black political thought a form of American liberalism or, as many
African-American commentators argue, a rejection of it? The question
isn't so black-and-white, says Michael
C. Dawson, the William R. Kenan Jr. professor of political
science, in his new book Black Visions: The Roots of Contemporary
African-American Political Ideologies (Chicago, 2001). The
rise of a black "counterpublic" in the 19th century,
Dawson argues, resulted in currents of black political thought
as different as abolitionist Frederick Douglass and rap artist
Ice Cube. Ideologies such as radical egalitarianism, disillusioned
liberalism, conservatism, nationalism, feminism, and Marxism,
he says, still affect blacks' perspectives on issues such as their
position in American society, their view of whites, and separatism.
By studying the ideologies, he says, much can be learned about
the African-American public.
touch cortical area's connected to the...
researchers have come the closest yet to understanding how functionally
complex brains evolve: by adding new areas to the cortex, surmise
Elizabeth Grove, assistant professor
in neurobiology, pharmacology, & physiology, and postdoctoral
fellow Tomomi Fukuchi-Shimogori in the November 2 Science.
The two have discovered a simple molecular mechanism that controls
the in-utero development of specialized areas in the cortex-including
those that oversee vision, touch, and memory. The mechanism, Fibroblast
Growth Factor 8, is a signaling protein that's known to orchestrate
how the body's limbs and organs are organized. But apparently
it's involved in cortical development too: when the researchers,
experimenting on mice embryos, surgically moved Factor 8 from
the front to the back of the cortex, the mice were born with a
duplicate set of the touch neurons associated with their whiskers.
Similarly, Grove suggests, an area of the human brain that originally
processed primitive sounds may have doubled or tripled during
evolution, creating advanced capacity for vocalization, speech,
all broken families are alike
living in broken families are on average less likely to graduate
from high school and attend college than those in two-parent homes.
They're also more likely to use alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana
and engage in sexual activity at a younger age. That's according
to "Good Things Come in 3's: Single-Parent Multigenerational
Family Structure and Adolescent Adjustment," a working paper
in which Harris School assistant professors Thomas
DeLeire and Ariel
Kalil examine the U.S. Department of Education's 1988
National Educational Longitudinal Study. But not all broken families
are alike. Indeed, teenagers living with their single mother and
at least one grandparent turn out at least as well and often better
than teens in intact families.
the hawk flies
his new book, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (Norton,
John J. Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison distinguished
service professor of political science, formally advances his
"offensive realism" theory. In a post-Cold War world
where no international authority reigns, he argues, hegemony is
the only insurance of security. Of little consequence are trade,
treaties, or the bonds of international organizations-even an
ally's intentions are uncertain, so states must be ready to strike
first when danger lurks.
your emotions be your guide
Emotions such as grief, fear, anger, and love seem to be alien
forces that disturb our thoughts and plans. But they are also
intelligent appraisals of a world beyond our control, argues Martha
C. Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund distinguished service
professor of law and ethics, in Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence
of Emotions (Cambridge, 2001). She suggests that emotions-particularly
compassion-should play a role in private and public reasoning.