This paper attempts to articulate certain inadequacies that are involved in the traditional way of categorizing Indian philosophy and explores alternative approaches, some of which otherwise are not explicitly seen in the treatises of the history of Indian Philosophies. By categorization, I mean, classifying Indian philosophy into two streams, which are traditionally called as astica and nastica or orthodox and heterodox systems. Further, these different schools in the astica Darsanas and nastica Darsanas are usually numbered into six and three respectively. (...) Nyaya - Vaisesika, Sankhya -Yoga and Purva & Uttara Mimamsa are identified as astica darsanas and Carvaka, Buddhism and Jainism are identified as nastica darsanas (6+3). It is my endeavor to critically analyze the usual astica-nastica distinction of 6+3 classification of Indian philosophy so as to find out the meaning of such a rationale in this categorization. This general consensus is contested in this paper. What I am intended to support and strengthen such a critical analysis and exploration is to discuss these systems of India’s philosophy within the general intellectual milieu of Indian cultural traditions, its orientations, presuppositions and preferences. In order to carry out such a task, I shall be taking recourse to the theories of different scholars, both traditional and modern, in approaching and appropriating Indian Philosophy from different perspectives and their critical-creative approaches shall be scrutinized. (shrink)
In this essay I attempt to show the limitations of analytic thinking and the kinds of dead ends into which such analyses may lead us in the philosophy of sport. As an alternative, I argue for a philosophy of complementation and compatibility in the face of what appear to be exclusive alternatives. This is a position that is sceptical of bifurcations and other simplified portrayals of reality but does not dismiss them entirely. A philosophy of complementation traffics in (...) the realm of ambiguities, paradoxes, differences by degree, tendencies, mixtures, polarities, tensions, complexes, transitions and all other forms of messiness. I note that this position has been generated, in part, by work conducted in the empirical sciences and that complementation provides a paradigm that is useful across the academic disciplines. To show the ways in which analytic thinking leads to dead ends, I analyse the epistemological debate over ?broad internalism? engaged in by Russell (1999, 2004), Dixon (2003), Simon (2000, 2004) and Morgan (2004). Evidence for the claim that they reached a mostly unhelpful stalemate is based on the fact that they did not provide any third option and moreover that the analytic tools and ground rules they employ prevent its discovery. I suggest that all four authors are comfortable with the analytic tendency to bifurcate reality and require choices among exclusionary alternatives. I also claim that they treat reason as if it were generated by a ?mind from nowhere?. Philosophical anthropology, I suggest, provides much-needed somatic grounding that would reign in excessively optimistic views of reason (Dixon, Simon and Russell) or excessively plastic interpretations of mind (Morgan). It can also provide evidence that could help us understand why hominids (even modern ones) are so attracted to dichotomies and why we have so much trouble in reconciling apparent incompatibilities. (shrink)
The majority of literature on Slow Food focuses on the organization or actors involved in the movement. There is a dearth of material analyzing Carlo Petrini’s aspirations for Slow Food, particularly in light of his desire within Slow Food Nation (2007) and Terra Madre (2010) to make “freewill giving a part of economic discourse.” This essay corrects the literature gap through historicizing and critiquing Petrini’s alternative to global capitalism while rooting it in actually existing practices. First, Petrini’s problematic conceptualization of (...) freewill giving will be compared to feminist theorizations and documentations of the gift economy. Second, Petrini’s avoidance of the toxic mimic of the gift, its subsumption to capitalism, will be amended by discussing how the gifting of food aid and emergency food networks actually reproduces inequality, poverty, and hunger. Third, Petrini’s example of gifting by a Trappist Monastery will be juxtaposed to the ongoing direct action strategies of Food Not Bombs, a much stronger example of an oppositional gift economy, one that is subsequently repressed by the state. In doing so, this essay seeks to expand discussion of the gift economy within the alternative food movement while amending many of the theoretical, historical, and political problems embedded within Petrini’s work, which performs a strong disservice to the politics of possibility embedded within gifting. (shrink)
Because of the increasing number of “man-made” hazards in contemporary life, as well as the growing number of disastrous industrial accidents, interest in risk communication has burgeoned. Consequently, scholars and practitioners need to understand two of the more common responses to risk situations, the technical and democratic. This paper describes these two responses, identifies types of individuals likely to prefer each, and explains why, historically and sociologically, they are so intuitively compelling for many people. Arguing that both responses to risk (...) situations are ultimately unconducive to rational discourse, the paper identifies problematic assumptions about communication that underlie both. The paper then sketches an alternative model of risk communication that recognizes the distinct features of communication in risk-ridden situations, describes ways in which communicators can identify characteristic tensions and goals in these situations, and specifies how to use research-supported heuristics for diagnosing the principal obstacles to their communicative goals and selecting the best strategies to address these obstacles. (shrink)
Stanford, in Exceeding Our Grasp , presents a powerful version of the pessimistic meta-induction. He claims that theories typically have empirically inequivalent but nonetheless well-confirmed, serious alternatives which are unconceived. This claim should be uncontroversial. But it alone is no threat to scientific realism. The threat comes from Stanford’s further crucial claim, supported by historical examples, that a theory’s unconceived alternatives are “radically distinct” from it; there is no “continuity”. A standard realist reply to the meta-induction is that (...) past failures do not imply present ones because present theories are more successful than past ones. I have preferred to emphasize that present methodology is better than past ones. Stanford’s response to the standard reply is surprisingly brief and inadequate. He defends the inference from the uncontroversial claim but not that from the crucial one. He does not show that past discontinuity implies present discontinuity. Realism survives. (shrink)
Scalar implicatures depend on alternatives in order to avoid the symmetry problem. I argue for a structure-sensitive characterization of these alternatives: the alternatives for a structure are all those structures that are at most as complex as the original one. There have been claims in the literature that complexity is irrelevant for implicatures and that the relevant condition is the semantic notion of monotonicity. I provide new data that pose a challenge to the use of monotonicity and (...) that support the structure-sensitive definition. I show that what appeared to be a problem for the complexity approach is overcome once an appropriate notion of complexity is adopted, and that upon closer inspection, the argument in favor of monotonicity turns out to be an argument against it and in favor of the complexity approach. (shrink)
