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the pine press: academic papers

the pine press

volume 42, issue 5

Submissions are always welcome.

§ If you have ideas for events, please tell your house Education Officer or contact the Vice President of Education, Brendan LaCroix. We’ll make it happen.

Table of



The Olympic Charter: Defining Document or Useless Words? Exploring Citizenship and Cosmopolitanism in the Olympics Rachel Barth, Miles Davis


Frankenstein n’ Stuff Josh W.K., Walrus Farm


Black Gold Brandon Grenier, Orion


The Magic of Sailing Alex Henderson, Elsworth


What am I? Katie Courville, New Community


The Polar Bear Mike Gathof, Toad Lane


Precipitating Like Snowflakes Shelby Flemming, Hedrick

18–24 25

Nietzsche Scott Wozniak, Hillsdale A Reader’s Trials and Tribulations Sonja Trierweiler, Vesta


A Phenomenological Critique of Jaegwon Kim’s Conception of Qualia Korey Hurni, Elsworth


The Great Adventures of Charlie Darwin & Chuck Lyell Sowmya Surapur, Beal


Wake Me Up Van De Aarde


Lay, laid, lain, and lie Brendan LaCroix, Ferency


From Stopping to Viscosity in Heavy Ion Collisions Brent W. Barker, Raft Hill, and Pawel Danielewicz


Gogolian Terrain Kevin Lynch, Bower


Leap of Faith Andrea Blohm, Hedrick

Rachel Barth for MC 390 December 15, 2011

The Olympic Charter: Defining Document or Useless Words? Exploring Citizenship and Cosmopolitanism in the Olympics

The traditional conception of citizenship can be traced back to Aristotle, who defined a citizen as “nothing else so much as by his having a share in judgment and rule or office” (Aristotle 76). While true, legal citizenship generally includes having rights and privileges as well as a share in society, there are many nontraditional forms of citizenship that can have larger effects on societal events, like the Olympics. While Olympic athletes must be legal, or traditional, citizens of the country they compete for, the rules to become a citizen are relatively loose. Many countries make the path to citizenship easier for athletes who are talented enough to compete in the Olympics because the countries see this as an opportunity to win more medals. With this comes a devaluation of traditional forms of citizenship and a switch to other, nontraditional forms of citizenship, notably cosmopolitan citizenship. The Olympics are changing the way many athletes view citizenship, and since the Olympics are such a large, worldwide event, it is possible that they will also change the way citizenship is viewed by the world. At their core, the Olympics are about athleticism and equal human rights, not patriotism, nationality, or even winning. The realization of this is leading to more and more athletes changing their citizenship in order to compete for a new country, which coincides with the general cosmopolitan nature of the Olympics. However, there is a disconnect between what the public perceives the Olympics to be and what the Olympics really are, which is often discussed through issues of citizenship. Ultimately, Olympic athletes compete for themselves as cosmopolitan citizens, and one of the ways this is achieved is through changing legal citizenship and realizing other, nontraditional, non-legal forms of citizenship. There is a disconnect in the way the Olympics are perceived by the International Olympic Committee, nations and their non-athlete citizens, and Olymipc athletes. Traditional citizenship is an important factor to the IOC, a small obstacle for athletes, and overshadowed by medal count for citizens. Immigrant Olympic athletes take on many forms of citizenship aside from the legal citizenship of the country they compete for. Transnational citizenship crosses states lines, and benefits of citizenship are experience in multiple states. This definition often includes guest workers, and while Olympic athletes are not true transnational citizens because legally they must be a citizen of the nation they are competing for, therefore are not “guests” in their new nation, they can experience benefits of citizenship in more than one state. Postnational citizenship goes beyond the nation, blurring the lines between state and citizenship to allow for memberships greater than just memberships to states. Olympic athletes are postnational citizens in that they are legal citizens of at least one nation, but they see themselves belonging to the worldwide Olympic community. Immigrant Olympic athletes also experience social citizenship, because in addition to becoming legal citizens of a new country,


they become part of the societal culture through the Olympics. Above all other non-traditional forms of citizenship, though, Olympic athletes are cosmopolitan citizens. Cosmopolitan citizenship is the idea that one is a citizen of the world and that everyone, regardless of their nationality or legal citizenship, deserves equal human rights. Cosmopolitan citizens allows for greater independence than traditional forms of citizenship because their ties to humanity or the athletic world are often stronger than their ties to a nation. At their core, the Olympics are a cosmopolitan event. The Olympic Charter states, “The Olympic Games are competitions between athletes in individual or team events and not between countries. They bring together the athletes selected by their respective NOCs, whose entries have been accepted by the IOC” (Olympic Charter 19). An athlete must be a legal citizen of the country he or she is competing for, and when an athlete or team wins a medal, it contributes to the medal count of their country. Despite the apparent patriotism that comes with participation in the Olympics, they are only intended to be a sports competition that brings everyone together, not an event that induces intense patriotism. The Olympic Charter also includes “Fundamental Principles of Olympism,” which point out the inherent cosmopolitanism of the games. The principles say the Olympics are “a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education…” Additionally, “The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity” (Olympic Charter 10). According to these principles, the Olympics are about humans coming together and competing peacefully, enhancing not only athletics but also other aspects of people’s lives. Even more importantly, “the practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising [sic] sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play” (Olympic Charter 10). While this principle was not always followed in the Olympics, inclusion is a very important aspect of cosmopolitanism. This is what immigrating for the purpose of competing for another nation is all about—accepting this athlete as a member of their new country, rather than discriminating against them because they were born elsewhere. As humans, athletes deserve equal rights and opportunities to compete in the Olympics, regardless of what country they are from. While it would be stretch to say that the world is peaceful right now, it has been a while since there has been a widespread Olympic boycott or world war. Although these wars and causes for boycott have nothing to do with sports, in times of trouble, patriotism is sure to increase. This makes the Olympics a perfect place for athletes and spectators to make their country proud and prove their excellence as a nation, even if it is only being represented by a small group of people. The world is


only recently getting to a point that there is nothing political involved in the Olympics, so athletes often do not feel obligated to compete for their home nation, and instead will choose to immigrate for personal reasons, something that is accepted under cosmopolitanism. Despite the apparent increase in nontraditional forms of citizenship in the Olympics, it seems safe to say that most athletes do not think of those when they decide to change their legal citizenship, but instead focus mainly on two other factors. Many athletes immigrate to the United States or other wealthy nations to compete because of good training facilities and sponsorships. Other athletes may not qualify for their home country’s Olympic team (usually due to an abundance of qualified athletes), and they want to be able to participate, as well as help the team of their new country (Larmer). As cosmopolitan citizens, these athletes do not care so much about representing a specific country; they just want to be able to participate in this worldwide event that brings together the best athletes in the world, not the best athletes from every country. They seem to identify more with the athletic community than with their legal citizenship. Everyone has a different, unique reason for wanting to switch citizenship, but it all boils down to the fact that an athlete wants to be an athlete and is willing to do whatever is necessary to compete at the most elite level. The Olympic Charter requires that an athlete is a national of the country he or she competes for. Dual nationals may compete for either country, as long as three years have passed between when the competitor competed for his or her former country, but this waiting period may be reduced or canceled. Additionally, this waiting period only applies to athletes who have previously competed for another nation, not those who have immigrated but are competing for the first time (Olympic Charter 76). This rule is significant, but it mostly just seems like a formality. The IOC is only concerned with issues of citizenship and nationality after individual nations have granted citizenship to athletes, so much of this issue is left up to individual nations, who can choose to grant citizenship to anyone they want. The IOC cannot stop anyone from participating for reasons of citizenship unless they fall into the few exceptions outlined in the Olympic Charter. Even if an athlete was unable to get their waiting period reduced or canceled, assuming their citizenship process goes smoothly, three years still gives them enough time to not miss out on the Olympics, which happen every four years. Chinese American race walker Yueling Chen won a gold medal in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics before taking a break from the sport, then returning to competition in 1998. Chen decided she wanted to immigrate to the United States and compete for them in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but did not gain United States citizenship until April 12, 2000, not enough time to go through the three-year waiting period. China initially refused to grant a waiver, but eventually gave one to Chen. The reason they changed their mind is not completely clear, but Bill Hybl, president of the United States Olympic Committee sent a letter to the Chinese Olympic Committee claiming that


the waiver “would be consistent with the spirit of cooperation and international goodwill that exists between our two nations.” There is speculation that China was worried denying this waiver could give them negative publicity at the time they were trying to get the 2008 Beijing bid, after losing to Sydney in 2000 by two votes (Longman). China may not have realized it, but by allowing Chen to participate for the United States, they were allowing her to be a cosmopolitan citizen. Maybe they did not want to let her compete because they did not want her to win a medal for the United States, but even if she had won a medal, that medal would belong to her and would be earned by her, not by the United States. Although not everyone is happy that many immigrant athletes compete for the United States, it seems to be a larger, more corrupt problem elsewhere. Even without any new immigrant athletes, it is likely that the United States would still win their fair share of medals, but countries like Bahrain and Qatar are different cases. These countries are small and rich with oil, and have started luring athletes with millions of dollars so they can get more medals (Larmer). While there is nothing in the Olympic Charter explicitly opposing this practice, it certainly seems to go against the cosmopolitan ideals encouraged in the charter. It is acceptable for athletes to immigrate to and compete in other nations if they are doing it as an opportunity to compete, not to win and make money. One of the earliest cases of switching citizenship to participate in the Olympics was South African runner Zola Budd. There was an apartheid era ban on the Olympics in South Africa, so Budd immigrated to Britain in order to participate in the 1984 Olympic Games. Budd qualified for British citizenship because her grandfather was born there, but people accused the government and the Daily Mail of expediting the process for her. Although there were additional reasons, like the fact that Budd had family in South Africa and plans to eventually return, Budd “refused to condemn white minority rule on the grounds that she was a sportswoman, not a politician.” Still, Budd said that her time in Britain from 1984 to 1988 was filled with protestors and trauma. Carroll said, “she implies she represents only herself, not the rainbow nation, when competing. ‘I have always run for myself. It annoys people when I say it; running is something personal for me’” (Carroll). People may have called her selfish for that and generally disagree with her competing for Britain and not taking a stand against what her own country was doing, it all boiled down to the fact that she simply wanted to run. To her, the Olympics were not about competing for the nation she was born in, but the public expected her to take a stand against something that was just making it harder for her to do what she loved. Budd kept with the cosmopolitan tradition by not making political statements or gestures and running for herself, as an athlete of the world, even though the public wanted her to do otherwise.


