. Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions . . . has clearly emerged as just such a work." —Ron Johnston, Times Higher Education Supplement "Among the most influential academic books in this century." —Choice One of "The ...
Upshot: Jehane Barton Burns (now Jehane Kuhn) worked with Ernst von Glasersfeld in the 1960’s on semantic analysis for machine translation at Silvio Ceccato’s Centro di Cibernetica at the University of Milan. Among subsequent formative experiences, she lists Italian travels with Howard Burns, historian of architecture (who first told her about Vico), and a decade in the Office of Charles and Ray Eames (where Constraints was a talismanic word). She and Thomas Kuhn married in 1982; she still considers (...) the English language her raison d’être. (shrink)
"The main spine of this book stems from a comprehensive series of interviews with subjects recalling their experiences of 1930s cinemagoing. Your feel the breath of life in these spectators, a rarity in film studies, thanks to the painstaking work contracting the interview subjects and recording and tabulating their testimony."- JUMPCUT In the 1930s, Britain had the highest annual per capita cinema attendance in the world, far surpassing ballroom dancing as the nation's favorite pastime. It was, as historian A.J.P. Taylor (...) said, the "essential social habit of the age." And yet, although we know something about the demographics of British cinemagoers, we know almost nothing of their experience of film, how film affected them, how it fit into their daily lives, what role cinema played in the larger culture of the time, and in what ways cinemagoing shaped the generation that came of age in the 1930s. In Dreaming of Fred and Ginger , Annette Kuhn draws upon contemporary publications, extensive interviews with cinemagoers themselves, and readings of selected film, to produce a provocative and perspective-altering ethno-historical study. Taking cinemagoers' accounts of their own experiences as both "the engine and product of investigation," Kuhn enters imaginatively into the world of 1930s cinema culture and analyzes its place in popular memory. Among the topics she examines are the physical space of the cinemas; the role film played in growing up; the experience of being a member of a cinema audience; film-inspired fantasies of American life; the importance of cinema to adolescence in offering role models, ideals of romance, as well as practical opportunities for courtship; and the sheer pleasure of watching such film stars as Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Nelson Eddy, Ronald Colman, and many others. Engagingly written and painstakingly researched, with contributions to film history, cultural studies, and social history, Dreaming of Fred and Ginger offers an illuminating account of a key moment in British cultural memory. (shrink)
The author's concept of incommensurability is explicated by elaborating the claim that some terms essential to the formulation of older theories defy translation into the language of more recent ones. Defense of this claim rests on the distinction between interpreting a theory in a later language and translating the theory into it. The former is both possible and essential, the latter neither. The interpretation/translation distinction is then applied to Kitcher's critique of incommensurability and Quine's conception of a translation manual, both (...) of which take reference-preservation as the sole semantic criterion of translational adequacy. The paper concludes by enquiring about the additional criteria a successful translation must satisfy. (shrink)
A highly condensed account of the author's present view of some philosophical problems unresolved in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. The concept of incommensurability, now considerably developed, remains at center stage, but the evolutionary metaphor, introduced in the final pages of the book, now also plays a principal role.
Ethical evaluation of deep brain stimulation as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease is complicated by results that can be described as involving changes in the patient’s identity. The risk of becoming another person following surgery is alarming for patients, caregivers and clinicians alike. It is one of the most urgent conceptual and ethical problems facing deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease at this time. In our paper we take issue with this problem on two accounts. First, we elucidate what is (...) meant by becoming another person from a conceptual point of view. After critically discussing two broad approaches we concentrate on the notion of individual identity which centers on the idea of core attitudes . Subsequently we discuss several approaches to determine what distinguishes core attitudes from those that are more peripheral. We argue for a foundational-function model highlighting the importance of specific dependency relations between these attitudes. Our second aim is to comment on the possibility to empirically measure changes in individual identity and argue that many of the instruments now commonly used in selecting and monitoring DBS-patients are inappropriate for this purpose. Future research in this area is advised combining a conceptual and an empirical approach as a basis of sound ethical appraisal. (shrink)
A scientific community cannot practice its trade without some set of received beliefs. These beliefs form the foundation of the "educational initiation that prepares and licenses the student for professional practice". The nature of the "rigorous and rigid" preparation helps ensure that the received beliefs are firmly fixed in the student's mind. Scientists take great pains to defend the assumption that scientists know what the world is like...To this end, "normal science" will often suppress novelties which undermine its foundations. Research (...) is therefore not about discovering the unknown, but rather "a strenuous and devoted attempt to force nature into the conceptual boxes supplied by professional education". (shrink)
Applications of game theory to moral philosophy are impededby foundational issues and troublesome examples. In the first part of this paper,questions are raised about the appropriate game-theoretical frameworks for applications to moralphilosophy and about the proper interpretations of the theoretical devices employed inthese frameworks. In the second part, five examples that should be of particular interest to thoseinterested in the connections between ethics and game theory are delineated and discussed. Thefirst example comprises games in which there is an outcome unanimously (...) preferred to the``solution'' of the game, appropriately defined. The second comprises games whose solution callsfor different players to employ different strategies. The third comprises games whosesolution calls for players to adopt mixed strategies. The fourth comprises games whose solutionrequires players to cycle among a variety of strategies. The fifth comprises games whose solutionrequires players to discriminate in morally inappropriate ways. (shrink)
The increasing popularity of blogs and blogging, as well as their integration into the mainstream media mix, has sparked an ongoing discussion of whether a code of blog ethics is necessary or even feasible. In this article, I draw upon new communication technology ethics scholarship and an exploratory survey of bloggers to propose such a code. This code, unlike previous proposals, recognizes interactivity and the importance of prioritizing the human element in computer-mediated communication as the core values in blogging ethics.
