Men and childcare: some things I didn’t know

Female childcare isn’t nearly as culturally or historically universal as many would like to believe. I knew a bit of this before, but these examples are new, and striking:

Living in the jungles of the western Congo basin, Aka men are the world’s most dedicated dads. For 47% of each day they are either holding their children or are within arm’s reach of them. It’s the Aka man who will calm his crying infant in the night, even offering a gentle suck on his nipple.

More surprising to me are these reflections on British and American parenting:

A traveller visiting an English village in 1795 recorded: “In the long winter evenings the husband cobbles shoes, mends the family clothes and attends the children while the wife spins.” No slumping in front of the telly for an evening of Top Gear back then. Likewise, in the United States in the 17th and 18th centuries, says the historian Mary Frances Berry, “Fathers had primary responsibility for childcare beyond the early nursing period.”

All this is from an interesting article with a terrible blurb in last weekend’s Guardian. (“Sharing” childcare while making a four day week does not make one a househusband. I presume, charitably, that the article’s author is not the blurb writer.)

Men discuss consciousness and Moral Cognition

Well, here we go again:

from Mark Phelan on Experimental Philosophy

CFP: Consciousness and Moral Cognition
Adam Waytz and I are guest editing a special issue of the Review of Philosophy and Psychology on consciousness attribution in moral cognition. As a recent post on this blog notes, “two favorite topics of X-Phi are morality and how we perceive the minds of others,” so I hope readers of this blog (and experimental philosophers in general) will consider submitting. Guest authors include: Kurt Gray (Maryland), Edouard Machery (Pittsburgh) and Justin Sytsma (East Tennessee State), and Anthony I. Jack (Case Western Reserve) and Philip Robbins (Missouri).

Submissions are due March 31, 2011.

The full CFP, including relevant dates and submission details, is available here.

Here is an abbreviated CFP: When people regard other entities as objects of ethical concern whose interests must be taken into account in moral deliberations, does the attribution of consciousness to these entities play an essential role in the process? In recent years, philosophers and psychologists have begun to sketch limited answers to this general question. However, much progress remains to be made. We invite contributions to a special issue of The Review of Philosophy and Psychology on the role of consciousness attribution in moral cognition from researchers working in fields including developmental, evolutionary, perceptual, and social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and philosophy.

The cfp is from the Experimental Philosophy Site