This article is a critical review of Stephen Schiffers monograph The Things We Mean . The text discusses some novel contributions made by Schiffer to the philosophy of meaning, in particular, Schiffers proposal for the reification of certain abstract entities and the application of his argument to the philosophical problem of vagueness in natural language. Special attention is paid both to Schiffers ingenious use of the notion of conservative extension , here employed as a criterion for distinguishing legitimate from illegitimate (...) reifications and to Schiffers notion of vague partial belief and its relation to standard partial belief. Schiffers particular understanding of vagueness and its relation to the sorites paradox is also considered, with some remarks made concerning the relationship between these related philosophical problems and human perception. Key Words: meaning vagueness sorites perception conservative extension fictional entities. (shrink)
Polanyi's and Popper's defenses of the status quo in science are explored and criticized. According to Polanyi, science resembles a hierarchical and tradition-oriented republic and is necessarily conservative; according to Popper's political philosophy the best republic is social democratic and reformist. By either philosopher's lights science is not a model republic; yet each claims it to be so. Both authors are inconsistent in failing to apply their own ideals. Both underplay the extent to which science depends upon the wider society; (...) and neither makes sufficient allowance for the ways it can disrupt the social order. Polanyi even demands extraterritorial exemption for science from the scrutiny of incompetent outsiders. In their different ways, each minimizes the problems of institutionalized science and fails to consider the value, even the long-term necessity, for science of democratic criticism and control. Transnational control of science is an open challenge for democratic polities. (shrink)
Examines the overlap between film and philosophy in three distinct ways: epistemological issues in film-making and viewing; aesthetic theory and film; and film as a medium of philosophical expression. This title available in eBook format. Click here for more information . Visit our eBookstore at: www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk.
The following intellectual as opposed to practical reasons for all anthropologists doing fieldwork are examined: fieldwork: (1) records dying societies, (2) corrects ethnocentric bias, (3) helps put customs in their true context, (4) helps get the "feel" of a place, (5) helps to get to understand a society from the inside, (6) enables appreciation of what translating one culture into terms of another involves, (7) makes one a changed man, (8) provides the observational, factual basis for generalizations. None of these (...) is found sufficient to make fieldwork imperative for all anthropologists, although they are quite sufficient to allow that it is imperative for anthropology as a whole that fieldwork in some form by some people continue. In place of the view of fieldwork as an essential preparation for doing anthropology, an alternative role for it is explored: namely as a testing procedure. The implications of this--that the study of problems and the articulation of theories can usefully proceed prior to or even independently of fieldwork--are drawn out, and a new institution of selective fieldwork is proposed. (shrink)
Popper's Open Society After Fifty Years presents a coherent survey of the reception and influence of Karl Popper's masterpiece The Open Society and its Enemies over the fifty years since its publication in 1945, as well as applying some of its principles to the context of modern Eastern Europe. This unique volume contains papers by many of Popper's contemporaries and friends, including such luminaries as Ernst Gombrich, in his paper "The Open Society and its Enemies: Remembering its Publication Fifty Years (...) Ago.". (shrink)
Raymond Boudon is the doyen of French sociology. His 2004 book The Poverty of Relativism counters the relativist plague with philosophical, historical, and comparative deconstruction and proposes an alternative: a cognitive notion of values that rehabilitates the notions of reason, correctness, and progress. More surprising is his rehabilitation of moral evolutionism that restores to it a human face. Will his efforts staunch relativism? Some considerations pro and con are offered. Key Words: relativism reason truth morality social (...) facts. (shrink)
Popper holds to the unity of scientific method: any differences between natural and social science are a product of theory, not a pretheoretical premise. Distin guishing instead pure and applied generalizing sciences, Popper focuses on the different role of laws in each. In generalizing social science, our tools are the logic of the situation, including the rationality principle, and unintended conse quences. Situations contain individuals, but also social entities not reducible to individuals: conspiracy theory is the extreme form of individualism. (...) Action in situations has unintended consequences. Both social and natural laws may be required to explain outcomes. The fate of Popper's ideas is a case study in the logic of the situation. Professional philosophers of social science lean toward individualism and a priorism (either intuitionist or rational choice). There are social and political explanations of this outcome, but little critical engagement with Popper's ideas. (shrink)
Pace Fuller, religion is neither necessary nor sufficient a condition for the development of evolutionary biology. Their historical connection notwithstanding, they are better considered as separate systems of ideas, in parallel to the manner in which they separated themselves as systems of institutions. As to schooling, enriched teaching of the real history of biology should be sufficient.
