Re-treating Religion is the first volume to analyze his long-term project The Deconstruction of Christianity,especially his major statement of it in Dis-Enclosure.Nancy conceives monotheistic religion and secularization not as opposite ...
First-person reports are central to the study of subjective well-being in contemporary psychology, but there is much disagreement about exactly what sort of first-person reports should be used. This paper examines an influential proposal to replace all first-person reports of life satisfaction with introspective reports of affect. I argue against the reasoning behind this proposal, and propose instead a new strategy for deciding what measure is appropriate.
Can social phenomena be understood by analyzing their parts? Contemporary economic theory often assumes that they can. The methodology of constructing models which trace the behavior of perfectly rational agents in idealized environments rests on the premise that such models, while restricted, help us isolate tendencies, that is, the stable separate effects of economic causes that can be used to explain and predict economic phenomena. In this paper, I question both the claim that models in economics supply claims about tendencies (...) and also the view that economics, when successful, necessarily follows this method. When economics licenses successful policy interventions, as it did in the case of the Federal Communications Commission spectrum auctions, its method is not to study tendencies but rather to study the phenomenon as a whole. Key Words: economic models tendencies economic experiments policy making John Stuart Mill. (shrink)
What sort of claims do scientific models make and how do these claims then underwrite empirical successes such as explanations and reliable policy interventions? In this paper I propose answers to these questions for the class of models used throughout the social and biological sciences, namely idealized deductive ones with a causal interpretation. I argue that the two main existing accounts misrepresent how these models are actually used, and propose a new account. *Received July 2006; revised August 2008. †To contact (...) the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Missouri, St. Louis, 599 Lucas Hall (MC 73), One University Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63121-4400; e-mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
Theoretical biology and economics are remarkably similar in their reliance on mathematical models, which attempt to represent real world systems using many idealized assumptions. They are also similar in placing a great emphasis on derivational robustness of modeling results. Recently philosophers of biology and economics have argued that robustness analysis can be a method for confirmation of claims about causal mechanisms, despite the significant reliance of these models on patently false assumptions. We argue that the power of robustness analysis has (...) been greatly exaggerated. It is best regarded as a method of discovery rather than confirmation. (shrink)
The word blat refers to the system of informal contacts and personal networks which was used to obtain goods and services under the rationing which characterised Soviet Russia. Alena Ledeneva's book is the first to analyse blat in all its historical, socio-economic and cultural aspects, and to explore its implications for post-Soviet society. In a socialist distribution system which resulted in constant shortages, blat developed into an 'economy of favours' which shadowed an overcontrolling centre and represented the reaction of (...) ordinary people to the social constraints they faced. In social and economic terms, blat exchanges became vital to the population, and to the functioning of the Soviet system. The book shows that the nature of the economic and political changes in contemporary Russia cannot be properly understood without attention to the powerful legacy of the blat economy. (shrink)
In the history of Western philosophy, questions of well-being and happiness have played a central role for some 2,500 years. Yet, when it comes to the systematic empirical study of happiness and satisfaction, philosophers are relative latecomers. Empirically-minded psychologists began studying systematically the determinants and distribution of happiness and satisfaction – understood as positive or desirable subjectively experienced mental states – during the 1920’s and 30’s, as personality psychology emerged as a bona fide subdiscipline of psychology shortly after World War (...) I (Angner, 2005a). The first philosopher to take this literature seriously, to my knowledge, was Nicholas Rescher (1972). The topic reappeared in the philosophical literature in the 90’s, as L. W. Sumner (1996) developed his account of well-being as life satisfaction in a manner that appears to have been inspired by the empirical literature, and again in the 00’s, when a number of younger philosophers, apparently independently, turned to this literature in order to examine how it can inform, and be informed by, moral philosophy and philosophy of science (Alexandrova, 2005; Angner, 2005b; Haybron, 2000; Tiberius, 2006). (shrink)
We give a brief account of some de Finetti style representation theorems for probability functions satisfying Spectrum Exchangeability in Polyadic Inductive Logic, together with applications to Non-splitting, Language Invariance, extensions with Equality and Instantial Relevance.
This paper, which is based on an extensive analysis of the literature, gives a brief overview of the main ways in which solidarity has been employed in bioethical writings in the last two decades. As the vagueness of the term has been one of the main targets of critique, we propose a new approach to defining solidarity, identifying it primarily as a practice enacted at the interpersonal, communal, and contractual/legal levels. Our three-tier model of solidarity can also help to explain (...) the way in which crises of solidarity can occur, notably when formal solidaristic arrangements continue to exist despite ‘lower tiers’ of solidarity practices at inter-personal and communal levels having ‘broken away’. We hope that this contribution to the growing debate on the potential for the value of solidarity to help tackle issues in bioethics and beyond, will stimulate further discussion involving both conceptual and empirically informed perspectives. (shrink)
This article addresses some recent tendencies in economic methodology defined as a philosophy of science for economics. I review the problem of normative/positive distinction in methodology and argue that normativity in its past forms is intolerable today but is, at the same time, indispensable for methodological inquiry. Using recent texts by Mirowski and Nik-Khah and by Alexandrova and Northcott on the applications of auction theory as a case study, I compare in more detail various approaches to economic methodology inspired (...) by the science and technology studies (STS) and philosophy of science literatures, respectively. On the basis of this comparison, I show that the STS programme in economic methodology may prove fruitful in the future, but there is still a place for more aprioristic philosophical thinking. Methodology and history of economics also play a fundamental role that goes beyond the descriptive analysis of STS and offer conceptual clarification paired with normative concerns provided by philosophers of science. (shrink)
For several centuries, the Russians have been famous for the number of transactions they conduct through unofficial channels. This book, the first sustained attempt to explain and analyze Russian society's reliance on unofficial "give-and-take," focuses especially on two key practices: bribery (the use of public office for private gain) and blat (the informal exchange of favors). It brings together specialists from a wide range of disciplines.
In this study, we examine differences in cheating behaviors in higher education between two countries, namely the United States and the Czech Republic, which differ in many social, cultural and political aspects. We compare a recent (2011) Czech Republic survey of 291 students to that of 268 students in the US (Klein et al., 2007). For all items surveyed, CR students showed a higher propensity to engage in cheating. Additionally, we found more forms of serious cheating present in the Czech (...) sample. In all cases, the differences between the US and Czech samples were statistically significant. (shrink)