It’s been nearly 50 years since the political philosopher John Rawls published his groundbreaking “Theory of Justice,” articulating the connection between justice and equal rights. That 1971 book, the first of three major pieces by the onetime James Bryant Conant Professor who died in 2002, still stands as a defining work of modern political philosophy. This Thursday through Saturday, it and the links it identified will be the focus of “Inequality, Religion, and Society,” a conference at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.With panel discussions tackling issues such as social inequality, economic justice, and religion and democratic society, the conference is particularly appropriate for today’s tumultuous politics, said its chair, Michael Rosen, the Senator Joseph S. Clark Professor of Ethics in Politics and Government. With keynote talks by Christine Korsgaard, the Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Philosophy, and Thomas Michael “Tim” Scanlon, the Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity Emeritus, who had studied with Rawls, it will also offer a chance to look at the man as a historical figure, examining his development as a scholar and a thinker, from his years studying at Princeton to his nearly four decades teaching at Harvard.It may have needed this long for a comprehensive examination of Rawls, whom many consider the progenitor of modern political philosophy. “As the environment of political philosophy has changed, so people have taken different aspects of Rawls’ work,” said Rosen. “All of us who worked in political philosophy have worked, in a sense, in his shadow.”Rawls’ significance cannot be overstated, he said. “We’ve started to see … a degree of alienation from the liberal principles of pluralism and toleration he thought were essential to any kind of society.” “All of us who worked in political philosophy have worked, in a sense, in his shadow.” — Michael Rosen Rosen said the conference will question the applicability of work that dates from a very different time. After all, he noted, the world has not progressed as Rawls and his contemporaries expected. During Rawls’ time at Harvard, for example, many believed religion was a fading factor in global events. Today, “We’ve moved into a world in which we seem to face more religiously based conflict than would have been anticipated in the ’70s,” Rosen said.Income inequality has also become more acute, trending against 1970s predictions. “Forty or 50 years ago, it was thought that, although there would be inequality in capitalist societies, that it would be moderate, and that there would be a rising tide, which would lift all ships,” said Rosen.But while some expectations have not been met, Rawls’ work nearly half a century ago on climate change seems prescient. Specifically, Rosen said, “Rawls is one of the first people to raise issues about justice between generations in his work.”Bringing together scholars from Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, and other universities around the world, the conference will examine the resilience and utility of Rawls’ work. “We’re looking to see if there are ideas that are fruitful,” said Rosen. “But also how this context that we now face might force us to rethink and redevelop this great philosopher’s work.”Rawls himself is now another focus of study. “People have started to ask scholarly questions about the development of his thought, about what his continuing motivations were,” Rosen said. “His own intellectual development is extremely complex and extremely fascinating.“One of the most central discoveries is that in the center of his philosophy there’s a concern for how a liberal political order could accommodate a diversity of outlook and background, particularly of religion.” Rawls initially had been deeply religious, Rosen said, and, “In some ways, his later liberalism can be seen as coming to terms with aspects of his earlier self.”The conference is supported by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard’s Departments of Government and Philosophy, the Centre for Political Philosophy, Ethics and Religion at Charles University, and the Sekyra Foundation, both of Prague.
Related Shows Daniel Radcliffe Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Spring Awakening Dominates Ovation AwardsDeaf West’s revival of Spring Awakening, the transfer of which is currently playing on Broadway, was honored with six trophies at the 2015 L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation Awards on November 9. Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik’s tuner picked up Best Production of a Musical (intimate theater, for when the show was at Deaf West Theatre), Best Production of a Musical (large theater, for the Wallis Annenberg Center incarnation) and Acting Ensemble of a Musical. Michael Arden, Spencer Liff and Ben Stanton also won for direction, choreography and lighting, respectively.Ivo van Hove Thought Bowie’s Approach Was a TrickPossibly the most mysterious production to be heading for New York’s boards this season is David Bowie’s Lazarus. The show’s director, Ivo van Hove, has been a huge fan of the enigmatic music legend for decades, so much so that when he was first approached about the project, he thought it was a prank. “I didn’t believe it,” van Hove told The New York Times. “I thought this is one of the tricks that one of my actors plays with me on my computer.” Turns out it’s no joke; Michael C. Hall, Cristin Milioti, Michael Esper and more will begin performances in Lazarus on November 18 at New York Theatre Workshop off-Broadway.Bobby Cannavale & Billy Crudup Team UpBobby Cannavale, Billy Crudup, Justin Long, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Justin Theroux and more have been tapped as contestants for Labyrinth Theater Company’s Celebrity Charades Goes Medieval. The signature gala event is scheduled to take place on November 16 at Capitale. Other big names enlisted include Josh Charles, Natasha Lyonne, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Bobby Moynihan, Erin Richards, Mo Rocca, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Cynthia Rowley and Yul Vázquez. Oh to be a fly on that wall…Daniel Radcliffe Reacts to Cursed ChildDaniel Radcliffe recently stopped by Live! with Kelly and Michael and opened up about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which will hit London’s West End next summer. “I’m very happy seeing Potter go on to other people,” said the five-time Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner. However, Radcliffe did acknowledge about the sequel: “It would be weird to see that show and someone else play that part.” Check out the interview below! View Comments Spring Awakening Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 24, 2016 Star Files read more