Montague, Prior, von Wright and others drew attention to resemblances between modal operators and quantifiers. In this paper we show that classical quantifiers can, in fact, be regarded as S5-like operators in a purely propositional modal logic. This logic is axiomatized and some interesting fragments of it are investigated.
A sentence containing a number of definite descriptions, each lying within the scope of its predecessor, is naturally read as asserting the uniqueness of a sequence of objects satisfying the descriptions. The project of providing a general uniform procedure for eliminating embedded definite descriptions that gets this and other logical forms right is impeded by several puzzles.
A complexity cosmography is introduced as construing a world that is self-organizing, dynamic, and emergent, and that comprises organic entities that too are self-organizing, dynamic, and emergent. Following critical reflection into the nature of utilising complexity in social inquiry, specific images, vocabularies and complexity-based methods and techniques as developed by the authors are introduced.
Complexity is introduced as a fitting paradigmatic orientation to social inquiry. A complexity approach is compared and contrasted with other holistic social inquiry orientations (systems thinking, cybernetics, and ecological thinking) and constructivist styles of thinking that have informed and guided the evolution of qualitative social inquiry.
Paradoxical images and understandings inherent in sustainable tourism discourses are identified as relating to two undergirding incongruities where (1) humans and the environment are seen as discrete entities and inherently interrelated, and where (2) humans and the environment are viewed as evolving over time, and as static and unchanging. To resolve these tensions, it is suggested that rather than taking an essentialist perspective, it is more useful to treat sustainable tourism as an aspiring evolving discourse. Recognition of human complicity (...) in discourse construction is proposed as necessary for fostering greater circumspection: thoughtful attention to the circumstances that reciprocally give rise to our own evolving consciousness and existential circumstances. (shrink)
Complexity, in conceptualizing life as self-organizing, dynamic, and emergent, offers evocative metaphors for making sense that are not bound to linearity or certainty. We utilize complexity as a conceptual framework in teaching related to various aspects of the humanities and social sciences (business, organization, and management studies, ethics, social and political change, health, spirituality). In this article, we reflect on our use of complexity in addressing the teaching challenge inherent in encouraging complex epistemic cognition: thinking about thinking through a complexity (...) framework. (shrink)
This article explores an understanding of organizational management developed from the metaphorical application of complexity science to the field of organizational development. It focuses on the insights that fractality triggers in relation to an alternative way of examining and appreciating organizational hierarchy, and the subsequent implications to liberating creativity, ingenuity and potentiality of individuals working within the organization. Sites where such a fractal-hierarchy mindset appears to be evident are discussed, and the effects on productivity noted.
Es wird Ã¼ber eine Untersuchung zur Forschungsmethodik der Wirtschaftsinformatik berichtet. Untersuchungsziel war es, den Stellenwert von Forschungsmethodik in der Wirtschaftsinformatik zu bestimmen und den Befund dazu zu erklÃ¤ren. Das Untersuchungsziel wurde mit einer Stichprobenanalyse verfolgt. Als Stichprobe wurden die vierzehn JahrgÃ¤nge 1990 bis 2003 der Zeitschrift WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK verwendet. Im Ergebnis wird festgestellt, dass die Wirtschaftsinformatik erhebliche forschungsmethodische Anstrengungen unternehmen muss, wenn sie auf dem Weg von einer Kunstlehre zur Wissenschaft zÃ¼gig vorankommen will.