Shankman holds that Derek Freeman “trashed” Margaret Mead’s reputation as a public intellectual by portraying her as a naïve and gullible anthropologist who perpetrated a serious error about adolescence in American Samoa. Shankman concedes that Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa was factually in error but argues that her reputation in anthropology did not rest on it but rather on her extensive works on other societies. Ostensibly about Samoa, her book was rather a critique of American society and should be (...) judged as such. It is unjust that its factual errors undermine her status as a public intellectual. Fieldwork method and the lingering influence of inductivism are shown to underlie the controversy. (shrink)
Este artículo se propone analizar la crítica de Eric Voegelin a Max Weber acerca de la relación entre ciencia y valores, para ver sus implicaciones en la historia del concepto de política en Occidente. A comienzos del XX, Weber rompe con el concepto clásico de política aristotélico al señalar que lo específico de la política no son los fines que busca, imposibles de definir objetivamente, sino los medios con que opera (violencia). Voegelin verá en ese postulado una expresión del positivismo (...) dominante hacia la segunda posguerra, y se propondrá restaurar la noción clásica de política, afincada la reunión de lo que Weber había separado, verdad y política. Según Voegelin, Weber fracasa en su intento de edificar una ciencia libre de valores, y ello lo vuelve recuperable para su proyecto de elaborar una ciencia del orden. (shrink)
This paper examines Max Adler's philosophical thought, in order to elucidate how he was able to spot a religious meaning in the materialistic conception of history and to understand his connection to Judaism. The first part expounds on how the prominence of religious issues was perceived in the Marxist milieu; the second part analyzes Adler's particular position, above all in harmony with Kantian philosophy; and the third part brings out the essential differences between Adler's and Kant's ideas on religion. Finally (...) the paper shows how Adler's hope in an ultramundane salvation of mankind separates his interpretation from Jewish messianism. (shrink)
Apresentamos Max Weber como um dos sociólogos e historiadores mais importantes dentre aqueles que se dedicaram ao estudo do fenômeno religioso. Na verdade, é possível afirmar que a análise da religião compreende um dos aspectos mais fundamentais de sua obra sócio-histórica. De modo geral, esse tema aparece em seus textos de duas maneiras diferentes, quais sejam: enquanto um objeto analisado em sua singularidade e enquanto uma manifestação social que influencia de maneira significativa os demais aspectos da vida comunitária. Aqui, observamos (...) como ele muniu-se de um método particular e o utilizou como parâmetro para compreender historicamente a religião. Ao se debruçar sobre as religiões mundiais (confucionismo-taoísmo, judaísmo-cristianismo e hinduísmo-budismo), Weber estuda a racionalização cultural de suas cosmovisões. Todavia, para ele, a influência da religião sobre a vida prática varia muito segundo o caminho da salvação/libertação que é prescrito e segundo a qualidade psíquica (ou imaginada) da salvação que se pretende alcançar. Palavras-chave : Max Weber; Religião; Religiões Mundiais; Racionalização.We present Max Weber as one of the most important sociologists and historians among those who dedicated themselves to the study of the religious phenomenon. Actually, it is possible to say that the analysis of religion involves one of the most fundamental aspects of his socio-historical work. As a whole, this subject appears in his texts in two different forms, i.e., as an analyzed object in its particularities, and as a social manifestation which influences, in a significant way, the other aspects of communitarian life. Here, we observe how he equipped himself with a particular method, rescued Kantian rationality and applied it as a parameter to historically understand religion. While he dedicated himself to study world religions (Confucianism-Taoism, Judaism-Christianity, and Hinduism-Buddhism), Weber analyzes the cultural rationalization of his cosmovisions. However, for him, the influence of religion over practical life varies a lot according to the path of salvation/liberation which is prescribed in terms of the psychological (imagined) quality of the salvation which is intended to be reached. Key words : Max Weber; Religion; World Religions; Rationalization. (shrink)
