Illusion. This paper approaches the issue through a comparative study between seemingly unrelated thinkers – namely, Jalaluddin Rumi, Lao Tzu, and Plato. The broadness of this research in such alternative schools of thought aims to show the underlying unity that successfully presents itself through time and space, thus upholding the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta from all corners of the world.

Keywords: Advaita Vedanta, Brahman, Lao Tzu, Plato, Rumi

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11 The Double Standard: Ethical Issues and Gender Discrimination in Traditional Western Ethics

Authors: Merina Islam


The feminists have identified the traditional western ethical theories as basically male centered. Feminists are committed to develop a critique showing how the traditional western ethics together with traditional philosophy, irrespective of the claim for gender neutrality, all throughout remained gender-biased. This exclusion of women’s experiences from the moral discourse is justified on the ground that women cannot be moral agents, since they are not rational. By way of entailment, we are thus led to the position that virtues of traditional ethics, so viewed, can nothing but rational and hence male. The ears of traditional Western ethicists have been attuned to male rather than female ethical voices. Right from the Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel and even philosophers like Freud, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and many others the dualism between reason-passion or mind and body started gaining prominence. These, according to them, have either intentionally excluded women or else have used certain male moral experience as the standard for all moral experiences, thereby resulting once again in exclusion of women’s experiences. Men are identified with rationality and hence contrasted with women whose sphere is believed to be that of emotion and feeling. This act of exclusion of women’s experience from moral discourse has given birth to a tradition that emphasizes reason over emotion, universal over the particular, and justice over caring. That patriarchy’s use of gender distinctions in the realm of Ethics has resulted in gender discriminations is an undeniable fact. Hence women’s moral agency is said to have often been denied, not simply by the act of exclusion of women from moral debate or sheer ignorance of their contributions, but through philosophical claims to the effect that women lack moral reason. Traditional or mainstream ethics cannot justify its claim for universality, objectivity and gender neutrality the standards from which were drawn the legitimacy of the various moral maxims or principles of it. Right from the Platonic and Aristotelian period the dualism between reason-passion or mind and body started gaining prominence. Men are identified with rationality and hence contrasted with women whose sphere is believed to be that of emotion and feeling. Through the Association of the masculine values with reason (the feminine with irrational), was created the standard prototype of moral virtues The feminists’ critique of the traditional mainstream Ethics is based on this charge that because of its inherent gender bias, in the name of gender distinctions, Ethics has so far been justifying discriminations. In this paper, attempt would make upon the gender biased-ness of traditional ethics. But Feminists are committed to develop a critique showing how the traditional ethics together with traditional philosophy, irrespective of the claim for gender neutrality, all throughout remained gender-biased. We would try to show to what extent traditional ethics is male centered and consequentially fails to justify its claims for universality and gender neutrality.

Keywords: ethics, gender, male-centered, traditional

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10 The Chinese Inland-Coastal Inequality: The Role of Human Capital and the Crisis Watershed

Authors: Iacopo Odoardi, Emanuele Felice, Dario D'Ingiullo


We investigate the role of human capital in the Chinese inland-coastal inequality and how the consequences of the 2007-2008 crisis may induce China to refocus its development path on human capital. We compare panel data analyses for two periods for the richer/coastal and the relatively poor/inland provinces. Considering the rapid evolution of the Chinese economy and the changes forced by the international crisis, we wonder if these events can lead to rethinking local development paths, fostering greater attention on the diffusion of higher education. We expect that the consequences on human capital may, in turn, have consequences on the inland/coastal dualism. The focus on human capital is due to the fact that the growing differences between inland and coastal areas can be explained by the different local endowments. In this respect, human capital may play a major role and should be thoroughly investigated. To assess the extent to which human capital has an effect on economic growth, we consider a fixed-effects model where differences among the provinces are considered parametric shifts in the regression equation. Data refer to the 31 Chinese provinces for the periods 1998-2008 and 2009-2017. Our dependent variable is the annual variation of the provincial gross domestic product (GDP) at the prices of the previous year. Among our regressors, we include two proxies of advanced human capital and other known factors affecting economic development. We are aware of the problem of conceptual endogeneity of variables related to human capital with respect to GDP; we adopt an instrumental variable approach (two-stage least squares) to avoid inconsistent estimates. Our results suggest that the economic strengths that influenced the Chinese take-off and the dualism are confirmed in the first period. These results gain relevance in comparison with the second period. An evolution in local economic endowments is taking place: first, although human capital can have a positive effect on all provinces after the crisis, not all types of advanced education have a direct economic effect; second, the development path of the inland area is changing, with an evolution towards more productive sectors which can favor higher returns to human capital. New strengths (e.g., advanced education, transport infrastructures) could be useful to foster development paths of inland-coastal desirable convergence, especially by favoring the poorer provinces. Our findings suggest that in all provinces, human capital can be useful to promote convergence in growth paths, even if investments in tertiary education seem to have a negative role, most likely due to the inability to exploit the skills of highly educated workers. Furthermore, we observe important changes in the economic characteristics of the less developed internal provinces. These findings suggest an evolution towards more productive economic sectors, a greater ability to exploit both investments in fixed capital and the available infrastructures. All these aspects, if connected with the improvement in the returns to human capital (at least at the secondary level), lead us to assume a better reaction (i.e., resilience) of the less developed provinces to the crisis effects.