What does it take to argue well? The goal of this series of studies was to better understand the cognitive skills entailed in argument, and their course of development, isolated from the verbal and social demands that argumentive discourse also entails. Findings indicated that young adolescents are less able than adults to coordinate attention to both positions in an argument, an age-related pattern that parallels one found in discourse. Contributing to this weakness was inattention to the opposing position (in both (...) constrained and unconstrained formats), but not ability to address the opposing position when explicitly asked to do so. In addition to implementing the necessary dual focus, results point to the importance of developing epistemological understanding of the relevance of the opposing position to argument, as well as of the goals of argument more generally. The results also reflect the close parallels between dialogic and non-dialogic argument. (shrink)
We argue in favour of the general proposition that the nature of reasoning is best understood within a context of its origins and development. A major dimension of what develops in the years from childhood to adulthood, we propose, is increasing meta-level monitoring and management of cognition. Two domains are examined in presenting support for these claims—multivariable causal reasoning and argumentive reasoning.
During sensory stimulation, visual cortical neurons undergo massive synaptic bombardment. This increases their input conductance, and action potentials mainly result from membrane potential fluctuations. To understand the response properties of neurons operating in this regime, we studied a model neuron with synaptic inputs represented by transient membrane conductance changes. We show that with a simultaneous increase of excitation and inhibition, the firing rate first increases, reaches a maximum, and then decreases at higher input rates. Comodulation of excitation and inhibition, therefore, (...) does not provide a straightforward way of controlling the neuronal firing rate, in contrast to coding mechanisms postulated previously. The synaptically induced conductance increase plays a key role in this effect: it decreases firing rate by shunting membrane potential fluctuations, and increases it by reducing the membrane time constant, allowing for faster membrane potential transients. These findings do not depend on details of the model and, hence, are relevant to cells of other cortical areas as well. (shrink)
To design effective and socially sensitive systems, engineers must be able to integrate a technology-based approach to engineering problems with concerns for social impact and the context of use. The conventional approach to engineering education is largely technology-based, and even when additional courses with a social orientation are added, engineering graduates are often not well prepared to design user- and context-sensitive systems. Using data from interviews with three engineering students who had significant exposure to a socially-oriented perspective on production systems (...) design, this paper argues that engineering students may have difficulty integrating in their own practice the technology-based and the socially-oriented perspectives on production. To enhance engineering students' ability to create systems that integrate both perspectives, and to relieve the intense cognitive and emotional pain that can be experienced by students exposed to both perspectives but unable to reconcile them, this paper reinforces the importance of teaching students the meta skill, design. A design perspective can help students integrate varied, sometimes conflicting, perspectives, and reach beyond customer-defined constraints to consider workplace and social impact. (shrink)
The paper notes the recent spread of business ethics courses in American higher education, observing that teachers trained in economics have not readily incorporated ethical notions or theory into regular courses, such as finance, management, accounting, and marketing. The presumed ethically neutral, value-free approach of economists, who dominate business courses, is increasingly inadequate to meet the needs of business managers – or of business students. Technological and political changes, creating an interdependent environment within which managers operate, have eroded older ethics (...) based on tradition and common backgrounds. They have also raised ethical issues of new orders of complexity. With corporate business managers finding ethical concerns more pressing matters than do many teachers, the paper offers some tentative answers to three questions about how to interest business students in ethical issues: What Approach to Business Ethics Gets student's Attention? What Is the Value of Simulations and Games? What Can Be Said About the Business System And Its Values?The answer to the first question is simulations and games. Case method analysis is serviceable, engaging students' intellect, but all too often without emotional involvement or self-revelation. Experiential learning through class-room games accomplish both engagement and involvement in ways that are exceedingly helpful to business students, who have had "less occasion for critical reflection on self and world than have others of their age.". (shrink)
This book explores the opportunities and problems that corporate business managers and leaders of what the authors call corporate "constituencies" will confront over the next ten years as they seek their respective overlapping and conflicting goals. The authors define constituencies as internal groups like employees and external groups like shareholders, suppliers, and customers. But they also include new constituencies like consumerists, conservationists, racial and ethnic groups, the handicapped, social activists, and others who are affected by, and in turn affect, the (...) corporation. The book begins by describing the origins of the new constituencies and their history to the present. It goes on to discuss how managers have responded to these new groups and explores managers' values, arguing that they profess a free market philosophy but lobby for governmental restraints to protect their markets. Finally, the authors detail the ways in which managers can come to a better understanding of their social responsibilities, and suggest a new style of responsiveness--of managers to constituencies and constituencies to managers--that should result in cooperative solutions to ethical problems. (shrink)