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9780198718772

Thinking about how we think about morality

Morality is a funny thing. On the one hand, it stands as a normative boundary – a barrier between us and the evils that threaten our lives and humanity. It protects us from the darkness, both outside and within ourselves. And it structures and guides our conception of what it is to be good (decent, honorable, honest, compassionate) and to live well.

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9780199668649

From news journalism to academic publishing

“I think I’ve just got an exclusive interview with the new Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Stephen Hester.” These were the words I told my editor after a couple of years in the newspaper game. He was obviously pleased. This is the kind of thing editors constantly want from reporters: an ability to dig out a story or to see something not everyone else will spot.

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9780199383344

How false discoveries in chemistry led to progress in science

In the popular imagination, science proceeds with great leaps of discovery — new planets, new cures, new elements. In reality, though, science is a long, grueling process of trial and error, in which tantalizing false discoveries constantly arise and vanish on further examination. These failures can teach us as much — or more — than its successes.

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9780190205645

The crime is the fruit of the theology: Christian responses to 50 Shades of Grey

The much anticipated Valentine’s Day release 50 Shades of Gray set off a flurry of activity on social media sites, with bloggers lining up to cajole, shame, reason or plead with women to resist temptation and abstain from viewing the film. In a case of strange bedfellows, if you will, conservative Christians and liberal feminists alike castigated the film for its packaging of abuse as mainstream entertainment.

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9780199929382

How digital natives spend their time

Who is an emerging adult? How often do young adults text? How long do they spend on the Internet everyday? Where do they watch television? Which social networks do they use? Ten years ago, Jeffrey Jensen Arnett published a groundbreaking examination of a new life stage: emerging adulthood, a distinct culture for people in their late teens and early twenties.

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Police Law

How policing in the UK has changed [infographic]

Policing in the United Kingdom is changing. Far from the traditionalism which defined the role of the police officer in the past, recent years have seen the force undergo wide-reaching alterations designed to shake off the Victoriana which entrenched UK policing in outdated practices, equipment, and organizational structure. In addition to policy-led modernization, extensive budgetary cuts in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis have had significant ramifications for the future of policing. But what can be said of UK policing today?

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Oral history online: blogging to reach new audiences

I am a child of the internet age. I have never not had a computer in my house. Being in Columbia’s Oral History Master’s Program (OHMA), I’ve read articles for class that describe how oral historians recorded and edited audio in the past. Every time I read one of those articles, I call my mom, who used to work editing tape in the 70s and 80s. “How did you do it?” I ask. “How did you edit with a razor, with no undo button? If it was still like that, I would never have entered this field.”

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9780190200077

Early responses to Mendeleev’s periodic law [quiz]

The periodic system, which Dmittri Ivanovich Mendeleev presented to the science community in the fall of 1870, is a well-established tool frequently used in both pedagogical and research settings today. However, early reception of Mendeleev’s periodic system, particularly from 1870 through 1930, was mixed.

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9780199362134

Interpreting the laws of the US Congress

The laws of US Congress—federal statutes—often contain ambiguous or even contradictory wording, creating a problem for the judges tasked with interpreting them. Should they only examine the text or can judges consult sources beyond the statutes themselves? Is it relevant to consider the purposes of lawmakers in writing law?

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9780198725947_450

Is privacy dead?

In the 1960s British comedy radio show, Beyond Our Ken, an old codger would, in answer to various questions wheel out his catchphrase—in a weary, tremulous groan—‘Thirty Five Years!’ I was reminded of this today when I realized that it is exactly 35 years ago that my first book on privacy was published. And how the world has changed since then!

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UOL_blog

What are this year’s most notable cases in law?

As part of our online event, Unlock Oxford Law, we asked some of our expert authors to identify the most important case of the past year in their area of law. From child slavery to data privacy, we’ve highlighted some of the most groundbreaking and noteworthy cases below.

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9780199688890_450

Morten Overgaard on consciousness

Why are we conscious? How can it be that physical processes in the brain seem to be accompanied with subjective experience? As technology has advanced, psychologists and neuroscientists have been able to observe brain activity. But with an explosion in experiments, methods, and measurements, there has also been great confusion.

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9780199601950

Between terror and kitsch: fairies in fairy tales

This story may or may not be a fairy tale, though there are certainly fairies in it. However, unlike any of his Victorian forebears or most of his contemporaries, Machen manages to achieve, only a few years before the comfortably kitsch flower fairies of Cicely Mary Barker, the singular feat of rendering fairies terrifying. With James Hogg’s ‘Confessions of a Justified Sinner’, Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Thrawn Janet’ and several of M. R. James’s marvellous ghost stories, ‘The White People’ is one of only a handful of literary texts that have genuinely unnerved me.

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Word Origins And How We Know Them

Ossing is bossing

If you know the saying ossing comes to bossing, rest assured that it does not mean the same as ossing is bossing. But you may never have heard either of those phrases, though the verb oss “to try, dare” is one of the favorites of English dialectology.

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Virginia Woolf in the twenty-first century

As we approach 26 March 2015, the centenary of the publication of Virginia Woolf’s first novel, The Voyage Out, it seems apposite to consider how her writing resonates in the twenty-first century. In the performing and filmic arts, there certainly seems to be something lupine in the air.

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