This workbook is designed especially for beginners — each of the over problems only requires you to think ahead a single move. This significantly revised second edition adds over problems. This first volume deals with tesuji that are useful for attacking; later volumes cover tesuji for defense, as well as tesuji for the opening, capturing races, and the endgame. Haengma is a Korean word that is difficult to translate. It represents the way the stones move literally it means moving horse and how they make use of the momentum.
The term is not only used to describe various basic combinations of stones and their implications but also covers more intricate moves that are close to tesuji. In this book Yoon Youngsun 8p uses 36 positions from pro games and joseki to analyze haengma and discuss old and new ways to play. This book is a systematic introduction to life and death for beginning players. Part One starts out by presenting all the basic eye spaces. It then shows how three basic tesujis the hane, the placement, and the throw-in are used to reduce the eye space of a group to one eye, then to kill that group.
The second part is a life-and-death dictionary that presents basic positions that often arise from josekis or common middle-game skirmishes in the corners and along the sides. The professional go world is suddenly being overwhelmed by teenage and twenty something Chinese players who are winning both international and Chinese national titles—virtually all current world title holders are Chinese, and several of them were born in the s.
This book has four fully commented games involving eight of them, and we plan to publish more soon. Their style tends to be more territorial than you might expect, but, as Yuan Zhou makes clear, they find amazing moves. This latest volume in the Master Play series analyses the playing style of Iyama Yuta, who is on the verge of being the first pro ever to hold all seven of the top Japanese titles in the same year — he has won each of the seven individually several times. Iyama has been dominating the Japanese pro world for some time now and has also had some impressive international successes, defeating both Lee Sedol and Gu Li in a fast play tournament.
His style is a combination of a traditional focus on territory plus very impressive fighting skills. Did you ever complain about Go problems that are much too difficult for you to solve? And probably lost courage? This book helps you do that and overcome your current weakness in the beautiful field of tsume-go. Study over problems — based on 44 side patterns — that are analyzed in great detail. Absorb numerous hints that direct your gaze to previously unrecognized vital shape points.
This series guides you from knowing zero Japanese to understanding the text of go problems and their answers, and extracting key information from game records. Volume Two is a direct continuation of Volume One. Divided into five sections, it methodically introduces vocabulary found on book covers and in headers, captions, and diagrams.
It is aimed at go players of all abilities with a fairly wide range of interest in Japanese. Study over problems — based on 47 corner patterns — that are analyzed in great detail. This book tries a novel approach in offering an important intermediate step between the main problem diagrams and the respective solutions. Alternative approaches as well as failures are presented as separate problems to be solved individually. This book brings together all the strategic and tactical principles of go. The principles presented here can certainly be found scattered in the thousands of go books that have been published, but nowhere are they found collected in one place.
All the go proverbs that have some concrete relevance to strategy or to tactics are included, and each principle is supplemented with as many examples as the principle warrants. With all these principles contained under one cover, a go player can embark on a systematic study of them. Once all principles have been firmly implanted in your mind, you will instinctively and intuitively recall the relevant principle when they arise in your games through pattern recognition.
This book examines the famous game in which Go played his first three moves on the point, the diagonally opposite point, and the center point. In addition to the very complete analysis of the game, the book contains information about the background of the players and the game, a discussion of the development of the theory of New Fuseki, and a number of examples of it from actual games at the time.
This time he discusses eight of his handicap games, ranging from three to seven stones. Zhou, an AGA 7 dan, includes general strategic guidelines for both White and Black in playing handicap go, as well as step by step analysis of what is happening in the games. Lee Sedol is one of the top current players in terms of international titles won, but his play is oddly enigmatic.
He demolished Gu Li 9 dan, whom many consider the best Chinese player, in a ten game match in which Gu won only two games, but Lee also sometimes loses to weaker opponents in early rounds of tournaments. Zhou clarifies how Lee plays and what makes his style difficult for opponents through a thorough analysis of three of his recent games.
The second chapter presents detailed analyses of games played by top pros, showing how they build and defend moyos and how they attack them. The final chapter presents whole-board problems in which the ideas presented in the first two chapters can be applied. The most difficult of all Go problems, created by Inoue Dosetsu Inseki - , has still not been solved by professional Go players.
This book presents this difficult problem in slices. Enjoy a journey through time — look over the shoulder of Dosetsu and get a picture of how he composed his masterpiece. To read and enjoy go material written in Japanese, you only need to learn a very small number of kanji Chinese characters. Of course, that number will not let you understand every word of a discussion book. But most go problems and game records use standard titles, headers, and diagram captions, containing a limited set of kanji. This book introduces the most relevant kanji, one small step at a time, building from ground level, up to a basic practical level.
It is suitable for readers with no knowledge of Japanese at all, as well as for readers who already know some Japanese. Key vocabulary is introduced, and then practiced through go problems and game records. Studying these books will significantly increase your knowledge and confidence in dealing with this important part of go in many common situations.
By trial and error it set the standards for every tournament since. The games of each title match up to and including Term 6 are given with rich commentaries 32 games , showcasing also the most famous players and anecdotes featured in the highest level of go. This book analyzes how and when to invade common positions as well as how to defend against such invasions.
The book deals with situations that arise regularly in actual games; the analysis is very practical and the guidance it offers will make a lot of common situations much easier for you to handle. Feng Yun, a New Jersey resident who is one of the first 9 Dan women pros in the world, analyzes two amateur games in great detail in this book. She explains what is happening and how each player should respond at virtually every move and includes many variations.
Studying this book will show you how a pro thinks about the game and start you in the direction of thinking that way yourself. The Chinese Opening is popular among both amateurs and pros today, but many amateurs do not have a good understanding of the meaning of this opening. In this book Yuan Zhou provides a full explanation of the best ways to use and to respond to it. Most amateurs have only a few out of date ideas about this opening; this book will correct that problem. In this book Zhou explains what is different about the way dan-level players think and play in their games as compared with weaker players.
This pocket sized book lays out the key things you need to know to begin playing the endgame effectively, including important concepts such as double sente and reverse sente, the difference between middle game and endgame play, how to calculate the value of endgame moves, and special endgame tesuji. In this area, a little learning can have a big impact on your game results. Includes a number of practice problems. Have you had trouble with the monkey jump?
Most people do at some time. This book tells you everything you need to know about the monkey jump in endgame positions and in life and death positions. It introduces concepts, presents basic patterns, sets review problems, provides challenging problems, and gives numerous examples from professional games. Suitable for both kyu players and dan players, this SmartGo Book is a completely rewritten and greatly expanded version of Monkey Jump Workshop. Go is not a static game.
New opening ideas, new joseki, new overall strategies are constantly being discovered. Alexander Dinerchtein, the 3-dan Russian pro whose game commentaries can be found on Go4Go. This book is a selection of twenty-five new moves he and his friend, Korean 8 dan pro An Younggil, have studied.
