Sunday, January 08, 2012

Passage of the day

From Jeremy Jennings' magisterial Revolution and the Republic, A History of Political Thought in France since the eighteenth century, pp 410-11:

"[W]e might turn our attention to Charles Fourier's Theorie des Quatre Mouvements, first published in 1808. With its accounts of copulating planets, the sea tasting of lemonade, and the nine degrees of cuckoldry, this is undoubtedly one of the strangest books ever written... There is no need to analyse Fourier's taxonomy of what he took to be our 'luxurious,' 'affective,' and 'distributive' passions, nor to dissect his classification fo the 810 personality types which derived from it: the point was that Fourier believed that it was a mistake to repress the passions. This explains why he allotted such a central place to 'amorous freedom' and what he termed 'combined gastronomy.' If, as Fourier believed, sensual pleasure was the primary and immutable source of human activity, the trick was to so arrange society that it should be maximized. Exquisite food and a rich diet of sexual partners would secure social harmony."
The MHERC Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health Equity Research
2012 Call for Applications

The Montreal Health Equity Research Consortium (MHERC) is seeking to appoint up to four post-doctoral fellows doing research related to health equity and the social determinants of health (SDH). Applications on any dimension of this general theme will be considered, but the following areas are of particular interest:

The epistemological, conceptual, and ethical foundations of health equity and SDH.
Conceptual and practical problems raised by the measurement of health inequalities and SDH.
Experimental (e.g. cognitive psychology, behavioral economics) approaches to decision-making and health policy development.
Case studies in the analysis of health equity or SDH.

The duration of the award is 12 months, renewable for a second year, commencing on September 1, 2012. The value of each award will be CA$40,000. Fellows will be in residence at the Université de Montréal or McGill University in Montreal.

Applicants should have at the time of award completed a PhD in a relevant discipline including, but not restricted to, philosophy, cognitive psychology, epidemiology, health economics, and sociology. Applicants may not have received their PhDs more than 5 years before the beginning of the fellowship.

MHERC is a collaboration between the MEDEC Lab ( at McGill University, and the Centre de recherche en éthique de l’Université de Montréal (CRÉUM), under the direction of Principal Investigators Daniel Weinstock (Université de Montréal) and Nicholas King (McGill University). Funded by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Programmatic Grant on Health and Health Equity, the project is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of researchers conducting research in philosophy, epidemiology, sociology, and cognitive psychology.

Successful applicants will be provided with office space in one of the two participating research centers associated with the project, and will be expected to participate in all of MHERC’s activities.

Applications should be written in English, and include a cover letter describing the candidate’s background, qualifications, and research interests; a complete Curriculum Vitae; a writing sample; and the names of three referees. Applications should be sent to Pierre-Yves Néron at