Epistemic closure has been a central issue in epistemology over the last forty years. According to versions of the relevant alternatives and subjunctivist theories of knowledge, epistemic closure can fail: an agent who knows some propositions can fail to know a logical consequence of those propositions, even if the agent explicitly believes the consequence (having “competently deduced” it from the known propositions). In this sense, the claim that epistemic closure can fail must be distinguished from the fact that agents (...) do not always believe, let alone know, the consequences of what they know—a fact that raises the “problem of logical omniscience” that has been central in epistemic logic. -/- This paper, part I of II, is a study of epistemic closure from the perspective of epistemic logic. First, I introduce models for epistemic logic, based on Lewis’s models for counterfactuals, that correspond closely to the pictures of the relevant alternatives and subjunctivist theories of knowledge in epistemology. Second, I give an exact characterization of the closure properties of knowledge according to these theories, as formalized. Finally, I consider the relation between closure and higher-order knowledge. The philosophical repercussions of these results and results from part II, which prompt a reassessment of the issue of closure in epistemology, are discussed further in companion papers. -/- As a contribution to modal logic, this paper demonstrates an alternative approach to proving modal completeness theorems, without the standard canonical model construction. By “modal decomposition” I obtain completeness and other results for two non-normal modal logics with respect to new semantics. One of these logics, dubbed the logic of ranked relevant alternatives, appears not to have been previously identified in the modal logic literature. More broadly, the paper presents epistemology as a rich area for logical study. (shrink)
This paper addresses the question of whether a statute of limitations on injustice is morally justified. Rectificatory justice calls for the ascription of a right to rectification once an injustice has been perpetrated. To claim a moral statute of limitations on injustice is to claim a temporal limit on the moral legitimacy of rights to rectification. A moral statute of limitations on injustice (hereafter MSOL) establishes an amount of time following injustice after which claims of rectification can (...) no longer be valid. Such a statute would put a time limit on the life of moral rights to rectification. Since ascribing a right to rectification for an injustice is a requirement of justice, and since the temporal limit called for by a moral statute of limitations on injustice is a constraint on that requirement, the idea of a statute of limitations on injustice is morally jutified only if we have good reasons for accepting this constraint. In “The Morality of a Moral Statute of Limitations on Injustice” I argued that neither the best arguments then extant in the philosophical literature, nor the arguments I proposed in favor of a MSOL, succeed in providing good reasons for accepting the idea as morally legitimate. I concluded, therefore, that a MSOL is not justified. Several discussions that have emerged since then suggest some support for a MSOL. My aim in this paper is to show that a MSOL remains unjustified by showing that none of the arguments arising from these discussions succeed. (shrink)
Citizen petitions and legislative bills in seven states in the US have established space and movement limitations for selected species of farm animals. These actions show Americans becoming concerned about the humane treatment of confined farm animals, and willing to use governmental intervention to preclude existing confinement practices. The individual state provisions vary, including the coverage of species. All seven states deal with sow-gestation crates, five states address veal calf crates, and two states’ provisions also apply to battery cages (...) used for egg-laying hens. The actions show citizen and legislative opposition to current animal production practices, and suggest a movement to provide better treatment for farm animals. Accompanying the actions are challenges for animal production industries in remaining competitive while meeting social expectations on the ethical treatment of food animals. While the actions are only a small step in addressing welfare issues, they may be the beginning of a significant movement to do more to address human and animal welfare issues. (shrink)
Jaegwon Kim’s exclusion argument is a general ontological argument, applicable to any properties deemed supervenient on a microproperty basis, including biological properties. It implies that the causal power of any higher-level property must be reducible to the subset of the causal powers of its lower-level properties. Moreover, as Kim’s recent version of the argument indicates, a higher-level property can be causally efficient only to the extent of the efficiency of its micro-basis. In response, I argue that the ontology that aims (...) to capture experimentally based explanations of metabolic control systems and morphogenetic systems must involve causally relevant contextual properties. Such an ontology challenges the exclusiveness of micro-based causal efficiency that grounds Kim’s reductionism, since configurations themselves are inherently causally efficient constituents. I anticipate and respond to the reductionist’s objection that the nonreductionist ontology’s account of causes and inter-level causal relations is incoherent. I also argue that such an ontology is not open to Kim’s overdetermination objection. (shrink)
This paper addresses the question of whether astatute of limitations on injustice is morallyjustified. Rectificatory justice calls for theascription of a right to rectification once aninjustice has been perpetrated. To claim amoral statute of limitations on injustice is toclaim a temporal limit on the moral legitimacyof rights to rectification. A moral statute oflimitations on injustice establishes an amountof time following injustice after which claimsof rectification can no longer be valid. Such astatute would put a time limit on the (...) life ofall moral rights to rectification. Sinceascribing a right to rectification for aninjustice is a requirement of justice, andsince the temporal limit called for by astatute of limitations on injustice is aconstraint on that requirement, the idea of astatute of limitations on injustice is morallyjustified only if we have good reasonsfor accepting this constraint. I argue that theidea of a moral statute of limitations oninjustice is not justified, since we lackgood reasons for imposing the constrainton justice it requires. (shrink)
According to the Relevant Alternatives (RA) Theory of knowledge, knowing that something is the case involves ruling out (only) the relevant alternatives. The conception of knowledge in epistemic logic also involves the elimination of possibilities, but without an explicit distinction, among the possibilities consistent with an agent’s information, between those relevant possibilities that an agent must rule out in order to know and those remote, far-fetched or otherwise irrelevant possibilities. In this article, I propose formalizations of two versions (...) of the RA theory. Doing so clarifies a famous debate in epistemology, pitting Fred Dretske against David Lewis, about whether the RA theorist should accept the principle that knowledge is closed under known implication, familiar as the K axiom in epistemic logic. Dretske’s case against closure under known implication leads to a study of other closure principles, while Lewis’s defense of closure by appeal to the claimed context sensitivity of knowledge attributions leads to a study of the dynamics of context. Having followed the first lead at length in other work, here I focus more on the second, especially on logical issues associated with developing a dynamic epistemic logic of context change over models for the RA theory. (shrink)