Not all are completely successful, but most offer unexpected advantages in common situations. Each move is examined carefully, looking at various possible variations in responses and continuations. This book will enable you to surprise your opponents. It includes problems with solutions , most original and many taxing and ingenious.
This workbook is dedicated to players who have taken the first hurdles and now want to step into the game seriously. The exercises cover almost all important topics: starting with capturing stones and semeai, via tesuji, life and death, and finally the endgame. Kiai is a concept that has received scant systematic attention in the go literature, even though it is often referred to in game commentaries.
In go, kiai means coming up with innovative and creative moves. Such moves not only have a global perspective, they also take into account local situations and they need to be backed up by deep and accurate reading. They are moves that cause other pros sit up and take notice.
However, this book is more than just a game book; it is also a problem book, posing questions at crucial points throughout each game. This is a book that will change the way you play and think about go, and will shatter many of the mistaken notions that amateurs have about go strategy. The great Inoue Inseki Meijin, the 17th century author of the famously hard-to-impossible problems of the Igo Hatsuyoron , produced other, easier tsume-go works.
One was the Yoshin Teiki , most of which is now lost. But the portion that survives gives a fascinating insight into how he worked on his problems and presumably taught his pupils. The surviving sections, given here in full, are eminently suitable for beginners, but even strong players can learn amply from the way the Meijin used his mind, and be severely challenged by the hardest problems. One new feature was the inclusion of psychological insights. This is a complete translation of a book that ranks high in the list of go classics. The translation is enhanced with notes, a detailed timeline for Shuho, and a selection of games in which he gives handicaps, to show how he practised what he preached.
Proverbs are simply guidelines designed to help beginners, but many stronger players seem unaware that this one is often inappropriate. There is a lot more to the cross-cut. This book introduces nine basic patterns, explains the types of positions they suit, and presents problems to test your understanding. The second volume looks at endgame tesuji, with 50 elementary problems, 45 intermediate problems, 36 multiple choice problems, and 36 advanced problems.
Lee Chang-ho is known for his extremely strong endgame skill. In the first volume close attention is paid to accurate counting of endgame positions, as a foundation, followed by a systematic look at many common patterns. The book includes many large-scale patterns that occur often in actual games. Aji, kikashi forcing moves , and sabaki are the most important concepts of go. They imbue the game with strategic subtleties unmatched in any other game. Without an understanding of these concepts, no go player can hope to attain a high level of skill. Besides these concepts, it is also necessary to understand the shape and distribution of stones and how they influence other parts of the board, determining which stones are important and which stones can be sacrificed, and which stones must be strengthened before playing large-scale strategic moves.
The aim of this book is to bring together these ideas and to show the reader how they interact. This collection is a systematic presentation of endgame tesuji that will make virtually any player stronger. The original book is part of the Nihon Kiin series of poketto books especially designed for kyu players, but many dan players will find useful and innovative ideas in this volume. All of the problems are based on realistic situations that regularly occur in games.
Becoming strong at the endgame is one of the easiest ways to improve your playing and gain ground on your usual opponents. This book covers two important topics related to life and death: inside moves and under the stones techniques. Starting with beginner-level basics, it provides a systematic introduction to the principles. Building on this foundation, it progresses to more advanced aspects useful for stronger players. Most players pay too little attention to these techniques and overlook opportunities to use them in their games.
The book includes 41 interactive problems ranging from easy to hard. Biographical details of both players are given, all the games are commented, and an appendix also contains a commentary of another game involving Karigane. The account of Karigane includes extensive details about the Keiinsha. In handicap games, the handicap stones are high on the star points and are not efficient in securing territory. The correct strategy for Black in handicap games is to place priority on building influence and to use this influence to relentlessly attack.
This way of playing might seem to be unreasonable against a strong opponent, but it will actually make your handicap games less complicated and your strategic goals more clear. It also leaves your opponent with fewer options in his responses. It is the aim of this book to teach the principles and techniques that you must know to play this kind of game. The first edition of this book has been out of print for more than 20 years. This edition has been extensively revised and rewritten. While Kato Masao creates solid positions to use as a base for fighting, Seo fights by keeping everything unsettled as long as possible.
Zhou makes clear what it means to play a fighting game and provides two more models for you to consider in thinking about your own playing style. Kitani makes his position early and depends on later attacks, while Cho leaves his positions unsettled longer, which gives his games an interestingly different feel. The territorial style seems natural to many amateurs; Zhou makes it clear what you need to focus on to play territorial style effectively.
Volume Three of this series adds intermediate level problems covering all phases of the game. This book by the highly popular pro Nakayama Noriyuki deals with a special topic: first-line tesuji, that is, first-line plays that are surprisingly effective in common situations. Nakayama presents three groups of problems: for 15 kyu to 5 kyu, 5 kyu to 1 kyu, and 1 kyu to dan level, making these often surprising moves accessible to everyone.
While Takemiya is one of the most popular pros among amateurs, most fans do not realize how challenging it is to play moyo-style. Zhou makes it all clear, as usual, and in the process helps readers to gain a much better understanding of how to handle games where one player is aiming at a moyo. The first in a series of books on the playing styles of top pros by Yuan Zhou.
This series is aimed at helping amateurs to understand what it means to have a consistent style of play and to develop their own. Zhou makes clear what he is up to. Having a better understanding of a particular style, even a very difficult one, will help you to develop your own.
As always, Yang emphasizes the importance of understanding general principles rather than memorizing particular patterns. The Chinese go classic Xuanxuan Qijing , or Gengen Gokyo by its Japanese name, is the most significant go book ever produced. It has become the foundation for virtually every problem book since. Gateway to All Marvels brings together every problem and every variant from perhaps every subsequent edition, and discusses how the almost problems and their solutions have evolved and varied, and also how even modern professionals often disagree on the correct solutions.
Every game involves counting liberties in capturing races, from huge game-deciding battles to small-scale questions of whether a cut works or a defensive move is necessary. How many times have you been surprised to end up one liberty short? Losing a capturing race can be disheartening, but winning one can be exhilarating. Starting with beginner-level basics, this book provides a systematic coverage of how to count liberties.
It guides you through numerous simple examples and presents general principles that you can apply in your games. For dan players, there are more advanced topics, challenging problems, and professional game commentaries. The book includes over 50 interactive problems ranging from easy to hard. The problems are presented in cycles of ten, with the first of each set being relatively easy and the tenth fairly difficult.
Maeda estimates the range of difficulty as from about 7 kyu to 2 dan. All About Ko is a comprehensive textbook on ko. A thorough study of it will lay a solid foundation for your progress on the road to mastering ko. It will also give you an appreciation of the profundity of go and the awesome strength of professional go players.
