Mental time travel and theory of mind develop, both phylo- and ontogenetically, at the same stage. We argue that this synchrony is due to the emergence of a shared competence, namely, the ability to become aware of frames of reference.
There is a distinction between locality and modularity. These two terms have often been used interchangeably in the target article and commentary. Using this distinction we argue in favor of a modularity. In addition we also argue that both PDP-type networks and box-and-arrow models have their own strengths and pitfalls.
The present contribution aims at defining the relation between cybernetics and social theory from the perspective of society as order. After an historical framework of the cybernetic movement, a careful reading of the works of Norbert Wiener, in which he introduced the concept of feed-back and the idea of information society, has revealed a keen awareness about the social effects of technological innovation. Among the social scientists who had made use of cybernetic concepts, it has been considered the work (...) of Karl Deutsch, which was one of the first completely cybernetic perspective for the study of political and social phenomena. The main conclusion is that cybernetics, as a meeting point between different disciplines, has produced an image of self-regulated society in line with the image of society as order. (shrink)
Dieser Aufsatz setzt sich kritisch mit Norbert Hoersters Moralbegründung auseinander. Laut Hoerster ist es für fast jede Person rational, bestimmte Moralnormen zu vertreten. Ich versuche zu zeigen, dass Hoerster für dieses Ergebnis nicht überzeugend argumentiert.
Rights to life for unborn humans and to abortion with impunity are incompatible. This observation by the German legal philosopher Norbert Hoerster contains a fundamental criticism of the state regulation on abortion in Germany. The regulation regards abortion as unlawful, but declines to prosecute if the abortion is conducted within the first three months of pregnancy and the pregnant woman received counseling at least three days prior to terminating the pregnancy. In contrast to the German legislature, Hoerster is in (...) favor of setting the beginning of a right to life at birth. With this suggestion and the consequent demand for a general legalization of abortion, Hoerster himself has become the target of harsh criticism. The following article analyzes Hoerster's position and that of his opponents against the background of the current abortion debate in Germany. The consequences for dealing with the handicaps of Hoerster's suggested regulations will also be addressed. (shrink)
Globalization presages an important new stage in the centuries-old 'civilizing process,' which Norbert Elias analyzed with such clarity and in such depth. At the root of the fundamental transformations of our world of nation-states are combined integrating and disintegrating tendencies, or centralization and individualization, which manifest themselves in a steady monopolization of the means of violence and taxation, an interventionist human rights discourse, and war as a means of democratizing and pacifying the planet. Elias' 'historical social psychological' approach offers (...) new categories of analysis with which to both explain the effects of globalization and indicate how international interdependence fosters both control and resistance, both democratization and radicalization, and both integration and disintegration. (shrink)
This article discusses the background to Walter Benjamin's famous 'letter to an unknown correspondent', which was part of a series of letters between Benjamin and Norbert Elias. Elias had just finished writing the first volume of The Civilizing Process, and he wrote to Ben jamin asking him to review it, but Benjamin declined. The reasons for his reluctance are discussed. The letters themselves are reproduced at the end of the article.
Los patios interiores de la democracia de Norbert Lechnerademás de los contenidos específicos de cada artículo que convocan con inteligencia a la reflexión y al estudio de temas particulares actuales –la revolución, la democracia, la vida cotidiana, el realismo político, el miedo, la cultura posmoderna, etc–, es sugerente a lo menos en tres aspectos generales: el primero, tiene que ver con el discernimiento de la «situación epistemológica» del investigador contemporáneo latinoamericano despué..
Los patios interiores de la democracia de Norbert Lechner además de los contenidos específicos de cada artículo que convocan con inteligencia a la reflexión y al estudio de temas particulares actuales –la revolución, la democracia, la vida cotidiana, el realismo político, el miedo, la cultura posmoderna, etc–, es sugerente a lo menos en tres aspectos generales: el primero, tiene que ver con el discernimiento de la «situación epistemológica» del investigador contemporáneo latinoamericano despu..
