Charles Foster - Author

About the Author

Charles Foster is a Fellow at the University of Oxford. Much of his life has been spent on expeditions; he has run a 150 mile race in the Sahara, skied to the North Pole, and 'bled in many beautiful and desolate landscapes'. He has written or contributed to over thirty-five books on subjects including travel, evolutionary biology, natural history, anthropology and philosophy.

Featured books by Charles Foster

Other books by Charles Foster

Identity, Personhood and the Law

Identity, Personhood and the Law

Author: Charles Foster, Jonathan Herring Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/03/2017

This book is an examination of how the law understands human identity and the whole notion of `human being'. On these two notions the law, usually unconsciously, builds the superstructure of `human rights'. It explores how the law understands the concept of a human being, and hence a person who is entitled to human rights. This involves a discussion of the legal treatment of those of so-called marginal personhood (e.g. high functioning non-human animals; humans of limited intellectual capacity, and fetuses). It also considers how we understand our identity as people, and hence how we fall into different legal categories: such as gender, religion and so on.The law makes a number of huge assumptions about some fundamental issues of human identity and authenticity - for instance that we can talk meaningfully about the entity that we call `our self'. Until now it has rarely, if ever, identified those assumptions, let alone interrogated them. This failure has led to the law being philosophically dubious and sometimes demonstrably unfit for purpose. Its failure is increasingly hard to cover up. What should happen legally, for instance, when a disease such as dementia eliminates or radically transforms all the characteristics that most people regard as foundational to the `self'? This book seeks to plug these gaps in the literature.

Civil Advocacy

Civil Advocacy

Author: Charles Foster, Jacqueline Gillatt, Charles Bourne, Popat Prashant Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/12/2016

This book is a practical guide to practice and procedure in courts and tribunals. It is aimed at the recently qualified practitioner,pupil barristers, trainee solicitors, or lawyers unversed in advocacy and procedure. It provides a guide to applications in most areas of the law, with brief discussions of the relevant law, rules of procedure and practical tips. The applications covered are those which practitioners are likely to encounter in their first years of practice. In addition, each chapter attempts to anticipate likely pitfalls, with suggested solutions. The court system and techniques of advocacy are also covered. This is not a legal textbook, and provides no substitute for legal research. It is designed to be starting point for advocates faced with an unfamiliar task.

Being a Beast

Being a Beast

Author: Charles Foster Format: eBook Release Date: 21/06/2016

A passionate naturalist explores what it's really like to be an animalby living like themHow can we ever be sure that we really know the other? To test the limits of our ability to inhabit lives that are not our own, Charles Foster set out to know the ultimate other: the non-humans, the beasts. And to do that, he tried to be like them, choosing a badger, an otter, a fox, a deer, and a swift. He lived alongside badgers for weeks, sleeping in a sett in a Welsh hillside and eating earthworms, learning to sense the landscape through his nose rather than his eyes. He caught fish in his teeth while swimming like an otter; rooted through London garbage cans as an urban fox; was hunted by bloodhounds as a red deer, nearly dying in the snow. And he followed the swifts on their migration route over the Strait of Gibraltar, discovering himself to be strangely connected to the birds.A lyrical, intimate, and completely radical look at the life of animalshuman and otherBeing a Beastmingles neuroscience and psychology, nature writing and memoir to cross the boundaries separating the species. It is an extraordinary journey full of thrills and surprises, humor and joy. And, ultimately, it is an inquiry into the human experience in our world, carried out by exploring the full range of the life around us.

APIL Guide to Tripping and Slipping Cases

APIL Guide to Tripping and Slipping Cases

Author: Charles Foster Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/11/2015

Altruism, Welfare and the Law

Altruism, Welfare and the Law

Author: Charles Foster, Jonathan Herring Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/07/2015

This book is an assault on the notion that it is empirically accurate and legally and philosophically satisfactory to see humans as atomistic entities. It contends that our welfare is inextricably entangled with that of others, and accordingly law and ethics, in determining our best interests, should recognise the central importance of relationality, the performance of obligations, and (even apparently injurious) altruism.