Understanding and recognizing good shape will help you become a strong player and develop the intuition that will instantly guide you to find the strongest moves in middle-game fighting. Includes chapters on the efficient placement of stones, on standard shapes both good and bad , and problems to practice your ability to find the shape move. Honinbo Shuei is still esteemed as the best model for even modern professionals to follow. A must-read for every serious Go player. This book combines all six books previously published on the Kindle: Life, Games four volumes , and Commentaries.
A vast improvement in readability, and a bargain to boot. This workbook is dedicated to players who have gathered experience on the 9x9 board and want to learn more about tactics. The exercises introduce new shapes and techniques which help to deepen your understanding of the interdependency of the stones.
Training with these elements will help you to improve your strength and make your games more fun. This workbook is for players who have just gotten in touch with the game. It provides exercises to help deepen and ingrain the understanding of the rules. You will learn about the correlation and dependencies of the stones to each other, and thereby be able to improve your games. The first exercises are very easy, gradually increasing to moderate difficulty as you progress through the book. Lectures on the first two are included in Volume 2 of The Workshop Lectures. The long-standing collaboration of three amateurs from Germany and the United Kingdom has now found the answer!
The book discusses what the authors believe to be the solution to the problem, including an in-depth treatment of the failed lines. All move sequences are explained in great detail. The same is true for the additional work on theoretical issues that are fundamental to the problem e.
Level 4 is intended for 1 to 4 dan players. Level 3 takes single-digit kyu players on the road to 1 dan. This second volume adds three famous pro games that are annotated in an unusually thorough way. Almost every move is explained and critiqued. The endgame tends to be the neglected side of the game of Go. This is strange indeed, for it also tends to be where the outcome is decided, and frequently accounts for about half the stones played. This volume seeks to rectify this situation by setting forth the basic tactics, strategies, and counting techniques needed in the endgame.
Working steadily out from the 3—3 point to the 4—5 point, it surveys the principal variations of the 38 most common corner patterns, pointing out the key ideas in each and showing the reader how to choose and use josekis in relation to other stones on the board. Go begins with virtually unlimited possibilities on an empty board. Here a 9-dan professional Go player explains how the game takes shape, bringing correct modern opening technique within the reach of all players.
Elementary in its approach, In The Beginning illuminates depths of Go strategy that few amateurs understand well. This book contains two famous pro games that are annotated in an unusually thorough way. The aim is not only to give readers a full understanding of what is happening in the game, but also to encourage readers to study the games properly by thinking about how they would continue before looking at the next diagram. Frequent queries about what to do next are intended to remind you to do this. You will be surprised to discover how much more fully you understand these games as a result of the unusually detailed commentary.
Tricks in Joseki teaches the reader how to apply joseki flexibly and to avoid pitfalls. The techniques are introduced in depth through 80 exercises. Cho Hun-hyeon Lectures on Go techniques provide an understanding of the basic fundamentals of Go. Learning to play Go at the dan level is like learning a foreign language. Rescuing and capturing stones are two vital techniques in the game of Go. These two techniques are introduced in depth through 80 exercises. How do you win a won game? How do you win a lost game? Study the endgame!
More specifically, study this book and you will really get strong at the endgame. The book starts out with a problem test. The 28 problems on 11x11 boards in Part Four illustrate the interplay between different-valued endgame moves in realistic situations. Level 2 of the series is aimed at double-digit kyu players and goes into more detail on the opening, middle game, life and death, and tesuji. In his workshop lectures Yang guides players through the special approach to thinking about and playing the game that he has worked out during many years of teaching.
He believes that play should be guided by applying easily understood principles rather than by memorizing common patterns and sequences. The three lectures in this book present some of these guidelines that are especially applicable to the opening stage of the game: When to Tenuki in the Opening, Choosing the Direction of Attack, and Playing Complicated Joseki. The middle game of Go often appears chaotic, but there is order in the chaos, as this book plainly reveals. It lays down a few clear principles, then goes through a wealth of applications: examples, problems, and case studies from professional play.
The reader emerges with a thorough grasp of how to choose strategy, how to execute dual-purpose attacks, how to defend with contact plays, how to force his opponent into submission or cooperation, how to invade and reduce territorial frameworks, and when to fight a ko. This is knowledge that no player can afford to be without.
Following the general pattern of its predecessor Tesuji , this book organizes over two hundred life-and-death problems and examples into thirty-six short chapters. The problems are grouped around common tesujis throw-in, placement, etc. This makes Life and Death an excellent text to learn from, then an invaluable reference work to come back to. Tesujis are the tactics of short range combat in the game of Go. This volume presents over three hundred examples and problems of them, aimed at training the reader to read and spot the right play in all sorts of tactical situations. It covers a wide range of material while concentrating on fundamentals; its problems manage to be both hard enough to challenge and easy enough to solve, and there are enough of them to keep the most avid busy.
Knowing how to handle the situation adroitly may mean the difference between winning and losing. This study guide presents a discourse about sabaki techniques, written in the typically lucid and hard-hitting style of Mr. Yang, 7-Dan professional. Following his discourse are a dozen practice problems to help you determine if you have absorbed the material. But, as you apply the techniques and develop your judgment, your regular opponents will be in for a surprise as you demonstrate your newly acquired flexibility and lightness.
This small book originally created by the Wings Go Club is based on lectures by Mr. Ninety-five pictures with succint comments show how to destroy and preserve territory, with focus on how far to extend and where to invade in a wide variety of positions. The idea for this book arose from the interaction of Jiang and Guo in giving joint lectures on the Kiseido Go Server, beginning in The mistakes in playing joseki sequences and in selecting joseki for particular game situations that are the subject of this book are all taken from actual games played by amateurs, many of them dan level players.
This book is the result of research and thinking about the nature of play by Go players with ranks from 9 kyu up to 1 kyu. More precisely, about the barriers in thinking that make the step up to dan level seem insurmountable for so many. The kyu-dan boundary quite consistently represents a fundamental change in thinking, a quantum leap in the way that kyu and dan players see the board. This book helps you recognize and correct the limtations of kyu thinking. Killing isolated groups or finding a way to make two eyes for them is an important technique that every Go player must acquire.
Although this is first and foremost a problem book containing problems , the explanations of the main topics make it useful as an introduction to life and death and it should be accessible to players who have read an introductory Go book and played a few games. Divided into three parts, the first part systematically covers the basics of life and death, starting with the fundamental concept of eye space.
Next, the three essential tesujis used to kill groups are introduced: the hane, the placement and the throw-in. In another section the reader is shown when it is appropriate to expand his eye space and when he should fall back and play on a vital point. Part Two contains life-and-death problems of positions that arise from josekis and their variants. The final part contains 64 problems for the reader to review and practice the principles learned in the first two parts.
This book concerns common joseki mistakes, why they are bad, and how to take advantage of them. Each mistake originates in a real game where an amateur made a real mistake. Joseki books typically concentrate solely on the correct line of play, with perhaps lip service paid to mistakes whose subtlety eludes all but the most advanced of players. The faulty lines are dreamed up by the author, a professional Go player, and do not reflect the mistakes of astounding simplicity that amateurs routinely commit.