National Life Group announced today a biomass energy project that will meet 90 percent of the heating needs of its Montpelier campus while reducing the company’s annual carbon footprint by 45 percent. The $2 million project, scheduled to be completed in late summer, is expected to cut National Life’s annual usage of heating oil from 210,000 gallons to about 30,000 gallons. The company’s $500,000 annual heating bill will be cut roughly in half.National Life’s 500,000-square-foot headquarters is one of the largest commercial buildings in Vermont.“This project will reduce our reliance on foreign oil, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and will create jobs in our region by supporting our forest products industry,” said Mehran Assadi, president and CEO of National Life Group.Governor Jim Douglas, who attended the announcement, praised National Life’s environmental leadership. “This company is a corporate leader when it comes to energy and the environment,” he said, noting that National Life hosts one of the largest solar electricity installations in the state.Last year the U.S. Green Building Council awarded National Life’s 50-year-old headquarters silver certification under the Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.National Life’s new heating system will use two biomass boilers to burn carbon-neutral woodchips from local renewable sources as fuel. A bin to hold the woodchips will be built below ground near the building’s entrance. The biomass energy system is expected to be fully functional by the end of the summer.The Montpelier-based Biomass Energy Resource Center, BERC, worked closely with National Life in the development of the biomass system. Currently there are more than 70 wood-burning biomass heating and cooling systems in use throughout Vermont, primarily in schools. National Life will be one of only a few commercial office buildings to use such a system.According to BERC, woodchip biomass systems are carbon neutral and have lower sulfur dioxide and net greenhouse gas emissions than both oil and propane. In addition, a sophisticated electrostatic precipitator and exhaust filtration system will remove on average 98 percent of any particles from the emissions, further minimizing any pollution. However, because the woodchips are green and nearly half water, occasional steam plumes may be released through the building’s emissions stack.According to Tim Shea, who spearheaded the project for National Life, “What is remarkable to me is that we’ll be heating approximately 500,000 square feet of building with the biomass system this winter and the emissions will only be that of about 12 woodstoves.” Shea said the new biomass system will cost approximately $2 million and will pay for itself in savings within five to six years.At National Life, environmental stewardship has been a long-standing commitment. In addition to the new biomass system there are numerous employee efforts to lessen the company’s impact on the environment, including recycling shredded paper for reuse as animal bedding and composting food waste. Other energy efficiency projects on the campus include installation of a 73kW solar photovoltaic system to help power the campus, a solar thermal system, water-saving fixtures in the restrooms, energy-saving light ballasts and bulbs, and more efficient air conditioners in the data center.Source: National Life. 5.12.2010 read more
Apr 5, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Cooking poultry to a temperature of 165°F will ensure it is safe to eat, though higher heat may be desirable for the sake of taste or appearance, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today.Current federal recommendations list various safe cooking temperatures for poultry, including 180°F for whole chickens and 170°F for breasts. The USDA said it wants to clarify that the key temperature for safety is 165°F. The guideline is based on advice from the USDA’s National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF).”The Committee was asked to determine a single minimum temperature for poultry at which consumers can be confident that pathogens and viruses will be destroyed,” USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Richard Raymond said in a news release.”The recommendation is based on the best scientific data available and will serve as a foundation for our programs designed to reduce foodborne illness and protect public health,” Raymond said.Heating to 165°F destroys Salmonella, “the most heat resistant pathogen of public health concern in raw poultry,” states an NACMCF report issued in March. The temperature is also lethal for Campylobacter bacteria and avian influenza viruses, the USDA said.But the USDA announcement says that consumers, “for reasons of personal preference, may chose to cook poultry to higher temperatures.”The committee report explains, “Guidance to the consumer should indicate that higher final temperatures may be needed for consumer acceptability and palatability (e.g., 170°F for whole muscle breast meat, 180°F for whole muscle thigh meat in order to remove the pink appearance and rubbery texture).”The temperature guideline is one of several recommendations the advisory committee made about safe cooking of poultry products. The USDA asked for advice after several people in Minnesota and Michigan contracted Salmonella infections last year from eating chicken products that appeared to be cooked but were not. The products were chicken breasts covered with browned breading.Among its other recommendations, the advisory committee said:Consumer guidelines should explain that longer cooking is needed if a product is frozen at the beginning of cooking.Consumers should be told that microwave cooking of raw, frozen poultry products is not advisable unless the package gives detailed instructions for determining if the product has reached the recommended temperature.Guidelines should address how to measure product temperature accurately and how to determine if a thermometer is “out of calibration.”Product labels should make clear whether the product is “ready to eat” or not.When a product containing raw poultry appears to be cooked, the label should make clear that it contains raw poultry and requires thorough cooking.See also:NACMCF draft reporthttp://www.fsis.usda.gov/shared/PDF/NACMCF_Report_Safe_Cooking_Poultry_032406.pdfCooking temperatures chart on federal “foodsafety.gov” sitehttp://foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.htmlApr 22, 2005, CIDRAP News story “Salmonella cases linked to frozen chicken entrees” read more