In this paper I intend to discuss some of the views put forward by Stephen Kemp in his recent critique of the Strong Program. In particular I will try to defend David Bloor’s SSK against the charge of weak idealism brought up by Stephen Kemp in his paper. The widely held accusation, namely, according to which the social constructionist approach to scientific knowledge is strongly idealist, is already rejected by Kemp himself. He argues, however that Bloor’s attempts to divert the (...) charge of idealism from the Strong Programme were not successful with respect to the kind of idealism that Kemp calls ‘weak idealism’, that is, treating scientific discourse as free-floating and unrelated to the world of things. I intend to argue that Kemp’s charges are unfounded when levelled at Bloor’s views on meaning and reference. Kemp deals with two issues of the Bloorian program: with the social constructionist approach to concepts as self-referential social institutions, and with the actor/analyst distinction introduced by the Strong Programmers. I will focus only on the first issue in my paper.Keywords: Strong Programme; David Bloor; Social constructionism; Self-reference; Idealism; Reference to external reality. (shrink)
My aim in the present paper is to show the significance of Heidegger's phenomenology of religion as an important step on his way to his magnum opus . First, I wish to exhibit traits characteristic of Heidegger's path of thinking in terms of his confrontation with phenomenology, historicism, hermeneutics, and Lebensphilosophie . I will then argue, in a second step, that it was with an eye to, and drawing upon, his previous understanding of religion and religious life, as well as (...) of the relation between faith and theology, that Heidegger was to conceive of philosophy and its relation to human existence in Being and Time . Both theology and philosophy offer a conceptual elaboration of something previously enacted or lived and, in doing so, are at the same time meant to refer back to and reinforce what they grow out of—faith or factical life. (shrink)
Surrender-and-catch is a protest against [... our time] and an attempt at remembrance of what a human being can be. The sociology of knowledge is a protest against its hypocrisy and against unexamined social influences. Like surrender, the sociology of knowledge does not fear but passionately seeks what is true and thus, like surrender, is a remembrance, proclamation, and celebration of the spirit. Both ideas, that of the sociology of knowledge and that of surrender, are critical, polemical, radical [...]; so (...) is the sociology of knowledge also in its practice, while in its practice surrender is cognitive live. Using a [...] distinction developed by Mannheim, we may also say that the sociology of knowledge is an extrinsic interpretation of its time, our time; surrender, an intrinsic one: the former is, advocates, and practices such an extrinsic (sociological) interpretation but needs the latter to overcome the relativism it encounters in its practice by its remembrance, rediscovery, reinvention, the catch, of what is common to all human beings, what is universally human (Wolff, 1982., pp. 265–266). (shrink)
The most important systematic analysis of social movements to date has been Touraine's The Voice and the Eye. Here, one can almost paraphrase Marx's famous dictum: for the French sociologist, the history of all societies is a history of movements. In identifying movements with social classes, Touraine negotiates a radical turn from system theories to a strong version of action theory and breaks with the Procrustean framework of an Althusserian-Poulantzasian structuralism in which everything is accounted for once the economically based (...) class equivalent has been found. For Touraine, movements emerge and diversify in the process of their challenging “historicity” — a key concept derived from Castoriadis’ central category, the imaginary institution. (shrink)
Abstract In this contribution I intend to reconstruct and evaluate one of Galileo's famous arguments given in the Discorsi against a well?entrenched thesis of Aristotelian physics. It will be shown that Galileo's reduction?to?the?absurd type of counterargument is, although seemingly cogent, after all fallacious. I ascribe Galileo's committing of this fallacy to his looking at the Aristotelian physics through the (Kuhnian type) paradigmatic ?spectacles? of his own new physics.
Attentive readers of Bakhtin are familiar with the importance he attributed to “semiliterary” or folkloristic genres and art works. Bakhtin came to the interesting conclusion that emerging and historically representative, types of literary works often build from semi-literary blocks. These blocks may be fragmented and incomplete, purely raw materials from the aesthetic viewpoint. Nonetheless, they are harbingers of the emergence of a significant literary form. This is the case with Red Square, apparently a thriller written by two Soviet defectors, Edward (...) Topol and Fridrikh Neznasky, in reality a significant, albeit semi-literary, historical novel in the style of Walter Scott. All constituents analyzed by Lukács in his famous description of Scott's historical novels are present. (shrink)
In Gadamer's hermeneutics the relationship of philology to philosophy and to the Geisteswissenschaften often became a focus of his hermeneutical reflection. In the first part of my contribution, I investigate and reconstruct this relationship in Gadamer's thinking. In the second part, I take up a recent debate about Gadamer in Hungary, and in connection with it offer a case study in which Gadamerian thinking is present in a twofold way: as that with which I am reflecting and at the same (...) time what it is about – the object of this reflection. The first part comes to the conclusion that the interconnectedness of philology and philosophy, with each side referring to the other, is central to Gadamer's work; it is moreover the element in which Gadamer's writings move. It is the focus on the text as text versus a focus on the text as the mediator of a matter [Sache] that makes the difference between philology and philosophy. This difference may give rise to a kind of tension, and this is addressed in the second part of the paper, by way of showing a passage from Gadamer's work susceptible to philological objections. (shrink)