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Against Moral Responsibility

Bruce N. Waller

A vigorous attack on moral responsibility in all its forms argues that the abolition of moral responsibility will be liberating and beneficial.

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Aging in Minnesota

Arnold Rose

Aging in Minnesota was first published in 1963.With a higher than average proportion of elderly citizens, Minnesota is in the forefront of social action on their behalf. This book presents a comprehensive survey of the elderly in that state and a detailed description of efforts to meet their problems.The book begins with a brief history of the state’s attention to the problems of old people. It then describes the range of activities which were stimulated in 1959-1961 by preparations for the White House Conference on Aging and, in later chapters, reports some of these activities in greater detail. The major innovating action program was a community organization effort to help the citizens of five rural counties undertake activities to improve the conditions of the aging in their area. This social experiment is reported in full. A wealth of data about the characteristics of old people, valuable for any future planning in this field, is presented in statistical fashion. The data were obtained through a complication of state government office records and through sample interviews with old persons. The statistical studies are illuminated by the final, interpretive chapters. In on, an 80-year-old writer, Aldena Carlson Thomason, tells what it is like to grow old. In the other, Arnold M. Rose and Bernard E. Nash define the problems facing older people, predict what the future will bring, and suggest what further social action is needed.

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Alcoholism in America

From Reconstruction to Prohibition

Sarah W. Tracy

Despite the lack of medical consensus regarding alcoholism as a disease, many people readily accept the concept of addiction as a clinical as well as a social disorder. An alcoholic is a victim of social circumstance and genetic destiny. Although one might imagine that this dual approach is a reflection of today's enlightened and sympathetic society, historian Sarah Tracy discovers that efforts to medicalize alcoholism are anything but new. Alcoholism in America tells the story of physicians, politicians, court officials, and families struggling to address the danger of excessive alcohol consumption at the turn of the century. Beginning with the formation of the American Association for the Cure of Inebriates in 1870 and concluding with the enactment of Prohibition in 1920, this study examines the effect of the disease concept on individual drinkers and their families and friends, as well as the ongoing battle between policymakers and the professional medical community for jurisdiction over alcohol problems. Tracy captures the complexity of the political, professional, and social negotiations that have characterized the alcoholism field both yesterday and today. Tracy weaves American medical history, social history, and the sociology of knowledge into a narrative that probes the connections among reform movements, social welfare policy, the specialization of medicine, and the social construction of disease. Her insights will engage all those interested in America's historic and current battles with addiction.

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An Alternative History of Hyperactivity

Food Additives and the Feingold Diet

Matthew Smith

In 1973, San Francisco allergist Ben Feingold created an uproar by claiming that synthetic food additives triggered hyperactivity, then the most commonly diagnosed childhood disorder in the United States. He contended that the epidemic should not be treated with drugs such as Ritalin but, instead, with a food additive-free diet. Parents and the media considered his treatment, the Feingold diet, a compelling alternative. Physicians, however, were skeptical and designed dozens of trials to challenge the idea. The resulting medical opinion was that the diet did not work and it was rejected. Matthew Smith asserts that those scientific conclusions were, in fact, flawed. An Alternative History of Hyperactivity explores the origins of the Feingold diet, revealing why it became so popular, and the ways in which physicians, parents, and the public made decisions about whether it was a valid treatment for hyperactivity. Arguing that the fate of Feingold's therapy depended more on cultural, economic, and political factors than on the scientific protocols designed to test it, Smith suggests the lessons learned can help resolve medical controversies more effectively.

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The Altruism Equation

Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness

Lee Alan Dugatkin

In a world supposedly governed by ruthless survival of the fittest, why do we see acts of goodness in both animals and humans? This problem plagued Charles Darwin in the 1850s as he developed his theory of evolution through natural selection. Indeed, Darwin worried that the goodness he observed in nature could be the Achilles heel of his theory. Ever since then, scientists and other thinkers have engaged in a fierce debate about the origins of goodness that has dragged politics, philosophy, and religion into what remains a major question for evolutionary biology.

The Altruism Equation traces the history of this debate from Darwin to the present through an extraordinary cast of characters-from the Russian prince Petr Kropotkin, who wanted to base society on altruism, to the brilliant biologist George Price, who fell into poverty and succumbed to suicide as he obsessed over the problem. In a final surprising turn, William Hamilton, the scientist who came up with the equation that reduced altruism to the cold language of natural selection, desperately hoped that his theory did not apply to humans.

Hamilton's Rule, which states that relatives are worth helping in direct proportion to their blood relatedness, is as fundamental to evolutionary biology as Newton's laws of motion are to physics. But even today, decades after its formulation, Hamilton's Rule is still hotly debated among those who cannot accept that goodness can be explained by a simple mathematical formula. For the first time, Lee Alan Dugatkin brings to life the people, the issues, and the passions that have surrounded the altruism debate. Readers will be swept along by this fast-paced tale of history, biography, and scientific discovery.

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Altruism, Morality, and Economic Theory

Presents a collection of papers by economists theorizing on the roles of altruism and morality versus self-interest in the shaping of human behavior and institutions. Specifically, the authors examine why some persons behave in an altruistic way without any apparent reward, thus defying the economist's model of utility maximization. The chapters are accompanied by commentaries from representatives of other disciplines, including law and philosophy.

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American Afterlife

Encounters in the Customs of Mourning

Kate Sweeney

Someone dies. What happens next?One family inters their matriarch’s ashes on the floor of the ocean. Another holds a memorial weenie roast each year at a greenburial cemetery. An 1898 ad for embalming fluid promises, “You can make mummies with it!” while a leading contemporary burial vault is touted as impervious to the elements. A grieving mother, 150 years ago, might spend her days tending a garden at her daughter’s grave. Today, she might tend the roadside memorial she erected at the spot her daughter was killed. One mother wears a locket containing her daughter’s hair; the other, a necklace containing her ashes.What happens after someone dies depends on our personal stories and on where those stories fall in a larger tale—that of death in America. It’s a powerful tale that we usually keep hidden from our everyday lives until we have to face it.American Afterlife by Kate Sweeney reveals this world through a collective portrait of Americans past and present who find themselves personally involved with death: a klatch of obit writers in the desert, a funeral voyage on the Atlantic, a fourth-generation funeral director—even a midwestern museum that takes us back in time to meet our deathobsessed Victorian progenitors. Each story illuminates details in another until something larger is revealed: a landscape that feels at once strange and familiar, one that’s by turns odd, tragic, poignant, and sometimes even funny.

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American Beliefs About Intelligence

Based on two national surveys--one of adults and one of secondary school students, this volume reports on their experiences with and their attitudes toward standardized tests of intelligence. The authors analyze the relations between a person's beliefs about the nature of intelligence, his estimate of his own intelligence, his attitudes concerning tests, and other personal characteristics.

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American Imago

Vol. 52 (1995) through current issue

American Imago was founded by Sigmund Freud and Hanns Sachs in the U.S. in 1939 as the successor to Imago, founded by Freud, Sachs, and Otto Rank in Vienna in 1912. Having celebrated its centenary anniversary in 2012, the journal retains its luster as the leading scholarly journal of psychoanalysis. Each issue features cutting-edge articles that explore the enduring relevance of Freud's legacy across the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

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American Lobotomy

A Rhetorical History

Jenell Johnson

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