While not as controversial as Zola Budd, the United States government played a larger than normal role in the citizenship process for Canadian ice dancer Tanith Belbin. Belbin had her immigrant worker visa approved in 2000 but did not receive her green card until July 2002, the same month a rule was changed that expedited the citizenship process from eight years to about five and a half due to the fact that it allowed immigrants to apply for a visa and get a green card at the same time. When Belbin began the citizenship process, there was a required five year waiting period after a green card was received before the naturalization process could begin, which would mean that she would not be a citizen in time for the 2006 Olympics because she started the whole process two years too early. Since this did not make logical sense, Michigan Senator Carl Levin wrote an amendment passed by the Senate on December 21, 2005 allowing Belbin and other people of extraordinary ability citizenship in time for the Olympics if they started the process before the July 2002 rule change (“Levin Amendment�). Despite the possibility for outcry, the only people that publicly spoke ill of this amendment were the parents of an ice dancer who did not make the Olympics (Wilson). Part of this general acceptance likely stemmed from the fact that not many people even realized this happened. Belbin had competed with American Ben Agosto prior to the Olympics and they were a very successful couple. Granting expedited citizenship for Belbin allowed her to compete in the nation she had already competed for and lived in. Additionally, Belbin and Agosto are remembered for the fact that they won a silver medal, ultimately giving the United States one more medal than Canada in the final tally (Wilson), an important point of pride for the United States. Bernard Lagat, a Kenyan American runner, became a United States citizen in May 2004, just months before he represented Kenya in the 2004 Olympics. Because Kenya does not allow dual citizenship, they require that a person renounce their Kenyan citizenship when they become a citizen of another country. Since Lagat was already a citizen of the United States during the Olympics, according to Kenyan rules, he was no longer a Kenyan citizen, making his representation fraudulent. Lagat claimed that he started the citizenship process in late 2003 and did not expect to become an American citizen before the 2004 Olympics (Cherry). Chris Kaman, an American basketball player, gained German citizenship in order to participate and help the German national team qualify for the 2008 Athens Olympics, which they had not done since the 1992 Barcelona games. Kaman was easily able to become a German citizenship because his great-grandparents were German citizens (Goffa). Although he was just one member of the team, Kaman’s contribution and membership on the team was enough to help the team reach a level of success that had not been achieved in sixteen years. While success should not always be measured quantitatively, this could also be looked at as a prime example of sportsmanship and teamwork, true Olympic principles.


Basketball player Becky Hammon was not being considered for the United States Olympic team but wanted to play in the games before she got too old, so she immigrated to Russia where she already played in a domestic league during the WNBA offseason (Schwarz). Hammon received criticism from Americans, including the United States national team coach, going as far as saying “if you live in this country and you put on a Russian uniform, you are not a patriotic person,” even though she was the one that did not include Hammon on the United States team. Hammon said that she knew this would likely be her last chance to compete in the Olympics, but she does not “expect everybody to understand. My mom came from the ‘better dead than Red’ generation. But how long do you hang on to those things? This is basketball, not World War III” (Larmer). Hammon recognized that she needed to do what was best for her as an athlete and as a person, and echoed Zola Budd’s reluctance to combine sports with politics. The Olympics are about the best athletes competing and working as teams. Hammon already had experience playing with many of those athletes, and the team accepted her when the United States team did not. While she may have not had a real choice in which team she would compete for, even if she did, choosing the Russian team would not have meant that she was unpatriotic, just that that was the team she wanted to play on, as an athlete of the world. The data on athletes who have changed citizenship for the Olympics is very limited because there are so many categories that an athlete can be in. There should be a noted difference in athletes that immigrated so they could compete and those that were already citizens when they decided to compete, like children that immigrated at a young age, long before they were thinking about the Olympics. Additionally, it is not something that has been kept track of until recently. People do seem to care about it to some extent, but only when it somehow changes the integrity of the games or if some sort of foul play is suspected. There is no comprehensive list of all the Olympic athletes who have ever held a citizenship different than the one they were born with, but there is evidence that the trend of changing citizenship solely to participate in the Olympics is becoming more popular. Between 1992 and 2008, there were about fifty athletes that immigrated to the United States to compete on the United States Olympic team after having previously competed for another nation (Wilson). This is a relatively large number, but there were also eight Olympic Games within that time period. Some of the athletes in this group competed in multiple Olympics, so for the purposes of this data, only their first time competing for the United States will count. In the 1992 Olympic Games, there were six athletes (two winter, four summer) that competed for the United States after previously competing for another nation. In the 1994 winter games there were none, twelve in the 1996 summer games, none in the 1998 winter games, nine in the 2000 summer games, one in the 2002 winter games, eight in the 2004 summer games, three in the 2006 winter games, and eight at the 2008 summer games (Wilson). These numbers are relatively consistent, although the increase between 1992 and 1996 was very large. Without numbers from before 1992 it is difficult to know if this trend was happening much before 1992, but it seems that from 1996 on, it became a generally accepted practice. It is also interesting to note the differences between the summer and


winter Olympics. While the motives for immigration among summer Olympians likely varied, all of the winter athletes after 1992 (four out of the six total) competed in mixed figure skating or ice dancing, meaning that they likely gained citizenship so they could compete with an American partner. Of all the athletes, only six earned medals, although eight medals were earned in total. It seems like these athletes do not generally have a large effect on the overall Olympic experience, but these are only the immigrants that previously competed for another nation. There is also a relatively large group of immigrant athletes in the United States that competed in the Olympics for the first time. In 2008, there were thirty-three immigrant athletes competing in the summer Olympics, and in 2004 there were twenty-seven (Crary). Among those thirty-three athletes in 2008 were seven members of the track-and-field team. This may seem like an unfair disadvantage to United States born runners, but Africans tend to dominate the distance running events, so the addition of them to the United States team allows for the possibility of more medals in a sport that the United States had not previously been strong. This is interesting because in one way, it is extremely cosmopolitan, but in another it goes against what the Olympics are supposed to be about. The United States lets these athletes immigrate so that they can participate and be successful in the Olympics, which may not have been possible in their home countries. The case of the African runners is in many ways no different than domestic teams trading athletes and offering large contracts for those that are highly sought out. While the United States does not actually trade athletes with other countries or offer money to lure athletes, many athletes act as free agents. They choose to come to the United States because of the athletic and non-athletic opportunities it is known to provide, and the United States ends up with athletes that can help them win medals. Despite never being mentioned in the Fundamental Principles of Olympism, medals seem to be most of what countries and the public care about, especially once the Olympics are over. Before the 2010 Vancouver winter Olympics, Canada started the Own the Podium program, aimed at earning more medals than any other country, mostly because they were hosting the games. However, the 110 million dollar project was abandoned while the games were in progress because they realized Canada was not on track to get as many medals as originally predicted. When faced with the question of why the Canadian athletes supposedly underperformed, the answers vary, but chef de mission Nathalie Lambert proposed that “adrenalin dump” was affecting some athletes, meaning that the pressure, expectation, and excitement of performing in front of home crowds was too much to handle. Additionally, Canadian Olympic Committee chief executive Chris Rudge said, “what’s important that every athlete who has a chance to medal, does so. We’ll quantify the success of the program in terms of total medals after the Games were over. Our goal is to maximize the opportunities we still have and make sure we continue to give to those athletes still competing the opportunity to reach the podium” (Canwest Olympic Team). Rudge seems to think that the only measure of success is medals, and that an athlete disappoints his or her whole country if they fail to win a medal. This opinion is echoed among Canadian citizens, especially for certain sports like hockey, a point of national pride. According to The Globe and Mail writer Jane Taber, one third


of Canadians would have considered the Olympics a failure if their men’s hockey team did not win the gold medal, and sixty-three percent of Canadians would only consider the Olympics a success if Canada finished in the top five (Taber). While the strong sense of national pride is somewhat admirable, considering the success and failure of Olympics as a whole event as defined by the success and failure of its athletes is extreme. Fortunately, the men’s hockey team did win the gold medal and Canada finished third in the final medal count, so to Canadians, the Olympics were a success. What would have happened if those two goals were not achieved is unclear, but perhaps the Russians can provide a clue. When Russia’s men’s hockey team lost to Canada, Russians were outraged. One diehard fan said, “our leaders are to blame. They should be kicked out. They’ve been at the trough for so long, and they haven’t done anything” (Stack). It is unclear which leaders he is referring to, but even if he is talking about the coaches, blaming the loss on people that did not actually play the game makes little sense. The players undoubtedly tried their hardest and did not want lose to Canada, and the Canadians would have been equally mad if Russia had won. Every competition naturally has winners and losers, and people need to remember that the Olympics are a competition between the best athletes in the world, and that a loss, even a seemingly devastating one, will happen sometimes. Russian goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov described the loss as “a disaster” and the “end of the world” (Stack). It seems fair that a member of the team would be upset about this loss, but describing it as the end of the world is a great exaggeration. There are millions of worse things in the world than losing a game of hockey, and handling a loss that poorly is unsportsmanlike and going against what the Olympics truly stand for. It is puzzling that the Canadian government and citizens would put so much money into something that such a small group of individuals has control over, and only a certain amount of control at that. The athletes are only able to control how well they perform, not how well other individuals perform. Even at that, many factors in participating can come down to things uncontrollable by anyone, like weather conditions or harsh judges. Expecting that a campaign could make athletes win medals was unjustified and could have even hurt the medal count because it put so much pressure on the athlete’s performance, possibly causing them to perform worse. Even if this campaign had somehow been successful, Canada should have focused their efforts on making the games a success in other areas, like promoting the great city of Vancouver or being welcoming to foreigners. They focused too much on qualitative success and it backfired. Perhaps the program could be considered somewhat of a success because Canada still did very well in the medal count, but it is impossible to know if this campaign actually had anything to do with it. It is not exactly about the medals, but the medals are a measure of success, and many citizens view the Olympics as a point of pride for their nations. The more medals earned, the more proud a nation


is. There is nothing wrong with national pride, but many fans forget about the fact that only athletes can change how athletes perform, and they perform for themselves before anyone else. As human beings, these fans should be able to take a step back and recognize how difficult competing at such a high level is. They should know that the team wanted to win for themselves and not just their for their nation, and that the athletes are probably disappointed in themselves and do not need angry fans getting mad over something that they tried their hardest to do, and something that the fans have no control over. China also largely stresses medals as a measure of success, and they encourage this opinion early in the lives of Chinese Children. Over six million children are trained in thousands of sports schools across China, in the hopes that these children will eventually become sports stars and win lots of medals for China. For China, the Olympics acted as a connection to the West and a way to prove their athletic and economic strength, as well as increase national pride. Families are eager to send their children to sports schools because they see it as a path to huge success and better opportunities for the future. However, the training at these schools is very strict and “has been criticized as abusive” (MacLeod). China wanted to showcase their athletic talent, but to many Western nations, this can come off as forced and almost desperate, like they do not have enough good athletes to succeed without these sports schools. Instead of priding themselves in borderline abusive behavior, they should be showing off what their nation has to offer in more aspects than just sports. Showing their strength in multiple areas seems like a more likely path to national pride than these sports schools, and trying to become the best at something through such unnatural means is certainly not cosmopolitan because it elicits competition among nations. Although it is not widely publicized, the IOC recently began a campaign called “The Best of US,” aimed at making the public more aware of the cosmopolitan nature of the games. According o the IOC, the campaign is ”a simple, powerful idea that transcends cultures and borders, motivating young people around the world to participate in sport by proving that sport can bring out the best in themselves” (“The Best of Us”). The video meant to promote the 2008 Beijing Olympics features many famous Olympics athletes representing many different countries and sports, with a wise man speaking about what non-athletic lessons can be learned from the athletic performances of these athletes. The wise narrator also says, “you all make us proud to be human beings” (“The Best of Us”). Not everyone can be an Olympic athlete, but watching the Olympics can be a learning experience for many facets of life, and these athletes do represent the strength and ability of all humans, something that goes far beyond sports. Another video, from 2010, features cartoon athletes of different sports and nationalities standing on their continents seemingly playing tug of war against each other. As the video progresses, the viewer sees that these athletes are actually pulling themselves together and essentially recreating Pangaea (“The Best of Us”). This promotes a unification of the world through the Olympics, therefore encouraging competition between humans of the world, not between