We present an argument for revising the theory of alternatives for Scalar Implicatures and for Association with Focus. We argue that in both cases the alternatives are determined in the same way, as a contextual restriction of the focus value of the sentence, which, in turn, is defined in structure-sensitive terms. We provide evidence that contextual restriction is subject to a constraint that prevents it from discriminating between alternatives when they stand in a particular logical relationship with (...) the assertion or the prejacent, a relationship that we refer to as symmetry. Due to this constraint on contextual restriction, discriminating between alternatives in cases of symmetry becomes the task of focus values. This conclusion is incompatible with standard type-theoretic definitions of focus values, motivating our structure-sensitive definition instead. (shrink)
This paper aims to reexamine the axiom of the independence of irrelevant alternatives in the theory of social choice. A generalized notion of independence is introduced to clarify an informational requirement of binary independence which is usually imposed in the Arrovian framework. We characterize the implication of binary independence.
Amartya Sen argues that it is not, after all, irrational to reverse preferences when your choices are amplified by an ‘irrelevant’ alternative. He offers examples such as the agent who always picks the next-to-largest piece of cake. Given a choice between a larger and smaller piece, I will prefer the smaller one. But when a third and largest piece in added to my alternatives, I will now prefer the formerly largest piece over the smallest piece. This violates ‘contraction consistency’: (...) a third alternative should not have made any difference in my preferences regarding the first two. Such examples are shown to rely on descriptions which omit features crucial to choice. These features, and all identifying features relevant to my decision, should be included in the descriptions of the alternatives. An adequate description does not smuggle norms into the overt act of choice, but it does include the non-normative characteristics without which my decision-rules, if any, cannot be applied. When alternatives are adequately described, Sen’s inconsistencies disappear. The result is a clearer and more resillent, but also less aggressive notion of behavioral consistency. (shrink)
In his recent work exploring the role of science in democratic societies Kitcher (Science in a democratic society. Prometheus Books, New York, 2011) claims that scientists ought to have a prominent role in setting the agenda for and limits to research. Against the backdrop of the claim that the proper limits of scientific inquiry is John Stuart Mill’s Harm Principle (Kitcher in Science, truth, and democracy. Oxford University Press, New York, 2001), he identifies the limits of inquiry as the point (...) where the outcomes of research could cause harm to already vulnerable populations. Nonetheless, Kitcher argues against explicit limitations on unscrupulous research on the grounds that restrictions would exacerbate underlying social problems. I show that Kitcher’s argument in favor of dissuading inquiry through conventional standards is problematic and falls prey to the same critique he offers in opposition to official bans. I expand the conversation of limiting scientific research by recognizing that the actions that count as ‘science’ are located in the space between ‘thinking’ and ‘doing’. In this space, we often attempt to balance freedom of research, as scientific speech, against the disparate impact citizens might experience in light of such research. I end by exploring if such disparate impact justifies limiting research, within the context of the United States, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or under international human rights standards more generally. (shrink)
For decisions between many alternatives, the benchmark result is Hick's Law: that response time increases log-linearly with the number of choice alternatives. Even when Hick's Law is observed for response times, divergent results have been observed for error rates—sometimes error rates increase with the number of choice alternatives, and sometimes they are constant. We provide evidence from two experiments that error rates are mostly independent of the number of choice alternatives, unless context effects induce participants to (...) trade speed for accuracy across conditions. Error rate data have previously been used to discriminate between competing theoretical accounts of Hick's Law, and our results question the validity of those conclusions. We show that a previously dismissed optimal observer model might provide a parsimonious account of both response time and error rate data. The model suggests that people approximate Bayesian inference in multi-alternative choice, except for some perceptual limitations. (shrink)
While the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and the spread of genetically engineered (GE) foods has gone largely unnoticed by the majority of Americans, a growing number of vocal civil society groups are opposing the technology and with it the entire conventional system of food provision. As with other alternative food movements, non-GMO activists focus on changing individual consumption habits as the best means of altering the practices of food manufacturers and thereby what and how food is produced. In (...) this paper I argue that the increasing use of consumerist tactics reflect the neoliberalization of food activism in the United States – a process that rather than heralding sustainable agricultural and economic futures may reinforce the status quo. Using the emerging non-GMO movement, and the associated market for non-GMO products, I challenge the assumptions that consumer sovereignty and freedom of choice will bring about the small-scale, localized alternatives espoused by activists and scholars in the field. Specifically, I explore three critical limitations of contemporary alternative food politics. First, the neoliberalization of activism shifts the responsibility for social reforms from the state and manufactures to individual consumers, bringing with it important social justice implications. Second, focusing on choice opens new spaces for the profit without seriously threatening contemporary market structures or agro-ecological practices. Third, contemporary consumerist politics focus on eating right not less and thereby provide few alternatives to the current trends towards convenience and processed foods. (shrink)