This paper aims at revealing the originality of Max Weber’s conception of the logical category of “historicity”, suggesting that in his writings on the methodology of the social sciences we can find a stimulating and forerunner contribution to the analysis of some logical and formal problems concerning the relationship between human knowledge and the chaos of reality (what we might call, ante-litteram, “science of chaos”). In particular, considering that in Weber’s conception scientific knowledge finds no facts “to grasp” in the (...) natural world, but rather a chaos of unique and infinitely divisible events, the analysis will be focused on the following aspects: (a) Weber’s separation of causal imputation from the notion of necessary (natural) law; (b) the importance attached to “probability judgments” with different degrees of certainty; (c) the proclaimed irreducibility of individual events to scientific models, laws, and (ideal)-types; (d) the effects imputed to the differentiation of the point of view of a scientific observer. (shrink)
The German philosopher Max Scheler defines the human person as a value-oriented act structure. Since a person is ideally a free being with open possibilities, the aim of education is to help human beings develop their potential in various directions. At the centre of Scheler's educational philosophy is the idea of all-round education, which aims towards a developed capacity for assessment, an ability to make choices and an ability to focus on the objective nature of things.
La empatía ha sido foco de discusión en los círculos antipositivistas de la academia alemana de comienzos del siglo pasado, especialmente dentro del movimiento fenomenológico. El presente trabajo se concentra en el debate en torno a esta problemática que Alfred Schütz sostiene con Max Scheler en Der sinnhafte Aufbau der sozialen Welt. En el primer apartado se bosquejan los lineamientos principales de la teoría scheleriana de la Fremdwahrnehmung (percepción del otro), y en el segundo, se exponen las críticas que Schütz (...) le realiza a la misma sustentado en desarrollos teóricos de Edmund Husserl. La hipótesis que guía al escrito es que la confrontación con la teoría scheleriana de la Fremdwahrnehmung juega un rol fundamental en la configuración de la teoría del Fremdverstehen (comprensión del otro) del Schütz temprano. At the beginning of the 20th century the issue of empathy was subject of controversy within the phenomenological movement. The present paper deals with the debate on that topic that the young Alfred Schutz maintained with Max Scheler. Firstly, I outline the Schelerian theory of Fremdwahrnehmung (perception of the other), and secondly I present Schutz's criticism of the former, which is inspired by Husserl's insights on self-awareness and Einfühlung (empathy). My thesis is that in order to properly understand Schutz's theory of Fremdverstehen (understanding of the other) it is essential to take into account this early confrontation with Scheler. (shrink)
This is an existential-phenomenological reading of Max Weber’s “Class, Status, Party” that seeks a fuller understanding of meaning accomplishment in a stratified World. I appropriate stratification as a single meaning structure ontically defined by domination, intersubjectivity, and life-chances and ontologically determined by the power-to-be (Seinkönnen), There-being-with-others (Mitdasein), and potentiality (Möglichkeit). I then discuss the significance of these structures in finite transcendence (There-being, Dasein) and describe ways they factually unfold in World achievement. I conclude with logotherapeutic reflections concerning meaning accomplishment in (...) a stratified World and a summary of key questions facing existential-phenomenology in light of the likelihood that There-being must embrace, indeed, live, the inherent equality of Being (Gleichheit des Seins) among Daseins to accomplish its authenticity. (shrink)
This essay is written in the belief that it is possible to say both where Max Weber's philosophy of social science is mistaken and how these mistakes can be put right. Runciman argues that Weber's analysis breaks down at three decisive points: the difference between theoretical pre-suppositions and implicit value-judgements; the manner in which 'idiographic' explanations are to be subsumed under causal laws; and the relation of explanation to description in sociology. The arguments which Weber put forward are fundamental to (...) the methodology of the social sciences, and since his death it has come to be increasingly widely held that with perhaps the sole exception of Mill's System of Logic there is still no other body of work of comparable importance in the academic literature on these topics. Runciman's attempt to correct Weber's mistakes therefore constitutes in itself a valuable contribution to the philosophy of social science. (shrink)
In his lifelong effort to overcome the limits of Panofsky’s iconological method, Max Imdahl tried to sketch out an «iconic understanding» which is pre-reflexive, performed below the level of conceptual and verbal explication. Under the auspices of Konrad Fiedler’s theoretical position, Imdahl opposed the Panofskian «recognizing view» with a more formalistic «seeing view», in order to gain access to a third form of vision which he called «knowing view». After outlining Imdahl’s critic of the reduced and unilateral significance of «form» (...) and «formal composition» in Panofsky’s approach, I will clarify how far Imdahl has gone in the analysis of what should be properly defined as an authentic logic of images . Then, focusing on a paradigmatic case study, I will show the importance of the syntax of an image (i.e. the positioning of its elements on the left or on the right, underneath or above, in the back or in the front) for its semantic meaning. (shrink)
