School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Research Publications

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    Children in the Roman Farming Economy: Evidence, Problems and Possibilities
    Lewit, T ; Van Limbergen, D ; Hoffelinck, A ; Taelman, D (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022)
    Children’s roles within Roman farming have been little explored, despite a flood of recent work on many aspects of childhood in Roman society. Children were an important economic cohort, however, and would have made up a large group within the potential labour force of any farm. Close examination of textual and visual sources suggests that children played specific economic roles. Further, ethnographic studies on children’s farm work in the Mediterranean and beyond in more recent times reveal considerable correspondence with ancient practices. The allocation of certain categories of tasks to children appears highly consistent across time and geographic location. By combining these groups of evidence, we can consider the extent to which children’s labour would have contributed to the Roman farming economy. Children’s work should not be seen as insignificant or marginal: rather, it played an essential part, as in later times, within the economics of farm work.
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    Why do we find Bohr obscure? Reading Bohr as a philosopher of experiment
    Camilleri, K ; Faye, J ; Folse, H (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017)
    Niels Bohr's philosophical view of quantum mechanics has been the subject of extensive scholarship for the better part of five decades. Yet Bohr’s writings have remained obscure, as evidenced by the variety of different scholarly interpretations of his work. In this chapter, I review the historiography of Bohr scholarship, arguing that his meaning has remained elusive because his central preoccupations lay not so much with an interpretation of the quantum-mechanical formalism, which many commentators see as the problem of quantum theory, but rather with the epistemological question of how we can acquire empirical knowledge of quantum objects by means of experiment. Bohr’s doctrine of classical concepts, I argue, is therefore best understood as a philosophy of experiment.
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    Bohr and the problem of the quantum-to-classical transition
    Schlosshauer, M ; Camilleri, K ; Faye, J ; Folse, H (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017-10-19)
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    Orthodoxy and heterodoxy in the post-war era
    Camilleri, K ; Freire, O (Oxford University Press, 2022-05-19)

    This chapter focuses on the responses of physicists such as Heisenberg, Pauli, von Neumann, Born, Dirac and Jordan, to the new wave of criticisms of quantum mechanics that emerged after the Second World War. The various attempts to defend the ‘Copenhagen interpretation’ took the form of a series of retrospective reconstructions that often went beyond anything we can find in the writings of the late 1920s or 30s. Various interpretational commitments were appropriated, reinterpreted, and, in some cases, even revised. The postwar orthodoxy was a dialectical response to the new challenges it faced in the early 1950s. Yet this dialectic did not lead to a uniform ‘orthodox’ position. It was therefore never an orthodoxy in the true sense of the word. Far from creating a unitary Copenhagen interpretation, the postwar debates had the effect of dramatically expanding the range of interpretations that bore the label “orthodox” or “Copenhagen”.

