Repository logo

Scholarly Works - Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH)


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 69
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    Priestcraft. Anatomising the Anti-Clericalism of Early Modern Europe.
    (Taylor & Francis, 2018-01-02) Lancaster, James AT; McKenzie-McHarg, Andrew
    This paper aims to take the measure of the strand of early modern anti-clericalism that was conveyed by the term “priestcraft.” Priestcraft amounted to the claim that priests had illegitimately usurped civil power and accumulated material wealth by systematically deceiving the laity and its secular rulers. Religion as it was practised and avowed by believers in early modern Europe was left tainted by this charge since manifold aspects of religious practice and belief fell under the pall of the suspicion that they were merely part of the ruse perpetrated through the centuries by greedy and power-hungry priests. While the English language was particularly effective in condensing this claim into the term in question, mistrust of the clergy informed numerous discourses unfolding in the diverse confessional and intellectual contexts of early modern Europe. The present article seeks to draw attention to the thematic richness of priestcraft as an object of historical inquiry by identifying the multiple ways in which this trope made its presence felt in the early modern world.
  • ItemOpen AccessPublished version Peer-reviewed
    The Germ of an Idea: Contagionism, Religion, and Society in Britain, 1660-1730 [Book review]
    (The University of Chicago Press, 2017-12) Fransen, Sietske; Fransen, Sietske [0000-0003-3827-7585]
    This well-documented book on the history of medicine in the context of religion, politics, and society in early modern England represents an important contribution to the current existing literature in the field. The extensive notes and the bibliography (with remarks as to the online availability of primary sources) are in themselves useful resources.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    The Role of Georg Friedrich von Johnssen in the Emergence of the Unknown Superiors, 1763–64
    (Informa UK Limited, 2018-01-02) McKenzie-McHarg, Andrew
    This article seeks to clarify the role played by the alchemist Georg Friedrich Johnssen (c.1726-1775) in the emergence of the notion that Freemasonry and other secret societies in the second half of the eighteenth-century were ruled by figures whose identity was a secret and who came to be described as unknown superiors. Although Johnssen’s interest in alchemy might seem to be a source of this notion of secret authority, a more probing inquiry reveals that the unknown superiors arose as a result of a historical (and not an esoteric) conception of the secret of Freemasonry.
  • ItemOpen AccessPublished version Peer-reviewed
    Classifying global catastrophic risks
    (Elsevier BV, 2018) Avin, S; Wintle, BC; Weitzdörfer, J; Ó hÉigeartaigh, SS; Sutherland, WJ; Rees, MJ; Avin, S [0000-0001-7859-1507]
    We present a novel classification framework for severe global catastrophic risk scenarios. Extending beyond existing work that identifies individual risk scenarios, we propose analysing global catastrophic risks along three dimensions: the critical systems affected, global spread mechanisms, and prevention and mitigation failures. The classification highlights areas of convergence between risk scenarios, which supports prioritisation of particular research and of policy interventions. It also points to potential knowledge gaps regarding catastrophic risks, and provides an interdisciplinary structure for mapping and tracking the multitude of factors that could contribute to global catastrophic risks.