Showing only the mistake is insufficient: an opponent of equal skill will often fail to take advantage of these mistakes. Therefore, a thorough discussion of the mistake is necessary to truly learn its nature. We have chosen games reflecting many of the most common joseki mistakes committed by amateur players, most of whom fall between 3 kyu and 4 dan.
Consider this a practical guide to learning joseki sequences and the ideas that govern them. This book provides a large variety of tesuji problems. There are about 45 different kinds of moves that make up tesujis. Some of these tesujis occur quite frequently in games, while others are seldom seen. This book presents examples of every kind of tesuji. Surrounding her are people who are trapped by expectation and tradition. Life is initially drawn to Lesego because she mistakenly believes that he represents the more freewheeling life she enjoyed in Johannesburg. He takes over the handling of the money, forbids Life from playing the radio, and tells her she must give up her prostitution career.
In essence, Lesego places Life in a prison by taking away those things that give her independence. At the end of the story, Lesego is also given the punishment of five years in prison, but his entrapment is only physical and temporary. The story takes place in a traditional Botswana village in the early s.
Botswana, which has been under British colonial rule for almost a century, is on the verge of independence. Tradition and custom, however, still prevail in the village, and the respected residents are those who maintain decorum and adhere to the roles governing society, which include deference to males. The village is nothing like Johannesburg, South Africa, where Life has spent most of her life.
Instead of consorting with ranchers and farmers, people like Life consort with gangsters. For Life is attempting to recreate something that only exists in her memory. Such a narrative style allows Head to fully set up the inherent difference between the villagers and the city dwellers, which is at the core of the story.
The narration alternates between a detached factual voice that imparts pertinent information, such as the historical setting and the attitudes of the village women, and a more vivid portrayal of the village inhabitants that includes lively dialogue and image-filled descriptions. The story opens with the factual voice, to explain both the historical events that cause Life to return to Botswana and her feelings about this movement. At times throughout the story, the factual voice is used to more fully explicate various events.
Life is vibrant and vivid. Her speech was rapid and a little hysterical but that was in keeping with her whole personality. Life, however, loses her self when Lesego oppresses her. It was Lesego, the cattle-man. On a literal level, for instance, he keeps his money in a bank while Life spends hers freely. On an emotional level, he responds to his surroundings from a traditional point of view in which the man takes command while Life constantly seeks to create her own space.
Since they come together, they are in almost constant collision. The area that comprises present-day Botswana came under British control in In the mids, as more and more African colonies began demanding self-rule, British governors considered handing the region over to South Africa. By the late s, however, it became clear that such a plan would not work. A legislative council was set up in after limited national elections. Two new political parties were founded in the first years of the decade.
During and , a series of constitutional discussions took place to determine proposals for internal selfgovernment. The average annual growth rate has fluctuated between 5 and 10 percent. The average per capita income is U. However, farmers supply only about 50 percent of food needs and account for only 4 percent of the gross domestic product. In , the first census was conducted, and by the end of year, voters had been registered throughout the protectorate. At this point, the protectorate was granted internal self-government.
The first general elections were held in March On September 30,, the country became the independent Republic of Botswana. For its first five years, Botswana remained financially dependent on Britain to cover the full cost of administration and development. However, economic development took place from through , particularly after diamonds were discovered at Orapa, Botswana. Botswana developed an urban and economic infrastructure that included mining development as well as basic social services.
Throughout the s, the diamond mines were expanded, and nickel and copper mines also opened though the latter two were less economically successful. From onwards, Botswana began to play a more significant role in international politics. It depicted itself as a nonracial, liberal democratic alternative to South African apartheid. With economic aid from the United States , Botswana built a road that went directly to Zambia. In the early to mids, Botswana, along with Zambia, Tanzania, Angola, and Mozambique, actively sought to bring majority rule to Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa.
When Botswana began to form its own army, the Botswana Defense Force, the Rhodesian army crossed the border and massacred fifteen Botswana soldiers in a surprise attack. Botswana, however, helped bring about the final settlement of the Rhodesian war, which resulted in the independence of the colony, renamed Zimbabwe, in As such, Head is especially interested in African traditions, such as mythology, tribal witchcraft, and oral storytelling, oftentimes in juxtaposition with the demands of modern culture.
The collection received mixed reviews at its publication but since then has been the focus of several critical studies. The setting of s Botswana is important because it signifies the enormous change coming to the region, and as Kenneth W. That is partially because, writes H. Where the events of the story do not fully imply what those social forces are, she provides them in her own voice. In the following essay, she discusses the clash between the village world and the city world and explores the ultimate victory of the villagers. Kenneth W. All Botswana nationals must leave South Africa and return home.
Life, it is hinted, brings harmful change to the village. Interestingly, even though she lends her name to the title, Life is not the focus of the story but the village itself—the lifeways of the village—is the focus. The environment into which Life must create a home is bound by tradition.
This is a place where stability reigns. Instead of allowing men to be in charge of her and to dictate her mode of behavior, Life effectively places herself. When Lesego enters the story, it is immediately clear that he represents the male authority figure.
He is well respected by villagers for his wealth as well as for his common sense. The first interaction between the two indicates both his nature and the path that the relationship will follow. For a period, Life believes that she will be able to change and she wants to do so. I have now become a woman. She is accustomed to financial independence, but Lesego insists on taking control of all the household money.
He also takes control of her environment, demanding that she turn the radio off. Life, however, cannot function within the dictates of this relationship. She deliberately allows Lesego to catch her with a man, and he fulfills her wish. The villagers recoil in shock; the village police look on in horror. Despite the seriousness of the crime, the judge sentences Lesego to only five years in jail instead of a hanging. Lesego will go to jail, but when he is freed, he will return to his usual mode of life; While he is gone, Sianana will take care of his business affairs.
Kerschen is a writer and public school district administrator.
The characters are stereotypical, the events matter-of-fact, and the moral crystal clear. Yet hidden beneath this tale is a clue to understanding not only the struggle of women in a patriarchal society, but also the struggle of all people forced into roles and categories by those in power.
However, Head was an experienced journalist who could not help but create her stories from actual events. What I could say about The Collector of Treasures is that it was like a kind of resume of thirteen years of living entirely in village life. In actual fact, all of the stories are based on real life happenings. One day is just the same as another, but human beings are so similar all over the world. Suddenly, a great drama explodes. They happened; they are changed. They are decorated; they are interpreted. Life enters the village of her youth as an enigma; she is fancy, rich, and metropolitan.
Everything about her, from her personality to her dress, is above and beyond anything the villagers have seen before. The villagers who had once welcomed her with open arms are the same ones who turn away from her when they realize she is unwilling to pay the price for their hospitality— conformity. She frequents a pub and charges money for sex, something even the beer-brewing women the lower class consider beneath them.
