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Knowing Subjects: Human Lives, Human Worlds

Brent Dean Robbins
Co-editor, Janus Head

It is once again time for another special edition of Janus Head, featuring selected essays from The George Washington University's 7th Annual Conference in the Human Sciences. This is the second year of our collaboration with the conference, and we have once again enjoyed the opportunity to work with the organizers of the Human Sciences conference to bring you this excellent collection of essays. Contributors include distinguished scholars such as Lewis R. Gordon, David Theo Goldberg, Virginia Held, Jonathan D. Moreno and many more. This time the conference papers celebrate the work of Peter Caws, University Professor of Philosophy and co-founder and first director of the Human Sciences Program, on the occasion of his 70th birthday. The conference presentations, held in April 2001, featured a variety of approaches to the questions Dr. Caws has raised in his work, and included a wide array of scholars working in various disciplines across the humanities and social sciences. The final selection of the essays was difficult, since there were so many exceptional submissions and we were limited in our choices due to space. We could have easily selected a half dozen more essays for this volume. We believe you, our reader, will find all the following essays to be not only a wonderful tribute to Dr. Caws on his birthday, but superb scholarship as well.

Dr. Caws was born in Southall, England on May 25, 1931, and he is married to Dr. Nancy Breslin. Dr. Caws has two daughters, Elisabeth (10) and Hilary (37), and one son, Matthew (34). He received his B.Sc., with honors, in Physics at London University in 1952, and received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Yale University in 1956. He has taught at the University of Kansas, the City University of New York, and The George Washington University, where he has been University Professor of Philosophy since 1982. His major works include Sartre (1978, 1984, in the series "Arguments of the Philosophers"), Structuralism: The Art of the Intelligible (1988, 2nd ed. with subtitle A Philosophy for the Human Sciences 1997), Yorick's World: Science and the Knowing Subject (1993), and Ethics from Experience (1996).

It is with great honor that we dedicate this special issue, Volume five, Issue one of Janus Head, to you Dr. Caws on the occasion of your 70th birthday. We hope your 70th year has been a blessed one.

Our gratitude goes out, as well, to Andrea Custodi, who did a wonderful job organizing the conference. Her cheerful demeanor and personable style made us feel at home with her as we completed this project. I am certain her future will be filled with opportunities for success, which she will undoubtably conquer with grace and ease. A special thank you is also in order for Maureen Madison, who organized the Human Sciences Conference last year, played a big part in assisting Ms. Custodi this year, and is responsible for suggeting to me that we might marry the Human Sciences Conference with the Janus Head project. The project, we think, has been a success, and we thank you, Maureen, for your hospitality and warmth, not to mention teaching us how to find parking in Washington, DC.

Finally, our gratitude goes out to those who contributed to this special issue of Janus Head and the work they presented at the conference and subsequently refined for print. We are proud to have your work grace the pages of our journal, and we hope you will continue to submit your work to our periodical in the years to come.