  • ItemOpen AccessPublished version Peer-reviewed
    The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence: Forecasting, Prevention, and Mitigation
    (2018-02-20) Brundage, Miles; Avin, Shahar; Clark, Jack; Toner, Helen; Eckersley, Peter; Garfinkel, Ben; Dafoe, Allan; Scharre, Paul; Zeitzoff, Thomas; Filar, Bobby; Anderson, Hyrum; Roff, Heather; Allen, Gregory C; Steinhardt, Jacob; Flynn, Carrick; hÉigeartaigh, Seán Ó; Beard, Simon; Belfield, Haydn; Farquhar, Sebastian; Lyle, Clare; Crootof, Rebecca; Evans, Owain; Page, Michael; Bryson, Joanna; Yampolskiy, Roman; Amodei, Dario; Avin, Shahar [0000-0001-7859-1507]; Beard, SJ [0000-0002-2834-0993]; Belfield, Haydn [0000-0002-0603-4311]
    This report surveys the landscape of potential security threats from malicious uses of AI, and proposes ways to better forecast, prevent, and mitigate these threats. After analyzing the ways in which AI may influence the threat landscape in the digital, physical, and political domains, we make four high-level recommendations for AI researchers and other stakeholders. We also suggest several promising areas for further research that could expand the portfolio of defenses, or make attacks less effective or harder to execute. Finally, we discuss, but do not conclusively resolve, the long-term equilibrium of attackers and defenders.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    Nietzsche between History, Economics, and Politics
    Halferty Drochon, HPP
    Is Nietzsche best approached through the lenses of intellectual history, the history of political thought, political theory or indeed political economy? This is the challenge James Chappel, Udi Greenberg, Dotan Leshem and Rebecca Mitchell all pose in their wonderfully stimulating reviews of my book. In an age of post-truth, fake news and the rejection of experts, it is a true honour to be read with such care and precision by four brilliant and leading scholars in their field. I am extremely grateful for their overall positive response to the book, and thank them for their many kind words about it. There is, of course, so much to discuss, so many avenues to explore that arise out of these reviews. But there is also, as always, so little time. So I think the best way for me proceed – and the best way to repay the favour – is to engage directly with the comments of my interlocutors.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    Geoengineering Tensions
    (Elsevier, 2018-09) Currie, AM; Currie, Adrian [0000-0003-2638-202X]
    There has been much discussion of the moral, legal and prudential implications of geoengineering, and of governance structures for both the research and deployment of such technologies. However, insufficient attention has been paid to how such measures might affect geoengineering in terms of the incentive structures which underwrite scientific progress. There is a tension between the features that make science productive, and the need to govern geoengineering research, which has thus far gone underappreciated. I emphasize how geoengineering research requires governance which reaches beyond science’s traditional boundaries, and moreover requires knowledge which itself reaches beyond what we traditionally expect scientists to know about. How we govern emerging technologies should be sensitive to the incentive structures which drive science.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    The Art of Law in Shakespeare
    (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2018) Holmes, Rachel E; Holmes, Rachel [0000-0003-0034-6688]
    Shakespeare’s relationship with Law may be well established, but Paul Raffield demonstrates its richness and variety in The Art of Law in Shakespeare. Building on his work in Shakespeare’s Imaginary Constitution: Late Elizabethan Politics and the Theatre of Law (Hart, 2010), Raffield turns his attention in this monograph to the early years of Jacobean rule. In the Introduction, he outlines his central premise, that ‘during the first decade of Jacobean rule, the arts of law and drama developed contiguously, the one aesthetic form learning from and imitating the other’ (p. 9). He consequently sets out his core interests as the exploration of the representation of the legal institution in Shakespeare’s Jacobean plays and the ways in which they thematize ‘the rationale of Jacobean kingship and the (often fractious) relationship between crown and common law’ (p. 11). However, framing the narrative in this way impedes the coherence of the overarching argument and understates the wider scholarly contribution of this book. Underpinning the monograph is continued attention to ‘the correlation between law and nature, and the identification of common law with a higher moral law, inscribed by God in the hearts of men’ (p. 2). Raffield seems, above all, to be interested in the mythologizing of common law’s origins—which is to say the assertion of the primacy of the English secular legal system by way of rhetorically rooting it in classical and Judaeo-Christian histories—as a way of asserting legal authority. Equally important throughout is the question of genealogy and how common law (a system of precedent reliant on history and change) meets, and maintains authority in the face of, cultural challenges such as the professionalization of the legal system, the dangers of treason, legal pluralism and assertions of royal authority, and the expansion of trade and colonialism. This monograph therefore contributes to recent discussions in the field of law and literature and Renaissance Studies more broadly about the transnational in early modern Europe, specifically through its emphasis on the British political and legal desire for dominion.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    Eye for Detail: Images of Plants and Animals in Art and Science, 1500-1630