countries. The most recent video is the simplest but perhaps the most inspiring, as it begins with famous Olympic athletes, once again of all nationalities and sports, but eventually shows amateur athletes, even some athletes who are physically disabled (“The Best of Us”). It seems the IOC is trying to prove that Olympic athletes should be looked up to because they are great athletes and role models as humans, and that anyone can succeed in sports, because success is not measured by making it to the Olympics or winning medals, but being inspired and showing strength. A lot of what happens during the Olympics and almost all of what happens after is represented who wins, which is an ideal that goes against the cosmopolitan structure of the Olympics. In many ways, the Olympic Charter seems to go ignored, if even read at all. Perhaps the citizens of the world need to realize that they are just that—citizens of the world. Athletes should not be looked up to because they represent a certain country or nationality, but because they are the strongest, fastest, most talented athletes on the planet and those are definitely qualities that could be exhibited in a good role model. The IOC seems to treat birthright citizenship as exactly that—something an athlete is born with. Nobody can control where they are born or their natural athletic abilities, so the IOC takes the stress off of birthright citizenship. Too many good athletes in one country should not prevent someone who is more talented than athletes of another country from competing. The inherent structure of nations competing against each other and competing for a nation is probably not going to change, but the spirit of the Olympics is encompassed in human rights, sportsmanship, and athleticism, not patriotism. The IOC can only control so much, so anything that could be considered moral grey area is left up to individual countries, and the IOC just has to trust that once athletes and spectators get to the Olympics, they do not stray from the intended spirit of the games. In general, it is also a positive thing to try to keep politics and sports as separate as possible, especially for athletes, who should not be dragged into political statements just because they represent a country. It has turned into an obligation for the host city to try to win the most medals, as if nothing else can deem the host city a success, when in reality the success of a host city in aspects other than medals should be more telling of the success of the country, both athletic and political. It is hard to see the cosmopolitanism due to the requirement that an athlete be tied to a country, but the borders are becoming more fluid.


Frankenstein n’ Stuff

Josh W.K.

Mary Shelley’s parents (William Godwin & Mary Wollstonecraft) had held a kind of fame of their own as intellectual authors. Their works, prior to Mary’s birth, were advancing movements of societal change and challenge, which is perhaps what attracted them to each other. On September 9, 1797, eleven days after Mary was born, Wollstonecraft died of a fever, leaving her husband and her two daughters without her. Godwin, despondent, dealt with this loss by gathering and reading through her writings, in order to gain a better understanding of her life. While his assembled project, Memoirs of the Author of a Vindication of the Rights of Woman, was being assembled, he hoped to share a beautiful immortalization of the woman he loved and admired. When it “came to life” instead of admiration, it provoked vindication of Wollstonecraft, due to her attempted suicides and previous romantic engagements (which resulted in Mary’s half-sister, Fanny Imlay Godwin). This entire process bears a strong resemblance to Victor’s own process of creation, and ultimate personal downfall, and may have been a subconscious influence on Shelley when writing the tale. ( “For an instant, I dared to shake off my chains and look around me with a free and lofty spirit; but the iron had eaten into my flesh, and I sank again, trembling and hopeless, back into my miserable self.” (185) Throughout his tale, Victor has transformed. The biggest change in him has been his assumed guilt, in creating his creature/daemon and endangering human life, essentially on a whim; this has caused detrimental low points in his mental and physical health. When he discusses being moved by the surrounding scenery in his journey with Clerval, he “dares” to escape that guilt and enjoy himself, something that his previous actions have so far prevented him from doing. Due to his feelings of constant self-damnation, this reprieve is only a temporary vacation from the horror he believes himself to have caused. Victor associates the loss of life and the creature’s actions so strongly with his conscience and his future, that he is weighted down by it. He is able to lift his chains off him for just an instant, but because they are intermingled into his flesh, the weight can overcome his interest in outside stimulus. So it seems that while his melancholy and ill health are psychosomatic, he can’t really escape them for long, unless he either aided the creature’s wish of a companion or killed his own creation. So why didn’t Victor kill the daemon when he had the chance? While he abhorred its existence and could barely stand to look at it, did he feel as a parent to it? There are numerous instances when he has stated his fears for its future actions, and has seen firsthand the consequences of angering his “child”, in the deaths of his brother, his friend, and finally, his wife. When he was given an alternate option, of giving the daemon a mate, he initially agreed, but in this agreement he held doubt and dissent in his mind. The impression he gave to his creation was apparently contrary to a decision already made in his mind, which leaves only the option of murder to him. Does he believe that in creating something with such destructive potential, that he might deserve his life destroyed? This might explain why despite numerous chances for killing it, he never does, until it is too late. After he has lost everything, he has to become just like his creation; he is alone, devoid of the possibility for love, his mind set only on his adversary who has made him what he is today.


Black Gold

Brandon Grenier for ISB 208-L

Since its discovery (circa A.D. 850)1 coffee has rapidly spread and become one of the most popular beverages throughout the world, imported and consumed by virtually every country on the map. America alone consumes 400 million cups of coffee per day1, making it the world’s number one coffee importer. Containing reportedly over 1,000 different chemicals4 and exhibiting addictive properties similar to that of many other drugs, one would think this drink must have some adverse health effects. In the past it has been tied to such negative health effects as cardiovascular disease or cancer. However recent studies show that there are a number of benefits to drinking coffee, and it may actually help prevent some chronic diseases as well as act as a catalyst for weight loss. Contrary to previous popular belief, drinking coffee may actually be good for you.

Yes, it’s good for you.

According to an Oregon State University Study, the development of a number of diseases can be slowed or averted by the consumption of coffee. Of more than 17,000 Dutch men and women, those who drank 7 or more cups of coffee per day were 50% less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes as those who drank 2 or less3. This data shows a positive correlation between drinking coffee and not developing Type 2 diabetes. In another study of 8,000 Japanese-American men, those who did not drink coffee were found to be 3–5 times more likely to develop Parkinsons Disease over the next 24–37 years than those who drank upwards of 28 ounces daily3. This data shows just a few of the long-term positive effects of drinking coffee; however there are also a number of short-term effects that could positively affect your health.


Along with the ability to increase mental alertness, studies have also shown that coffee can increase overall resistance to fatigue as well as physical endurance4. Scientists have looked into the use of caffeine (the primary stimulant in coffee) for the training of Olympic athletes because of its useful endurance-sustaining properties; however not only Olympians can reap the physical benefits of drinking coffee. In a recent study of obese to slightly-obese patients, participants consumed 150mg of caffeine every day while trying to maintain their current body weight. Subjects lost 5.9 ± 1.8 kg due to their caffeine stimulated metabolism 2. Using coffee as a caffeine source it is possible to speed up metabolism, lose fat-weight, overall weight and size around the waist. There are some certain benefits to drinking coffee; though that is not to say that it has a completely clean slate. In the past coffee consumption has been related to risk of coronary heart disease or cancer, supported by findings that those who drink 5 or more cups of coffee a day are 40–60% more likely to develop coronary heart disease3. It should be noted that the risk for cardiac arrest due to coffee is higher for those patients who already had coronary heart disease. Most of these negative results are due to the acute increase of blood pressure due to caffeine, which can also be caused by a number of other environmental factors. Even if your mother tells you not to drink too much of it, there has still been no direct relation made between cancer and coffee. So coffee can lower your chances of getting Parkinson’s Disease and Type 2 diabetes, can help you lose weight, and increase mental alertness as well as mood. If the only risk taken when drinking coffee is a complication due to increased heart rate or acutely increased blood pressure; the odds look to be in your favor.


The Magic

of Sailing Captain Joe taught me the magic of sailing. There is only one place where a man can be completely free, and that’s on the water in a sailboat. The man on shore has rules and laws that oppress you and make you feel like a veritable prisoner. On the water, you can do whatever you want. In Sailing you can go wherever you want (at least anywhere that touches water). Nothing can keep you from sailing to another place in the world. The most important thing in sailing is Position A. Position A is where you sit back and drink soda bottles while the sails do the rest of the work. Position A also happens to be the whole point of sailing. Other than being able to travel to other places in the world, sailing also lets you relax and escape from all of the horrible, miserable parts of your life that you don’t want to think about.


Alex Henderson for KIN 101m November 30, 2011

Katie Courville for ZOL 445 January 31, 2012

What am I?

I am sold in every hardware store that you have ever visited and am usually stocked near the silver, sharp objects, am relatively cheap, and of light weight.

I am covered with a shiny, silver coat that makes it easy for me to be driven into wood, metal, or just about any other material for that matter. My point is very sharp and strong so that it can puncture such material. My cylindrical body is attached in the middle of my discshaped head and has a smaller radius than that of my head. My head is perpendicular to my body, flat on the top, and has two sunken in grooves located on the top and center of my head that are also perpendicular to each other. This is where one can place a tool on me in order to drive me into a material because the tool and the dips in my head fit together and do not slip. I have two spiral threads that protrude from my cylindrical body and run alongside each other from my point to my head, wrapping their way around my body. They are small yet tough and make my head twist all about as I am fastened into a material like a piece of wood. I can grip such a tool with excellence. I am surprisingly small given my strength and sharpness but I can also be larger. I can be shorter than the length of your pinky nail or, in some cases, longer than the length of your foot. What am I? 15

The Polar Bear

Mike Gathof

I am like the polar bear. The polar bear is an independent creature, relying on no one to provide for it. Prowling around its arctic domain, proud ruler of its icy territory. I too, value the products of my time and effort; As self-reliant as the polar bear. In tender moments the polar bear is cute and cuddly, Taking time to romp with its fellows and roll around in the snow But when provoked it has a ferocious temper, smiting anything in its way with a sweep of its mighty paw. I too, love my friends and family—but beware of my paws! Some may say the polar bear is lonely, a solitary creature Selfish, even-but they are mistaken! The bear knows its own mind and shapes its own destiny It does not let the unworthy hunters hold it back from attaining its goals The bear and I are not the same however; Aside from the ursine/humanity divide— I am an herbivore and the bear is a carnivore With a diet that occasionally includes men, Which I try to avoid with vegetarian fare In this way I am like the great arctic bear, A free spirit, An independent mind, Irrepressibly curious, And threatened by global warming


Precipitating Like

Snowflakes by: Shelby Flemming

falling with such fury You can’t see a thing When standing still to listen to your eyelashes it clings sound, louder in its absence strips sense of its acuity the beauty becomes ubiquitous stumbling upon congruity dangerous in its stillness trails hidden in its coat yet falling with a madness slowly descending as it floats the beauty of a single fragment becomes the beauty of a whole panoramas suddenly brighten under the sun and moon’s control a natural wonder composition in itself but even for those who plunder the cold warms the heart with stealth the outer world is new refurbished for the season the inner self has time to ponder wealth and reason both are worn and weary torn by troubles of the essence but as an internal fire, warm and glowing an eternal summer lies incessant