Max <span class='Hi'>Albert</span> (2003) has recently argued that the theory of power indices “should not ... be considered as part of political science” and that “[v]iewed as a scientific theory, it is a branch of probability theory and can safely be ignored by political scientists”. <span class='Hi'>Albert</span>’s argument rests on a particular claim concerning the theoretical status of power indices, namely that the theory of power indices is not a positive theory, i.e. not one that has falsifiable implications. I re-examine (...) the theoretical status of power indices and argue that it would be unwise for political scientists to ignore such indices. Although I agree with <span class='Hi'>Albert</span> that the theory of power indices is not a positive theory, I suggest that it is a theory of measurement that can usefully supplement other positive and normative socialscientific theories. (shrink)
The article explores a range of motifs in the writing of the Austrian émigré novelist and essayist Hermann Broch, that point to themes in the sociological thought of Max Weber. Although explicit citations of Weber’s name appear rarely in Broch’s writings, the thematic and stylistic contents of Broch’s first novel of 1930-1 The Sleepwalkers indicate a plethora of ways in which the Austrian author engages with ideas he can only have first assimilated by means of a more or less conscious (...) programme of reading in texts by Weber and by other thinkers of the same milieu and generation, including Wilhelm Dilthey and Heinrich Rickert. Most notably in the ‘Excursus on the Disintegration of Values’, in Part III of The Sleepwalkers, Broch elaborates what might be seen as a certain poetic extension of the Weberian vision of modernity in terms of rationalization, disenchantment and the fragmentation of value-spheres. (shrink)
During 1909 and 1910, Max Weber planned a major study of the con temporary newspaper business. Although the project eventually col lapsed, he did draft an outline proposal which is here translated into English for the first time.
Although it is well-recognized that Max Weber was of central importance to many of the emigre social scientists who fled Hitler, commentators have overlooked both Weber’s attempt to found a new dynamic political science that would test partisan commitments and the endeavors of emigre political scientists to develop this project. This article lays out this new Weberian political science and assesses the fate of the various attempts on the part of the emigres to translate it into their new setting. It (...) shows that Weber forged a notion of political science that combined an existential notion of politics as inexorable power struggle with a sociology of the business of politics that provided the setting in which that struggle was to take place. It also shows that the central purpose of this political science was to aid political partisans in clarifying the meaning of their political commitments by forcing them to view these commitments as they are shaped in the socio-political context that determines the struggle for power. I then show that Mannheim sought to radicalize this approach to political science by seeking to construct the political backdrop for the testing of political ideas out of a political field not out of parties, politicians, and state institutions but out of competing ideologies, each of which could be shown to have some insight into the dynamics of political conflict. For Mannheim we could now test political ideas against political reality by playing them off against each other. I call this project of testing political ideas against existential and sociological notions of the political field the Weber–Mannheim project. I then show how three emigre political scientists – Arnold Brecht, Hans Morgenthau, and Franz Neumann – sought to carry on the Weber–Mannheim project in their new setting. I argue that, of the three, Franz Neumann in his great work Behemoth, was most successful in staying true to that project. For he was able to find in his analysis of the Weimar Republic and the fascist regime a way of demonstrating the dynamics under which democracy and dictatorship fail or succeed while still maintaining openings for political will. Both Brecht and Morgenthau seem to have flattened the dynamic aspect of the Weberian and Mannheimian notions of a prudential political science – though it was Morgenthau who had the most successful reception in political science. (shrink)