The main characters of a philosophy meant as an activity which is not essentially different from science but deals with questions which go beyond the limits of present sciences are the following: 1) Philosophy is an investigation of the world. It is aimed at dealing with major issues and is justified only insofar as it deals with them. 2) Philosophy provides a global view, it is not limited to sectorial questions. So there cannot be a philosophy of mathematics alone, or (...) physics alone, or biology alone, and so on. 3)Being an investigation about the world, philosophy aims at knowledge. Therefore questions about knowledge are central in philosophy. 4)Philosophy is continuous with sciences. Its objectives are not essentially different from those of sciences. 5)Philosophy makes use of results of sciences. This is not accessory to it, it is essential for its progress. 6)The method of philosophy is essentially the same as that of sciences. 7) Philosophy seeks new knowledge. Seeking new knowledge is part of its deepest nature. 8) Philosophy seeks new discovery methods. Seeking new knowledge, it also seeks new methods to obtain it. 9) Philosophy tries unexplored routes and, by so doing, it may even give origin to new sciences. Its greatest value consists in this. 10) Philosophy makes use of the experience of philosophers of the past. For this may help us to understand where certain ideas lead, avoiding us to try routes which have already revealed fruitless. 11) A conclusive solution of philosophical problems is impossible. Their solutions are always provisional and are bound to be replaced sooner or later by others. Progress exists everywhere, even in philosophy. 12) Philosophy has no specific field of its own, nor specific techniques of its own. But because it moves on an unexplored ground, it is at the same time always exposed to the risk of failure but also capable of surprising developments, originating new sciences. -/- . (shrink)
In a recent Philosophy of Science article Gerhard Schurz proposes meta-inductivistic prediction strategies as a new approach to Hume's. This comment examines the limitations of Schurz's approach. It can be proven that the meta-inductivist approach does not work any more if the meta-inductivists have to face an infinite number of alternative predictors. With his limitation it remains doubtful whether the meta-inductivist can provide a full solution to the problem of induction.
Modern corporations have been widely accused of promoting values of managerial autonomy that can result in managerial waste and opportunistic behaviour, leading organizational theorists to suggest the adoption of alternative organizational forms that should normatively and structurally limit such autonomy. However, this mixed-methods study of an alternative organizational form — income trusts (1995—2005)— finds that income trusts were also characterized by excessive managerial autonomy. Managers strategically used the income trust form in discretionary ways such as by providing little information on (...) important decisions to external parties, limiting investors' right to oppose managerial actions and retaining firm earnings to a great extent. Thus, the article concludes that alternative organizational forms do not necessarily promote an ethical business culture since they are unable to overcome deeply institutionalized values of managerial autonomy. (shrink)
The article deals with a study of a distinct criminal punishment established in the Criminal Code and the Code of Punishment Enforcement of the Republic of Lithuania—restriction of liberty, as an alternative to imprisonment. Without investigating extensively the course of development of this penalty, in the article it is sought to overview the development trends of restriction of liberty; analyse the problems of enforcing this penalty and suggest measures to eliminate them; investigate whether the legal regulation of Lithuania is in (...) line with the provisions of the main international instruments relating to non-custodial sanctions (1990 United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Non-custodial Measures (the so-called Tokyo Rules), Recommendation R (92) 16 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to Member States on the European rules on community sanctions and measures, Recommendation Rec (2000) 22 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to Member States on improving the implementation of the European rules on community sanctions and measures); review the progressive legal regulation of restriction of liberty in place in individual states and provide a comparison between the national and foreign experience in relation to the penalty of restriction of liberty. In addition, the article offers guidelines for the improvement of the legal regulation and implementation of the legal institute of restriction of liberty. (shrink)
Assuming that legal science, specifically with regard to interpretation, has to provide the tools to reduce the uncertainty of legal solutions arising from the use of natural languages by legal orders, it becomes a central matter to identify, in this limited domain, the spectrum of semantic variation (and its boundaries) that language brings to the definition of a norm expressed by a norm sentence. It is in this framework that the present paper, analyzing norm sentences as a specific kind of (...) speech act, examines the relation of the legal order to natural language rules, the limits of linguistic uncertainty, and alternatives of meaning as distinct possibilities of norms covered by the text (that are, because of this, still within what literal meaning is). Considering interpretation just as the linguistic decoding process, the reverse of the process of creating norm sentences, the paper also argues that subjects not connected with the relation between norm sentences and norms (mainly, normative defeasibility) are analytically distinct and should be removed from the field of language. (shrink)
In “Advisory Opinion on Confidentiality, Its Limits and Duties to Others” the Canadian Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics (PRE) articulates a rationale for a priori limitations to research confidentiality, based largely on putative legal duties to violate confidentiality in certain circumstances. We argue that PRE promotes a “Law of the Land” doctrine of research ethics that is but one approach to resolving potential conflicts between law and research ethics. PRE emphasises risks that have never materialized, and ignores jurisprudence (...) on challenges to research confidentiality. When we examine what the courts have actually done with research-based claims of privilege, we find they clearly recognize and affirm researchers’ ethical obligations to maintain strict confidentiality and protect research participants. Ironically, the one exception – where the court ordered that information be disclosed – occurred precisely because the researchers had limited confidentiality. The passive approach PRE espouses leaves vital questions about what protecting confidentiality to the “full extent possible in law” means, and leaves the impression that academics should accept whatever limitations the courts may impose without participating in the courtroom dialogue determining where those limits are drawn. In contrast, we believe confidentiality is so important to the protection of research participants and the integrity of the research enterprise that it is worth fighting for. The “ethics-first” doctrine of “strict confidentiality” we describe adheres to the social sciences’ and humanities’ longstanding commitment to research confidentiality and duty to the research participant. (shrink)
In his recent paper on the symmetry problem Roni Katzir argues that the only relevant factor for the calculation of any Quantity implicature is syntactic structure. I first refute Katzir’s thesis with three examples that show that structural complexity is irrelevant to the calculation of some Quantity implicatures. I then argue that it is inadvisable to assume—as Katzir and others do—that exactly one factor is relevant to the calculation of any Quantity implicature.
