Thursday, March 02, 2006

It's Not OK to Eat a Sexed-Up Chicken

"Researchers from the United States and Brazil posed the following hypothetical: "A man goes to the supermarket once a week and buys a dead chicken. But before cooking the chicken, he has sexual intercourse with it. Is that wrong?" People in both countries said it's not OK to eat a sexed-up chicken considerably more often if they hailed from a low socioeconomic background. Cultural differences extend even to basic matters such as the meaning of language. Imagine that Gödel didn't invent Gödel's Theorem. Some guy named Schmidt did. Then to whom do we refer when we continue to use the word "Gödel"? In one experiment, researchers found that Americans tend to say, "the guy who got credit for the theorem," while Hong Kongers say, "the guy who actually came up with it."

Jon Lackman writes on Slate about the new applied philosophy movement called "X-Phil" and philosophy's cross-cultural quagmire.


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