December 11, 2012 Comments Off
I mentioned in my last post the attempts by the UN, UNESCO and WIPO to give certain groups, particularly indigenous groups, control over traditional culture, and of the dangers inherent in such an approach. I am publishing here the transcript of a BBC Radio 4 Analysis programme that I wrote and presented in 2004 which explored the issue of ‘Who owns culture?’. You can listen to an audio of the programme, too.
‘Who owns culture?’, Analysis, BBC Radio 4,
29 July 2004
Taking part in the programme, in order of appearance, were Jack Lohman, Director of the Museum of London; Lola Young, cultural consultant; Michael Brown, Professor of Anthropology, Williams College, Massachusetts, and author of Who Owns Native Culture?; Robert Foley, Professor of Human Evolution, University of Cambridge; Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum; Norman Palmer, Professor of Law, Art and Cultural Property, London University; and Adam Kuper, Professor of Anthropology, Brunel University.
June 24, 2012 § 1 Comment
My Milton K Wong lecture, ‘What’s wrong with multiculturalism?’, that I gave in Vancouver earlier this month, was broadcast on CBC on Friday. I have already posted the transcript of the talk, in two parts, here and here. (The broadcast has been slightly edited to fit the CBC schedule; the transcript is in full.) There is a Milton K Wong website dedicated to discussion and debate around the themes of the talk.
February 26, 2012 § 8 Comments
Another video (or rather audio) that I had not realised was online. I had been invited to Nihal’s show on the BBC’s Asian Network for a two-minute spot to promote the Festival of South Asian Literature, at which I was speaking. I ended up staying an hour debating free speech, multiculturalism and the giving of offence.
September 15, 2011 Comments Off
Does celebrity activism make the world a better place? 20 April 2011
What are the boundaries of privacy? 11 April 2011
Sexualization and Slut Walks 18 May 2011
Should science define morality? 1 June 2011
June 4, 2011 § 1 Comment
The Moral Maze is a show with its strengths and weaknesses, a format better suited to debating some issues than others. This week’s programme, on the relationship between science and morality, was somewhat messy, inevitably perhaps given the complexity of the issue, the subtlety of many of the arguments and the depth of knowledge required. Nevertheless, there were, I thought, useful parts of the debate. I was particularly struck by Joshua Greene‘s skepticism about the ability of science to settle moral questions, given the general thrust of his academic research.
Greene is perhaps the world’s leading moral psychologist and his work has thrown much light on the character of our moral evaluations. There are, Greene argues, two modes of moral thinking. One is intuitive, the other consciously reasoned. The analogy he often uses is that of the distinction between automatic and manual modes in a digital camera. The automatic mode is quick but inflexible. The manual mode is flexible but slow. Much the same is true, he suggests, of the two modes of moral thinking. He also famously suggests that Kantian notions of rights and duties emerge from our intuitions while conscious, reasoned moral evaluations are driven by utilitarian cost-benefit analyses. « Read the rest of this entry »
April 20, 2011 § 6 Comments
I have previously written posts about the debates in two of these programmes – the ones on multiculturalism and on second chances. And if you’re masochistic enough to want to torture yourself by listening to all my Moral Maze contributions, you can find them on my archive site.
March 3, 2011 Comments Off
‘Vengeance is simply justice with bad pr’. So claimed melanie Phillips on The Moral Maze last night, in a programme that began as a discussion of the possibilities of penal redemption and ended as a debate on the role of vengeance in the judicial system. It was a great line (Phillips was defending another panelist Anne McElvoy who had argued for the importance of vengeance to justice). And it was, of course, partly tongue in cheek. But it also summed up much of what is wrong with the contemporary debate about justice. « Read the rest of this entry »