El artículo analiza los aportes de la teoría sociológica de Norbert Elías y Pierre Bourdieu al campo de las ciencias sociales. Siguiendo a Corcuff, podemos ubicar las obras de estos dos autores dentro de las teorías constructivistas. Teorías que producen un desplazamiento mismo del objeto de la sociología: ni la sociedad ni los individuos, concebidos como entidades separadas, sino las relaciones entre individuos. Con ello, se abordan el rechazo a la teoría pura; el abordaje multidisciplinar y la vigilancia epistemológica (...) en la construcción del objeto de estudio; la superación de la oposición subjetivismo-objetivismo; la explicación social, histórica y relacional de los fenómenos sociales; la concepción agonista de lo social; y, por último, el eje temático que atraviesa las obras de dos autores con diferencias pero complementarios. (shrink)
Este artigo objetiva mapear, no interior dos livros A sociedade dos indivíduos, Norbert Elias por ele mesmo e Envolvimento e alienação, bem como na coletânea Escritos e ensaios, a discussão de Norbert Elias sobre a democratização como um processo de transformação global da sociedade. Através de análises de longa duração, ele demonstrou que os processos civilizacionais foram constituídos pelos embates em torno da desconcentração do poder. Assim, a busca por melhores formas de distribuição de recursos e de oportunidades (...) de poder estiveram, ao longo dos últimos cinco séculos, no centro dos conflitos e das tensões que produziram inúmeras mudanças e/ou expectativas de mudanças nas sociedades atuais. Ele demonstrou que não é possível compreender os processos de democratização sem se levarem em conta os diversos jogos configuracionais que vão se estabelecendo entre os muitos grupos que lutam para adentrar a arena política com o intuito de construir novas oportunidades de poder. (shrink)
Norbert Elias (1897-1990) is now widely regarded as one of the greatest sociologists of the 20th century. The challenge and profundity of his work are still being assimilated. Some have suggested that in time, he will be regarded as the Copernicus or Darwin of sociology, the man who set the subject on its scientific course. These four volumes provide a comprehensive and penetrating survey of Elias's life and work. They pinpoint the main fields of research which Elias and his (...) followers have explored: the civilizing process; state-formation; knowledge, religion and science; informalization; power; established-outsider figurations in fields such as class, gender and race; the sociology of the body; the sociology of the emotions; the sociology of leisure, sport and the arts; the sociology of the professions; medicine and psychoanalysis; crime and punishment; drug use and abuse. The collection also explores the various critiques of Elias's `figurational' or `process' sociology and counter-critiques by Elias's followers. The volumes successfully locate the work of Elias and his followers in the context of modern sociology, especially in relation to writers such as Mannheim, Adorno, Parsons, Goffman, Foucault and Bourdieu. In the penetrating, original and informative Introduction, Eric Dunning and Stephen Mennell elucidate Elias's sociological contributions and the bearing his life experiences had on his work. The collection is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the sociological contribution of Norbert Elias. The collection is organized in the following 4 volumes: Volume 1 Focuses on Elias's work in the context of his life and career, and reviews his place in the contemporary social sciences, especially in relation to such figures as Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu. Also discussed in this volume are Elias's pathbreaking contributions to such issues as: the 'agency-structure' dilemma; habitus; power; involvement and detachment; knowledge and the sciences; time; and the relations between history and sociology. Volume 2 Addresses Elias's major empiricallybased contributions to sociological theory, especially the theories of the civilizing process, state formation and established-outsider figurations. Also discussed are informalization and de-civilizing processes, and the applications of the established-outsider theory to such fields as race, gender and sexuality. Volume 3 Examines figurational contributions to special areas of sociology such as: the sociology of the body; the sociology of the emotions; the sociology of everyday life, sport, leisure, lifestyles, taste, music and the arts; deviance and crime; the sociology of health and illness; psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and psychology; death and dying; and drugs and tobacco use. Volume 4 Focuses on criticisms of Elias's work and the responses of Elias and his sociological followers. Key themes are: civilization and the Holocaust; sports violence, especially soccer hooliganism; the meanings and value of concepts like 'development', 'evolution' and 'change'; and the relative merits of long-term and short-term approaches. The end of the volume returns to the issue of Elias's place in contemporary sociology and the growing worldwide recognition of the significance of his contribution. Eric Dunning is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Leicester; Stephen Mennell is Professor of Sociology, University College Dublin. (shrink)
Understanding Elias -- Origins of Elias's synthesis -- Norbert Elias and Karl Mannheim -- The civilizing process : the structure of a classic -- Involved detachment : knowledge and self-knowledge in Elias -- The symbol theory : secular humanism as a research programme -- Concluding remarks : the fourth blow to man's narcissism.