Keywords: human capital, inland-coastal inequality, Great Recession, China

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9 Virtual Social Networks and the Formation of the Mental Image of Tehran Metro Vendors of Themselves

Authors: Seyed Alireza Mirmohammadi


Tehran Metro vendors are one of the working minorities in the capital, which is an essential cross-cultural case study. Today, with difficult economic conditions, subway vendors are increasing. Tehran metro vendors are in daily contact with many people in different metro stations. Due to the ban on their activities in this place and sometimes the humiliating look of some people, they experience special conditions compared to other people in the community. One of the most critical sources of shaping people's mentality toward their social status and identity in the media and, in the meantime, virtual social networks, due to various communication facilities such as Dualism and the possibility of high activity of users have a special place. Statistics have shown that virtual social networks have become an indispensable source of communication, information, and entertainment today. In this study, 15 semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 metro vendors in Tehran about their membership in various virtual social networks and their mental perception of using them. The research results indicate that the obtained mentality of metro peddlers towards themselves is negative in virtual social networks, and they do not receive a good image of themselves in these networks.

Keywords: metro, tehran, intercultural communication, metro vendors, self image

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8 Smart Forms and Intelligent Transportation Network Patterns, an Integrated Spatial Approach to Smart Cities and Intelligent Transport Systems in India Cities

Authors: Geetanjli Rani


The physical forms and network pattern of the city is expected to be enhanced with the advancement of technology. Reason being, the era of virtualisation and digital urban realm convergence with physical development. By means of comparative Spatial graphics and visuals of cities, the present paper attempts to revisit the very base of efficient physical forms and patterns to sync the emergence of virtual activities. Thus, the present approach to integrate spatial Smartness of Cities and Intelligent Transportation Systems is a brief assessment of smart forms and intelligent transportation network pattern to the dualism of physical and virtual urban activities. Finally, the research brings out that the grid iron pattern, radial, ring-radial, orbital etc. stands to be more efficient, effective and economical transit friendly for users, resource optimisation as well as compact urban and regional systems. Moreover, this paper concludes that the idea of flow and contiguity hidden in such smart forms and intelligent transportation network pattern suits to layering, deployment, installation and development of Intelligent Transportation Systems of Smart Cities such as infrastructure, facilities and services.

Keywords: smart form, smart infrastructure, intelligent transportation network pattern, physical and virtual integration

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7 Social Media Resignation the Only Way to Protect User Data and Restore Cognitive Balance, a Literature Review

Authors: Rajarshi Motilal


The birth of the Internet and the rise of social media marked an important chapter in the history of humankind. Often termed the fourth scientific revolution, the Internet has changed human lives and cognisance. The birth of Web 2.0, followed by the launch of social media and social networking sites, added another milestone to these technological advancements where connectivity and influx of information became dominant. With billions of individuals using the internet and social media sites in the 21st century, “users” became “consumers”, and orthodox marketing reshaped itself to digital marketing. Furthermore, organisations started using sophisticated algorithms to predict consumer purchase behaviour and manipulate it to sustain themselves in such a competitive environment. The rampant storage and analysis of individual data became the new normal, raising many questions about data privacy. The excessive usage of the Internet among individuals brought in other problems of them becoming addicted to it, scavenging for societal approval and instant gratification, subsequently leading to a collective dualism, isolation, and finally, depression. This study aims to determine the relationship between social media usage in the modern age and the rise of psychological and cognitive imbalances in human minds. The literature review is positioned timely as an addition to the existing work at a time when the world is constantly debating on whether social media resignation is the only way to protect user data and restore the decaying cognitive balance.

