Check-out the latest in our faculty publications! Click on the book image to learn more about each publication.
The South Will Rise Again: Contagion, War, and Reconstruction in the Walking Dead , Seasons One through Five
Do you find yourself contemplating the imminent end of the world? Do you wonder how society might reorganize itself to cope with global cataclysm? (Have you
Chapter in The Last Midnight: Essays on Apocalyptic Narratives in Millennial Media, edited by Leisa A. Clark, Amanda Firestone and Mary F. Pharr.
Do you find yourself contemplating the imminent end of the world? Do you wonder how society might reorganize itself to cope with global cataclysm? (Have you begun hoarding canned goods and ammunition…?)
Visions of an apocalypse began to dominate mass media well before the year 2000. Yet narratives since then present decidedly different spins on cultural anxieties about terrorism, disease, environmental collapse, worldwide conflict and millennial technologies.
Many of these concerns have been made metaphorical: zombie hordes embody fear of out-of-control appetites and encroaching disorder. Other fears, like the prospect of human technology’s turning on its creators, seem more reality based.
This collection of new essays explores apocalyptic themes in a variety of post-millennial media, including film, television, video games, webisodes and smartphone apps.
In this paper, I argue that there is neither valid deductive support nor strong inductive support for Kuhn’s incommensurability thesis. There is no valid deductive support for Kuhn’s incommensurability thesis because, from the fact that the reference of the same kind terms changes or discontinues from one theoretical framework to another, it does not necessarily follow that these two theoretical frameworks are taxonomically incommensurable. There is no strong inductive support for Kuhn’s incommensurability thesis, since there are rebutting defeaters against it in the form of episodes from the history of science that do not exhibit discontinuity and replacement, as Kuhn’s incommensurability thesis predicts, but rather continuity and supplementation. If this is correct, then there are no compelling epistemic reasons to believe that Kuhn’s incommensurability thesis is true or probable.
Experimental philosophers have challenged friends of the expertise defense to show that (a) the intuitive judgments of professional philosophers are different from the intuitive judgments of nonphilosophers, and (b) the intuitive judgments of professional philosophers are better than the intuitive judgments of nonphilosophers, in ways that are relevant to the truth or falsity of such judgments. Friends of the expertise defense have responded by arguing that the burden of proof lies with experimental philosophers. This article sketches three arguments which show that both (a) and (b) are probably false. If its arguments are cogent, then shifting the burden of proof is a futile move, since philosophical training makes no difference so far as making intuitive judgments in response to hypothetical cases is concerned.Experimental philosophers have challenged friends of the expertise defense to show that (a) the intuitive judgments of professional philosophers are different from the intuitive judgments of nonphilosophers, and (b) the intuitive judgments of professional philosophers are better than the intuitive judgments of nonphilosophers, in ways that are relevant to the truth or falsity of such judgments. Friends of the expertise defense have responded by arguing that the burden of proof lies with experimental philosophers. This article sketches three arguments which show that both (a) and (b) are probably false. If its arguments are cogent, then shifting the burden of proof is a futile move, since philosophical training makes no difference so far as making intuitive judgments in response to hypothetical cases is concerned.
In this paper, we argue that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’, which is the view that ideal primary positive conceivability entails primary metaphysical possibility, is self-defeating. To this end, we outline two reductio arguments against ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’. The first reductio shows that, from supposing that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is true, it follows that conceivability both is and is not conclusive evidence for possibility. The second reductio shows that, from supposing that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is true, it follows that it is possible that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is necessarily false, and hence that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is false. We then argue that adopting a weaker position according to which conceivability is merely prima facie evidence for possibility provides limited protection from our criticism of conceivability arguments.In this paper, we argue that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’, which is the view that ideal primary positive conceivability entails primary metaphysical possibility, is self-defeating. To this end, we outline two reductio arguments against ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’. The first reductio shows that, from supposing that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is true, it follows that conceivability both is and is not conclusive evidence for possibility. The second reductio shows that, from supposing that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is true, it follows that it is possible that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is necessarily false, and hence that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is false. We then argue that adopting a weaker position according to which conceivability is merely prima facie evidence for possibility provides limited protection from our criticism of conceivability arguments.