Scott Wozniak

Nietzsche is known for criticizing religious, and particularly Christian, morality. Modern man has a morality so influenced by religious ideology that it is no longer natural1. Nietzsche asserts that for man to advance, it will be necessary to overcome this weak morality in favor of new practices. Another assertion is that modern man is not the culmination of being. Instead, man is a bridge between his ancestors, the apes, and the future of humanity, the Overman 2. The key aspect of Nietzsche’s works on these subjects is his repeated statement that “God is dead”. Ideas of morality have shifted over the course of human history. Ancient man judged his actions based on their immediate and direct consequences. With the introduction of civil and social society, also came the introduction of religion. At its inception, the goal of religious ideology was social control. By rejecting natural human instincts and values and introducing “ultimate” consequences, religion forces people toward morality of intention and motivation rather than consequence. Instead of judging an action based on its consequences, religion makes people judge actions by the reasoning behind it, the intention and motivation of the action. Religious morality is weak because it rejects man’s natural instincts. Christianity, in particular, rejects many of these instincts as sins. Sex, for example, which Nietzsche claimed was one of the more life-affirming actions one could partake in, is punishable as a sin. Since sex is the act that creates life, and is also pleasurable, it is not surprising that it is a natural and instinctual act. Instead of focusing its efforts on the elimination of suffering in human life, Christianity focuses on the elimination if sin. Nietzsche was sure that Christianity’s promises as well as its threats were lies3, and that the ideology itself was designed as a method to keep people weak. 1. 2. 3. 18

Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, Morality as Anti-Nature Ibid., Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Prologue Section 3 Ibid., The Antichrist Section 15

Christian values reflect the worries of a weak and pitiful people. The power of God is only good, never evil. Although God’s power is limitless, he never uses it for destructive purposes. God only uses his power to create. If the Christian people were naturally strong they would not have created a God that sponsors such weak morality. Christians are taught to show pity and mercy, and traits like pride and strength are looked down upon. In this way, the Christian God has been used to create a population of weak men, with no ability or reason to better themselves. Because Christian morality was designed to protect weakness, it creates an insubstantial ideal for humanity. Pity and other such weak emotions are, according to Nietzsche, unnatural. Since it is clear to him that men are not so different from animals since they are but a step above them on the path toward the Overman, why should humans be so conceited to think that they are entitled to a morality that is also different. Animals do not show pity or worry about the implications of their actions on others because this is not a good means for survival. What these emotions create is a herd instinct in an animal that would normally be able to advance much further. When people are so concerned with intentions and motives they hold themselves back. This creates a society of equals, but not a society of men that have reached their full potential. In the past, men in positions of power used religion as a way to explain what seemed to be super-natural and also as a way to control people. Herd animal mentality and morality is good for political society, but it is not good for the individual. For a religious basis for morality to have credibility, it was necessary for God to exist. Although Nietzsche did not necessarily believe that there was a God, the power that people gave God over their lives made him exist. If people made God important in their lives, then he was real to them because he had power. Religion and God require that people have faith in them for them to have any kind of importance. If people do not recognize the need for God, the the entire basis for their morality falls apart4. Christianity requires that people have faith in God and the “ultimate consequence” of the afterlife for people to follow what Nietzsche thought was an unnatural morality. In The Gay Science Nietzsche states, interestingly through the voice of the “madman”, that “God is dead”. In the passage, the madman runs through the streets shouting “I seek God! I seek God!” to the bemusement of some atheist bystanders. Sensing that he is not being taken seriously, the madman breaks his lantern and proclaims:


Ibid., Twilight of the Idols, Expeditions of an Untimely Man, Section 5 19

“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”5 By saying that “God is dead” Nietzsche is not saying that God existed and then died. In modern society, things like the scientific method and human reason have made God obsolete6. In this way, Nietzsche is claiming that God and religion are no longer a viable source of moral value. Since religion, in this case Christianity, requires that people’s faith remain intact for it to be valid, the “death” of God destroys all credibility. Since it was by humanity’s hand that science and reason became advanced enough to ruin the credibility of God and religion, humanity thus destroyed its own source of morality. The last part of the madman’s statement alludes to the coming of the Overman: “Must we not become gods…” Without God, the basis for religious morality falls apart. People are left with no values at all. Without God and an afterlife, there is no incentive for people to hold on to their unnatural system of morals and values. With the death of God and the failure of religion, people are faced with no judgment on their intentions and motives. The only consequences left are real and imminent. But are people ready for this freedom? The passage in The Gay Science goes on with the madman soon realizing that “... I have come too soon!”7 Man has been conditioned by living within the weak morality of Christianity, and cannot realize that God is dead. Although they now understand the universe differently, using reason and science, people cannot let go of the idea of God8. When one’s entire system of values is vested in faith in a single thing, it is hard to let that thing go. While Nietzsche thinks that the realization of the destruction of God is necessary for the advancement of man, he thinks that it has so far been impossible for man to accept that “God is dead”. The madman says “This deed is still more distant from them than the most distant stars—and yet they have done it themselves.” 9 Because man has so much invested in the existence of God, he is afraid to admit that God is no longer important.


5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Ibid., The Gay Science Section 125 Ibid., The Antichrist Section 47, 48 Ibid., The Gay Science Section 125 Ibid., Section 108 Ibid., Section 125

The main reason for man’s fear to admit the death of God is that man has been conditioned to think that he is weak, even powerless. People do not want to abandon religion because without it they will have nothing to tell them what is right and they do not think they have the power or right to decide for themselves. For all their lives they are told that these things have been decided for them, and that there is no opportunity for change lest there be terrible albeit unforeseeable consequences. In most of recorded history man has not had the opportunity to create his own moral sense of being. When faced with the possibility of this opportunity by the realization that religion is meaningless and God is powerless, people do not take advantage of it. Instead of realizing the potential of the situation, the possibility of ultimate power for themselves, people become fearful and slip into nihilism. Nietzsche thought that the concept of God was one of the major reasons that man had not advanced further. Religion stunts the growth of man by promoting hindering values like pity, modesty and humbleness, while rejecting more natural and self-promoting values like strength, creativity and pride. The values that Christianity rejects are the ones that could potentially lead to a better life for man. Religion shifts focus from the secular world to that of the super-natural and the afterlife which Nietzsche asserted was a lie. People use their time on earth to prepare for and ensure their place in the afterlife. If people were to stop wasting their effort on a fictitious life after death and realize the full value of themselves, their fellow man and the earth then they could certainly better themselves and their situation. This is the basis for the transformation of man into Overman. Nietzsche discussed the possibility of a “revaluation of all values”, an event during which humanity could re-evaluate their own sense of morality. For this to happen, people who are faced with nihilism after the death of God must be able to overcome it. If people are able to recognize their own power and conquer their nihilism, then they become Gods themselves. If man is able to establish his own morality after the loss of all values, then he becomes what he had previously attributed to God. Religion had long been used to overcome a dissatisfaction with life through promises of great happiness and a life free of suffering in a life after death. Encouraged by these promises, people did not try to better themselves or their lives. Instead, people did whatever was required for “admission” into this eternity of pleasure even at the expense of pleasure and happiness on earth. With the death of God, people should understand that this is the only life one has, and work on bettering themselves and their place within it.


The formation and role of the Overman is described by Nietzsche in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Man, he claims, is not the ultimate form of humankind but a bridge between the animal and the Overman10. The Overman is the final solution, and eliminates the problem of man slipping into nihilism after the realization that “God is dead”. Faced with the opportunity to create an entirely new system of values, why does the Overman not create the same system that was just destroyed? The old system, the system of Christian morality and values, was created in response to a world of suffering. Religion is an admission of futility. Instead of working to change the world and their station in it, people instead created a system by which the more suffering one experienced on earth, the better their life would be after death, for eternity. With the death of God and the removal of God as a provider of morals, the Overman is faced with creating a set of values and morals for himself. Because no man now has the moral basis to judge any action, the Overman would have no reason to accept a reality in which he had to put up with a life of suffering. The Overman has no reason to create a morality which promotes acceptance of suffering and longing for an afterlife, since there is no afterlife to long for. The realization of the death of God and the destruction of religious morality forces the Overman to create a set of values and morals that focuses on this world. Because the Overman’s new values are products of strength and creativity, it is impossible for the world to slip back into the weak morality of religious ideology. Since faith in God and religious beliefs has vanished, it is impossible for people to retain Christian morals or values. Christianity was designed to provide refuge for the weak, but also promoted and encouraged this weakness. People saw that life was full of suffering, and did not see a way that they could end this cycle. Already faced with explaining the reason for their own existence, people invented the idea of God to explain why they were here and why they suffered. People, in their weakness, created a completely peaceful God11. They decided that if their God was peaceful, then he would not force them to live a life of torment without some kind of reward. Christians believe that if they hold faith in God’s ability to provide an eternity of pleasure after death, then it will happen. In order to prove this faith, they do not try to seek pleasure in this life. Sins are pleasurable things that a person should not do if they want to prove their faith in God. Aside from believing that if they abandon a life of pleasure now they will live a pleasurable eternity, they believe that those who have caused them torment will themselves be tormented for all of eternity. People who show strength by taking advantage of the weak for personal gain or who show pride in their personal achievements are condemned to Hell.

10. 11. 22

Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra Prologue, Section 3 Nietzsche, The Antichrist Section 16

This promotes a culture of weakness among Christians that is continually perpetuated. The Overman is able to recognize that strength and creativity and pride are not necessarily bad. These are qualities that can be valuable for an individual. Just as weakness begets weakness, strength begets strength. In addition to religion creating a cycle of human weakness and futility, it deemphasizes the importance of the individual. Since most of the basis for religious morality is placed on the afterlife, the concept of a soul is very important. Since it is your soul, and not your body, that travels to the afterlife, much more emphasis is placed on the soul. A body, in this sense, is simply a housing for the soul during its time on earth. Rather than the soul being the essence of the man, the Overman is only one body. In this way, the body becomes as important as life and as earth. There is no continuance of life after death, so the individual gains the importance of being a body and a soul. This gives the individual absolute control over the self. When the Overman creates the new morality, human beings are faced with a new set of values. Strength and creativity are now important. Living one’s life according to one’s own terms is now a valuable trait. People now have personal responsibility for their actions and their decisions, they cannot pass this responsibility off on consequences in the afterlife, they must face the consequences during their lifetime. Since the only consequences that matter or even exist are the ones actually faced in reality, in life, many possibilities are opened. The only sins now are actions that prevent you from bettering yourself, or enjoying yourself, or lead to personal harm. The Overman has created a world in which dissatisfaction is possible, but it is a world where it is possible to overcome this dissatisfaction. Rather than looking beyond the world to justify and feel better about one’s torment, a person has the individual power to do something about it. One criticism of Nietzsche is that since the Overman does not yet exist, it essentially serves as another form of wishful thinking on the part of humanity. Rather than relying on God for morality and eventual reward, mankind must hope for the coming of the Overman to save them. It is clear, however, that the concept of the Overman is much more self-assuring than the concept of God. The Overman is not some unknowable deity, the Overman is an evolution of man. It is not beyond our power to become the Overman. The God delusion locks humanity into a cycle of weakness with false promise of reward. The coming of the Overman brings with it a possibility of strength, because the Overman is us. The Overman is not necessarily a goal for humanity, but an inevitable transformation. After the realization of the death of God and the failure of religious morality, the Overman must come into existence for man to avoid and survive nihilism. In this sense, the Overman concept is much more positive and reassuring than faith in God. 23

Man’s dissatisfaction in life before modern reason and knowledge led to the invention or creation of God. Faith in God became a defense mechanism for people against a cruel world. Human weakness required that God be strong, yet peaceful. Men in a dangerous world had no need for a dangerous fantasy. Man’s faith in God limited his creativity, and in fact promoted weakness. Faith in God reassured people that this life of suffering was necessary in order to earn an eternity of pleasure and happiness. Instead of acting in regard to actual consequences, men acted with the idea that the intentions behind their actions were being judged as well. Faith in God and a morality that promoted weakness and pity started a cycle of human futility in the face of suffering. Instead of overcoming their pain, the pain was thought best to be endured; an unnecessarily poor scheme for human advancement. With scientific progress and an advancement of knowledge and reason, it becomes evident that God is no longer necessary to explain the mysteries of the universe. With a lack of faith in God, the whole system of values disintegrates. There is nothing to support the idea that putting up with suffering is necessary. In the time immediately after the “death” of God, men find themselves at a crossroads. On one side is destructive nihilism, and on the other the opportunity for a whole new set of values. This new set of values is to be created without judgment or regard for any previous morality. This is a great opportunity for humanity to create morality for themselves that reflects their strength and the value they now place on their lives and the world. The men that are able to conquer the lure of nihilism become Overmen. Instead of relying on God to provide them with morality, they have created it for themselves. They have become their own Gods, or at least what God used to be for them.