Keywords: social media, digital marketing, consumer behaviour, internet addiction, data privacy

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6 The Importance of Jewish Influence on Foundation of Manichaean Philosophical and Religious System

Authors: Tatyana Suvorkina


It is indisputable that the problem of the origin of Manichaeism is very complex. Manichaeism is characterized as a syncretic religion, which was influenced by many teachings, but it is difficult to define one which can be called fundamental. The aim of this paper is an attempt to regard Jewish apocalyptic tradition as one of the most defining source of formation of Manichaean systems. To realize this aim a comparison of the Manichean texts and the Jewish apocryphal literature is made. Consideration is given first to the Coptic Manichaean treatise Kephalaia, The Cologne Mani Codex and to books of Enoch. Under the article it is not denied that Manichaeism was influenced by different doctrines and, passed through centuries, it could adapt and strengthen this influence at an even deeper level. But the fact that the Judeo-Christian environment where Mani grew up and where the first sprouts of his teaching were formed had impact on future prophet seems obvious. Nevertheless, attempts to analyze the system of Mani within the Jewish tradition are quite rare, although such studies were carried out for Gnosticism. But Manichaeism, despite the Gnostic features it contains, is not 'one of the Gnostics' to place it under this term among the rest. Frequently, gnostic currents are pointed out as the main sources for the formation of Mani’s teachings. But it seems possible that Mani's interest in Gnosticism was motivated by the fact that he considered it as something close to that interpretation of Hebrew texts, which he aspired to undertake. The question of understanding the Manichaean system is connected not only with Manichaeism but also with other dualistic teachings, which were recognized by contemporaries as Manichaean. It is seen that polemics between Manicheans and Hellenized Christianity separated from Judaism and continued to separate with every century, were polemics between adherents of initially two different worldviews who had, however, a common source. Therefore an analysis of the controversy in the context of interpretations of this common source by disputing parties is seen very important for further study.

Keywords: dualism, Jewish apocalypticism, Manichaeism, syncretism

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5 Re-Examining the Distinction between Odour Nuisance and Health Impact: A Community’s Campaign against Landfill Gas Exposure in Shongweni, South Africa

Authors: Colin David La Grange, Lisa Frost Ramsay


Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) is a minor component of landfill gas, but significant in its distinct odorous quality and its association with landfill-related community complaints. The World Health Organisation (WHO) provides two guidelines for H2S: a health guideline at 150 µg/m3 on a 24-hour average, and a nuisance guideline at 7 µg/m3 on a 30-minute average. Albeit a practical distinction for impact assessment, this paper highlights the danger of the apparent dualism between nuisance and health impact, particularly when it is used to dismiss community concerns of perceived health impacts at low concentrations of H2S, as in the case of a community battle against the impacts of a landfill in Shongweni, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Here community members reported, using a community developed mobile phone application, a range of health symptoms that coincided with, or occurred subsequent to, odour events and localised H2S peaks. Local doctors also documented increased visits for symptoms of respiratory distress, eye and skin irritation, and stress after such odour events. Objectively measured H2S and other pollutant concentrations during these events, however, remained below WHO health guidelines. This case study highlights the importance of the physiological link between the experience of environmental nuisance and overall health and wellbeing, showing these to be less distinct than the WHO guidelines would suggest. The potential mechanisms of impact of an odorous plume, with key constituents at concentrations below traditional health thresholds, on psychologically and/or physiologically sensitised individuals are described. In the case of psychological sensitisation, previously documented mechanisms such as aversive conditioning and odour-triggered panic are relevant. Physiological sensitisation to environmental pollutants, evident as a seemingly disproportionate physical (allergy-type) response to either low concentrations or a short duration exposure of a toxin or toxins, remains extensively examined but still not well understood. The links between a heightened sensitivity to toxic compounds, accumulation of some compounds in the body, and a pre-existing or associated immunological stress disorder are presented as a possible explanation.