The paper examines the potential of sympathy as defined by Max Scheler to found a normative ethics. Scheler perceives sympathy in predominantly instinctivist terms, and insists that, while it accounts for a comprehensive range of human interactions, it cannot be a basis for ethics. However, Scheler does not convincingly argue against an ethics of sympathy. A closer examination of his account of sympathy reveals that this account in fact suggests a strong possibility of an ethics of sympathy, which would also (...) encompass other segments of Scheler's systematic view of sympathy, including seeing sympathy as a foundation for cognition, emotions, and a certain a priori collective knowledge. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to state a case for Karl Mannheim as an interlocutor no less important than Michael Oakeshott for an inquiry into the manner and purpose of teaching politics. Beginning with Max Weber, I develop an account of Karl Mannheim as a prime contender for Weber's legacy in political education, along with two contemporaries, Albert Salomon and Hans Freyer, whose contrasting appropriations of the legacy will highlight important elements that distinguish Mannheim's approach from the stereotype into (...) which Oakeshott would be inclined to cast it. This treatment will offer an understanding of the issues in political education that will give ample reason to give preference to Mannheim's reading of the contrast between himself and Oakeshott and substantial support for the conclusions he derives for the design and point of political education. Mannheim's surprisingly modest conclusions are closer to the `scepticism' with which Oakeshott credited himself in his inaugural lecture, as he ironically apologized for the contrast with his predecessors, than to the rather shallow prophetic convictions of Graham Wallas and Harold Laski, which Oakeshott attacks. Unlike Oakeshott, however, he recognizes not only the urgencies of a conflict where tradition is only one of the parties but also the justice of impatient contenders against an order that persistently does them harm. The need is not to take up a conversation, but to cultivate a `platform' for negotiated settlements; and this political task is the educational work of intellectuals, who must nevertheless never presume to rule. (shrink)
Being located in the horizon of the philosophical outrage, our article purpose is to show the phenomenological basis of Max Scheler’s anthropological proposal, whose immediate antecedents were Husserl’s researches regarding to the correlation man-world, the debate held between phenomenology and the incursion of psychology within the field of the objectives sciences, the develop of a growing up discipline such as physiology, and in general the gradual consolidation of evolutionary theories, which were taking from the philosophical anthropology his conceit of prevailing (...) discipline in the explanation of human phenomena. In the midst this theoretical chaos Scheler in The man’s place in the cosmos radicalize the thesis of I – world correlation of life, guiding the study of man closer to the eidetic transcendental pretention, and beyond the purely empirical description. According to this we understand that Scheler develops an anthropological proposal with a phenomenological nature. (shrink)
In this article I address a number of central problems in modern and/or postmodern political and ethical life. I do so largely through an explication and comparison of John Dewey's and Max Weber's theoretical approaches and prescriptions for ethics and political participation. According to both Dewey and Weber, the modern world fragments both the ‘individual' and ‘community'. This fragmentation impairs meaningful political action. Thus, the question becomes, how is the fragmentation on the individual and community level to be reconciled, coherence (...) regained and meaningful action restored? Dewey and Weber have conflicting answers to this set of questions. I argue that however wanting one might find Dewey and Weber's insights, the questions and their insights are still relevant to this day. I argue that the problems brought on by modernity still flourish under ‘postmodern' conditions. Further, I propose that given contemporary conditions (at least for some) a supplemented combination of Weber and Dewey's views is the most suitable and politically efficient response to the demands of the day and would best serve our need for coherence and allow for meaningful political action. The article ends by proposing a blend of their views that is supplemented by the work of Judith Butler. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall: Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the King's horses and all the King's men Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty in his place again. – Lewis Carrol, Alice Through the Looking Glass2 S. Afr. J. Philos. Vol.19(2) 2000: 75-94. (shrink)