Sonja Trierweiler February 2, 2010

A Reader’s

Trials and Tribulations Harry Potter and I share a love-hate relationship. Some days, we’ll meet in his magical land and get along splendidly. We traverse all of his Quidditch matches, and in turn, I lovingly store him in a place of honor on my bedside table. Clearly, we appear to love each other. However, I sometimes feel as though he is cheating on me. I oftentimes hear other girls, and boys for that matter, speak of him in the same infatuated way that I do. They will allude to his quirky existence at Hogwarts and his unpredictably exhilarating lifestyle; at times like these I’m concerned about Harry’s and my future together. Does Harry honestly believe he can take advantage of me so effortlessly? I am continuously there for him and offer all the support I can muster, especially in his epic plight with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, but I feel as though he’s unappreciative. Then, I recall Harry has trapped me with the worst form of abandonment: he does not actually exist. Although Harry is eternally donning his invisibility cloak and remaining imperceptible to us Muggles, his life still appears to be exponentially cooler than my own. If I were a witch, my room would be constantly clean with a sweep of my wand and driving a car to school would be horribly impractical with the availability of a broomstick. A Nimbus 2000 would also serve as a delightful alternative-energy vehicle. Also, the convenience of moving stairwells allows simplicity in transportation from the commons area to the Fat Lady portrait. However, my dreams of Transfiguration with Professor McGonagall and Herbology with Professor Sprout will never apparate because Hogwarts is a fictional institution and, thus, I will never gain acceptance. How could someplace so promising be so atrociously and hopelessly impossible? Once the realization smacks the reader like a bludger to the face, he or she will often feel unsure and anxious with how he cruelly catalyzes insecurity and depression in his innocent readers. I have come to realize I deserve more than his community-style love. So, Harry, I think it’s about time we start seeing other people.


A Phenomenological Critique of Jaegwon Kim’s Conception of Qualia1 Korey Hurni Michigan State University 2,995 words

Abstract: In this paper I explore Jaegwon Kim’s dual-conception of qualia from his book Physicalism, or Something Near Enough in the phenomenological lens of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Kim’s argumentation that intrinsic qualities of a quale are irreducible to physical states, but yet our intentional/cognitive faculties can behaviorally detect the similarities and differences between qualia, opens up a conception of qualia that differs from a traditional conception as pure sensation. Using Kim’s outline of how a subject discriminates between qualia, I argue this opens up into the phenomenological distinction between intra-subjective and inter-subjective discriminations, and thus offers Kim a more full account of experience. I argue that Kim theory of qualia is consistent with Merleau-Ponty, as it does not violate Merleau-Ponty’s objection to empiricism and intellectualism. I conclude by arguing that a theory of intentionality gives the intrinsic quality of a quale normative significance in the ways in which we encounter the world.

1. 26

I would like to thank Vincent Sawaya and Scott Latunski for their peer review, as well as Craig Cotter for proof-reading this paper.

A Phenomenological Critique of Jaegwon Kim’s Conception of Qualia In Physicalism, or Something Near Enough, Jaegwon Kim, in a defense of a defective physicalism, offers a dual-conception of qualia. He first distinguishes between mental properties that are reducible to physical states, what he calls intentional/cognitive properties, and the non-reducible phenomenal states, characterized as the qualitative properties of consciousness (qualia)2. He then goes on to argue that the similarities and differences between qualia can manifest itself in behavior (2005: 172), becoming detectable to our intentional/cognitive functions. This discrimination of qualia is thereby functionalized, and allowed causal efficacy in the physical world. However, the intrinsic qualities of qualia – a color as such, in and of itself – remain epiphenomenal, as they make no difference to our intentional/cognitive functions, and thus remain irreducible and causally impotent. Kim ends his book questioning whether or not this dual-conception of qualia can be resolved, but gives no answer. What then of the quale? Given Kim’s argument, qualia, though epiphenomenal, must hold to allow for our qualitative discriminations. In this paper, I will examine Kim’s conception of qualia through the phenomenological lens of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. In Section I, I will argue that Kim’s view is consistent with Merleau-Ponty’s conception of perception, in that, through intra-subjective as well as inter-subjective relations, we can behaviorally detect similarities and differences. In Section II, I raise an objection from contemporary commentators of Merleau-Ponty that a traditional conception of qualia as pure sensation is untenable. I will reconcile this objection in demonstrating that Kim’s conception of qualia stands opposed from a traditional conception, and can have support in Merleau-Ponty’s theory of our phenomenological experience of the world. In Section III, I will demonstrate Kim’s dual-conception of qualia based in a theory of intentionality. However, I only offer a more detailed account for support of Kim’s argumentation, not an attempt to reconcile the dual-conception of qualia.


Jaegwon Kim credits David J. Chalmers for this distinction. For more on this distinction, see Chalmers’ essay “The Representational Character of Experience”. 27

I. Intra-Subjective and Inter-Subjective Discriminations For Kim, what saves qualia is their detectable similarities and differences. These ‘relational facts’ (2005: 173) do no make a quale itself causal in the physical world, but via our intentional/cognitive faculties, we are able to distinguish between them. For example, given two similar objects, say two apples, we are able to distinguish between them by discriminative perceptual claims, say one apple is red and the other is green. Kim anticipates the objection of color-inversion, and says, “Colorinverted persons, as long as they have capacity to make the same color discriminations, should do as well as we do in coping with the world” (2004: 145), thereby stressing that what is important in discrimination is that there was a phenomenal state in which to discriminate from another phenomenal state, but not the actual quality of either phenomenal state. I present a distinction between two levels of discriminations. The first is intra-subjective discriminations, made at a subject’s intentional/cognitive level and the second is inter-subjective discriminations, made between two subjects. I will start with an explication of the first. The example I gave above of the red and green apples is an example of intra-subjective discrimination. However, It would be misleading to say discriminations are caused from a qualitative property of consciousness. Rather, it would be better stated to say it is in virtue of qualia that discriminations can be made. What this means is that the intrinsic quality of a quale, the content on which we describe our experience – the red of the one apple as it looks this way, the green of the other as it looks that way – are distinguishable based on the form of such an experience, not the content. In other words, what matters in intra-subjective discriminations is that something was experienced, rather than how it was experienced. What is important is that there is an object that is being referred to, and distinguished from another object. This can be understood best at the normative level, as Kim points out the significance is not color of the traffic lights, but how it corresponds to traffic management (2005: 172). The intrinsic quality may be given normative significance, and thus become a way in which we orient ourselves in the world, but the form - the way the phrase “red means stop” refers to an object - is how we discriminate. The intrinsic quality does not motivate, as the significance we attribute to the qaule (the form) is not intrinsic to the quale (the content), and thus is not functionalizable Returning to the color-inverted person, if they call one apple orange and the other purple, as long as the orange corresponds to another’s label of red and the purple to another’s label of green, then formally the same discriminations were made. Leading into my second distinction, this is important for inter-subjective relations. The form of the experiencing of a quale, regardless of what was the intrinsic quality is of such, is realizable in communication with another subject. As both Kim and Merleau-Ponty argue, the intrinsic quality experienced by a subject is unknowable to another, as they are mutually undetectable.


Merleau-Ponty says, “I will never know how you see red and you will never know how I see it… [but] our first movement is to believe in an undivided being between us” (1964: 17). This is to say that, though we not have access to another’s experience of qualia, we can, via an inter-subjective relationship with another subject, discriminate on that level, and at best say that one’s experience with an object is similar or different to our own. Even if the intrinsic quality of a quale experienced is different, similar discriminations can be made: red and orange has the potential to refer to the same object. We can achieve consensus on similar discriminations via similar interactions. Red and orange may potentially refer to the same apple, but this similar discrimination is realized if the apple is interacted between two subjects in a similar way, say being treated as food. Kim argues, Suppose that we have already acknowledged that a given perceiver can experience a range of qualia. When we present to him a ripe tomato, we may not know what the intrinsic quality of his visual experience is-what color quale he is experiencing. Similarly, when we present to him spinach leaves, we may not know what quale characterizes his visual experience. However, we can tell whether the quale he is now experiencing is similar to, or different from, each of the two color qualia he has just experienced (2004: 144-145). It may be, as Kim characterized, that we can behaviorally detect the differences and similarities an individual subject makes as it accords to different or similar objects, but it is reciprocal between the observer and observed. In observing a subject differentiate between objects, thereby validating that subject is experiencing some, though we know not what, intrinsic quality, it at the same time validates our intentional/cognitive faculty of differentiating objects. This validation speaks to the recognition between two subjects. Merleau-Ponty understands this behavior as one subject coming to understand another subject in midst of the same phenomena that he or she is coming to experience (1964: 18). Though one subject may claim an apple is red, and another may claim it is orange, they not only are referring to the same object, but that object holds as being undivided, of the same world. The above point helps to address a potential problem with Kim’s conception of qualia. In saving the similarities and differences of qualia, it becomes unclear what becomes of intrinsic qualities. Left as epiphenomenal, it could be conceived that the intrinsic quality is locked within subjective experience, and given its dismissal in inter-subjective experience in favor of the relational facts about qualia, this seems appropriate. However, in saving perceptual experience, but denying intrinsic qualities, it remains unclear what one has a perceptual experience of. If one needs to have a qualitative state of conscious in order to discriminate it against another qualitative state of conscious, then an intrinsic quality, such as a certain redness looking the way it does when I perceive it, must


be a part of our perceptual experience. Kim claims, though unsatisfactorily, that qualia, and the intrinsic qualities of qualia, are needed, “as place markers; without them there can be no qualia differences or similarities. Without content, there can be no form, no structure” (2004: 145). In order to apprehend the relationship intentional/cognitive faculties have with qualia, I must first give a better overall conception of qualia. II. Towards a Phenomenological Consideration of Kim’s Qualia Contemporary discussions of Merleau-Ponty have led commentators such as Taylor Carman to disagree with any conception of qualia. Carman’s objections against theories of a qualitative property of consciousness is that it: 1) it seems equivalent to Merleau-Ponty’s argument against a pure passive reception of sensation when he criticizes accounts of empiricism and intellectualism (2005b: 51), and 2) conceives of perception as if it were composed of individual discrete units (2005a: 77). I will start with addressing matters in the first objection. Merleau-Ponty’s main charge against sensation is that it does not correspond or relate to our subjective experience (1962: 4), and as it stems from traditional theories such as empiricism and intellectualism, it either commits the error of the former in making one’s perceptions private or of the latter as reducible to thought or judgment. Kim’s conception of qualia commits neither offense, as we can validate a subject’s perceptual experience by observing the similarities and differences they draw behaviorally when interacting with an object, and in making irreducible at least one aspect of qualia (the intrinsic quality), then a quale is still yet to be absolutely reducible. Lawrence Hass, another contemporary commentator of Merleau-Ponty, offers a warning when attempting to attach a physicalist’s approach to Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology, “[the physicalists] still often talk about experience as ‘qualia’ and do so in more or less atomistic terms, rather than complex figurebackground organizations” (2008: 43)3. Properly restated, a proper phenomenological critique of qualia would be to say that a subject has an experience of qualia, similar to Merleau-Ponty’s theory that we have an experience of phenomena, of undivided objects in our world. Kim’s language is consistent with this characterization, because even when he talks about intrinsic qualities of qualia, they are of an experience of an object. I will now turn to address Carman’s second objection. As Kim refers back to the object when a subject makes discriminative claims between the similarities and differences of qualia, so too does Kim refer back to an object when a subject claims an intrinsic quality of a quale. If it were the case that the redness of an apple was a mere representation of the apple, then any discrimination made between qualia would be undermined in Kim’s theory. However, if he rejects property dualism — which he does when he claims that, “Cartesian dualism