Life is a threat because she tests the boundaries that have been placed around her by village routine and by her gender and then proceeds to break right through them. This kind of blatant disregard for tradition upsets the careful, oppressive balance of the village, and something must be done, according to the villagers, to set it right again. Hence the arrival of Lesego. If Life represents everything nontraditional, Lesego represents everything traditional. He is a strong, powerful, dominant, authoritative man. He is the epitome of masculinity, from his profession rugged cattleman to his emotionless sense of reason.
His purpose is to marry Life and turn her into a proper village wife, one who does not handle money, does not throw loud parties, and does not fornicate with other men. However, this last rejection of traditional societal values comes with a fatal price. Lesego murders Life, knowing that he has the unspoken approval of the rest of the villagers.
Her disruption of their society has to be stopped, either by taming her or killing her. Either way, the villagers will be satisfied as long as their lives can return to their ordinary ways. The clear moral of this story is meant to be a warning to all young women: Life died because she was bad. But the root problem is that Life did not conform to her traditional role as a woman. She is attempting to point out the injustice and atrocity suffered by Life. She was the victim of a patriarchal society that did not value her as an individual woman but instead saw her as a piece of the whole that had to be made to fit.
On a small scale, Life represents the oppression of individual women. On a larger scale, she represents the oppression of an entire people under the auspices of racism, colonialism, and apartheid. It is the classic story of those in power dictating to those in the minority. Head uses this folktale to tackle such large abstract issues because it is within the context of human relationships that the true nature of such institutions is revealed.
Life = Death - volume 6 - Poems on Life , Death
The nature of good and evil is not understandable until it is viewed as a tangible action performed by one person on another. Therein lies the deepest struggle of all: the nature of good and evil in people, in society, and in political structures. What is considered good by Life her lifestyle being her only real option as a black woman in Johannesburg is thought to be evil by the villagers; what is considered good by the villagers ridding themselves of Life one way or another is evil to anyone who does not see women as disposable property. She is Life because she is a woman and therefore the giver of life.
She is also struggling to live her own life the way she sees fit despite the constraints of society. She is more alive than anyone else in the village because her soul and her spirit are free and unhindered by assumed feminine characteristics. Finally, her life is the price she pays for going against the system. She is, as her name suggests, the thing that others would like to subdue and control but ultimately cannot. As a reflection of her own experiences as an exile, a black, and a woman, Head uses her fiction, based on the heritage of African life, to comment on the conditions of modern life in Africa, particularly in her home of Botswana.
Life is the heroine of the story of the same name. A well crafted tale, it relates the tragedy of the African woman recently returned to the village from the city. The villagers accept some of these ever increasing influences while rejecting others; they accept Life, but reject her murder by her husband. To see her upon arrival from Johannesburg, one would never associate death with Life. For them, Life is a heroine; even although they themselves would not dare sell their body to the best bidder, they see her as a match for the men.
In their turn, the men welcome her innovation with glee. Paying her for her services reduces, indeed, removes any danger of responsibility towards girlfriends abandoned with fatherless babies. Life is quick to declare her motto:. With her budding business comes the first hotel in the village. The women beer-brewers of the village join Life in drinking and exhibiting this seemingly new-found freedom.
Suddenly, with a quick stroke of artistry, Bessie Head shows that Life is more a symbol of modern mania than the suffragist type leading her sisters to behavioral emancipation. The sentence changes the story, definitively:. At once, Life, as if destined to destruction, reveals the other side of her persona: she is weak, impressionable, just a woman capable of loving, and of being dominated by a strong male. He was the nearest thing she had seen for a long time to the Johannesburg gangsters she had associated with—the same small, economical gestures, the same power and control.
This last statement by Life is an eye-opener. As usual in a Bessie Head story, and with an irony made all the more mind-boggling by scientific and sexual coupling, like poles repel. The good woman is forever seeking after the bad man; the good man, always attracted to the bad woman. A further twist in the whole logic of science translated into human irony by Bessie Head is, that both qualities of good and evil are at once present in each of the two protagonists of the tragic drama.
In spite of the communal culture of the village, Life cannot cope any longer. It is an appointment with death: Lesego is calm as ever, goes to the place and stabs Life to death. The white judge calls it a crime of passion and sentences him to five years in prison. Now, Bessie Head has remained ambiguous about that crime.
We believe that the ambiguity is an adequate comment on the very nature of the evolving society. Modernism is being espoused without proper understanding of its qualities and, as proven by Life—both the character and the state— the danger of destruction is as strong as the positive potentials of the new experience. That the drunken village women have the last word on the saga of Life and Lesego is itself another comment on the modernist trend; for, as the repository of real culture, villagers are often too eager to imitate the been-to-the-city, thus tacitly accepting the inferiority of the culture whose preservation is being preached by some luminaries.
Then, the village loses faith in her. The consolation is, that the villagers finally see through the hypocritical Mma. Bessie Head uses this story to criticize Christianity, one of the most pervasive aspects of modernist mania. In essence, she represents better the notorious mother-in law than the hypocritical Christian. Besides, love, being a human condition and feeling, always falls prey to many an unsavory companion, just as the human beings themselves.
The treasures of love are never immune to tragedies. Ill, Fall , p. Ill, No. Norton and Company, Inc. Harrow, Kenneth W. Little, Greta D. Moye, J. James Press, Thomas, H. Abrahams, Cecil, ed. This collection of unexpurgated letters that Head wrote to her friend, Vigne, depict fourteen years in the life of the struggling writer.
Ingersoll, Earl G. Like many of the concepts foundational to the field of bioethics, life is a subject about which there is both longstanding conviction and increasing uncertainty. The beginnings and endings of life, as well as its creation, have become subject to greater technological modification, particularly through the rise of the modern biological sciences and new reproductive and genetic technologies. In the late twentieth century, increasing technological control over the management, regulation, and production of life and lifelike systems, as well as the accelerating commodification of life forms, raise questions about the limits of what can or should be done to life itself.
Hence, seemingly timeless and universal human attitudes toward life, such as mourning in the wake of its loss and joy in its creation, are today accompanied by profound ambiguities concerning the meaning, value, and definition of life. Some commentators have claimed that even a few decades ago life was more often understood as an absolute value —for example, among medical professionals, for whom the protection of life was an unquestioned moral duty Parsons et al.
Related arguments hold that the technologization of life has produced a shift away from an understanding of life as an absolute value , and toward more relative assessments of the quality of life Parsons et al. The appearance of an entry entitled "Life" in an encyclopedia of bioethics would support the position that life itself has become the object of increased management in the form of decision making. In contrast to the urgent call for guidelines concerning the subject of life is the difficulty of defining this term.
Neither philosophers, theologians, nor scientists can offer a clear understanding of life. This is in part due to the wideranging uses of the term. Not only does life have many meanings as a noun, it is a key term within a wide range of systems of thought from religion to science. In all of the many senses in which the word is used, definitions of it have varied historically in relation to changing social forces and cultural values. Contemporary moral, legal, theological, and scientific uncertainty attends the origins of life, the relative importance of human versus other forms of life, the beginnings and endings of life, the creation and destruction of life, and the nature of life.
