16 JUL 2013 by ideonexus

 What is a Person?

What is a person? This seems like an easy question, but appearances can be deceiving. Throughout the long sweep of human history, the answer to the question of what a person is has continually changed. Was a woman a person, or was she a piece of property? Or was she even a liability, something that had to be compensated for with a dowry before a man’s family would agree to take her on? Was a man alien to their immediate culture a person? Not if you were of African descent in the United Sta...
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A great passage on the history of personhood and its possible future.

11 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Science is Egalitarian

In the laboratory there are no fustian ranks, no brummagem aristocracies; the domain of Science is a republic, and all its citizens are brothers and equals, its princes of Monaco and its stonemasons of Cromarty meeting, barren of man-made gauds and meretricious decorations, upon the one majestic level!
Folksonomies: egalitarianism equality
Folksonomies: egalitarianism equality
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All its participants are equals.

02 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Herschel's Sister was Cheaper than a Male Assistant

Herschel made no bones about the fact that a female assistant, even his sister, would cost half as much as a male. It is possible to be indignant about this, but contemporary standards must be taken into account. Female domestic servants were paid £10 per annum, while a highly trained governess like Mary Wollstonecraft was paid £40 per annum by Lord Kingsborough in 1787. In fact a £60 stipend would have been handsome, exactly one-fifth of that paid to the Astronomer Royal. In Europe women ...
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A short survey of other female scientists working at the time.

19 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 The Train of Thought to Equality

Since then society has evolved a sequence of ci central con¬ cepts each of which was at one time thought to make it work of itself, and each of which has had to be corrected to the next. There was the early eighteenth-century concept of selfinterest, in Mandeville and others; then came enlightened self-interest; then the greatest happiness of the greatest num¬ bet; utility; the labor theory of valueie; and thence its expression either in the welfare state or in the clasassless society. Men ...
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...ending in the Declaration of Independence.