The purpose of this article is to advance a new understanding of gender as a routine accomplishment embedded in everyday interaction. To do so entails a critical assessment of existing perspectives on sex and gender and the introduction of important distinctions among sex, sex category, and gender. We argue that recognition of the analytical independence of these concepts is essential for understanding the interactional work involved in being a gendered person in society. The thrust of our remarks is toward theoretical (...) reconceptualization, but we consider fruitful directions for empirical research that are indicated by our formulation. (shrink)
Using data from American emergency call centers, this article focuses on the coordination, and mutual relevance, of participants’ effort to manage two forms of unit completion – sequence closing and concluding the occasion in which the project was pursued. In doing so, we specify the import of sequence organization as one method for conducting, organizing, and resolving interactional projects participants may be said to pursue, and describe a range of possible relations between project completion and occasion closure and the locations (...) from which problems come to be introduced as parties move to resolve projects and close calls. As we show, sequence and occasion closings produced in the service of projects are fateful: they inexorably demand that the participants arrive at some alignment – or make visible their failure to do so – regarding the projects pursued in it, the status of those projects, and thus who, as a consequence, the parties are for another, that is, their ‘identities’. For strangers and familiars both, the management of projects and the manner in which closing is achieved matters. (shrink)
Humans, more than any other species, have been altering their paths of development by creating new material forms and by opening up to new possibilities of material engagement. That is, we become constituted through making and using technologies that shape our minds and extend our bodies. We make things which in turn make us. This ongoing dialectic has long been recognised from a deep-time perspective. It also seems natural in the present in view of the ways new materialities and digital (...) ecologies increasingly envelop our everyday life and thinking. Still the basic idea that humans and things are co-constituted continues to challenge us, raising important questions about the place and meaning of materiality and technical change in human life and evolution. This paper bridging perspectives from postphenomenology and Material Engagement Theory is trying to attain better understanding about these matters. Our emphasis falls specifically on the human predisposition for technological embodiment and creativity. We re-approach the notion Homo faber in a way that, on the one hand, retains the power and value of this notion to signify the primacy of making or creative material engagement in human life and evolution and, on the other hand, reclaims the notion from any misleading connotations of human exceptionalism. In particular, our use of the term Homo faber refers to the special place that this ability has in the evolution and development of our species. The difference that makes the difference is not just the fact that we make things. The difference that makes the difference is the recursive effect that the things that we make and our skills of making seem to have on human becoming. We argue that we are Homo faber not just because we make things but also because we are made by them. (shrink)
Each contributor to this book has used personal experience as the basis from which to frame his individual sociological perspectives. Because they have personalized their work, their accounts are real, and recognizable as having come from 'real' persons, about 'real' experiences. There are no objectively-distanced disembodied third person entities in these accounts. These writers are actual people whose stories will make you laugh, cry, think, and want to know more.
We all believe an unbounded number of things about the way the world is and about the way the world works. For example, I believe that if I move this book into the other room, it will not change color -- unless there is a paint shower on the way, unless I carry an umbrella through that shower, and so on; I believe that large red trucks at high speeds can hurt me, that trucks with polka dots can hurt me, (...) and so on; that if I move this book, the room will stay in place -- unless there is a pressure switch under the book attached to a bomb, unless the switch communicates to the bomb by radio and there is shielding in the way, and so on; that the moon is not made of green cheese, that the moon is not made of caviar, that the moon is not made of gold, and so on. The problems involved in accounting for such infinite proliferations of beliefs -- and the computations and inferences that take them into account -- are collectively called the Frame Problems, and are considered by some to constitute a major discovery of a new philosophical problem. How could we possibly learn them all? How could the brain possibly hold them all? The problems appear insoluble, impossible. Yet we all learn and hold such unbounded numbers of beliefs; in particular, children do. Something must be wrong. I wish to argue that the frame problem arises from a fundamental presupposition about the nature of representation -- a false presupposition. Yet, it is a presupposition that dominates contemporary developmental psychology (and psychology more broadly, and cognitive science, artificial intelligence, philosophy of mind, and so on). In particular, I will offer an alternative model of the nature of representation within which the frame problem does not arise -- within which such unboundedness is natural. (shrink)
This volume represents an important contribution to Peirce’s work in mathematics and formal logic. An internationally recognized group of scholars explores and extends understandings of Peirce’s most advanced work. The stimulating depth and originality of Peirce’s thought and the continuing relevance of his ideas are brought out by this major book.