These and other concerns follow from the definitional issues, raised by the concept of life itself, that remain subject to dispute and ongoing transformation. To be animate or vital is a condition for which crossculturally and transhistorically there exists a range of modes of recognition. Broadly speaking, notions of life, or of a vital force, are often connected to beliefs about the supernatural, divinity, and sacredness.
It is also generally the case that understandings of life are often made most explicit in relation to death Bloch and Parry; Huntington and Metcalf.
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These features characterize both Judeo-Christian and classical understandings of life, the two predominant sources of its definition in the Euro-American tradition prior to the rise of modern science. According to the Judeo-Christian tradition, life is interpreted and valued as a gift from God. The Old Testament relates that God created man Adam in his own likeness, with dominion over all living things. In the Garden of Eden , life was everlasting; and Adam and Eve's expulsion, through which they became mortal, was both a sign of divine displeasure and a partial rescinding of the gift of life.
According to the New Testament , the gift of everlasting life was restored through the sacrifice of God's only begotten son, Jesus, and his resurrection to the kingdom of Heaven. Consequently, only those who believe in the resurrection of Christ have "life" in the Christian sense. When Jesus states "I am life" or "I am the way, the truth, and the life" , it is the resurrection promised to believers in the life, death, and salvation of Christ that is invoked. The historian Barbara Duden notes:.
In most of the New Testament and in two thousand years of ecclesiastical usage, to "have life" means to participate as a believing Christian in the life of Christ. Of those who exist outside this relationship, the Church has consistently spoken of those who "live" under conditions of death. Blood is a key symbol of life in the Christian tradition as well as in much secular culture, most notably medicine.
To give the "gift of life" is more literally possible today than ever before in the context of organ donation, whereby a body part of a deceased person may "live on" in the body of another person, or a living donor may sacrifice a body part such as a kidney on behalf of a relative.
The capacity to donate not only blood and vital organs but also egg and sperm cells, and the increasing availability of bodily tissues through a service sector and a marketplace, complicate the understanding of life as a "gift" Parsons et al. The sacrificial importance of the body and the blood of Christ makes the exchange of body tissue a potent symbolic practice, as does the definition of kin ties in terms of "blood relations.
The association between the flow of blood and the flow of life anticipates the notion of germ plasm the hereditary material of the germ cells as the basis for heredity; this in turn gives rise to the modern scientific concept of the gene, which is today described as the essence of life. While the gene in some senses represents the triumph of mechanistic explanations of life itself, the most reductionist accounts of genes as "selfishly" reproducing entities defined by the attainment of their own inbuilt "ends" may seem not dissimilar from that of the most influential proponent of vitalism, Aristotle.
Aristotelian definitions of life were predominant for nearly two millennia, in part because Aristotle was among the few philosophers of antiquity to pay significant attention to the problem of defining life. According to Aristotle, life is defined by the possession of a soul, or vital force, through which an entity is rendered animate and given shape.
The attainment of a predetermined end point is seen as the purpose of life in Aristotelian terms, a purpose that is contained in itself, independent of any external causal agent. This view is known as entelechy —a telos, an ultimate end that is self-defined as the achievement of a final form. Although the Aristotelian view was based on close observations of the natural world and eschewed any notion of divine creation, it is strongly criticized by modern scientists for its teleologism conflation of an endpoint with a cause and essentialism predeterminism , which are dismissed as metaphysical and therefore insufficiently empirical.
Cartesian accounts of animation, which defined life in terms of the organization instead of the essence of matter, succeeded Aristotelian vitalism in the seventeenth century. From the perspective of mechanism, which explained motion or aliveness purely in terms of the articulation among parts of a whole as in the ticking of a watch , Aristotelian vitalism came to be seen as mystical, nonobservable, and therefore unscientific.
Eighteenth-century natural historians employed a horizontal ordering strategy to classify diverse life forms into taxonomies of kind or type. A vertical ranking of the value of these life forms known as the great chain of being, descending from God to humanity and thence to other living entities was based on their proximity to the divine.
According to this conceptual framework, life comprised a diverse array of animate entities classified epistemologically and ranked theologically in terms of proximity to God. The sacred act of divine creation that brought life into being was, in this schema, paralleled by the secular production by natural philosophers, such as Carolus Linnaeus — , of a classification system through which life forms were named, defined, and ordered according to their perceived nature, which was seen to be immutable. The stability of these vertical ranking and horizontal classifying axes was irrevocably shaken by the gradual acceptance of the evolutionary model of life, in particular the work of Charles Darwin, which, over the latter half of the nineteenth century, gained acceptance in Europe and America.
With the rise of Darwinian theories of evolution came a radical new understanding of life: as an underlying connectedness of all living things. It was the evolutionary view of life as a distinct object of study in its own right that gave rise to the modern notion of life itself ; not until this time could such a thing have been conceived.
Many of the current dilemmas in bioethics demanding our attention came to be understood as a direct result of the emergence of this particular conceptualization of life. As the historian Michel Foucault points out, life itself did not exist before the end of the nineteenth century; it is a concept indebted to the rise of the modern biological sciences. Historians want to write histories of biology in the nineteenth century; but they do not realise that biology did not exist then, and that the pattern of knowledge that has been familiar to us for a hundred and fifty years is not valid for a previous period.
And that if biology was unknown, there was a very simple reason for it: that life itself did not exist. All that existed was living beings, which were viewed through a grid of knowledge constituted by natural history. Life, in the sense of life itself, is thus a concept linked closely to the rise of the modern life sciences, founded on notions of evolutionary change, the underlying connectedness of all living things, and a biogenetic mechanism of heredity through which life reproduces itself.
As the foundational object of the modern life sciences, the concept of life itself does not exist as a thing, as something visible or tangible. Only its traces are accessible, through the forms in which life manifests itself. Like Newtonian gravity, Darwinian life is a principle or force subject to an orderliness decipherable by science, such as the process of natural selection by which evolution is understood to proceed.
From the vantage point of the modern life sciences, life itself has come to be associated with certain qualities, including movement, the ability to reproduce and to evolve, and the capacity for growth and development. Other criteria for defining life as opposed to nonlife include the capacity to metabolize, in particular through the possession of cells. These characteristics of aliveness in turn comprise key areas in the study of life forms, and in the forms of connectedness and interrelatedness among them. Whereas the comparative anatomy or morphology of animals and plants was the definitive technique for the classification of life forms during the classical period of natural history, it is molecular biology that today provides the primary analytic perspective on the essence of life, which is seen to be DNA, or the genetic code.
