In this paper we discuss an approach called grounded action cognition, which aims to provide a theory of the interdependencies between motor control and action-related cognitive processes, like perceiving an action or thinking about an action. The theory contrasts with traditional views in cognitive science in that it motivates an understanding of cognition as embodied, through application of Barsalou’s general idea of grounded cognition. To guide further research towards an appropriate theory of grounded action cognition we distinguish between grounding qua (...) acquisition and grounding qua constitution. On this basis, we distinguish three possible theoretical conceptions of grounded action cognition. In addition to these methodological and conceptual analyses, we draw on recent empirical evidence to motivate our inclination towards a particular theory. According to this theory certain representations are involved in action cognition and action perception that are not modality-specific as usually proposed by advocates of grounded cognition. Further, the evidence is in favor of our more specific theory stating that for some cognitive abilities, some motor abilites are constitutive. (shrink)
In this paper we explore Searle’s defense of conceptual relativism. It emerges that Searle formulates the thesis in many different ways and that contrary to his contention not all are trivial and platitudinous. Specifically he does not distinguish clearly between an ontological and a linguistic version of conceptual relativism as well as between weak difference and stronger incommensurability of conceptual schemes. This has consequences for Searle’s defense of external realism.
Max Weber (1864-1920), generally known as a founder of modern social science, was concerned with political affairs throughout his life. The texts in this edition span his career and include his early inaugural lecture The Nation State and Economic Policy, Suffrage and Democracy in Germany, Parliament and Government in Germany under a New Political Order, Socialism, The Profession and Vocation of Politics, and an excerpt from his essay The Situation of Constitutional Democracy in Russia, as well as other shorter (...) writings. Together they illustrate the development of his thinking on the fate of Germany and the nature of politics in the modern western state in an age of cultural 'disenchantment'. The introduction discusses the central themes of Weber's political thought, and a chronology, notes and an annotated bibliography place him in his political and intellectual context. (shrink)
In this unique and comprehensive book, George McCarthy examines the influence of Greek philosophy, literature, arts, and politics on the development of twentieth-century German social thought. McCarthy demonstrates that the classical spirit vitalized thinkers such as Weber, Heidegger, Freud, Marcuse, Arendt, Gadamer, and Habermas.
Max Weber and Michael Foucault are among the most controversial and fascinating thinkers of our century. This book is the first to jointly analyse them in detail, and to make effective links between their lives and work; it coincides with a substantial resurgence of interest in their writings. The author's exciting interpretative approach reveals a new dimension in reading the work of Foucault and Weber; it will be invaluable to students and those researching in sociology and philosophy.
Wilhelm Ostwald’s program of a physical energetics is the attempt at a comprehensive description of nature on the basis of the concept of energy. In his book Energetische Grundlagen der Kulturwissenschaft, first published in 1909, Ostwald applies this conception to the area of culture. His central assumption is that cultural phenomena should be described by the energetic notion of “efficiency relation” (Güteverhältnis). His systematic thesis is that science, when organized according to the Machian “principle of economy,” proves as the highest (...) form of cultural expression, since it instantiates the notion of quality relation most efficiently, that is, “with the lowest energy expenditure.” This view echoes August Comte’s “law of the three stages” and is intended to supply it with a scientific, i.e., energetic foundation. Max Weber regarded Ostwald’s energetic theory of culture as a misguided attempt at an absolutization of the methods of concept formation within the natural sciences. As he wrote in his devastating review essay “’Energetische’ Kulturtheorien” (1909), Ostwald transformed a certain world view (Weltbild) into a scientifically frivolous ideology (Weltanschauung). In particular, Ostwald’s adherence to the Comtean law of three stages and the associated hierarchy of the sciences were criticized by Weber as outdated and completely beside the point. According to Weber, the concepts of the cultural sciences are not at all dependent on natural scientific concepts such as ‘energy.’ In his view, culture cannot be reduced to nature. But exactly this seemed to be the principal aim of Ostwald’s program. In this paper, I will critically investigate Weber’s critique of that program. I shall argue that Ostwald’s assumption of a natural basis of culture can be ‘rescued’ as a methodological device, but that Ostwald’s – thoroughly substantialist – view of energy should be discarded as a metaphysical relict of ancient ‘stuff ontology.’ . (shrink)
Neither Karl Popper, nor Frank Knight, nor Max Weber are cited or mentioned in Friedman’s famous 1953 essay “On the methodology of positive economics” (F53). However, they play a crucial role in F53. Making their con-tribution explicit suggests that F53 has been seriously misread in the past. I will first show that there are several irritating statements in F53 that are, taken together, not compatible with any of the usual readings of F53. Sec-ond, I show that an alternative reading (...) of F53 can be achieved if one takes seriously Friedman’s reference to ideal types; “ideal type” is a technical term introduced by Max Weber. Friedman was familiar with Max Weber’s work through Frank Knight, who was his teacher in Chicago. Given that in F53’s view ideal types are fundamen-tal building blocks of economic theory, it becomes clear why both instrumentalist and realist readings of F53 are inadequate. Third, the reading of F53 in terms of ideal types gives the role of elements from Popper’s falsifica-tionist methodology in F53 a somewhat different twist. Finally, I show that the irritating passages of F53 make good sense under the new reading, including the infamous “the more significant the theory, the more unrealistic the assumptions”. (shrink)