In this paper, I work through the possible contours of an anti-genocide based on a framework informed by the work of Giorgio Agamben. Such a framework posits the inherent need to circumvent sovereign power within any form of normative activism. To begin, I show how the nascent anti-genocide movement promotes an ideal in which ?Western? states, particularly the USA, accept the global responsibility to protect persecuted life beyond national boundaries. Using Agamben, I argue that this vision also entails an acceptance (...) of a sovereign framework for the valuation of life, thus failing to confront the inherent power of the sovereign to condemn life in the first place. I then highlight the limitations that Agamben's ontology places on us in dealing with this inherent problem within the sovereign-subject relationship. By positing an alternative ontology, I suggest the possibility of establishing communities of solidarity that challenge the sovereign's self-ascribed role as the absolute valuator of life. Counter to Agamben, I argue that the basis for such communities could be a dedication to the universal sacredness of human life, which is maintained independently of, and in challenge to, sovereign power. (shrink)
The distinction between uninformed learning (type-1) and learning based on recoding using prior information (type-2) helps to clarify some long-standing psychological problems, including misunderstanding of mathematics by children, the need for active construction of concepts in cognitive development, and the difficulty of configural learning tasks. However, an alternative to recoding some type-2 tasks is to represent the input as separate dimensions, which are processed jointly. This preserves the original structure, but is subject to processing capacity limitations.
The current crisis in U.S. agriculture has broadcast a rather simplex message. It is that the traditional family farm is in serious trouble. This message is apparent in the agricultural programs that have emerged in direct response to the farm crisis. Using Michigan's experience as illustration, these programs are shown to share similar objectives supported by a singular policy orientation. They utilize a ‘farm as firm’ model and treat the small farm operation as the unit of problem analysis and remedial (...) action. They focus attention inward upon the ‘victim’ and attempt to change the victim's behavior through improved farm and farmer management.The paper considers the limitations inherent in this prevailing orientation. At the same time, it argues for the utility of an alternative perspective—one that places the farm in a wider context and considers the relationships between the farmer/victim and those who are more powerful—locally, nationally, and internationally. It advocates the need for research and programs that question these extra-farm relationships and their implications for farmer behavior. If agricultural programs are to assist the family farm, on any but a short-term basis, it is these relationships, and not the farmer, that must be changed. (shrink)
This paper offers an analysis of metalinguistic comparatives such as more dumb than crazy in which they differ from ordinary comparatives in the scale on which they compare: ordinary comparatives use scales lexically determined by particular adjectives, but metalinguistic ones use a generally-available scale of imprecision or ‘pragmatic slack’. To implement this idea, I propose a novel compositional implementation of the Lasersohnian pragmatic-halos account of imprecision—one that represents clusters of similar meanings as Hamblin alternatives. In the theory that results, (...) existential closure over alternatives mediates between alternative-sets and meanings in which imprecision has been resolved. I then articulate a version of this theory in which the alternatives are not related meanings but rather related utterances, departing significantly from Lasersohn’s original conception. Although such a theory of imprecision is more clearly ‘metalinguistic’, the evidence for it from metalinguistic comparatives in English is surprisingly limited. The overall picture that emerges is one in which the grammatical distinction between ordinary and metalinguistic comparatives tracks the independently motivated distinction between vagueness and imprecision. (shrink)
The problem with professionalization theory is that it stops where we think it should begin. In the case of the new social scientists, we have argued that their need for massive resources opened them to collaborative cooptation by resource controllers. The two central principles to be drawn from our analysis are that during a crisis of ideology intellectual workers seeking to create new roles must worry about resources, and align themselves accordingly, and that resource holders, for their part, will support (...) intellectuals who deliver something of value to them. Table I outlines how those principles might be applied to three likely “knowledge and power” alliances that might have occurred during the post-Civil War ideology crisis. The “traditional” social scientist role shown there reflects our understanding of the model American one existing before the influence of the German Historical School. The “radical-populist” role represents one of several routes not taken. It is presented to make clearer that significant alternatives did exist.How does role complementarity sum up how the new social science aligned itself with corporate capital? The new social scientists rejected the role content and alliances established by the traditionals; instead, they saw themselves offering a competitive expertise to the public. When the new social scientists under AEA auspices entered a resource exchange relationship with the nascent, national corporate leadership supporting the Spanish American War and the trust as a form of economic organization, they chose to ally themselves with the same resource controllers the traditionals were explicitly opposing in their anti-war, anti-monopolist stance. Indeed, the domestic and foreign positions secured by the new social scientists in the wake of the war provided a significant and large scale opportunity for exercising their expert role. In choosing an alliance with national capital and its managers, the new social scientists clearly differentiated themselves from the traditionals. They identified the strategic value of the resource rich corporate center, eschewing, as AEA President E. R. A. Seligman put it, the extremes of laissez-faire and socialism. Their analysis of the opportunity structure presented by the war and the trust question proved correct, as their version of professionalization informs us today.Of course, some new social scientists had at first been willing to align themselves with left of center and populist groups. However, the early academic freedom cases seem to have offered a powerful lesson. In particular, the new social scientists seem to have learned that even mildly popular actions were severely sanctioned and academics engaging in such actions would have extreme difficulty practicing their profession. These cases also made clear that left of centerists did not have many resources to exchange for new social scientific role performance in their causes. Economic radicals did not usually control the jobs or funds required for academic careers and professional development. As a result, the new social scientists did not create roles that complemented the radical popular movements. The few that did were not leaders of the associations. Having rejected the traditional and the radical expert roles for lack of sufficient complementary resources, the leaders of the new social scientists sought