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    H. Dieter Zeh and the History of the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics
    Camilleri, K (Springer International Publishing, 2022-01-01)
    H. D. Zeh’s early work on the foundations of quantum mechanics and his struggle for recognition provides an instructive case study in the history of the re-emergence of the foundations of quantum mechanics in the latter decades of the twentieth century. In this chapter I examine Zeh’s early work on decoherence and the obstacles he faced in Heidelberg in winning support for his controversial ideas. Zeh’s commitment to the Everett interpretation undoubtedly served as a major obstacle to the wider recognition of his early theoretical contributions to the understanding of decoherence. It was only through the divorcing of interpretation from the study of the dynamics of environment-induced decoherence in the 1980s that Zeh’s work began to attract renewed attention from a number of physicists. This occurred largely through the work of Wojciech Zurek in the 1980s and 90s. However, Zeh’s struggles were not simply the result of his unorthodox views on interpretation. Unlike Zurek, Zeh did not enjoy the luxury of the backing and support of senior colleagues who were sympathetic to his theoretical interests. Whereas Zurek befitted immensely from his association with John Wheeler, whose reputation gave him the freedom to pursue foundational questions, Zeh found himself increasingly marginalized in Heidelberg with little prospect of professional advancement. The story of Zeh’s early struggles thus constitute an important chapter in the history of the foundations of quantum mechanics.
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    Automating Digital Afterlives
    Fordyce, R ; Nansen, B ; Arnold, M ; Kohn, T ; Gibbs, M ; Jansson, A ; Adams, PC (Oxford University Press, 2021-08-26)
    The question of how the dead “live on” by maintaining a presence and connecting to the living within social networks has garnered the attention of users, entrepreneurs, platforms, and researchers alike. In this chapter we investigate the increasingly ambiguous terrain of posthumous connection and disconnection by focusing on a diverse set of practices implemented by users and offered by commercial services to plan for and manage social media communication, connection, and presence after life. Drawing on theories of self-presentation (Goffman) and technological forms of life (Lash), we argue that moderated and automated performances of posthumous digital presence cannot be understood as a continuation of personal identity or self-presentation. Rather, as forms of mediated human (after)life, posthumous social media presence materializes ambiguities of connection/disconnection and self/identity.
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    The Political and the Personal in Five Tang Dynasty Imperial Tombs of the Post-Wu Zetian Period
    Eckfeld, T ; ZHOU, T (Wenwu Chubanshe, 2022)
    After his 705 resumption of the throne, Emperor Zhongzong (r.684 and 705-710) commissioned the construction of imperial tombs to reinstate the official status of members of the Tang dynasty imperial family who had been demoted and put to death in the Wu Zetian period. These grand tombs stood as symbols of both Li family political legitimacy and posthumous rehabilitation of the deceased. Five tombs containing mural paintings from 706, have been excavated, belonging to: Crown Prince Yide (d.701), Princess Yongtai (d.701) and Prince Li Xian (later Crown Prince Zhanghuai, d.684) at Qianling; and two concubines of Li Dan (later Emperor Ruizong, r.684- 690 and 710-712), Tang shi Anguo Xiangwang ruren (662-693) and Cui shi Anguo Xiangwang ruren (d.???) at Luoyang. These mural paintings are the largest number of discovered from any one year of the Tang dynasty. Comparison of the tombs and their mural paintings reveals new information about mortuary entitlements, relative status, standardisation of mural painting pictorial programs and personalisation reflecting the individual tastes and interests of tomb occupants or patrons commissioning the tombs.
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    Considering Evidence in Art Fraud
    SLOGGETT, R ; Chappell, D ; Hufnagel, S (Routledge - Taylor & Francis, 2016)
    Securing the evidential link between the work and the artist who is purported to have produced it requires a rigorous analytical approach; one that not only accepts particular evidence that may support the assertion of authenticity, but which can also contest evidence that is not correct. Such an approach is by its very nature multidisciplinary, often bringing together knowledge of art history, the art market, cultural materials conservation, chemistry, law and policing. What constitutes evidence of authenticity is generally based on considerations of provenance, art historical context, including facts about the artist and scientific enquiry. Building the chain of evidence for art authentication is a complex and carefully constructed activity that ensures that works can be legitimately, and verifiably, linked to the artist who is purported to be their source.
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    Dictator
    Vervaet, F ; Hornblower, S ; Spawforth, A ; Eidinow, E (Oxford University Press, 2022-01-28)
    Soon after the establishment of the Republic (traditionally dated to 509 BCE), an aristocratic democracy marked by collegial rule and limitation of tenure, the Romans introduced the office of dictator, initially to create an additional and ranking military command whenever required. Appointed by the chief annual magistrate by decree of the Senate, the dictator had no equal colleague, the main constraints on his authority being his official commission as defined by the Senate and the obligation to abdicate promptly following the completion of this specific task. From 363 to 301 especially, the dictatorship became a frequent fixture of the republican machinery of state, thereafter occurring only infrequently until the Second Punic War, which saw another spate of appointments. Rather than being created to deal with external or internal emergencies, dictators were mostly appointed to execute one or more routine tasks normally conducted by consuls or praetors, ranging from military commands to obscure religious rituals, as per the exigencies of the moment. Significantly, the office played an important and constructive role in the resolution of the so-called struggle of the orders and the gradual shaping of the republican polity. Throughout the entire early and middle republican period, the Senate retained close control over the dictator and his activities. After the Second Punic War, as Roman power rapidly expanded across the Mediterranean and prorogation of consular and praetorian power became the norm, the office lapsed completely. The age of civil war (88-30 BCE) saw first Sulla and next Caesar revive the dictatorship, albeit by means of constitutive laws and in vastly enhanced and autocratic form. Irrevocably tarnished by the actions of these strongmen, Augustus consistently refused to accept the dictatorship, causing it to vanish with the Republic it was originally devised to serve.
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    Post-truth dystopia: Huxleyan distraction or Orwellian control?
    Durant, D ; Rommetveit, K (Routledge, 2021-01-01)
    This book engages with post-truth as a problem of societal order and for scholarly analysis. It claims that post-truth discourse is more deeply entangled with main Western imaginations of knowledge societies than commonly recognised.