Keywords: immunological stress disorder, landfill odour, odour nuisance, odour sensitisation, toxin accumulation

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4 Informal Economy: Case Study of Street Vendors in Bangkok

Authors: Kangrij Roeksiripat


Street vending is one of the informal economy activities which considered significance to Thai people in the economic and the day-to-day social life. It had been believed that the street vendor is a group of the poor and uneducated people. With the increasing numbers of the street vendor occupying space on public sidewalks especially in central business districts, it becomes unclear whether street vending continues as a solution to unemployment for access labors. This research attempts to study and analyze types of street vendors in Bangkok under the informal economy framework. The debate on the heterogeneous informal economy has categorized into four schools; the dualism, the structuralism, the legalism and the voluntarism. The examination also embodies with market concept with Porter’s Five Forces of Competitive Position Model analysis and the interviews with the street vendors in three case study areas: Inner zone (Pathumwan district - the sidewalk on the opposite side of Siam Paragon mall), Middle zone (Ramkhamhaeng district - the sidewalk on the opposite side of Ramkhamhaeng University) and Outer zone (Minburi district- the sidewalk of Sriburanukit Road). The result indicates that most of street vendors in Siam square are voluntarily choose to make a living in vending on a sidewalk and tend to take it as a long-term occupation even though they can be in formal wage employment. Moreover, average income and positive attitude towards self-employed are the important factors that drive them to operate street vending businesses. Meanwhile, street vending is often a family enterprise in Ramkhamhaeng area and most vendors do not wish to transform their businesses into the formal sectors. Whereas the survey conducted in Sriburankit Road reveals that almost all of street vendors migrated from other provinces and were previously paid as the unskilled workers in formal sectors. They moved to informal trades because of the uncertainty of employment in the mainstream sectors and the inconsistent income with knowledge support of friends and relatives from the same hometown. In particular, the result reveals a common pattern that street vending is the very first occupation of some group of vendors and they will continue to engage in this activity. Thus, it is important for the government to design optimal policy which not only integrating informal workers into the formal economy but also monitoring the enforcement of regulations on the modern informal economy.

Keywords: informal economy, sidewalks, street vendors, occupation

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3 Close-Reading Works of Art and the Ideal of Naïveté: Elements of an Anti-Cartesian Approach to Humanistic Liberal Education

Authors: Peter Hajnal


The need to combine serious training in disciplinary/scholarly approaches to problems of general significance with an educational experience that engages students with these very same problems on a personal level is one of the key challenges facing modern liberal education in the West. The typical approach to synthesizing these two goals, one highly abstract, the other elusively practical, proceeds by invoking ideals traditionally associated with Enlightenment and 19th century “humanism”. These ideas are in turn rooted in an approach to reality codified by Cartesianism and the rise of modern science. Articulating this connection of the modern humanist tradition with Cartesianism allows for demonstrating how the central problem of modern liberal education is rooted in the strict separation of knowledge and personal experience inherent in the dualism of Descartes. The question about the shape of contemporary liberal education is, therefore, the same as asking whether an anti-Cartesian version of liberal education is possible at all. Although the formulation of a general answer to this question is a tall order (whether in abstract or practical terms), and might take different forms (nota bene in Eastern and Western contexts), a key inspiration may be provided by a certain shift of attitude towards the Cartesian conception of the relationship of knowledge and experience required by discussion based close-reading of works of visual art. Taking the work of Stanley Cavell as its central inspiration, my paper argues that this shift of attitude in question is best described as a form of “second naïveté”, and that it provides a useful model of conceptualizing in more concrete terms the appeal for such a “second naïveté” expressed in recent writings on the role of various disciplines in organizing learning by philosophers of such diverse backgrounds and interests as Hilary Putnam and Bruno Latour. The adoption of naïveté so identified as an educational ideal may be seen as a key instrument in thinking of the educational context as itself a medium of synthesis of the contemplative and the practical. Moreover, it is helpful in overcoming the bad dilemma of ideological vs. conservative approaches to liberal education, as well as in correcting a certain commonly held false view of the historical roots of liberal education in the Renaissance, which turns out to offer much more of a sui generis approach to practice rather than represent a mere precursor to the Cartesian conception.