    (Brill, 2018) Fransen, Sietske; Fransen, Sietske [0000-0003-3827-7585]
    This beautifully produced and densely illustrated book is an important addition to the existing literature on illustrations of nature in the sixteenth and early seventeenth century. Florike Egmond makes a daring choice by enlisting modern terminology in describing the early modern techniques of depicting plants and animals. Self-consciously anachronistic concepts such as “layered images”, “time lapse”, “photoshopping”, “zoom” and “insets” are used throughout the book. The effect is paradoxical: on the one hand they give the reader a feeling of familiarity with the processes she describes, on the other their deployment in this context aims ‘to make things strange’ (pp. 232–234). One of the main points of the book is to show convincingly that the way of depicting plants and animals did not abruptly change with new technologies such as the printing press and the microscope. Using the anachronistic vocabulary is a bold experiment to extend the line of continuity into our own time. Some readers will see value in this Brechtian Verfremdungseffekt; others who are more sceptical of its heuristic value will find it a distraction.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    In pursuit of truth
    (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2018) Holmes, RE; Johnson, T; Holmes, Rachel [0000-0003-0034-6688]
    IN THE PAST FEW YEARS a wave of right-wing populism has swept the western world and we have seen emotions take the political helm. The voting booth triumphs of Donald Trump in the United States and Brexit in the United Kingdom were affective: they stoked racist, sexist and nativist sentiments while campaigning on social, economic and legal issues. In short: they moved the electorate, and thereby gained control. As Hillary Clinton explains, these tactics are designed to ‘keep people off balance and make them think that this will, if not make their lives better, make them feel better’ (emphasis ours).1 We might therefore say that feelings brought Trump to power and propelled the Brexit campaign in Britain. We might equally suggest that they continue to drive these political and legislative agendas. The Trump administration has already demonstrated an unprecedented reliance on the executive order as an exercise of presidential will, issuing an abundance of executive actions – legally enforceable actions – that have predominantly targeted Muslims, immigrants, LGBTQIA+ people, and women, groups who were also the focus of emotionally charged, hateful rhetoric on the campaign trail.2 Meanwhile, in the UK, the Brexiteers continue to insist, as they did throughout the referendum campaign to leave the European Union, upon the need to reclaim ‘sovereignty’. This is an amorphous concept which they characterize, in explicitly legal terms, as the act of taking jurisdiction (and thereby control) back from the courts of the European Union; in practice it has come to stand in popular parlance for a certain brand of nationalistic fellow-feeling.3 Feelings also inform the forces resisting those agendas. Consider, for example, the crowd-sourced legal action to challenge the British government’s attempts to initiate Brexit without parliamentary involvement.4 Or the countless immigration lawyers who waited for hours with fellow protesters in American airports following the issuance of Trump’s ‘travel’ ban, ready to represent those whose arrival in the country might be impeded.5 These cases all dealt with constitutional issues, and even in the word ‘constitutional’, a word we have heard a great deal in recent months, we can see the interplay of emotional and legal connotations. This word encompasses a technical legal meaning in the notion of a country’s founding legal document or principles, but it also bears the idea of a human constitution, a disposition or emotional make-up. Ours is a moment in which we are forcefully reminded of the emotional content of law.6
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    'What'S the matter?' Murderous husbands and 'adulterous' wives in early modern English and Spanish drama
    (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2018) Holmes, RE; Holmes, Rachel [0000-0003-0034-6688]