In her work, Doris Bischof-Köhler describes how empathically motivated prosocial behavior emerges during the second year of life. From a cross-cultural perspective we argue that this developmental pathway is prototypical for autonomy-oriented sociocultural contexts. Bischof-Köhler’s theory should be complemented by a theory of situational helping behavior based on shared intentional relations to provide an alternative developmental pathway for understanding toddlers’ prosocial behavior. Because this developmental pathway does not presuppose an understanding of self and others as autonomous intentional agents, (...) it may be more typical for relatedness-oriented sociocultural contexts. (shrink)
Abstract: In the past, major scientific and technological revolutions, like the Copernican Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, have had profound effects, not only upon society in general, but also upon Philosophy. Today's Information Revolution is no exception. Already it has had significant impacts upon our understanding of human nature, the nature of society, even the nature of the universe. Given these developments, this essay considers some of the philosophical contributions of two "philosophers of the Information Age"—Norbert Wiener and Luciano (...) Floridi—with regard to the nature of the universe, human nature, the nature of society, and the nature of "artificial agents" such as robots, softbots, and cyborgs. (shrink)
We think recent work in linguistics tells against the traditional claim that a string of words like (1) Every girl pushed some truck has two readings, indicated by the following formal language sentences (with restricted quantifiers): (1a) [!x:Gx]["y:Ty]Pxy (1b) ["y:Ty][!x:Gx]Pxy. In our view, (1) does not have any b-reading in which ‘some truck’ has widest scope.1 The issue turns on details concerning syntactic transformations and terms like ‘every’. This illustrates an important point for the study of natural language: ambiguity hypotheses (...) are indeed hypotheses—i.e., theoretical claims to be justified in light of various considerations, not theses whose truth can be directly observed by speakers. (shrink)
Both von Neumann and Wiener were outsiders to biology. Both were inspired by biology and both proposed models and generalizations that proved inspirational for biologists. Around the same time in the 1940s von Neumann developed the notion of self reproducing automata and Wiener suggested an explication of teleology using the notion of negative feedback. These efforts were similar in spirit. Both von Neumann and Wiener used mathematical ideas to attack foundational issues in biology, and the concepts they articulated had lasting (...) effect. But there were significant differences as well. Von Neumann presented a how-possibly model, which sparked interest by mathematicians and computer scientists, while Wiener collaborated more directly with biologists, and his proposal influenced the philosophy of biology. The two cases illustrate different strategies by which mathematicians, the “professional outsiders” of science, can choose to guide their engagement with biological questions and with the biological community, and illustrate different kinds of generalizations that mathematization can contribute to biology. The different strategies employed by von Neumann and Wiener and the types of models they constructed may have affected the fate of von Neumann’s and Wiener’s ideas – as well as the reputation, in biology, of von Neumann and Wiener themselves. (shrink)
Elias’s view of democracy and German Sonderweg is discussed by looking at his analysis of intellectuals. How should the figuration of culture and politics be conceived at a time when the civilizing process could trigger both democracy and autarchy? It is argued that Elias’s answer was that democracy is always accompanied by discontinuity in existence, and that the Weimar Republic therefore needed intellectual spokespersons promoting tolerance of political uncertainty. Such democratic culture demanded a fair balance between involvement and detachment. Elias (...) claimed that intellectuals ought to act as defenders of chance and a fragmented society, and moreover as critics of political romanticism and utopian myths. (shrink)