Keywords: liberal arts, philosophy, education, Descartes, naivete

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2 The Hijras of Odisha: A Study of the Self-Identity of the Eunuchs and Their Identification with Stereotypical Feminine Roles

Authors: Purnima Anjali Mohanty, Mousumi Padhi


Background of the study: In the background of the passage of the Transgender Bill 2016, which is the first such step of formal recognition of the rights of transgender, the Hijras have been recognized under the wider definition of Transgender. Fascinatingly, in the Hindu social context, Hijras have a long social standing during marriages and childbirths. Other than this ironically, they live an ostracized life. The Bill rather than recognizing their unique characteristics and needs, reinforces the societal dualism through a parallelism of their legal rights with rights available to women. Purpose of the paper: The research objective was to probe why and to what extent did they identify themselves with the feminine gender roles. Originality of the paper: In the Indian context, the subject of eunuch has received relatively little attention. Among the studies that exist, there has been a preponderance of studies from the perspective of social exclusion, rights, and physical health. There has been an absence of research studying the self-identity of Hijras from the gender perspective. Methodology: The paper adopts the grounded theory method to investigate and discuss the underlying gender identity of transgenders. Participants in the study were 30 hijras from various parts of Odisha. 4 Focus group discussions were held for collecting data. The participants were approached in their natural habitat. Following the methodological recommendations of the grounded theory, care was taken to select respondents with varying experiences. The recorded discourses were transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were analysed sentence by sentence, and coded. Common themes were identified, and responses were categorized under the themes. Data collected in the latter group discussions were added till saturation of themes. Finally, the themes were put together to prove that despite the demand for recognition as third gender, the eunuchs of Odisha identify themselves with the feminine roles. Findings: The Hijra have their own social structure and norms which are unique and are in contrast with the mainstream culture. These eunuchs live and reside in KOTHIS (house), where the family is led by a matriarch addressed as Maa (mother) with her daughters (the daughters are eunuchs/effeminate men castrated and not castrated). They all dress up as woman, do womanly duties, expect to be considered and recognized as woman and wife and have the behavioral traits of a woman. Looking from the stance of Feminism one argues that when the Hijras identify themselves with the gender woman then on what grounds they are given the recognition as third gender. As self-identified woman; their claim for recognition as third gender falls flat. Significance of the study: Academically it extends the study of understanding of gender identity and psychology of the Hijras in the Indian context. Practically its significance is far reaching. The findings can be used to address legal and social issues with regards to the rights available to the Hijras.

Keywords: feminism, gender perspective, Hijras, rights, self-identity

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1 Multilocal Youth and the Berlin Digital Industry: Productive Leisure as a Key Factor in European Migration

Authors: Stefano Pelaggi


The research is focused on youth labor and mobility in Berlin. Mobility has become a common denominator in our daily lives but it does not primarily move according to monetary incentives. Labor, knowledge and leisure overlap on this point as cities are trying to attract people who could participate in production of the innovations while the new migrants are experiencing the lifestyle of the host cities. The research will present the project of empirical study focused on Italian workers in the digital industry in Berlin, trying to underline the connection between pleasure, leisure with the choice of life abroad. Berlin has become the epicenter of the European Internet start-up scene, but people suitable to work for digital industries are not moving in Berlin to make a career, most of them are attracted to the city for different reasons. This point makes a clear exception to traditional migration flows, which are always originated from a specific search of employment opportunities or strong ties, usually families, in a place that could guarantee success in finding a job. Even the skilled migration has always been originated from a specific need, finding the right path for a successful professional life. In a society where the lack of free time in our calendar seems to be something to be ashamed, the actors of youth mobility incorporate some categories of experiential tourism within their own life path. Professional aspirations, lifestyle choices of the protagonists of youth mobility are geared towards meeting the desires and aspirations that define leisure. While most of creative work places, in particular digital industries, uses the category of fun as a primary element of corporate policy, virtually extending the time to work for the whole day; more and more people around the world are deciding their path in life, career choices on the basis of indicators linked to the realization of the self, which may include factors like a warm climate, cultural environment. All indicators that are usually eradicated from the hegemonic approach to labor. The interpretative framework commonly used seems to be mostly focused on a dualism between Florida's theories and those who highlight the absence of conflict in his studies. While the flexibility of the new creative industries is minimizing leisure, incorporating elements of leisure itself in work activities, more people choose their own path of life by placing great importance to basic needs, through a gaze on pleasure that is only partially driven by consumption. The multi localism is the co-existence of different identities and cultures that do not conflict because they reject the bind on territory. Local loses its strength of opposition to global, with an attenuation of the whole concept of citizenship, territory and even integration. A similar perspective could be useful to search a new approach to all the studies dedicated to the gentrification process, while studying the new migrations flow.

Keywords: brain drain, digital industry, leisure and gentrification, multi localism

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