    © The Author 2017. This essay situates two wife-murder plays, Shakespeare's Othello and Calderón's El médico de su honra, in a transnational cultural context of anxieties about adultery, cuckoldry and female sexuality, all of which are both affective and legal. Neither Shakespeare's Desdemona nor Calderón's Mencía has committed adultery, but in these plays that does not matter. Mere suggestion is enough to convince husbands of their wives' guilt and, fuelled by a dangerous combination of rhetoric and passion, suspicion all too easily becomes proof. Quintilian's idea of vividness, or enargeia, is central to this process, and this essay considers enargeia's role in creating belief in early modern drama, its legal afterlife in a nineteenth-century adultery case, and its role in the modern courtroom.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    Governance explains variation in national responses to the biodiversity crisis
    (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2018) Baynham-Herd, Z; Amano, T; Sutherland, WJ; Donald, PF; Amano, Tatsuya [0000-0001-6576-3410]; Sutherland, William [0000-0002-6498-0437]
    SUMMARYGrowing concern about the biodiversity crisis has led to a proliferation of conservation responses, but with wide variation between countries in the levels of engagement and investment. Much of this variation is inevitably attributed to differences between nations in wealth. However, the relationship between environmentalism and wealth is complex and it is increasingly apparent that other factors are also involved. We review hypotheses that have been developed to explain variation in broad environmentalism and show that many of the factors that explain such variation in individuals, such as wealth, age and experience, also explain differences between nation states. We then assess the extent to which these factors explain variation between nation states in responses to and investment in the more specific area of biodiversity conservation. Unexpectedly, quality of governance explained substantially more variation in public and state investment in biodiversity conservation than did direct measures of wealth. The results inform assessments of where conservation investments might most profitably be directed in the future and suggest that metrics relating to governance might be of considerable use in conservation planning.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    The “Very, Very Words”: (Mis)quoting Scripture in Lancelot Andrewes’s and John Donne’s Sermons on Job 19:23–27
    (Project MUSE, 2014-06) Knight, Alison
    In their sermons on Job 19:23–27, Lancelot Andrewes and John Donne alter, misquote, and misapply the words of their text. Critics tend to attribute such free use of the words of scripture to inexact practices of quotation in the early modern period; however, rather than demonstrate inattention to the specifics of scriptural language, preachers’ attempts to play with scriptural words often represent intense focus on the lexical features of their texts. Andrewes and Donne employ methods of misquotation in order to accommodate the textual difficulties presented by scripture, such as variant sources, conflicting translations, or linguistic lacunae in the originals. Both preachers react to the considerable divergence between available versions of this passage, and their misquotations represent deliberate attempts to provide meaningful form to difficult scriptural words. Misquotation allows preachers a means of navigating between responsibilities to scripture that could often be in conflict: that they accurately present the words of scripture to their audiences, and that they provide a clear account of their meaning.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    Policy Considerations for Random Allocation of Research Funds
    (2017-06-01) Avin, S; Avin, Shahar [0000-0001-7859-1507]
    There are now several proposals for introducing random elements into the process of funding allocation for research, and some initial implementation of this policy by funding bodies. The proposals have been supported on efficiency grounds, with models, including social epistemology models, showing random allocation could increase the generation of significant truths in a community of scientists when compared to funding by peer review. The models in the literature are, however, fairly abstract (by necessity). This paper introduces some of the considerations that are required to build on the modelling work towards a fully-fledged policy proposal, including issues of cost and fairness.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    Heart of DARCness
    (Informa UK Limited, 2019) Liu, Y; Price, H; Liu, Yang [0000-0001-8865-4647]; Price, Huw [0000-0002-9091-760X]
    We propose a valid core for the much-disputed thesis that Deliberation Crowds Out Prediction, and identify terminological causes for some of the apparent disputes.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    Context-Dependent Utilities A Solution to the Problem of Constant Acts in Savage
    (Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2015) Gaifman, Haim; Liu, Yang; van der Hoek, W; Holliday, W; Wang, W; Liu, Yang [0000-0001-8865-4647]