Philosophers and social scientists will welcome this highly original discussion of Max Weber's analysis of the objectivity of social science. Guy Oakes traces the vital connection between Weber's methodology and the work of philosopher Heinrich Rickert, reconstructing Rickert's notoriously difficult concepts in order to isolate the important, and until now poorly understood, roots of problems in Weber's own work.Guy Oakes teaches social philosophy at Monmouth College and sociology at the New School for Social Research.
The volume documents, and makes an original contribution to, an astonishing period in twentieth-century philosophy_the progress of Arne Naess's ecophilosophy from its inception to the present. It includes Naess's most crucial polemics with leading thinkers, drawn from sources as diverse as scholarly articles, correspondence, TV interviews and unpublished exchanges. The book testifies to the skeptical and self-correcting aspects of Naess's vision, which has deepened and broadened to include third world and feminist perspectives. Philosophical Dialogues is an essential addition to (...) the literature on environmental philosophy. (shrink)
Louis Mink wrote a classic study of R. G. Collingwood that led to his most important contribution to the philosophy of history, his account of narrative. Central to this account was the non-detachability thesis, that facts became historical facts through incorporation into narratives, and the thesis that narratives were not comparable to the facts or to one another. His book on Collingwood was critical of Collingwood's idea that there were facts in history that we get through self-knowledge but which are (...) nevertheless objective, his account of re-enactment, and his notion of absolute presuppositions. It is illuminating to compare Collingwood to Weber with respect to these puzzling arguments, for the same issues arise there in different form. Recent work in social neuroscience on mirroring allows a different approach to these puzzles: mirror system “knowledge“ of others and simulation fit, respectively, with Weber's idea of direct observational understanding and Collingwood's re-enactment account. This account allows for the detaching of historical facts about thoughts and action from narrative. (shrink)
Weber-Fechner Law states that the perceived intensity is proportional to the logarithm of the stimulus. Recent experiments suggest that this law also holds true for perception of numerosity. Therefore, the use of a logarithmic scale for the quantification of the perceived intensity may also depend on how the cognitive apparatus processes information. If Weber-Fechner law is the result of natural selection, then the logarithmic scale should be better, in some sense, than other biologically feasible scales. We consider the (...) minimization of the relative error as the target of natural selection and we provide a formal proof that the logarithmic scale minimizes the maximal relative error. (shrink)
Partindo do pressuposto de que a teoria social elaborada por Habermas em muito se assemelha àquela construída por M. Weber, procedeu-se a um estudo comparativo com a intenção de identificar as formas pelas quais Weber e Habermas elaboraram o conceito de compreensão, ao mesmo tempo em que e o elegeram, cada um a seu modo, como instrumento metodológico adequado às dificuldades da produção de conhecimento científico nas Ciências Sociais. Tanto para Weber, como para Habermas, o conhecimento nas (...) Ciências Sociais não consegue escapar das influências diretas da subjetividade do cientista, como também não é capaz de se proteger das contingências histórico culturais aos quais inevitavelmente toda ação humana está vinculada. Por isso, fundamentados em suas próprias razões, tanto Weber quanto Habermas apontam a compreensão como a forma possível deconhecimento, o que implica a renúncia às pretensões explicativas e à produção de teorias gerais de fundamentação última, que são típicas das ciências convencionais.-. (shrink)
Max Weber's distinction in "Politics as a Vocation" between the ethic of conviction and the ethic of responsibility is best understood as a distinction between mutually exclusive ethical worldviews. Interpretations that correlate the two ethics with Weber's distinction between value-rational social action and instrumental-rational social action are misleading since Weber assumes that both types of rational social action are present in both ethics. The ethic of conviction recognizes a given hierarchy of values as the context for moral (...) endeavor. The ethic of responsibility acknowledges value obligations, but assumes the absence of any given hierarchy of values and the inevitability of value conflict as the context for moral endeavor. When interpreted in the context of his multilayered understanding of value conflict, Weber's ethic of responsibility emerges as a coherent ethical perspective. (shrink)
Este ensayo muestra la diferencia entre neoliberalismo y ordoliberalismo a partir de las raíces weberianas del segundo movimiento. Decisivas en este sentido son las críticas de Weber a los ideales-tipo de las abstracciones económicas clásicas y las necesarias determinaciones desde los "hombres vivientes". Para identificar estas raíces el ensayo usa tanto de las reflexiones de Weber como de las aportaciones decisivas de Foucault en "El nacimiento de la biopolítica".