Florida's role in the Civil War has long been overlooked or discounted by students of the conflict. Despite its isolation and the lack of important land battles, the state made a contribution to the Confederate war effort far out of proportion to its small population. After seceding from the Union in 1861, Florida joined the Confederacy with a reputation, born in the 1850s, as an area of great agricultural potential for the newly created country. Rebel leaders quickly came to regard Florida as an abundant source of foodstuffs.
The state became a major supplier of salt, beef, pork, and corn both for the rebel forces and for many civilians. Cattle in particular were driven northward in large numbers, providing rations for Confederate troops from Chattanooga to Charleston. Unfortunately, however, senior officials in the field and in Richmond often held unrealistic expectations about the volume of supplies Floridians could actually deliver. These same authorities for the most part also failed adequately to defend this crucial food source, a factor that may have accelerated the Confederacy's ultimate disintegration.
Information Overload: An International Challenge for Professional Engineers and Technical Communication
A unique approach to information overload, combining theory and practical solutions.
Written and edited by an international group of experts from academia and industry, Information Overload clearly links academic theory to real-world practice, providing a truly global and interdisciplinary treatment of this important topic.
Emphasizing the role of engineers and technical communicators, the book discusses the root causes and costs of information overload within organizations and introduces strategies and proven techniques for reducing information overload and minimizing its negative impact. It offers a theoretical framework and ideas for future research, and features special chapter 'insight boxes' that recount different approaches to problems from various multinational corporations.
Information Overload also serves as a first-rate survival manual for researchers in academia, practicing engineers, technical communicators, and managers and professionals at all levels of profit and nonprofit organizations.
The purpose of this book is to provide a comprehensive theoretical framework as well as practical strategies―not just for survival but for a true search for excellence in the uncertain and ever-changing world of customer service management. The theoretical framework is based on the notion that customer service contains three key variables: a promise, a process, and people. After going through the step-by-step process of service management, the reader will have the necessary understanding and skill to choose the right strategy for the right circumstances, to design service processes, to identify the means and methods to implement these processes, and to measure the outcome.
Book Chapters include:
More than 50 years after the publication of Thomas Kuhn’s seminal book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, this volume assesses the adequacy of the Kuhnian model in explaining certain aspects of science, particularly the social and epistemic aspects of science. One argument put forward is that there are no good reasons to accept Kuhn’s incommensurability thesis, according to which scientific revolutions involve the replacement of theories with conceptually incompatible ones. Perhaps, therefore, it is time for another “decisive transformation in the image of science by which we are now possessed.” Only this time, the image of science that needs to be transformed is the Kuhnian one. Does the Kuhnian image of science provide an adequate model of scientific practice? If we abandon the Kuhnian picture of revolutionary change and incommensurability, what consequences would follow from that vis-à-vis our understanding of scientific knowledge as a social endeavor?
The essays in this collection continue this debate, offering a critical examination of the arguments for and against the Kuhnian image of science as well as their implications for our understanding of science as a social and epistemic enterprise.
In his description of the men of Natal's volunteer corps who fought against the Hlubi at Bushman's Pass in 1873, Jeff Guy contended that Natal's volunteers attempted ‘to demonstrate their abilities as men of the frontier and […] to defend the more vulnerable’. This paper will attempt to clarify Guy's argument that volunteering was ‘a feature of settler society’. Acting as a continuation of the military traditions and systems that were gaining popularity in Britain, volunteering became a means through which the white citizens of Natal were able to take part in the protection of the colony while remaining viable members of the colonial civilian community. Because of their consistent and sizable place within the white colonial community and the growing concerns for colonial violence in Natal, the volunteers became the idealised form of white everyman's contributions to the protection of the colonial state. The defence and security of the colonial state, in the eyes of many within Natal, rested on the ‘gallant’ men of the volunteer corps. However, the practicality of this assumption, though largely unfounded, still resulted in the volunteer corps holding an important place within the colonial settler consciousness.
This collection explores artistic representations of vegetal life that imperils human life, voicing anxieties about our relationship to other life forms with which we share the earth. From medieval manuscript illustrations to modern works of science fiction and horror, plants that manifest monstrous agency defy human control, challenge anthropocentric perception, and exact a violent vengeance for our blind and exploitative practices. Plant Horror explores how depictions of monster plants reveal concerns about the viability of our prevailing belief systems and dominant ideologies, as well as a deep-seated fear about human vulnerability in an era of deepening ecological crisis. Films discussed include The Day of the Triffids, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Wicker Man, Swamp Thing, and The Happening.
