Our sex defines our identity before we are even named - "It's a boy" or "It's a girl" is the traditional welcome we receive in this world. Similarly, throughout our entire life, our gender defines our diverse social roles. Yet, this book shows how nature presents us with only one model, that of bisexuality. Endocrinian manipulations have shown that it is possible to change from one sexuality to another in a reversible manner. This book is key reading in the debate about the genetic character, or not, of homosexuality. Claude Aron, a specialist in in the physiology of reproduction, is also an honorary professor of the Louis-Pasteur University in Strasbourg.
At what age should we learn a second language? Which are the intellectual faculties which bilinguism helps to develop? What is the compared efficiency of language learning in childhood and in adulthood? In which case does a person forget a language, particularly a mother tongue? Claude Hagège tells us here that anybody can become perfectly bilingual and how Europe, which is not the continent where the most bilingual people are found, can multiply their number. Indeed, the challenge of bilingualism is at the heart of European union. C. Hagège, professor at the Collège de France, has published in particular L'Homme de paroles and Le Souffle de la Langue.
The multiplying cases, the explosion of litigations, the sensational trials which catch the attention of the public : all are evidence of a growth in power of the judicial system, which we expect to be, at the same time, the arbiter of morals, the guarantee of public morality and responsible for the salvation of the people. But why dont we ask what things it cannot provide ? Isnt the idea of a judicial democracy just an illusion, which serves to hide serious problems ? The power of the judicial system is more worrying than exciting. It is an indicator of the discreditation of the State at the same time as a reduction in social cohesion. In the face of the fragility of democratic society, this book is a thorough reflection on the exercise of public power, affirming that the real role of the judge is not to take the place of the politic, but to diffuse the risk of democratic implosion by remaining the guardian of the promises at the very heart of republican laws. Antoine Garapon, a former judge and member of the editorial team of the journal Esprit, is the head of the Institute of Advanced Judicial Studies.
Where do our ideas come from ? Some, just from ourselves, or at least we believe so, but the majority come from others which we then pass on in our turn. The age-old philosophical question on the origins of ideas is analysed here in relation to their mode of dissemination. In his search for the natural element of culture, Dan Sperber presents in this book an epidemiology of ideas which describes how they spread by passing from one person to another, undergoing transformations which are in the same category as mutations. He also investigates how these ideas establish themselves in the long-term by occupying our mental world without our conscious knowledge, which allows us to participate in our culture. Dan Sperber, an anthropologist, is the research director of CNRS.
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