Maxwell’s programme did supersede the Ampere-Weber one because it did assimilate some ideas of the Ampere-Weber programme, as well as the presuppositions of the programmes of Young-Fresnel and Faraday. But the opposite proposition is not true. Ampere-Weber programme did not assimilate the propositions of the Maxwellian programme. Maxwell’s victory over his rivals became possible because the core of Maxwell’s unification strategy was formed by Kantian epistemology looked through the prism of William Whewell and such representatives of Scottish (...) Enlightenment as Thomas Reid and William Hamilton. (shrink)
L’autore ricostruisce l’impatto del saggio di Max Weber sulla città nella storiografia tedesca a partire dalla fine degli anni Ottanta. Esso indica altresì il significato politico della “scoperta” weberiana della città come nucleo genetico della politica occidentale, con il suo universalismo che Weber data addirittura all’incontro tra gli apostoli Pietro e Paolo ad Antiochia. La “città” è per Weber la sede della possibilità teorica e fattuale di creare un diritto autonomo e nuovo. Essa è certamente il luogo (...) di origine della predominanza politica della borghesia, ma nel paradigma weberiano basato sulla razionalizzazione come processo tipico della cultura occidentale, essa indica un percorso che prosegue ancora oggi nell’epoca delle migrazioni e della globalizzazione. (shrink)
This is an existential-phenomenological reading of Max Weber’s “Class, Status, Party” that seeks a fuller understanding of meaning accomplishment in a stratified World. I appropriate stratification as a single meaning structure ontically defined by domination, intersubjectivity, and life-chances and ontologically determined by the power-to-be (Seinkönnen), There-being-with-others (Mitdasein), and potentiality (Möglichkeit). I then discuss the significance of these structures in finite transcendence (There-being, Dasein) and describe ways they factually unfold in World achievement. I conclude with logotherapeutic reflections concerning meaning accomplishment (...) in a stratified World and a summary of key questions facing existential-phenomenology in light of the likelihood that There-being must embrace, indeed, live, the inherent equality of Being (Gleichheit des Seins) among Daseins to accomplish its authenticity. (shrink)
This paper aims at revealing the originality of Max Weber’s conception of the logical category of “historicity”, suggesting that in his writings on the methodology of the social sciences we can find a stimulating and forerunner contribution to the analysis of some logical and formal problems concerning the relationship between human knowledge and the chaos of reality (what we might call, ante-litteram, “science of chaos”). In particular, considering that in Weber’s conception scientific knowledge finds no facts “to grasp” (...) in the natural world, but rather a chaos of unique and infinitely divisible events, the analysis will be focused on the following aspects: (a) Weber’s separation of causal imputation from the notion of necessary (natural) law; (b) the importance attached to “probability judgments” with different degrees of certainty; (c) the proclaimed irreducibility of individual events to scientific models, laws, and (ideal)-types; (d) the effects imputed to the differentiation of the point of view of a scientific observer. (shrink)
Apresentamos Max Weber como um dos sociólogos e historiadores mais importantes dentre aqueles que se dedicaram ao estudo do fenômeno religioso. Na verdade, é possível afirmar que a análise da religião compreende um dos aspectos mais fundamentais de sua obra sócio-histórica. De modo geral, esse tema aparece em seus textos de duas maneiras diferentes, quais sejam: enquanto um objeto analisado em sua singularidade e enquanto uma manifestação social que influencia de maneira significativa os demais aspectos da vida comunitária. Aqui, (...) observamos como ele muniu-se de um método particular e o utilizou como parâmetro para compreender historicamente a religião. Ao se debruçar sobre as religiões mundiais (confucionismo-taoísmo, judaísmo-cristianismo e hinduísmo-budismo), Weber estuda a