It should be noted that when Hass refers to a physicalist, he does not refer to Kim. Hass’s main critique of the physicalist account is that they do not get to experience as it is lived. I am arguing that Kim, in defending a defective physicalism, does not conceive of qualia as merely atomistic.

of two substances runs into insurmountable difficulties in explaining the possibility of causal relations across two domains, mind to body and body to mind-especially, the former” (2005: 84)4 — then intentional/cognitive faculties such as perception remain reduced holding causal efficacy. Kim’s dual-conception of qualia should not be confused with a dual-property theory. The motivational/ behavioral aspects give a functional account of qualia through the discrimination of its similarities and differences, while the qualitative/sensory aspects give an intra-subjective account of the way in which a subject comes to experience the world. This dissolves Carmen’s second objection — that qualia are composed of individual discrete units — because in our experience of an object, we are dependent on that object in order to have an experience of it. Following Thomas Nagel, Kim characterizes a phenomenal state as a way of saying it is ‘sometime to be like’ (2004: 139) in those states5. The experience one has of redness describes the way in which a subject comes to experience redness, not red in and of itself, but the subjective experience of red. Further, in our experience of an object, we do not come to experience it in units (i.e. for an apple: redness first, then size, then the weight, then the crunch, then the sweetness, etc) and then configure those units into a whole. As Merleau-Ponty argues, “the perceived thing is not an ideality in possession of the intellect, like a geometrical notion, for examples; it is rather a totality open to a horizon of an indefinite number of perspectival view which blend with one another according to a given style, which defines the object in question” (1964: 16). In other words, we come to perceive an object in its totality given our experience of the object. III. Intentionality and the Normative Significance With the reconciliation of the objection that Kim’s conception of qualia is the same as pure sensation, I will now move to argue that Kim’s qualia can be conceived in terms of intentionality. This is to say the world appears to us in this or that way because of our human faculties (intentional/cognitive properties such as perception), and, in the case of individuals, subjective faculties (qualitative properties such as an intrinsic quality of a quale). Nagel holds a similar idea when he claims a consciousness entails not only that, “there is something that it is like to be that organism – [but] something it is like for the organism” (1974: 436)6. In other words, it can be said that if the relational facts of qualia in our experience of an object are discriminated because something is for us given that there is an intentional way of being us - an object appears in the world given our particular way of being in the world - then the quale red of an apple may not be a physically reducible mental state, but it gives content to the form of discrimination between relational facts. Carman remarks that, “intentionality characterizes our grasp of the structures and contents of our own experience” (2005a: 4. 5. 6.

While the scope of this paper does not allow me to show a further a proper critique of Cartesian dualism, Merleau-Ponty offers a criticism of Descartes, arguing that the cogito does not accord with our idea of truth (1964: 21). Kim goes on later to refer to Nagelian model as a point-of-view subjectivity (2004: 146). While Nagel uses this in this to argue for the perceptual differences between humans and other organisms (as well as to some degree of mental consciousness in other organisms), I will only be referring to individual human subjects.


83), and thus it can be said that the intentional/cognitive faculties, while grasping an incomplete totality in perceiving an object7, nonetheless offers the link between Kim’s dual-conception of qualia that he left unclear. In returning to Kim’s traffic light example, it may not matter discriminatively whether or not red means stop or go, but as it relates to how we come to experience that object, and of the quale red, it comes to take normative significance. While still causally impotent, as the color is nevertheless devoid of normative significance, we do not perceive the quale red without some object in which to attribute it to. To say “the red of a traffic light” is itself discrimination. In the experience of obeying traffic laws, the quale red cannot be divorced from the traffic light. The motivational/behavioral aspect of that quale comes to be defined normatively, and the qualitative/sensory aspect comes to be a part of that perception. As Merleau-Ponty claims, “It is necessary that meaning and signs, the form and matter of perception, be related from the beginning and that, as we say, the matter of perception be ‘be pregnant with its form’ (1964: 15). This helps solve an issue Kim had with normativity, as he claims it seemed to inform our cognitive intentional states (2004: 151). For example: an object before me appears to be an apple. I have normative ground to believe, given the similar qualia I have experienced with previous objects that I have believed and confirmed to be apples, that what is appearing before me is an apple; and, with that informed probability, I can reason that I will intra-subjectively experience similar intrinsic qualities about the apple, such as sweetness and tartness. Kim argues, “When we deliberate about what we do, our beliefs about the world – in particular an assessment of the probable consequences of various courses of action open to us – and our preferences in regard to those possible consequences play a critical role in shaping our deliberation and decision” (2004: 149-150). I may be discriminating between relational facts of the qualia present, but it is because of the similar felt-qualities of previous apples, that I have probabilistic reason to expect those similar felt-qualities. Our motivations, here, are to have similar experiences, and this is formally conceived given previous content. These probabilistic expectations are normatively grounded in that I have reasons to believe that if I act in a certain way, certain consequences may follow. Kim argues that these reasons can serve epistemologically as well8. If a nearby observer were to watch my interaction with the apple, this subject has strong evidence, say, given the relational facts of qualia they experienced with apples, to have a probabilistic certainty that


7. 8.

Merleau-Ponty echoes this thought when he claims that an object is transcendent as, “it always contains something more than what is actually given” (1964: 16). He also argues that an object is also given immanently, as an object cannot be foreign to a subject who perceives it. This paradox of perception, Merleau-Ponty later argues, dissolves under reflection. While I seem to be moving towards a social epistemology, I resist this term for the purposes of this paper. Even though objections from philosophers such as Alvin Goldman, who claim that intersubjectivity offer no epistemological use other than social harmony (2004: 189), are useful in this discussion, my aims are an elaboration of Kim’s conception of qualia. While my theory may take qualia in a new direction, more work will need to be done to properly explicate intersubjective relations as it pertains to an epistemological account.

I will eat the apple. If this observer had a different relational experience with an apple, and could behaviorally detect the similarities and differences between a fresh apple and a rotten apple, this subject could communicatively inform me of this knowledge, and if the apple were to be rotten, I could normatively reground my reasoning and not eat the apple. IV. Conclusion What I have attempted to show in this paper is 1) how the phenomenological approach taken by Merleau-Ponty offers Kim a useful distinction between inter-subjective and intra-subjective discriminations, 2) how Kim’s conception of qualia is consistent with the demands of phenomenology, and 3) how a proper theory of intentionality offers new ways to resolve the questions Kim leaves us in Physicalism, or Something Near Enough. While Kim is committed to qualia, he is less optimistic about their intrinsic qualities. By offering a theory that includes content in our formal intra-subjective discriminations, it does not coincide against content-less inter-subjective discriminations. We may be able to behaviorally detect the similarities of qualia inter- and intra-subjectively, however, in light of the phenomenological approach, we can begin to refer to the intrinsic qualities of our experience as experienced. This may not be the theory Kim would approve of to solve the issue of qualia, but it is one that attempts to remain charitable to his dual-aspect conception.


Sowmya Surapur January 27, 2011

The Great Adventures of Charlie Darwin & Chuck Lyell Throughout time, humans have constantly sought to find the purpose of existence. By knowing the origins, humans curiously hope to give existence a meaning and purpose. This statement however may be argued by those who believe that the success of humanity is due the success we have had from our ability to predict the future rather than ponder upon our unknown and mysterious origins. Nonetheless, a countless of brilliant thinkers over time, and still today have been able to explore our histories and compile truths to hints of our origins, but without declaring a full theory for the origin for the universe. Both Charles Lyell and Charles Darwin are able to successfully explore the history of the Earth and its inhabitants by focusing their work by only using a tangible amount of time in history to avoid answering the questions about the origin of the universe. By using only a tangible amount of time, Lyell and Darwin are able to show a process/mechanism with evidence for explanations to questions in the present. In his first edition of Principles of Geology, Charles Lyell provides a testimony of the changes of climate in the Northern Hemisphere. In his argument, Lyell compares living species to fossil remains and species extinction to show that the living species that inhibit the Mediterranean today have fossil remains in northern European countries. By providing evidence that these fossilized species in these areas with colder temperatures, he concludes that these animals could have only survived in these locations if the temperature was more temperate than it is now. Because the species once existed in these locations, the temperature much have changed over time. With this evidence, Lyell forms his Theory of Uniformitarianism, which assumes that natural laws, processes and mechanisms that have operated in the past still exist and operate in the present and will operate in the future. Clearly, Lyell only explores so far back in time where actual proof exists, but fails to go beyond that to prove how the ground was formed. Though his theory does not explain the existence of species, it provides some explanations for the present and future. Charles Darwin was heavily influenced by Lyell’s work on Uniformitarianism, so much in fact that his work too reflects on Lyell’s theories. In the Descent of Man, Charles Darwin proposes that the same ‘evolution’ and changes that have occurred within animals over time have also occurred with humans. Though there are some clear distinctions with the development, such as that humans have higher thinking powers to have religion and morals (and other complex emotions), there is a considerable amount of clear evidence notably found in the changes of bodily structures that traces the descent of man to lower species, as well as other mammals. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution proposes how humans came to be, but once again, never answers the question of where the form before us originated, or where life itself originated. Darwin and Lyell’s theories, with regards to changes in species and geology, both claim the idea that the processes and mechanisms found in nature have been here for a long time and still hold today and will keep holding—thus making the future more predictable. 34


Wake Me Up Van De Aarde

I have no idea, Where this story ends Because there’s nothing there, Nothing else to wake my dreamy head Evergreens will keep, their color till death draws near For they hold their hope Only hope for the tepid ends of frost So don’t lose or regret the power that’s in your hands Just protect it with fire and don’t lead with desire or you’ll break your song Truth be told I’m wrong, for giving into the guise That I’m all alone, Not alone with so much we can’t see. Follow sacred paths, that blossom and fill our peace For they’re forged in joy Joy that’s given by the sun So don’t lose or regret the power that’s in your hands Just protect it with fire and don’t lead with desire or you’ll break your song I have no idea So wake me up