Throughout his philosophical writings F.H. Bradley thought that the science of psychology had some relevance for logic and epistemology. This is not a view which contemporary philosophers are very sympathetic to. It is widely held that any attempt to derive conclusions about logic or epistemology from psychological premises is to commit the fallacy of psychologism. It seems obvious that we cannot deduce conclusions about how we ought to think or reason from knowledge of how we actually think or reason. This (...) insight wasn’t always so obvious. Indeed early modern philosophers thought it obvious that we could solve the problem of knowledge by understanding where our ideas came from. Were they innate, as the rationalist thought or acquired, as the empiricists believed? The question of the origin of ideas is surely distinct from questions about validity or truth. The correct answer to origins will not provide solutions to problems in logic or epistemology. The fallacy of psychologism is not that easy to define but its essence appears to be the attempt to reduce logic and epistemology to the psychology of learning. (shrink)
In this paper, we show that God is portrayed in the Hebrew Bible and in the Rabbinic literature—some of the very Hebrew texts that have influenced the three major world religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—as One who can be argued with and even changes his mind. Contrary to fundamentalist positions, in the Hebrew Bible and other Jewish texts God is omniscient but enjoys good, playful argumentation, broadening the possibilities for reasoning and reasonability. Arguing with God has also had a (...) profound influence upon Jewish humor, demonstrating that humans can joke with God. More specifically, we find in Jewish literature that humor’s capacity to bisociate between different domains of human experience can share a symbiotic relationship with argumentation’s emphasis on producing multiple, contested perspectives. Overall, once mortals realize that figures such as God can accept many perspectives through humor, teasing, arguing, criticism, and in at least one case, even lawsuits, a critical point emerges: citizens should learn to live, laugh, and reason with others with whom they disagree. (shrink)
The idea that democracy is under threat, after being largely dormant for at least 40 years, is looming increasingly large in public discourse. Complex systems theory offers a range of powerful new tools to analyse the stability of social institutions in general, and democracy in particular. What makes a democracy stable? And which processes potentially lead to instability of a democratic system? This paper offers a complex systems perspective on this question, informed by areas of the mathematical, natural, and social (...) sciences. We explain the meaning of the term 'stability' in different disciplines and discuss how laws, rules, and regulations, but also norms, conventions, and expectations are decisive for the stability of a social institution such as democracy. (shrink)
ABSTRACTMetaphors pervade discussions of critical issues and influence how people reason about these domains. For instance, when crime is a beast people are more likely to suggest enforcement-oriented approaches to crime-reduction ; reading that crime is a virus, on the other hand, leads people to suggest systemic reforms for the affected community. In the current study, we find that extending metaphoric language into the descriptions of policy interventions bolstered the persuasive influence of metaphoric frames for important issues. That is, in (...) response to a crime virus people were even more likely to endorse social reforms that were described as “treatments,” while in response to a crime beast people were even more likely to endorse “attacking” the problem with harsh enforcement tactics. Of note, people were not simply drawn to extensions of previously instantiated metaphors: when extended metaphors were paired with a conceptually incongruent policy intervention (e... (shrink)
Rules proliferate; some are kept with a bureaucratic stringency bordering on the absurd, while others are manipulated and ignored in ways that injure our sense of justice. Under what conditions should we make exceptions to rules, and when should they be followed despite particular circumstances? The two dominant models in the literature on rules are the particularist account and that which sees the application of rules as normative. Taking a position that falls between these two extremes, Alan Goldman provides a (...) systematic framework to clarify when we need to follow rules in our moral, legal and prudential decisions, and when we ought not to do so. The book distinguishes among various types of rules; it illuminates concepts such as integrity, self-interest and self-deception; and finally, it provides an account of ordinary moral reasoning without rules. This book will be of great interest to advanced students and professionals working in philosophy, law, decision theory and the social sciences. (shrink)
Taking precautions to prevent harm. Whether principe de précaution, Vorsorgeprinzip, føre-var prinsippet, or försiktighetsprincip, etc., the precautionary principle embodies the idea that public and private interests should act to prevent harm. Furthermore, the precautionary principle suggests that action should be taken to limit, regulate, or prevent potentially dangerous undertakings even in the absence of absolute scientific proof. Such measures also naturally entail taking economic costs into account. With the environmental disasters of the 1980s, the precautionary principle established itself as an (...) operational concept. On the eve of the 1997 Climate Summit in Kyoto, precaution, as the precautionary principle is often referred to, has now become a key legal principle in environmental law, in general, and in current international climate negotiations, in particular, attempts to understand why. It examines in turn the natural affinity between the precautionary principle and climate change, reviews a series of issues which the principle raises, and discusses avenues which it opens paper, climate change fulfills the theoretical requirements set for the application of the precautionary principle. It comes as no surprise that the actual application of the precautionary principle in the context of climate change raises high political stakes. As a result, climate change science, in particular, and science, in general, is under the fire of politically-motivated scientific skeptics. Thus, by way of the counter-measures which must be put into effect, the precautionary principle calls for a greater sense of responsibility on the part of scientists and the public at large. Specifically, from scientists, it demands perseverance in rigor, excellence in communication, and committment to education. However, even if special efforts are made to implement the precautionary principle in the context of climate change, the success of climate change mitigation will constitute no test of the validity, the usefulness, or the efficiency of the precautionary principle. Indeed, the degree to which climate change mitigation succeeds only provides a measure of our kind's ability to manage responsibly the global commons which we inherited from our ancestors and which our generation enjoys, the global commons which we will pass on to today's children and to generations to come. (shrink)