instead the indirect influence of expert advisers to businessmen, public figures, the new federal agencies, and national policy forums. From their collective biography as expert advisers, we may identify four aspects of their roles that seem to complement those of the new, nationally based corporate leaders. We see in the complementarity of the roles of the new social science leaders and the new corporate elite a significant shaping of modern social science expertise.The four aspects of the expert adviser role are these of technician, policy adviser, legitimator, and independent policy maker. Technicians solved problems, especially data problems, set by others. They gained access, or an opportunity to show their competence to those higher in the role system. The corporate leaders gained an opportunity to look over, and socialize “new boys”. Policy advisers had the ear of decision makers in the corporate sectors and in government, and managed technicians. The advisers gained prestige and some influence, while decision makers gained reliable management in the policy and reform sectors of an emerging state capitalism. Legitimators were often recruited from the ranks of well-published policy managers. They lent their greater public prestige as well as their reputations for non-partisan impartiality to particular policies or reforms. The corporate leaders gained public approval for policies in their perceived interests. Finally, a few new social scientists achieved positions of independent policy making after long years of expert service. Corporate leaders gained policy making congruent with their needs, often developed without their active participation. In short, when the new social scientists looked outside of academics to find the resources required to institutionalize their new skills as social scientists, they found at least two groups willing to complement their role performances. The left of centerists did not have sufficient resources to help establish the new social scientists' role performances within academics. But the new corporate leaders did, and they had the resources to act as social and political sponsors for the new social scientists' roles as expert advisers. In return, the new social scientists accepted as socially necessary the task of rationalizing the turn of the century economy and defusing social unrest.Our analysis of these cases — the Spanish American War and the trust (the Chicago Conference, the ICC, the NCF) — raises almost as many questions as are answered. These queries fall into two sets. The first involves theoretical issues, particularly the utilitarian assumptions implicit in our exchange analysis, and methodological issues, especially concerning the limits of available data. The second set of problems is substantive. Were the new social scientists the creatures of corporate capital, collaborative partners, or social actors with some independence? If they were willing and able to act independently, what defined the parameters of their action — professional interests, their own class interests or a commitment to the truth? If they were forced to act opportunistically to meet some constellation of class and professional interests, was opportunism confined to establishing a firmer resource base for the new social science? Were they later able to use their then established fields and positions to assert independent views of what was in the best interests of the nation as a whole? And, finally, was the expert role established by economists and political scientists accepted fully by sociologists? Our use of an exchange framework to organize the data in this paper might be read as bordering on a radical utilitarianism that assumes both individual and collective actors have a fulsome sense of their objective situation and its exigencies. Accordingly, there is little possibility for symbolic mediation of perceptions and motivations to intervene between social science leaders and their environments. At the risk of being thought unfashionable, reductionistic, and even economistic, we take a utilitarian position. Indeed, we stop short of radical utilitarianism only since perfect knowledge and information are inherently unattainable, especially in a world of rapid social and economic transition such as that occupied by the new social scientists.Rather than radical utilitarianism, we take a position of reasonable utilitarianism, viewing the collective efforts of social scientists assembled in their associations as often compensating for all manner of informational and behavioral imperfections at the individual level. We take this position for several reasons rooted in the detail of the period. (1) Organizing occupations (like the new social scientists in the AEA) have the clear possibility and capability for creating more nearly rational plans for collective action than do their individual members. This occurs when occupational associations gather together experiences and analysis from all their members and then, through full, frank, and candid discussion discern the proper joint actions required for success in their common enterprise. This is precisely what the new social scientists did. They used the AEA as an occupational forum to define collectively the expert role required to procure professionalizing resources from the industralizing American political economy. Thus, Hadley's speech quoted in the Spanish American War study is not an isolated exercise in role exploration. Instead, it is part of twenty years' detailed discussion on the expert social scientist's role. (2) As a group, the new social scientists themselves subscribed to and articulated a utilitarian or pragmatic view of their role and their science. In this they upheld and, in turn, were supported by the dominant American business ideology which, although varying with economic development, and regional and industrial interest, espoused a materialistic approach to contemporary problems. Indeed, AEA leaders usually presented a pragmatic, materialistic interpretation of the growth of economics as a science. As E. R. A. Seligman said in a presidential address: “Economic science is an outgrowth of economic conditions ... of social unrest... of an attempt to unravel the tangled skein of actual conditions, and an effort to solve the difficulties of existing industrial society.” Although the new social scientists worked collectively to develop their occupation along rational lines, there were, of course, all manner of cognative informational and behavioral imperfections at the individual level. Thus, the young Carter Adams saw Marx as a Christ-like figure, J. R. Commons and R. T. Ely early worked with the social gospel movement, and AEA leader Jacob Hollander accepted an investment bank's commission of $100,000 for placing a Santa Domingan bond issue while on the island for imperial duty. But all eventually came to accept and act on the associations' collective definition of the expert adviser role, finally perceiving theoretical Communism, militant Christianity and ad hoc greed as hinderances to sustained resource procurement and career development. Thus, rather than a radical utilitarianism assuming perfect knowledge and information on objective situation and environment, we posit imperfect individual knowledge and action with the reasonable possibility of collective utilitarian action by occupational associations acting after considered discussion.If we accept in principle the possibility of a reasonably utilitarian exchange analysis, what data limits do we encounter when we consider the professionalizing new social scientists in their associations? Following the Bernards' methodological imperative of reading the associations' own texts fully