It is DNA, composed of nucleotide chains that guide the manufacture of essential proteins, that all living beings are said to have in common. Thus DNA is the substance and mechanism of heredity intrinsic to the neo-Darwinian notion of life itself. For a historical account of Darwinian notions of life itself, see Jacob. For a contemporary view, see Pollack. The most definitive accounts of life itself today rely on evolutionary and genetic models.
In addition to offering the most definitive accounts of life, the modern life sciences provide the most detailed and substantive information on the subject. Yet even such definitive accounts of life from established scientific figures are often admittedly provisional. Both within and outside the scientific community there is considerable uncertainty about what is being studied when the subject is life itself. As Sagan notes perfunctorily, "There is no generally accepted definition of life" p. The definition of life is not only contested from within the scientific community; it is also troubled by the proximity of lifelike systems, especially those that are computer-generated, to the requisite features of animate existence.
There may well be, as Stephen Levy notes in his account of artificial life, a "particular reluctance to grant anything synthetic or manmade the exalted status of a life-form" p. Yet insofar as the biogenetic definition of life itself relies on an informational model, of DNA as a message or a code, the distinction between life and nonlife is readily challenged by complex informational systems that are to a degree self-regulating and that have the capacity both to replicate themselves and to evolve.
If, as some have claimed Oyama , information is the modern equivalent of form, then life is transformed from an absolute property into a receding horizon merging with artificial, synthetic, or virtual life. Today, both the border between human and nonhuman life and the distinction between life and death are increasingly blurred. Genetic science offers the possibility of transspecies recombinations effecting a merging of human and animal body parts. Artificial-life scientists using information technology distinguish computer-generated organisms, which live, evolve, reproduce, and die, from the "wet" life forms they imitate Levy.
Health professionals distinguish degrees of death: dead in the sense of brain-dead ; double dead respiratory failure ; and triple dead no body parts suitable for donation. Such distinctions indicate the increasing difficulties of establishing the parameters of life and death. In sum, life itself may be charted along the course of its four-billion-year history to its estimated point of origin, and along this path may be classified and analyzed scientifically according to established principles, such as the operation of natural selection, and specific qualities, such as the possession of DNA.
It is from the perspective of the modern life sciences that the most elaborate and definitive accounts of life are constructed, and from these in turn that the concept of life itself emerges. Yet the instability of these definitional parameters, like those of previous eras that they replaced, ensures their continued transformation. Despite the ubiquity and authority of biological definitions of life, they are also reductionist and materialist, relying upon mechanistic and objective terms that are ultimately most meaningful to professional specialists.
Most people, when asked "What is life? Many of the more everyday definitions of life can be classed as processual or phenomenological, referring to the course of events comprising the life of an individual or other entity including inanimate objects, as in the expression "shelf life".
Expressions such as c'est la vie "that's life" invoke the fortuitous and inexplicable dimensions of life, very much in contrast to scientific accounts, which emphasize order and predictability even while admitting great uncertainty. Such expressions convey a sense of limits to the capacity for rational understanding, and especially prediction or control, in relation to the vicissitudes of life and living.
The lengthy debate in early modern science concerning mechanism the presumption that animate and inanimate entities alike are composed of matter, which can be explained through inherent principles of structure and function versus vitalism the presumption of an inherently inexplicable vital force differentiating the quick from the dead opposes the ancient association of lifelike properties with mystery and the sacred to their accessibility through instrumental reason see Merchant.
In relation to the moral questions concerning life—whether as a process, a possession, or a right—the vitalistic notion of life as something inexplicable and deserving of reverence and protection is far more prevalent than the more mechanistic and instrumental account dominant within science. In both secular and religiously derived accounts, life does not need to be fully explicated or rational to be seen as uniquely deserving of protection, especially human life. In his discussion of abortion and euthanasia, two of the most controversial areas of debate concerning human life, philosopher Ronald Dworkin emphasizes the importance of recognizing that life is not exclusively or even primarily understood by many people in terms of scientific explanations, but rather in terms of a value more akin to sacredness.
In relation to moral dilemmas, he claims, life does not present itself as a question of objective fact, but rather as a truth, or a "quasi-religious" principle held to be self-evident through "primitive conviction. Dworkin's approach thus differs from the more utilitarian arguments about the beginnings and endings of life propounded by philosophers and other commentators who use rights or interest-based approaches to questions of the meaning and value of life.
In demarcating the value of life as a "quasi-religious" one, something essentially felt rather than reasoned, Dworkin returns the question of the value of life to an older, more traditional paradigm linked to notions of divinity or a vital force. Social scientists have shown the value of life to be a key symbolic resource in struggles of many kinds, including both ways of life as in the preservation of ethnic traditions or indigenous cultures and life forms such as endangered species. Anthropologist Faye Ginsburg's study of the abortion debate in a midwestern American community, for example, demonstrates the symbolic dimensions of life as a subject of dispute extending to notions of citizenship, nationalism, and the sexual division of labor.
Precisely because the preservation of human life may be seen as an absolute moral value, it proves readily amenable to the social function of grounding other beliefs and practices. Abortion is one of the best-known arenas of controversy in which both definitions of life and the value of human life are paramount and explicitly formulated. Opponents of abortion argue that life begins at conception and therefore that the deliberate termination of a pregnancy is the taking of a human life, which is seen to be immoral or even comparable to murder.
Proponents of a woman's right to control her own fertility, including the choice to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, often argue on the basis of consequentialism, that is, that the moral value of an act should be measured in reference to its outcome. Rightsbased claims are used by both sides, antiabortionists stressing the right to life of the fetus, which they argue to be paramount, and pro-choice advocates stressing a woman's right to control her own reproduction, on which they, in turn, place primary importance.
Current legislation on abortion in many industrialized countries, including the United States , invokes a combination of rights-based arguments and biologically based distinctions. Hence, for example, the U. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which currently determines abortion law in the United States , combines protection of the individual right to privacy with a biologically based definition of fetal viability as the determinant of the upper time limit for abortion. The same standard holds in Great Britain. Both the notion of biological viability and the definition of the person to whom rights are ascribed invoke a particular construction of life.
Viability, for example, is strictly biologically determined: It is measured by the ability of a fetus to survive biologically. The question of the social viability of a child's life, such as its likelihood of receiving adequate nurture, shelter, protection from disease, or sustenance is not considered part of the criteria valid in determining the morality of a decision to terminate a pregnancy.
Feminists have been prominent in the challenge to the notion of the person often used by antiabortionists on similar grounds. It is undeniably the case that an embryo is human, that it is a being, and that it is a form of life. That it is a living human being is therefore undeniable. Yet it is no more or less a living human being in this sense than an egg or sperm cell, or for that matter a blood cell, none of which is considered a person or seen as entitled to civil rights.
Increasingly, antiabortionists have used biologically based arguments to support their position, even when it is derived from religious principles. Hence, it is the potential for an embryo—unlike an egg, a sperm, or a blood cell—to develop into a human being that is often stressed. This argument is based on an embryo's possession of a unique genetic blueprint, which some established theologians claim is evidence of ensoulment see Ford.