Weber's discussion of bureaucracy is generally taken as descriptive of organized social structure within a rational-legal society. This is understandable; yet elsewhere in Weber's sociology he cautions against precisely this kind of analysis. His counsel against reification, his emphasis upon subjective ideas standing behind social action, his characterization of "society" as subjective orientation to legitimacy, his discussion of organization and social relationships as probabilities of behavior in accordance with subjective belief in their existence, and his tendency to describe the wide (...) range of world views within the vocabularies of those who subscribe to them-all mitigate against viewing his description of bureaucratic standardization as Weber's own world view, much less as his sociology. Rather the discussion can be understood as a description of bureaucracy from within the bureaucratic setting and as a set of ideas subjectively held to as a basis of legitimacy, ideas whose truth value are largely irrelevant for Weberian analysis. This qualification of bureaucracy as a mentality supplements the more widely acknowledged ideal-type qualification and provides a basis for increased Weberian insight. Such insight dovetails with post-functionalist sociological theory, explains the origins and consequences of functionalist theory, and provides new understandings of recent findings in empirically based research. Moreover, it helps to focus current research away from bureaucracy as an existent entity and toward a phenomenon Weber identifies as the central process of Western civilization: the rationalization (bureaucratization) of human behavior, a process both unfulfillable and unstoppable. (shrink)
The translator of Scheler’s essay, “On the Rehabilitation of Virtue,” presents an account of the context of this essay in Scheler’s work and of its relevance to his concept of the ordo amoris and to his critique of Kant. The translator discusses the intended audience of the essay, its moral purpose, and the method of its procedure. The postscript further reflects on the essay’s central themes of humility and reverence, suggesting avenues for a critical assessment of Scheler’s conclusions. It ends (...) with some reflections on the contemporary value of Scheler’s contributions in this essay to a historical and philosophical understanding of the conflict between science and religion. (shrink)
Recent interpretations of Weber's theory of concept formation have concluded that it is seriously defective and therefore of questionable use in social science. Oakes and Burger have argued that Weber's ideas depend upon Rickert's epistemology, whose arguments Oakes finds to be invalid; by implication, Weber's theory fails. An attempt is made to reconstruct Weber's theory on the basis of his 1904 essay on objectivity. Pivotal to Weber's theory is his distinction between concept and judgment (hypothesis), where the former is the (...) interpretive means to the formation of explanatory accounts (judgments). His theory includes criteria of abstraction and synthesis in the construction of ideal-type concepts as well as criteria for their evaluation. Weber provides a reasonably coherent, if incomplete, theory of concept formation which does not depend on Rickert's epistemological arguments. (shrink)
When Max Weber made use of the terms ?Vergemeinschaftung? and ?Vergesellschaftung? in the first chapter of ?Economy and Society?, he was among other things alluding to Ferdinand Tönnies' well- known usage of ?Gemeinschaft? and ?Gesellschaft?, as well as to related conceptions in the work of Georg Simmel. However, Weber's usage not only differed from the senses in which Tönnies and Simmel used these terms; he had himself altered his own usage since the early draft of this chapter, published in 1913 (...) as ?On some Categories of Interpretive Sociology?. The tangled resonances that result from this are carefully identified and separated, and in so doing light is shed upon the nature and status of Weber's intentions in writing his important chapter on ?Basic Sociological Categories? (shrink)
Our conclusion will take the form of a restatement of the famous “iron cage” passage from The Protestant Ethic which was the starting point of our discussion, put into the terms of the categories and conclusions developed in this article. First, a prefatory remark about the term “capitalism.” Weber understood capitalism not in terms of the ownership of capital or a specific mode of production, but in a more general sense — as the formal practical-instrumental rationalization of economic action. If (...) one accepts this definition, one can distinguish three main forms of capitalism: entrepreneurial capitalism; corporate capitalism, as exemplified by the present United States; and State capitalism, as exemplified by the Soviet Union. The “iron cage” passage was written when corporate capitalism was at an early stage of development, and State capitalism had not yet appeared on the scene. Yet his critique seems to apply with especial force to corporate capitalism, and to be germane to State capitalism as well. As Weber was well aware: E & S, 1401–1402. Our restatement follows. (shrink)