Book Chapter in "Assembling the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Essays on the Social, Cultural, and Geopolitical Domains," edited by Julian C. Chambliss, William L. Svitavsky, and Daniel Fandino
The Marvel Cinematic Universe--comprised of films, broadcast television and streaming series and digital shorts--has generated considerable fan engagement with its emphasis on socially relevant characters and plots. Beyond considerable box office achievements, the success of Marvel's movie studios has opened up dialogue on social, economic and political concerns that challenge established values and beliefs. This collection of new essays examines those controversial themes and the ways they represent, construct and distort American culture.
This paper proposes that virtue theories of argumentation and theories of visual argumentation can be of mutual assistance. An argument that adoption of a virtue approach provides a basis for rejecting the normative independence of visual argumentation is presented and its premisses analysed. This entails an independently valuable clarification of the contrasting normative presuppositions of the various virtue theories of argumentation. A range of different kinds of visual argument are examined, and it is argued that they may all be successfully evaluated within a virtue framework, without invoking any novel virtues.
When is it better to use an analogy rather than a simile or a metaphor? Can you tell the difference between a synecdoche and a metonymy? What are the secret tricks used every day by professional persuaders? In this learned little volume, Adina Arvatu and Andrew Aberdein demonstrate the principles of Rhetoric via its key figures and devices, using numerous examples to show how almost all human communication deploys the time-tested techniques of this most enchanting ancient art.
Written by experts in the field, this volume presents a comprehensive investigation into the relationship between argumentation theory and the philosophy of mathematical practice. Argumentation theory studies reasoning and argument, and especially those aspects not addressed, or not addressed well, by formal deduction. The philosophy of mathematical practice diverges from mainstream philosophy of mathematics in the emphasis it places on what the majority of working mathematicians actually do, rather than on mathematical foundations.
The book begins by first challenging the assumption that there is no role for informal logic in mathematics. Next, it details the usefulness of argumentation theory in the understanding of mathematical practice, offering an impressively diverse set of examples, covering the history of mathematics, mathematics education and, perhaps surprisingly, formal proof verification. From there, the book demonstrates that mathematics also offers a valuable testbed for argumentation theory. Coverage concludes by defending attention to mathematical argumentation as the basis for new perspectives on the philosophy of mathematics.
American Literature, Lynching, and the Spectator in the Crowd: Spectacular Violence
American Literature, Lynching, and the Spectator in the Crowd: Spectacular Violence examines spectatorship in American literature at the turn of the twentieth century, focusing on texts by Theodore Dreiser, Miriam Michelson, Irvin S. Cobb, and Paul Laurence Dunbar. The spectator functions as a lens through which we view the relationship between violence and social change as depicted in the politically-charged crowds of fictional lynch mob scenes that expose the central tension of American democracy—the struggle for balance between the rights of the individual and the demands of the community. This has played out in American fiction through clashes between crowds and the primarily rural images that have so often been used to describe America. While this pastoral vision of America has dominated the study of American literature, this book argues for a reassessment of fiction that takes into consideration that the way the country defines itself collectively is as significant as the way its people define themselves individually.
This study distinguishes itself from others by bringing together journalism, crowds, lynching, spectatorship, and literature in new and innovative ways that uncover how American literature at the turn of the twentieth century confronted and pushed beyond passive observation and static visual performances, which are traditionally associated with the terms "spectator" and "spectacle." The crowds in fictional lynch mob scenes clash with the idea of positive collective action because the crowd's vigilantism defies legitimate legal and democratic processes. Lynch mobs, in contrast to other crowds like strikes or political rallies, do not reclaim the democratic process from the control of the powerful and wealthy, but rather oppose those practices violently without regard to justice. As a figure who is simultaneously within and outside the crowd, the spectator (often in the form of a reporter character) is in a unique position to express the fractures occurring between the individual and the collective in American society. Racial conflicts are a key aspect of the crowd scenes examined. American writers contended with these issues by using the spectator to observe, question, and challenge readers to consider the impact on the structure of American society.