and carefully, we find the AEA, APSA and ASS's dusty tomes filled with heat and light on the substantive questions before us: What is the proper role of the social science expert? Who and how should he serve? In contrast with the fullness of organizational tests, our principle data limit is the thinness of historical analysis both of the period and the central actors. For example, there is no schematic synthesis of social structure for the period; nothing like Jackson Turner Maine's work on pre-Revolutionary America or Sidney Aronsen's on the Age of Jackson. There is, of course, a richly contested historiography of the period with Hofstader, Weibe, Williams (and their followers and critics) providing insightful chronological commentaries from center and leftist positions. But these chronicles rest more on sound judgments and intuitive leaps rather than on the details of sufficient biographical and organizational analysis. For example, there is one solid, historical treatment of the ASSA, and Sanborn, its most important figure, has no full biography and only a half-done autobiography. The new social scientists' lives are better recorded, but the coverage is still incomplete. These data limits make difficult precise and comprehensive answers to questions about the exact social mechanism — such as class, mobility and occupational status — working to create social scientists' biographical intersection with their associations' rich records. For example, A. T. Hadley's father was a Yale Classics professor, the father of fellow Yale economist Henry Farnam was a railroad president, and E. R. A. Seligman's father was a German-born New York investment banker. Are these professors upper class by social origins or by occupation? What is the direction of their mobility in an expanding, industrializing society? And what of the many professors on whom there is less detailed information, whose fathers were “merchants,” or “publicists”? Since neither the social structure at the time of their birth nor their entry into career is clearly agreed upon by scholars, we must answer our substantive questions somewhat more provisionally than we prefer.First, what was the relationship between resource holders and intellectual workers, particularly between new social scientists and corporate capital? Was there much room for independent action? Comparison of old and new social scientists gives some indication of the latitude possible in the period. Both sets of social scientists provided hegemonic idea systems for different sets of capitalist elites. The old were linked by sponsorship to New England capital throughout the nineteenth century. Sharply regional in composition and social base, they opposed many of the other social alternatives available, most notably the Southern sociologies legitimating slavebased agrarian capitalism, and the protective-tariff economics produced in the more industrial mid-Atlantic states. Tied to regional resources and definitions of social and economic problems through well-established cohort, friendship, and kinship networks, the old social science was faced with crisis when its region was. The rise of the mid-Atlantic states, especially New York, as a center for emerging national industrial finance capital made ASSAers face the choice of supporting relatively immobile New England merchant industrial capital or forging a new extra-regional alliance. By maintaining their original networks, as did much of their region's business elite, ASSA leaders effectively cut themselves off from acting as intellectual guides and legitimators for those rising national industrial finance capitalists creating the present social order. While ASSA leaders were tied to their region's resources, they seem relatively independent when compared to discipline association leaders. Their social science required fewer resources; they seem, on the average, much less dependent on academically contained careers and the favor of university managers for their livelihood. Their generalist training and experience, combined with their familiarity with the material and cultural allocation apparatus of New England meant they were not confined to the academy for the exercise of specialized skills. Sanborn, for example, translated classics, wrote biographies, founded secondary schools, and taught at Boston University when not directly serving New England capital as ASSA secretary. In contrast, new social scientists were most often located permanently in the academy. Even after incurring the displeasure of university managers, they invariably sought other specialized positions, preferably in emerging graduate centers, although this sometimes meant holding their tongues and changing their location. In short, given their institutionally based, specialized social science, the newer, national academics seem to have had less room for independent action than the old.Yet, the new had some room to maneuver because they had something to exchange for resources: the technical capacity both to create a new corporate ideology justifying monopoly capital (witness the Jenks address and the Chicago conference) and the skill to organize production efficiently (recall Adams on railroad accounting procedures and new social scientists' participation in the ICC). The nascent industrial finance corporate sector well understood its objective need for these skills. Widespread popular agitation and unstable pooling arrangements had taught them — and indeed, the nation — the dangers of centralizing capital without specialized academic assistance. And if the rising elite's instruction in its need for social science was direct, the nation's was no less detailed. Beyond its own participation and observations of industrialization, a wide range of extra-academic cultural workers offered lessons. For example, Daniel DeLeon's The People offered a continuous commentary countering the new social scientists' ideological positions. And the readers of Frank Norris' The Octopus (1901) found Lyman Derrick, a representative of newer social arrangements, advising his father, an older agrarian capitalist, on the technical accounting problems of monopolistic integration.The man who, even after twenty years' training in the operation of railroads, can draw an equitable, smoothly working schedule of freight rates between shipping point and common point, is capable of governing the United States. What with main lines, and leased lines, and points of transfer, and the laws governing common carriers, and the rulings of the Interstate Commerce Commission, the whole matter has become so confused that Vanderbilt himself couldn't straighten it out.... Cut rates; yes... any fool can write one dollar instead of two, but if you cut too low by a fraction of one percent, and if the Railroad can get out an injunction, tie you up and show that your new rate prevents the road being operated at a profit, how are you better off?Clearly in the increasingly complex American situation, the new social scientists had important ideological and technical skills to exchange for the resources held within the rising monopoly capital center. And they had, thereby, some degree of freedom in their negotiations with its leading figures. Their latitude for independent action becomes clearer when we ask, given the emerging corporate center's need for intellectual support and their willingness to supply resources, why didn't they employ established New England practitioners? In part, as previously indicated, the ASSAers were unavailable, being integrated into their own region and tied to their own sustaining, if relatively immobile, elite. Further, the older social scientists offered a slightly different intellectual product. Although