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9 Free trade follies I have seen many a bear led by a man; but I never before saw a man led by a bear. (James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson) Suds on the rise On 15 December 1993, Irishman Peter Sutherland brought down his gavel, ending seven and a half years of hard negotiations that created the World Trade Organization. While only involved for the last six months, Sutherland played the endgame like a chess grandmaster. Once it opened for business, the WTO liberalised trade to an unprecedented level, leading Mickey Kantor, the US Trade Representative to

in The ascent of globalisation
A conceptual history 1200–1900

This collection explores how concepts of intellectual or learning disability evolved from a range of influences, gradually developing from earlier and decidedly distinct concepts, including ‘idiocy’ and ‘folly’, which were themselves generated by very specific social and intellectual environments. With essays extending across legal, educational, literary, religious, philosophical, and psychiatric histories, this collection maintains a rigorous distinction between historical and contemporary concepts in demonstrating how intellectual disability and related notions were products of the prevailing social, cultural, and intellectual environments in which they took form, and themselves performed important functions within these environments. Focusing on British and European material from the middle ages to the late nineteenth century, this collection asks ‘How and why did these concepts form?’ ‘How did they connect with one another?’ and ‘What historical circumstances contributed to building these connections?’ While the emphasis is on conceptual history or a history of ideas, these essays also address the consequences of these defining forces for the people who found themselves enclosed by the shifting definitional field.

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would mock all norms entirely. Instead, he falls back on what he terms humour, an amused tolerance of human fallibility coupled with an ironic destabilization of accepted truths. Humour is always tinged with a sense of melancholy which stops short of cynicism. It is this attitude toward laughter that he shares with a formidable thinker from an earlier age, Eramus of Rotterdam. In his Praise of Folly

in Shakespeare and laughter
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in the context of a cultural history of early modern laughter. Few cultural phenomena have undergone as radical a change in meaning as laughter. Today, laughter automatically triggers positive associations: pleasure, relaxation, and a response to humour. In the medieval period, by contrast, laughter was frowned upon as a sign of folly. It was associated with the fallen state of humanity – angels never laugh

in Shakespeare and laughter
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Trilogy, chart their central character’s descent into the abyss of linguistic and social failure. However, unlike the Trilogy, the novels then go on to explore how characters can emerge from this void. This chapter, then, will trace Auster’s characters through their descent, their rescue and their subsequent recovery. Auster’s later novels, Oracle Night (2004) and The Brooklyn Follies (2005), also deal with the themes of urban redemption, and I will discuss these texts briefly at the end of the chapter. Auster again adopts the figure of an abyss to represent the

in Paul Auster
Foolishness in medieval German literature

by the author unless otherwise indicated.] Brant’s text is a prominent example of the popularity of the contrast of reason and foolishness in the sixteenth century, since it is one of the most successful German books of that period. Scholars have frequently identified the reason/ folly opposition expressed in this work, combined with the increasing importance of the individual in philosophical discourse, as a signpost on the route to modern concepts of (intellectual) disability: Significantly, as the individual and his reason re-emerge as the central focus of

in Intellectual disability
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gigantism. The ‘rude mountain’ was merely a moderately rising hill topped by the ‘true castle’, more truly the folly of Stainborough Castle. At that time, there were many elements in this landscape’s recent history that anticipate the writing of Otranto : anger and fear of a very public and shameful disinheritance, the rows over succession and burning of deeds, questions of

in Gothic effigy
Socio-cultural considerations of intellectual disability

illumination reproduced here, that makes three possible female fools and one female dwarf. 2 Rare depiction of a female fool, with lolling tongue, wearing a feather, as initial for Psalm 52, from Richard Rolle, Commentary on the Psalter , made in England, late 14th century Foolish behaviour Natural and artificial fools may be differentiated, but both have in common the idea that their folly should be harmless. ‘If he was really an idiot, his stupidity amused and diverted

in Fools and idiots?
Delights and follies in filmic discourse

supports unambiguously the ethical decision of its protagonist against one of the major tenets of Christian doctrine. And yet, his use of Christian cultural references pervades Thesis. Both Bosch and Amenábar tackle the folly (i.e. the condition of not thinking when overpowered by horror, empathy or desire) behind acts of sinful behaviour, whether purely sexual in appearance or mainly violent for sexual pleasure, and they play

in Spanish cinema 1973–2010
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Poetic traditions and satiric effects

the only creature, Who, led by folly, combats nature; Who, when she loudly cries, ‘Forbear’, With obstinacy fixes there; And, where his genius least inclines, Absurdly bends his whole designs. (ll. 11–24) Again the horse (along with the bear and the dog) demonstrates a ratiocination

in Between two stools