    Savage’s framework of subjective preference among acts provides a paradigmatic derivation of rational subjective probabilities within a more general theory of rational decisions. The system is based on a set of possible states of the world, and on acts, which are functions that assign to each state a consequence. The representation theorem states that the given preference between acts is determined by their expected utilities, based on uniquely determined probabilities (assigned to sets of states), and numeric utilities assigned to consequences. Savage’s derivation, however, is based on a highly problematic well-known assumption not included among his postulates: for any consequence of an act in some state, there is a “constant act” which has that consequence in all states. This ability to transfer consequences from state to state is, in many cases, miraculous – including simple scenarios suggested by Savage as natural cases for applying his theory. We propose a simplification of the system, which yields the representation theorem without the constant act assumption. We need only postulates P1-P6. This is done at the cost of reducing the set of acts included in the setup. The reduction excludes certain theoretical infinitary scenarios, but includes the scenarios that should be handled by a system that models human decisions.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    Putting a Positive Spin on Priestcraft. Notions of Deceit and Accommodation in Late-Enlightenment German Theology
    (Taylor & Francis) McKenzie-McHarg, Andrew
    In the late eighteenth century the principle of accommodation became so closely associated with the historical-critical approach of Johann Salomo Semler (1725-1791), a prominent theologian at the University of Halle, that he has on occasions been deemed its originator. As most scholars have, however, noted, accommodation as a principle of scriptural hermeneutics has a far longer history, extending back to the patristic writings. What by contrast has eluded closer investigation is the affinity that this principle exhibits to notions of deception. Nor has much consideration been given to the manner in which accommodation as an interpretative scheme has on occasions inspired accommodation as a form of strategic action. This article uses the opportunity provided by Semler in his interaction with a number of other figures associated with the late Enlightenment in Protestant Germany to explore these neglected aspects of accommodation.
  • ItemOpen AccessPublished version Peer-reviewed
    A Mother's Joy at Her Child's Death: Conversion, Cognitive Dissonance, and Grief
    (Indiana University Press, 2017) Goldhill, SD
    This article explores how a sophisticated woman, Minnie Benson, could have rejoiced when her beloved son died at school at age 18. Her joyous reaction—remarked on by all her family—is in stark contrast to that of her husband, Bishop Edward White Benson, who was devastated by the death and found it the most dismaying challenge to his deeply-felt faith. Her reaction is investigated in particular through her personal Evangelical conversion and her commitment to believing literally in joy at suffering. This literalism is set in contrast to standard normative Christian responses to a child's death. The article discusses the cognitive dissonance of religious responses to death in the Victorian era, and how converts are socialized into expected horizons of response.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    Photography, finitude, and the human self through time
    (Telos Press, 2017) Jackson, R; Jackson Ravenscroft, Ruth [0000-0002-0924-2802]
    This article puts a traditional theological portrayal of a created, dependent humanity – represented here by Friedrich Schleiermacher’s work – into dialogue with the portrait work of a present-day German photographer, Volker Gerling. I suggest that due to their ability to foreground the motifs of creaturely finitude and human becoming, Gerling’s flip-books (or Daumenkinos – a word rendered literally as ‘thumb cinema’) are an interesting form of media for modern theologians preoccupied with the issue of how humans should understand, portray, and speak about themselves, as well as the nature of their humanity. Schleiermacher’s theological anthropology forms the counterpoint for the discussion, however the article begins with Walter Benjamin’s account of photography as a limited medium for capturing reality, and indeed the nature of the human self. For Benjamin, this limitation stems not least from the static form of photographic representation – that is, its inability to portray people as beings who are formed through the passage of time. By juxtaposing the sequential nature of Gerling’s flip-book portraits with the still, photographic portraits upon which modern individuals tend to rely, I venture that it is the former which provide a more fruitful way of depicting temporal human creatures.
  • ItemOpen AccessPublished version Peer-reviewed
    Opportunities and Constraints for Cooperation between International Organisations
    (Nordisk Miljörättslig Tidskrift, 2010) Rhodes, C; Rhodes, Catherine [0000-0002-7747-2597]
    This paper provides an examination of opportunities for and constraints on cooperation between international organisations, which is an increasingly important form of governance. Two case studies are presented which have relevance to the issues of intellectual property and climate change. These represent an established governance area (genetic resources) and an emerging area (biofuels).