When Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1757) first visited Jamaica in 1687, he witnessed women feeding sick children a mixture of milk, sugar, and cocoa. Sensing opportunity, he brought the recipe back to England and began marketing "Sir Hans Milk Chocolate" for medicinal uses. Aside from his entrepreneurialnterests, Sloane began a program of collecting, transporting, cataloguing, and studying plants from the Caribbean, many of which ended up in the Chelsea Physic Garden, an institution from which emerged such innovations as double-glazed glass windows for greenhouses, cultivated teas exported to plantations on the Indian Subcontinent, and cultivated rubber trees, sent to Malaysia. Sloane's chocolate became big business; the recipe was bought by Cadbury's. It is easy to read Sloane's story as a familiar tale of the intertwining of science, the market, and colonial extraction. It is more challenging, and more important, to ask how the intellectual project, the system of knowledge/power Sloane represents, is replicated by contemporary Caribbeanist scholarship and its forms of knowledge. The author of this stunning book poses this latter question and, in the process, calls upon contemporary Caribbeanists to consider the ethics and politics of the way Caribbean studies as a field has helped to constitute the objects of its investigations
Distributed Agency presents an interdisciplinary inroad into the latest thinking about the distributed nature of agency: what it's like, what are its conditions of possibility, and what are its consequences. The book's 25 chapters are written by a wide range of scholars, from anthropology, biology, cognitive science, linguistics, philosophy, psychology, geography, law, economics, and sociology. While each chapter takes up different materials using different methods, they all chart relations between the key elements of agency: intentionality, causality, flexibility and accountability. Each chapter seeks to explain how and why such relations are distributed-not just across individuals, but also across bodies and minds, people and things, spaces and times. To do this, the authors work through empirical studies of particular cases, while also offering reviews and syntheses of key ideas from the authors' respective research traditions. Our goals with this collection of essays are to assemble insights from new research on the anatomy of human agency, to address divergent framings of the issues from different disciplines, and to suggest directions for new debates and lines of research. We hope that it will be a resource for researchers working on allied topics, and for students learning about the elements of human-specific modes of shared action, from causality, intentionality, and personhood to ethics, punishment, and accountability.