Lay, laid, lain, and lie

Brendan LaCroix for WRA 370

My first step in the hunt to discover the distinction between ‘lay’ and ‘lie’ was to check a usage guide. My instincts whispered, “Google it,” but my desire to have a legitimate source shouted, “Webster’s! Webster’s!” and so I cracked open my illegally-downloaded PDF of the book and found the appropriate entry. The giant “lay, lie” section assured me of two things: that I needn’t feel stupid for not being able to articulate the difference, and that I needn’t worry about filling four pages with a single grammatical problem. After all, wasn’t I just going to cite about half of the entry…and then use examples as filler? But when Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage failed to reconcile the words for me, I panicked. Would New Fowler’s Modern English Usage have a solution? Would I be able to find an answer? Or would this problem be as permanently perplexing for me as it has been for a billion others? Crestfallen, I opened up New Fowler’s.pdf, which I at least felt sure would give a more concise response. (In the interest of creating mystery, I’m not going to say where I finally found a solution that suited me.) I eventually did find an answer to my problem, and I have to say that you’re lucky to be reading it in this ineloquent and inappropriately personal paper, instead of having to muck about in a dozen uninteresting sources detailing the history of the words without giving a definitive answer as to how to use ‘lay’ and ‘lie’. As I’ve already said, my instincts did not point me to Webster’s or New Fowler’s right out of the gate. I had already typed “difference between lay and lie” into Google before realizing that it’s not how I should approach the problem, copyediting student that I am. Webster’s gave me much less than I expected, but the information is, theoretically, pretty valuable: And there is another curious influence on the use of transitive lay in speech: a folk distinction between lay and lie seems to be in operation that cuts across the distinction


of the school books. Evans 1957 says, “There is a tendency in present-day English to prefer the verb lay in speaking of inanimate objects, and the verb lie in speaking of living creatures”. A baseball announcer on television has put it in the pithier folk form: “Lay is for things, lie is for people.”1 This seemed a good general rule to start from, if only to create some separation between the two in my own understanding. It’s a fair assumption that this will work in my everyday life without mishap or misunderstanding, and Webster’s suggests that it might not even be worth researching the distinction because “the lay–lie shibboleth seems to be changing status”2. Since as far back as 1932, people have considered “the intransitive lay ... ‘illiterate’”3, though in the the seven hundred years leading up to that point, there is history of “lay being used intransitively in the sense of ‘lie’”4. Perhaps the most horrible moment in this research was when I read the following in Webster’s: “if you have invested some effort in learning the distinction, you will not want to admit that you have wasted your time”5. At which point I felt compelled to find a new source. The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage, which I know only for being a more concise (read: lazier, less interesting) usage guide than Webster’s, was my next choice—at least it wasn’t going to insult my grammar rule choice for this paper. And it didn’t! but I certainly felt no better about myself when the entry started “Except in certain nautical expressions, lay ‘is only dialectal or an illiterate substitute for lie [in intransitive uses]’”6. Illiterate though I may be, I plowed forward to the next, most useful inclusion so far: actual definitions for the two. “The principal parts of the two verbs are as follows: lay (transitive only, = put to rest), [past tense] laid, [past participle] laid; lie (intransitive only, = be at or come to rest), [past tense] lay, [past participle] lain.”7. Followed with examples of correct uses, I began to get a real feel for how to use ‘lay’, ‘lie’, ‘laid,’ and ‘lain’, but New Fowler’s, not seeing fit to give it up on the first date, brought another word to my attention that I hadn’t even considered: the present participle of lie, lying. And that grew to make me wonder where laying might fit in, which is what led me to move to a dictionary (given my newfound understanding that usage guides might not be particularly useful). was more helpful than New Fowler’s in that it gave me a little less ambiguity as to what I’m doing if I lay something down, or if I go to lie down. The meaning of “rest” (New Fowler’s chosen word for describing these actions) can be, when used to describe the word lay, “putting something in a horizontal position”, “knocking from an erected position”, “placing on, along, or under a surface”, “causing to be in a particular state or condition”, etc. For lie, it might mean “resting in a horizontal or flat position”, “remaining in a state of inactivity”, “being found in a particular place (as in The fault lies here)”, “being prostrate”, and so forth. The page for laying, though, was the same as the one for lay, and I hated the idea of not double checking that there’s not some secret to how you’re supposed to use laying. After all, it wasn’t in New Fowler’s list of forms, and it wasn’t in any of the examples given. A Google search for “laying vs. lying” brought me to an awful, 1, 3, 5. Webster’s 587 2, 4. Ibid., 586 6, 7. New Fowler’s 445 38

uncomfortably designed website that seemed to know what it was talking about (aesthetics aside). Its explanation was concise, and enough to satisfy me: “If you see something lying on the ground, it is just resting there; if you see something laying on the ground, it must be doing something else, such as laying eggs”. Not wanting to forget any of my hard-learned lessons, I checked a few other web pages for good memorization devices, creative ways of looking at the differences, and examples to get my ears used to the proper sound of the transitive lay and the intransitive lie. Guilty though I may be of liking sites clearly targeted toward teenage girls, my source of choice for drilling this into my gray matter was the “Grammar Girl” of the site Quick and Dirty Tips. “The way I remember it [the difference in the present tense],” Grammar Girl writes, “is to think of the phrase lay it on me. You’re laying something (it, the direct object) on me.” For the past tense, she gives the past and past participle forms, just as New Fowler’s does. Her examples, though, are more digestible and I finally feel the difference register itself. Despite Webster’s insistence that I wouldn’t want to admit that I looked into the difference between lay and lie, and New Fowler’s insistence that if I didn’t know the difference already, I was probably illiterate, I’m pleased to report my results: When you use lay (present tense), it will always be followed by some noun phrase. The same is true for laid, because it is always and only the past tense of lay. The present participle form of lay, laying, requires a noun phrase just like the rest. Unless you are laying something down on the couch (like eggs!), you are lying on the couch. Lie is more confusing, but only because its past tense form is lay [note: not laid—again, that’s only the past tense of lay (present tense)8]. And its past participle is lain, a word I don’t think I’ve ever heard used before in speech or writing. If it is present tense and you don’t have a direct object, you might see a sentence like I wanted to lie down under the car’s back tires. If it’s past tense, but there is no direct object, you would generally use “lay” (as in Last night, I lay on the frozen lake, fearful for my life). If you’re desperate to use a past participle, and are free of a direct object, you’re going to sound pretentious when you say I had lain in the underbrush with my collection of snakes, waiting to ambush my frenemies.9

8. 9.

If you or someone you know is using “laid” to describe what they did in their bed last night, they had damn well better be speaking reflexively (thereby introducing a direct object, which as you now know, is the distinguishing factor between lay and lie) as in: An hour ago, I laid myself down under the clouds, waiting to succumb to my injuries. Unfortunately, it’s been a slow and painful process and I’m still regretting challenging that cowboy to a gunfight. No, I did not finish my source list, because it is only worth 5 of 100 points. My apologies. 39

From Stopping to Viscosity in Heavy Ion Collisions Brent W. Barker and Pawel Danielewicz National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and Department of Physics and Astronomy Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA Abstract. Stopping in heavy ion collisions is investigated with the aim of learning about the shear viscosity of nuclear matter. Boltzmann equation simulations are compared to available data on stopping in the energy range of 20 - 117 MeV/nucleon. Stopping observables used include momentum anisotropy and linear momentum transfer. The data show that modeling the transport with free nucleon-nucleon cross-sections is inaccurate and reduced cross-sections are required. Reduction of the cross-sections produces an increase in the shear viscosity of nuclear matter, compared to calculations based on free cross-sections. Keywords: nuclear matter, shear viscosity, central reactions, transport theory, Boltzmann equation, stopping PACS: 21.65.-f, 25.75.-q, 25.75.Ag

Understanding how momentum is transported between nucleons is one way of discovering more about the bulk properties of nuclear matter. In collisions of heavy nuclei (A & 10), momentum is transferred between the nucleons of the two colliding nuclei. This momentum transfer is tied to the coefficient of shear viscosity of nuclear matter. An example of shear viscosity is laminar shear. Consider two plates, with fluid between them, moving in antiparallel directions, in the steady state. The movement of one plate induces a shear stress, t, on the layer of fluid below it, causing that layer to have a velocity u < uplate . That layer induces a shear stress on the layer under it, and so on. In the linear approximation, these velocities can related using the equation t = h(∂ u/∂ y), where yˆ is perpendicular to the plates. Here, h is the coefficient of shear viscosity, which is a measure of the momentum transfer in the fluid. For nuclear matter, we use the Boltzmann set of equations, describing the motion of a Wigner quasi-probability distribution in phase space, f (r, p,t)[1]. This equation starts with the Liouville equation, describing the single-particle evolution of a phase space density in a mean field. It then takes into account the effect of collisions by considering scattering into and out of all momentum states. The rate of this scattering is governed by the cross-section s . Most often, this is assumed to be the same as the s of free space. With some work, one can derive the viscosity h of a distribution that follows the above Boltzmann set[2, 3]. Through this, one learns that h is inversely proportional to s . To access the cross-section, and thus the viscosity, experimentally, we look at stopping. Simply put, “stopping” is the degree to which a projectile “stops” when it collides with a target. If the target is very transparent to the projectile and they pass through each other, the reaction is said to exhibit low stopping. This is directly related to momentum transfer and thus viscosity. If there is a large amount of momentum transfer, then the projectile and target will interact more and thus stop more. One of the observables to From Stopping to Viscosity in Heavy Ion Collisions


July 16, 2009


Data (Colin et al.)

125 100




η (MeV/fm c)




0.4 0.2


ν=0.8 ν=0.6 ν=0.4 ν=0.2

0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1 0.12 0.14 beam energy (GeV/A)


75 ν=0.8



25 0


(b) 0


40 T (MeV)



FIGURE 1. Panel (a) shows a measure of stopping in central Ar+Ag collisions. The symbols are experimental data from Ref.[4], while the lines are from Boltmann-equation simulations with varying in-medium NN cross-sections. Panel (b) shows the viscosity of nuclear matter at the saturation density, as a function of temperature, using varying in-medium NN cross-sections.

measure stopping is linear momentum transfer (LMT). LMT uses the average center-of-mass (CM) longitudinal velocity of the largest fragment emitted from the collision, scaled by the velocity of the CM, hvk i/vcm . In a system where the projectile is much smaller than the target, this fragment is assumed to be a residue of the target nucleus. If the target and projectile fuse, this value should be ' 1. If there is little stopping, the value should be smaller. Results of the simulation compared to data can be found in Figure 1(a). It is clear from Figure 1(a) that the free nucleon-nucleon (NN) cross-section overestimates the stopping. In order to more closely reproduce it, we use a crude geometric cross-section to constrain the cross section to a size imposed by the interparticle distance, s . s0 = n n−2/3 , with the adjustable parameter n ⇠ 1. This is parameterized so that at n ! 0, s ! sfree , while as n ! •, s ! s0 . Observing the effects of the reduced in-medium cross-section in Figure 1(a), it appears that n = 0.6 best reproduces the data. Using this reduction, we can calculate the viscosity. As demonstrated by Figure 1(b), by reducing the in-medium nucleon-nucleon cross-section, the viscosity is increased. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants PHY0555893 and PHY-0800026.