The Law and Ethics of Dementia

The Law and Ethics of Dementia

Author: Charles Foster Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/07/2014

Dementia is a topic of enormous human, medical, economic, legal and ethical importance. Its importance grows as more of us live longer. The legal and ethical problems it raises are complex, intertwined and under-discussed. This book brings together contributions from clinicians, lawyers and ethicists - all of them world leaders in the field of dementia - and is a comprehensive, scholarly yet accessible library of all the main (and many of the fringe) perspectives. It begins with the medical facts: what is dementia? Who gets it? What are the current and future therapeutic and palliative options? What are the main challenges for medical and nursing care? The story is then taken up by the ethicists, who grapple with questions such as: is it legitimate to lie to dementia patients if that is a kind thing to do? Who is the person whose memory, preferences and personality have all been transformed by their disease? Should any constraints be placed on the sexual activity of patients? Are GPS tracking devices an unpardonable interference with the patient's freedom? These issues, and many more, are then examined through legal lenses. The book closes with accounts from dementia sufferers and their carers. It is the first and only book of its kind, and the authoritative text.

Medical Law: A Very Short Introduction

Medical Law: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Charles Foster Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/02/2013

Medical law is concerned with our bodies, and what happens to them during and after our lives. When things go wrong with our bodies, we want to know what our rights are, and what governs the conduct of the clinicians into whose hands we put our lives and limbs. Dealing with matters of life and death, it can therefore have a fundamental impact on medical practice. Headlines in the media often involve the core issues of medical law - organ transplantation, abortion, withdrawal of treatment, euthanasia, confidentiality, research on humans - these are topics that affect us all. Headlines can misrepresent, however. In order to fully understand the issues and their relevance, we have to delve into the cases and into the principles behind them. In this highly readable Very Short Introduction, Charles Foster explores different examples to illustrate the key problems and principles of medical law. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Donald Brian King of Broadway

Donald Brian King of Broadway

Author: Charles Foster Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/08/2012

Human Dignity in Bioethics and Law

Human Dignity in Bioethics and Law

Author: Charles Foster Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/09/2011

Dignity is often denounced as hopelessly amorphous or incurably theological: as feel-good philosophical window-dressing, or as the name given to whatever principles give you the answer that you think is right. This is wrong, says Charles Foster: dignity is not only an essential principle in bioethics and law; it is really the only principle. In this ambitious, paradigm-shattering but highly readable book, he argues that dignity is the only sustainable Theory of Everything in bioethics. For most problems in contemporary bioethics, existing principles such as autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, justice and professional probity can do a reasonably workmanlike job if they are all allowed to contribute appropriately. But these are second order principles, each of which traces its origins back to dignity. And when one gets to the frontiers of bioethics (such as human enhancement), dignity is the only conceivable language with which to describe and analyse the strange conceptual creatures found there. Drawing on clinical, anthropological, philosophical and legal insights, Foster provides a new lexicon and grammar of that language which is essential reading for anyone wanting to travel in the outlandish territories of bioethics, and strongly recommended for anyone wanting to travel comfortably anywhere in bioethics or medical law.

Choosing Life, Choosing Death The Tyranny of Autonomy in Medical Ethics and Law

Choosing Life, Choosing Death The Tyranny of Autonomy in Medical Ethics and Law

Author: Charles Foster Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/02/2009