Hence, arguments against abortion based on fetal viability, or those that stress the genetic potential of the fetus to develop into a person, are based on a particular model of life, according to which its sanctity may be represented in biogenetic terms. Historian Barbara Duden has called this historically recent turn toward biology as an arbiter of moral decision making the "sacralisation of life itself. Similar claims have been made regarding the biogenetic definition of life as possession of a genetic blueprint.
Critical biologists have argued against the genetic reductionism or genetic essentialism such definitions risk see Hubbard. Social scientists also have warned of the dangers of eugenicism implicit in such a view Nelkin and Lindee ; other scholars have minimized such risks Kevles. Advocates of a "strong" genetic essentialism argue not only that genes are the essence of life but that life itself is consequently based on the selfish desire to reproduce itself.
From this vantage point, humans are mere epiphenomena of a primordial genetic drive to self-replicate, and human moral or ethical systems are a complex admixture of altruism motivated by strategic sacrifice, which benefits one genetic trajectory or another Dawkins. The belief that life processes will one day be subject to much greater control through instrumentalized understandings of their genetic code is the basis for a major expansion in the biotechnology industry, and corresponding scientific research, since the early s. International scientific projects, such as the attempt to map the human genome by sequencing all of the DNA in the twenty-three pairs of human chromosomes, reflect the increasing importance of genes and genetic processes to the understanding of life itself for a description of the Human Genome Project , see British Medical Association, and Cook-Deegan; for an account of the ethical dimension, see Kevles and Hood; for a critical account, see Hubbard and Wald.
In turn, increasing information about the role of genes in heredity will pose new choices and decisions, as well as dilemmas, for many. On the one hand, new diagnostic procedures utilizing genetic screening to detect severe, chronic, degenerative, and often terminal disorders caused by a single gene are claimed to offer greater reproductive choice and control, and the potential to alleviate human suffering and disease.
On the other hand, the identification of gene "defects" poses worrisome questions, especially when linked to notions of individual predisposition, genetic selection, and the elimination of "undesirable" traits. Controversies such as that attending the putative discovery of a "gay gene" underscore the dangers of social prejudice wedded to genetic determinism in the name of greater reproductive choice and control.
Altering the genetic code of an individual entity, be it human, plant, or animal, is most controversial when the alteration has the potential to be replicated in subsequent generations, therefore resulting in irreversible and cumulative hereditary effects. Although a distinction is currently maintained between somatic cell gene therapy genetic alteration of nonreproductive bodily tissue and germ-line gene therapy genetic modification of the egg or sperm cells, or the early embryo , this boundary is known to be unstable.
Considerable ethical concern therefore surrounds the advent of human gene therapy, now practiced in both Great Britain and the United States for further discussion, see British Medical Association. The release of genetically engineered organisms into the environment, largely in the form of plants and microorganisms, has also attracted controversy, in particular concerning the labeling of foodstuffs and the limits of acceptable risk.
It is the biogenetic definition of life, then, that informs many of the moral debates about the protection of life, whether human, animal, or environmental—the latter category denoting the ecosystem as a complex "living whole" for a discussion of protecting life as "biodiversity," see Wilson; also Kellert and Wilson. Confusions about when life begins, for example, as in debates about fetal rights, derive from a biogenetic definition of life, which is continuous: each life form has its origin in the lives of those preceding it, and their connectedness underscores the interrelation of life itself.
Given such a definition of life, clear demarcations concerning the beginnings and endings of life, of a life, or of life itself are understandably subject to dispute. New techniques for technologically assisting the creation of life e. Technology now enables the production, extension, and even redesign of life forms, including humans, animals, plants, and microorganisms.
Increasingly sophisticated medical technology has affected both the beginning and the ending of human life. Life-support technologies can artificially sustain human life in the context of severely restricted life functions both at the beginning of life perinatal support and toward the end of life, in cases where the individual becomes fully dependent on technology for respiration. Cases of prolonged "vegetative" human existence raise difficult questions as a result of the availability of technologically maintained biological viability.
Insofar as a person is more than a biological life, difficult decisions concerning continued treatment for a person who is only minimally alive are the inevitable result of modern technology's capacity to sustain baseline survival functions indefinitely. Technology also affects the creation of life itself. As medical scientists acquire ever greater command of genetic structure, the question of the ethical acceptability of the creation of life forms such as the Harvard "oncomouse," genetically engineered to develop cancer so it can be used in the design of new drugs for the treatment of human disease, must be addressed.
The subject of a major patent dispute in the European Parliament , and removed from the market in by its manufacturer, DuPont, the oncomouse was among the first higher life forms to be defined as a technology, comparable to other forms of laboratory apparatus. As both a mammal and a scientific instrument, the oncomouse inhabits a domain subject to increasing ethical, commercial, and political controversy Haraway.
Most significant, the oncomouse raises the question of ownership of life, which is established as an inviolable right for humans within the liberal democratic tradition and was described by humanist philosopher John Locke as "ownership of one's person.
In the landmark case of John Moore v. California Regents, conflict over the use of Moore's body tissue in the design of a drug, through production of an immortal cell line derived from his spleen cells, culminated in a U. Supreme Court decision prohibiting the individual ownership of bodily tissue. Ownership of human life in this case was declared not subject to extracorporeal extension.
The question is again different in the case of the "right to life" of the oncomouse, or the "geep," the transspecies hybrid of a goat and a sheep produced through genetic manipulation. Here, the question concerns the deliberate production of a life that brings great suffering to the resultant organism. Only the greater good to humans of such developments can justify their deliberate creation by scientists. But the basis for ethical decision making in such an instance remains indeterminate. Many of the ethical questions addressed to life itself concern the degree of protection it requires.
These questions in turn depend on how life is defined. Whether they concern the beginnings or endings of life, its creation, redesign, or sustenance under technological conditions, the underlying definition of life itself is a fundamental force shaping ethical decision making. Scientifically, life is defined according to the modern life sciences in a biogenetic idiom, which constructs it as a continuous and connected force unto itself, manifested by the self-replicating properties of DNA.
In the liberal humanist tradition, human life is also seen as a possession, and the persistent association of life with sacredness is well established. The rights to life, the protection of life, and the quality of life are extended to some degree to other life forms, on the principle of avoiding cruelty and suffering. In none of these areas are definitive boundaries or limits available upon which to base ethical practice. Instead, as definitions of both life and death are subject to ongoing transformation, so are the ethical frameworks brought to bear on the creation, management, and protection of all life forms.
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What is Life? New York: Doubleday. Titmuss, Richard M. New York: Pantheon. Wilkie, Tom. Throughout recorded history human beings have recognized the qualitative difference between the living and non-living worlds, the animate and inanimate. Placing that recognition on solid, rational footing or giving it a quantitative basis has remained a major challenge, however. What exactly makes a living being so different from one that is nonliving?