REFERENCES 1. 2. 3. 4.

P. Danielewicz, Nucl. Phys. A673, 375–410 (2000), nucl-th/9912027. L. Shi, and P. Danielewicz, Phys. Rev. C68, 064604 (2003), nucl-th/0304030. P. Danielewicz, Phys. Lett. B146, 168–175 (1984). E. Colin, et al., Phys. Rev. C 57, R1032–R1036 (1998).

From Stopping to Viscosity in Heavy Ion Collisions

July 16, 2009



Kevin Lynch

Gogolian Terrain

An Investigation of Gogol’s The Overcoat

Introduction The abrupt descent at the end of The Overcoat into the depths of the fantastic, while worthy of inquiry in and of itself, casts aspersions on the density of reality assumed in the entirety of the story prior to the ending. Starkness of contrast is what begets such aspersions, as the relations of depth at either end of the story forefront an undeniable intentionality, and push us readers to pondering the course of the story as a whole. For clarity, the descent spoken of here refers to the segment of the story starting with Akaky’s fever and onward. In further clarification, the contrasts referred to consist of, but are not limited to, shifts from: reality haunting Akaky to Akaky haunting reality, overcoats as physical to overtly symbolic, anonymity to recognition of Akaky, the reserved Akaky to the bold Akaky, the inhumanity to humanity of the Very Important Person, Akaky seeking the police to the police seeking Akaky, etc. What is the relationship between either side of the story? This essay will take up that question as the object of its investigation. Firstly, we will briefly sketch the decent itself, and secondly, its relation to the piece as a whole. Though impossible to reject the decent as transformation, through the investigation we will find that the decent can equally, if not moreso, be understood as reincarnation of the former part of the story if analyzed through the commonality of the overcoat. The Descent Succinctly, the structure of the descent begins with Akaky’s sickness, proceeds to his death and the commentary on it, then his resurrection and consequent haunting as a ghost, then the VIP and his fateful encounter with the ghost of Akaky, and finally we arrive at the final scene in which Akaky is pursued by a policeman on the outskirts of the city. The inversions start quick and flow fast within the above span of about 6 pages (p.265-271). No sooner than Akaky is sick, does he start boldly ranting as he has never done before, and as shown above, the contrasts that can be made are many. By the time the story finishes, we arrive at an image of Akaky that is monumentally incongruous with the Akaky we knew before his sickness. Pivoting to challenge the police officer who has been pursuing his visage, Akaky barks: “‘What do you want?’ at the same time displaying a fist of a size that was never seen among the living. The police constable said, ‘Nothing,’ and turned back at once. This ghost,


however, was much taller; it had a pair of huge moustachios, and, walking apparently in the direction of Obukhov Bridge, it disappeared into the darkness of the night.” (p.271) Juxtaposed to his encounter with the police just after his coat was stolen when he was alive, the Akaky we meet at the end the story of course is not seeking out the police for help, but rather the police are seeking him out as a danger (much different than lazily watching Akaky come up to him). He also is bigger, very assertive, and dawns his own mustache now, quite like the ones that adorned the thieves of his overcoat (p.257). Depths and Density As can be seen even from our brief sketch, it is neigh impossible to even describe the ending without noting its incongruity to the rest of the story. We will now undertake, though, to explore not simply the neat and obvious contrasts, but also various parallelisms, between both parts of the story. Thus, the change of depth that marks the descent is necessarily related to the density of the air throughout the whole of the story. This air should feel, contrary to what a physicist might intuit, quite light and fantastic throughout the story if one properly takes into consideration its relation to the depth of the descent. Enter the overcoat. Though the story is indeed entitled The Overcoat, and Akaky’s living struggle for and eventual acquisition of such a coat marks his spirituality (“…for spirituality he was nourished well enough, since his thoughts were full of the great idea of his future overcoat.” [p.249]), the reader encounters the symbolic nature of the coat most forcefully in the ending. Up until his death, Akaky’s relationship to overcoats (both his fomer ‘copote’ and his new ‘shenel’), can be understood primarily in terms of physicality. St. Petersburg is cold, winter is coming, and a sufficiently warm overcoat is a necessity there. While Patrovich does pour quite a bit of work into the overcoat, he is really only chosen for the work because he will do it on the cheap. Cat fur, an affordable and practical alternative to marten, is chosen for the collar. And though Akaky takes the task of being ruthlessly frugal fully to heart, there does not seem any other alternative aside from death for him. No longer in need of overcoats in any physical sense, the spiteful ghost of Akaky pursues all kinds of overcoats irregardless. He settles on the one with, doubtlessly, the best collar in town. In the same


manner in which the thieves stole Akaky’s overcoat (by first grabbing him by the collar [p.257]), Akaky delights in emulating their manner of seizure on none other than the Very Important Person himself, “‘ Aha! So there you are! I’ve—er—collared you at last!” (p.270). It is only after this incident that things, so we are told, calm down in St. Petersburg. We are led to believe that the ghost of Akaky is now satisfied. In asking why Akaky is now satisfied, however, every dimension of explanation besides the physical is accessible. The theme of rank and status come to mind; also the overcoat as the object of desire –libidinal or otherwise—is clear; the coat as symbolic of life is not too hard to discern (the ghost of Akaky may proceed to eternal life instead of a haunting existence). Critically, the centrality of the absurd in understanding the overcoat is forged. It is in the absurdist capture of the overcoat’s meaning that continuity can then be constructed throughout the story. For while physicality was the primary sense in which the reader understands the overcoat in the first part of the story, the symbolic nature is not inaccessible before Akaky’s death: rather it just becomes blatant after his death. On the contrary though, it is impossible to understand the meaning of the overcoat in any physical sense in the period of the descent. Thus, to the reader it is necessarily revealed that Gogol’s intention was to give the overcoat metaphysical content throughout the story. Conclusion When Akaky pleads with Petrovich to mend his old capote, it is to save his long-time lover. When his officemates host a party in his honor, it is in celebration of the advance in rank the overcoat affords him. When the very important person aggressively denies Akaky’s humble groveling for help, he is denying Akaky’s humanity. Fittingly, after this denial, Akaky loses his status as human and becomes a ghost. Such readings work off of the continuity Gogol certainly intended in The Overcoat, and allow the reader to more fully experience the depth and density of the story. A first reading might reveal itself to the reader as rather disjointed: first the air is rather thick with realism, and then it seems to veer off a cliff, descending in an indelible lightness. This is merely because of the murky, absurdist aura Gogol prefers to render. In truth, the story is quite blissfully light and surreal throughout. Indeed, the reader does fall off the cliff of a dark mountain as Akaky dies and is reborn a shade. However, the reader should know that the heights Gogol erected for the reader to fall off, were precisely that from the start – high. Keen sense of smell submits that the air was difficult to breathe whole while.



LEAP%OF%FAITH% I ran across the devil, he played a lovely tune. He asked me for my hand,

and we danced a two by two. But soon enough he’d take my life, he dropped my hand and I awoke in fright. Don’t believe the serpents tongue, I beg of you, just turn and run. *** I found a magic genie bottle hidden beneath the stairs. I found it and ran with it far into the fields. Underneath the moonlight I cleaned it with my sleeve. A magic genie poured out and towered over me. I found a magic genie, only one wish did he grant, and I had to guess the wish right, judging from his rants. “Child, I am Leon; A true mythos, a legendary ghost, subject of your whim. My only warning; false desires will not be materialized. Only one wish will I grant to a subject of unending questions, insufficient answers, and penetrating fears. Any other would be immoral in mind. No, if you choose an end to all suffering is what I shall do. Little one you must know, you’ve started to see, that which is wrong may sometimes be right, and that which is good can lead to a fight. Separate opinions leads to a fog, and an illusion of life is one not lived at all. Rid yourself of the fear of your lack; the former to life is the only way back. The peace I will bring is not a measurable means; rather the wisdom I’ll grant will unravel your seams. So gear 45

up and lets hear it, your first crack at the whip, which path will you stumble and invariably slip.” “Leon, my name is Virginia, and I am not but eleven years old. To you I may seem not incredibly tall but my stature has taught there’s no fear in the fall. An owl I’ve sought, I’ve danced with the lore, and I’ve heard men bicker till their throats became soar. You see my young eyes, and they see through your lies. I am blind to the suffering for which you speak. Life’s absurd motion still moves with the ocean and one wish does not grant everlasting peace.” “You speak sweetly enough, but are swift as if just, when it is clear you mistrust the things which you’ve heard and now say. Look deep. Be strong. What is it you long? An answer to all of dismay.” “I wish for a friend to be by my side in all my adventures from here. A dog or a monkey, either for company. Is this sufficient in your self-righteous aim?” “My young Virginia, don’t you see! You are experiencing a feeling of lack with all you’ve been given. You’re not enough, and yet forever you’re stuck. You feel incomplete with the little ole me that which is all you’ve been given. You are doomed to failure each waking day, when trying to chase that which cannot be obtained. You can stuff it with things, people and dreams, but the façade of complete is a sham! While one piece might fit, in time it will slip. You’re missing piece is part of your whole.


It leaves me with such distaste to witness your self-made misplace, and the extent to which you invalids lie. I cannot complete your lack, by bandaging the patch. But will only obliterate the need for this at all. “Razors pain you; Rivers are damp; Acids stain you; And drugs cause cramps; Guns aren't lawful; Nooses give; Gas smells awful;” ……

I’ve seemed to forgotten the line. My point, dear heart. What you see out the looking glass, it is not bright, and ambiguity strains the eyes. Don’t you see, whatever you’ll be is constrained by your not be. Your future is the end of a line. If you so decide to live mesmerized lies, failure is all you’ll receive. When to conclude all your days in a worried dismay is all you have left to ingest. To digest the regress of your fellow and foe into shambles that crumble and tear. Please bare with me here, the end is quite near, your end is in fact in my site.”

“Please, Wait! This, what you say to me now. At the end of my line? Speaking of time? You are too quick to gobble your pray. What is the deal, this secret you yield? Do you wish that I knock on deaths door?

“There is nowhere to run!


Why do you ask that which is most difficult to hear? Am I not witness enough? What would be the best thing for you, Virginia, would to have never

been. Because this is IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU, the next best thing would be to die. And quickly. There’s an infinite bliss in the grim reapers kiss. It’s chilling me now to the bone. THEY ALL RUN AND HIDE! And forget to survive, so I’m here, and I’m waiting for them. Sweet Virginia. I’ll comfort you too. I’ll fill all your woes. I’ll hold tight as your blanket is set. And then you’ll close your eyes, breathe in deep one last time, and forever be cradled in arms. My warmth is the sun, and I nestle at rest, and we will sway to the rivers flow.”

Underneath the moonlight, in an open field I lie. I closed my eyes, I heard his cry, “your wish is my command”. _______________________ I came across the devil, he played a lovely tune. He asked me for my hand, we danced a two-by-two. He grabbed my neck and squeezed it tight, gripping harder at my throat. He grinned at me and laughed so light, I quivered with a nervous fright. As he looked me in the eyes he said- “don’t be surprised if you do not like the end of my tune.” I had heard it just once before, and now I am no more. My life taken by a genie under the stairs. - Alien Fixation


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the pine press

volume 42, issue 5


42.8 - Academic papers  

A Pine Press with an academic theme.

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