Starting from R. K. Merton's now classic criticism of 'holistic' functionalism, i.e. of a functionalism which postulates social unity, universality and functional in-dispensability, the author stresses certain implications of this criticism more than they have been stressed hitherto. Classical and holistic functionalism) from H. Spencer, B. Malinowski, A. R. Radcliffe-Brown, etc to T. Parsons, postulates certain total unities (a global culture, an integrated system, etc.) in which each item (existence, actions, structures, etc.) is considered and defined on the grounds of (...) its consequences for the maintenance of the system as a whole; therefore holistic functionalism as a method is, in effect, the study of the consequences of the system on the items that compose it, since each of these items is defined within the sphere of the system and of its integrative functions. Merton's 'neo-functionalism', on the other hand, is remarkable not only in that it takes into account the 'dysfunctional' and 'nonfunctional' consequences of certain items on the system, but more especially because, within the context of functional analysis, it stresses the possible existence of structural substitutes and alternatives of functions, and therefore of latent structures which are foreign to objective functional consequences, as well as being able to deal with unanticipated and unexpected items and their consequences on the system. 'Neo-functionalism', which is susceptible of further development, is not limited to the study of the consequences of the system on its items: it can also reverse this scheme and study the consequences of certain items on the system. Merton's criticism of holistic functionalism therefore implies a broadening of the scientific resources of this method and a renewal of its interpretative scheme, thanks to which functional analysis ceases to appear as 'the* method of explaining sociology as a science, and becomes an interpretative method which complements the analysis of social structures and relations. Seen in this light the concept of structure becomes emancipated and independent of the concept of system and function; whereas, within the framework of universal functionalism, it was ancillary to the concept of function. Finally, latent structures and unconscious structures, conditions of possibility and subjective dispositions are favourable to social structures and social relations, not excluding those that are neither visible nor observable. This analysis, the author notes, is extremely meaningful and has great possibilities of development, especially in view of the structuralism recently to be noted in the human and social sciences: anthropology, history, linguistics, etc. (shrink)
This article surveys Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's social utopia from the inception of Futurism until its end during World War II, contextualizing it in relation to the various diffused anarchistic ideologies of European artists and intellectuals. From the second half of the nineteenth century onward radical politics and the artistic avant-garde were in close dialogue. Max Stirner's individual anarchy held a special appeal to modernist artists, including Gabriele D'Annunzio and Marinetti. Marinetti's aim of renovating Italy's cultural and political life initially (...) led him to glorify the destruction of old institutions. At the end of World War I he developed a more or less coherent utopian vision of a new society, based principally on the exaltation of individual freedom and the importance of art. During the Fascist regime, Marinetti abandoned politics and concentrated his efforts on making the Aerofuturism of the interwar years the official art of Fascism, which the Futurists saw as the fulfillment of their “anarchist” dream. (shrink)
Empathy can be viewed as an intervening variable to explain complex webs of causation between multiple factors and the resulting responses. The mediating role of emotion, implicit in the concept of an intervening variable, can be at the basis of the flexibility of empathic responses. Knowledge of the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms is needed for empathy to be considered as a biologically functional intervening variable.
This article explores Futurist technophilia and some more or less latent technophobia, in the period after 1918. Fuelled by the economic and industrial advancements of the so-called “Giolittian age,” as well as an extensive employment of war technology in the First World War, the Futurist technological imagination remains both robust and wide-ranging in the postwar period. Resonant of nineteenth-century French and Italian literary traditions, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's official position clusters round the powerful, if hackneyed, images of the steam train (...) and the motorcar. A number of fellow Futurists, however, explore technology in more original and, in some cases, more persuasive fashions. From the technology of flying employed first-hand by Fedele Azari to Enrico Prampolini's mechanical applications on the European stage, from Anton Giulio Bragaglia's experimental cinema to Ivo Pannaggi's and Vinicio Paladini's technological rebirth in marxian key, the Futurists' approach to technology is characterised throughout by a problematic counterpoint of modernity and tradition. If the Futurist officialdom ultimately relies on the latter, numerous alternative experiences testify to their vibrant strife towards the former. (shrink)
Since the mid?1950s the spread of formal models and econometric method has greatly improved the study of the past, giving rise to the ?new? economic history; at the same time, the influence of economic history on economists and economics has markedly declined. This paper argues that the contribution of history to the advancement of economics is still paramount, as is evident from the evolution of monetary theory and institutions.JEL classification: NO1, A12.
Adriano Ardovino, Raccogliere il mondo. Per una fenomenologia della rete [Angela Maiello] • Clive Bell, L’Arte [Filippo Focosi] • Alessandro Bertinetto, Il pensiero dei suoni. Temi di filosofia della musica [Domenica Lentini] • Terrence Deacon, Incomplete Nature. How Mind Emerged From Matter [Mariagrazia Portera] • Roger Scruton, La bellezza. Ragione ed esperienza estetica [Filippo Focosi] • Miriam Bratu Hansen, Cinema and Experience. Sigfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin and Theoder W. Adorno [Domenico Spinosa] • Lawrence Barsalou, scritti sulla “Grounded Cognition” (...) [Gialuca Consoli] • Dis-forme , Università degli Studi di Palermo, 28-29 maggio 2012 [Michele Bertolini e Pietro Conte]. (shrink)
En este artículo buscamos explicar lo que llamamos “la nueva preponderancia de la dimensión política en las relaciones internacionales”, entendiendo por aquello la creciente importancia que han adquirido últimamente tanto los actores políticos como el apostar por estrategias multidimensionales en política exterior –en contraposición a estrategias unidimensionales basadas en el contractualismo económico-comercial-, para tratar de dar respuesta a las inquietantes y complejas interrogantes que presenta el actual escenario mundial. La tesis del trabajo es que esta “vuelta a la política” en (...) el plano internacional se explica por la confluencia de dos fenómenos-procesos: por un lado el cambio de ciclo económico –propulsado en gran parte por la crisis financiera global-, que implica el inicio de lo que el economista inglés Robert Skidelsky llama ciclo “liberal-keynesiano”, y por otro lado la transformación del sistema internacional y el paso a lo que el académico estadounidense Richard Haass llama “la era de la no polaridad”. (shrink)
The essay investigates the problem of Self-construction in latest Nietzsche’s thought and its relation with the question of decadence. The identity crisis of Western civilisation, the break-up of the ethical and cultural ground of modern European societies, become at the same time the opportunity for a radical renewal of humanity, the starting point for a great «anthropotechnical experiment» aimed at shaping a new human «type», a new model for a Post-Christian ethos.