Autonomy is a vital principle in medical law and ethics. It occupies a prominent place in all medico-legal and ethical debate. But there is a dangerous presumption that it should have the only vote, or at least the casting vote. This book is an assault on that presumption, and an audit of autonomy's extraordinary status. This book surveys the main issues in medical law, noting in relation to each issue the power wielded by autonomy, asking whether that power can be justified, and suggesting how other principles can and should contribute to the law. It concludes that autonomy's status cannot be intellectually or ethically justified, and that positive discrimination in favour of the other balancing principles is urgently needed in order to avoid some sinister results. 'This book is a sustained attack on the hegemony of the idea of autonomy in medical ethics and law. Charles Foster is no respecter of authority, whether of university professors or of law Lords. He grabs his readers by their lapels and shakes sense into them through a combination of no-nonsense rhetoric and subtle argument that is difficult to resist.' Tony Hope, Professor of Medical Ethics, Oxford University 'This book is unlikely to be in pristine state by the time you have finished reading it. Whether that is because you have thrown it in the air in celebration or thrown it across the room in frustration will depend on your perspective. But this book cannot leave you cold. It is a powerful polemic on the dominance of autonomy in medical law, which demands a reaction. Charles Foster sets out a powerful case that academic medical lawyers have elevated autonomy to a status it does not deserve in either ethical or legal terms. In a highly engaging, accessible account, he challenges many of the views which have become orthodox within the academic community. This will be a book which demands and will attract considerable debate.' Jonathan Herring, Exeter College, Oxford University 'This is a learned, lively and thought-provoking discussion of problems central to the courts' approach to ethical issues in medical law. What principles are involved? More significantly, which really underlie and inform the process of seeking justice in difficult cases? Charles Foster persuasively argues, and demonstrates, that respect for autonomy is but one of a number of ethical principles which interact and may conflict. He also addresses the sensitive issue of the extent to which thoughts and factors which go to influence legal decisions may not appear in the judgments.' Adrian Whitfield QC. 'Introducing the Jake La Motta of medical ethics. Foster is an academic street-fighter who has bloodied his hands in the court room. He provides a stinging, relentless, ground attack on the Goliath of medical ethics: the central place of autonomy in liberal medical ethics. This is now the first port of call for those who feel that medical ethics has become autonomized.' Julian Savulescu, Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics, University of Oxford. This important book offers a robust challenge to anyone, whether lawyer or 'ethicist', who sees respect for autonomy as the only game in town. It argues eloquently and effectively that, on the one hand, despite the reverence paid to it by judges, in practice the law, even in the context of consent, weaves together a number of moral threads of which autonomy is merely one, in the pursuit of a good decision. It argues on the other hand, that were the day-to-day practice of law to be guided primarily by respect for autonomy, this would be wrong. Foster concludes that whilst, 'any society that does not have laws robustly protecting autonomy is an unsafe and unhappy one', so too would be a society in which too much emphasis was placed on respect for autonomy at the expense of other important moral principles. This is essential reading for anyone interested in the role of autonomy and indeed of medical ethics, in the law. Michael Parker, Professor of Bioethics, University of Oxford

Feel Better Faster Overcoming the Emotional Fallout of Your Illness or Injury

Feel Better Faster Overcoming the Emotional Fallout of Your Illness or Injury

Author: Charles Foster Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/06/2004

In this pioneering book, Dr Foster explores the impact that injuries and illnesses have on the mind, discussing the severe emotional problems that can stem from an ailment and impede a person's ability to fully recover and move forward with life. Here he outlines how a positive mental recovery can not only speed physical recuperation but lead to a healthier and rejuvenated sense of self.

Once Upon a Time in Paradise

Once Upon a Time in Paradise

Author: Charles Foster Format: eBook Release Date: 01/10/2003

When sound arrived in Hollywood in the late 1920s, Canadians were already holding some of the most important roles in the motion picture industry. Louis B. Mayer, from New Brunswick, was boss at MGM; Jack Warner, from Ontario, was head of Warner Bros. Studio; and Mack Sennett, from Quebec, was still King of Comedy. Canadians like Mary Pickford, Marie Dressler, and Norma Shearer moved easily from silents to talkies - this illustrious trio won the first three Academy Awards for Best Actress. Canadians arriving in sunny California in the 1930s and 1940s were principally actors, including Yvonne de Carlo, Walter Pidgeon, Ruby Keeler, and many others. You will be amazed at the Canadian influence on Hollywood's Golden Age.

Once Upon a Time in Paradise

Once Upon a Time in Paradise

Author: Charles Foster Format: eBook Release Date: 01/10/2003

When sound arrived in Hollywood in the late 1920s, Canadians were already holding some of the most important roles in the motion picture industry. Louis B. Mayer, from New Brunswick, was boss at MGM; Jack Warner, from Ontario, was head of Warner Bros. Studio; and Mack Sennett, from Quebec, was still King of Comedy. Canadians like Mary Pickford, Marie Dressler, and Norma Shearer moved easily from silents to talkies - this illustrious trio won the first three Academy Awards for Best Actress. Canadians arriving in sunny California in the 1930s and 1940s were principally actors, including Yvonne de Carlo, Walter Pidgeon, Ruby Keeler, and many others. You will be amazed at the Canadian influence on Hollywood's Golden Age.

A Sword Forged

A Sword Forged

Author: Charles Foster Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2001

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