both new and old social scientists were ideologues of state intervention designed to conserve capitalism, they differed on where regulation should occur. In the main, ASSAers worked for government intervention at the state level, while AEAers called for state solutions at the national level out of their shared German Historical experience. Finally, even though old social scientists often possessed much the same technical skills and used the same rhetoric of science as the new, they usually lacked graduate degrees, the prestige of university employment, and the growing authority of specialization in a society where credentials were increasingly seen as critical to success. These differences between old and new — availability, product, and certification—in all probability expanded AEAers' capacity to drive a harder bargain with capital.Given the ASSA's reluctance to break sustaining regional ties, the unsuitability of populist and socialist intellectual workers, and their own certified technical and ideological skills, the new social scientists had some latitude in their negotiations with national corporate capital. Yet they chose to serve power, fundamentally since this maximized their own career and professional interests while meeting the objective demand for resources outlined above. In this, academics were probably no more greedy or selfish than lawyers in the ABA or doctors in the AMA, but neither were they less so. We see the new social scientists' decision to serve power most clearly in their careful and collective clarification of opportunity, identifying and seeking service in that sector of the economy most likely to deliver sustained resource support — national corporate capital's leadership. Thus, new social scientists generally accepted corporate capitalism per se as the framework “indispensable” to “conditions of human progress”. Then all other social issues (labor unrest, urban crowding, plutocracy) became technical problems defused of interestladen content, and they could perform latent ideological and legitimation functions while correctly claiming a manifest value neutrality. That they understood the implications of grounding social and economic theory on acceptance of modern monopoly capital is made clear in Hadley's presidential address following his Spanish American War speech; it focused on the relation between “Economic Theory and Political Morality.” The address and following debate stressed the inadvisability of economic theory's acknowledging questions of class if social scientists were to have a role in public affairs. Instead, the impartial pursuit of an empirically artificial construct, the “common interest,” was deliberately substituted for any consideration of specific class interests. Thus, disinterested objectivity, the cornerstone of professionalization theory, became an artifact of career.With fashioning the expert role in the AEA's forum, the new social science became a collaborative partner in creating monopoly capitalism in the Progressive period. In return for their work in ideology production and technical amelioration, the economists insured the continued procurement of the resources required to industrialize US social science. What happened afterwards? After acting opportunistically to meet their professional and career interests, did establishing a firm resource base liberate the new social science from future opportunistic behavior? And could the established social science in time become resource independent, enough so to act in its own right; for example, participating in counter-hegemonic ideological and technical enterprises? In order to address these questions, we must move beyond our available data, guiding our speculations by the outline of our exchange analysis and our incomplete reading of the years following the fashioning of the new social scientists' expert role. We think that once accepted into collaborative partnership, opportunism was curbed by an emerging strategy for enhancing the long term interests of the profession. Consider, for example, the foundations then being invented by corporate capital. Russell Sage was lauded at birth by social science leaders, some of whom sought its funding, as did the American Political Science Association's leadership for their work rationalizing urban police forces. The Rockefeller Foundation, however, failed to attract the new social scientist leaderships' participation when it set up offices to offset the ideological cost of its victory in the Colorado Coal Wars. Seeking resources to perfect urban social control was professionally acceptable; justifying the Ludlow Massacre was not. Resource procurement continued to be crucial, but the new social science was not simply for hire to any corporate capitalist offering a subsidy. The critical point of distinction was perhaps whether or not accepting resources and projects made a mockery of professional claims to serve the public good.If opportunism declined with the institutionalization of new social scientists' expert role and the stabilized exchanges it created, did the new social science find within its ranks the voices and actions of independent, even counter-hegemonic views, speakers and agitators against monopoly capitalism? In the Progessive period there were few, and they either left the academy out of a sense that active opposition was not permitted (as was the case with Daniel DeLeon) or were forced out (as was the case with Scott Nearing). We cannot answer this question exactly for the several decades since the expert's role was put in place, but we have listened hard for oppositional voices and have failed to hear them. As sociologists, we were somewhat surprised, in part since our sense of the radical timbre of our field was heightened by repeated and well-reported surveys of faculty opinion placing this specialty at the left margin of academic attitudes. We have no particular quarrel with the survey results and know that individual sociologists have on occasion spoken forcefully against the established center of the American political economy. Still, sociology as a profession seems to have fully accepted the expert role and exchanges created long ago by the new social scientists, if organized counter-hegemonic activity is accepted as a fair index. Even if we accept sociology's somewhat self-conscious claim to be the left wing of academia, it is difficult to hear much counter-hegemonic (as opposed to countercultural) flapping going on. Perhaps the matter will be clarified by a more detailed analysis of resources and role for this later period.We would like to re-emphasize that the burden of this paper is the inadequacy of professionalization theory as an explanation for the modern social scientist's role. Although using an exchange framework, one in which disinterested technical expertise is offered in return for a monopoly of knowledge, it fails to explore fully its own implications. The resource demands of intellectual workers dependent on institutions for occupation are not considered; neither is the intent, function, and location of resource suppliers. By pointing to the importance of role resources through locating abstract entities (the profession, the community-at-large) in concrete groups (the leadership of social science organizations, specific groups of resource holders contributing to institutionalizing knowledge), we hope to focus professional attention on the material conditions for role emergence and the way in which complementarity can be negotiated. By continuing this examination of resource transactions surrounding role development, perhaps we will more fully understand the possibilities and limitations of the career structures in which we labor. (shrink)