racionalização cultural de suas cosmovisões. Todavia, para ele, a influência da religião sobre a vida prática varia muito segundo o caminho da salvação/libertação que é prescrito e segundo a qualidade psíquica (ou imaginada) da salvação que se pretende alcançar. Palavras-chave : Max Weber; Religião; Religiões Mundiais; Racionalização.We present Max Weber as one of the most important sociologists and historians among those who dedicated themselves to the study of the religious phenomenon. Actually, it is possible to say that the analysis of religion involves one of the most fundamental aspects of his socio-historical work. As a whole, this subject appears in his texts in two different forms, i.e., as an analyzed object in its particularities, and as a social manifestation which influences, in a significant way, the other aspects of communitarian life. Here, we observe how he equipped himself with a particular method, rescued Kantian rationality and applied it as a parameter to historically understand religion. While he dedicated himself to study world religions (Confucianism-Taoism, Judaism-Christianity, and Hinduism-Buddhism), Weber analyzes the cultural rationalization of his cosmovisions. However, for him, the influence of religion over practical life varies a lot according to the path of salvation/liberation which is prescribed in terms of the psychological (imagined) quality of the salvation which is intended to be reached. Key words : Max Weber; Religion; World Religions; Rationalization. (shrink)
(The interpretation of contemporary religious phenomena from Weber’s point of view: some notes inspired on a critical reading of The New Map of Religions ) - DOI: 10.5752/P.2175-5841.2011v9n23p674 Resumo Dentre alguns usos equivocados recorrentes das contribuições teóricas de Weber apresentadas em A Ética Protestante e o Espírito do Capitalismo , podemos citar: tratar suas interpretações como conhecimento nomotético e não ideográfico, como o pretendido pelo autor; o tratamento dos tipos ideais de capitalismo e das éticas das religiões puritanas, (...) bem como o do catolicismo analisados no livro citado, como se fossem realidades empíricas, e não construtos conceituais abstratos; a busca da replicação contemporânea da relação, inclusive concebida como monocausal, encontrada entre a ética protestante e o surgimento e o desenvolvimento do capitalismo que surgiu na Inglaterra e Alemanha. Nesse artigo pretendemos apresentar parâmetros para a interpretação de fenômenos religiosos contemporâneos a partir das contribuições teórico-metodológicas de Weber, chamando a atenção para equívocos comuns ligados ao entendimento inadequado da proposta epistemológica weberiana apresentada e exercitada no livro citado . Fazemos isso seguindo a estrutura básica de um ensaio, no qual apresentamos uma leitura crítica da análise apresentada no artigo intitulado Novo Mapa das Religiões . Palavras chave : Weber. Metodologia. Religião no Brasil.This article aims to provide parameters for the interpretation of contemporary religious phenomena from the theoretical and methodological contributions of Weber, drawing attention to common misconceptions related to inadequate understanding of his theoretical and epistemological proposals presented in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism . Among some of the recurring misuses of the theoretical contributions made by Weber are: a) the treatment of his interpretations as nomothetic knowledge rather than ideographic, as intended by the author; b) the treatment of ideal types of the capitalism, of the puritan religious beliefs, and of the Catholicism as if they were empirical realities and not abstract constructs; c) the search for the contemporary replication of the relationship between the Protestant ethic and the emergence and development of Capitalism in England and in Germany. In short, this essay presents a critical reading of the analysis presented in the article titled New map of religions . Keywords : Weber. Methodology. Religion in Brazil. (shrink)
First published in 1965, this collection of three essays by influential German philosopher Karl Jaspers deals with the response of the philosophical mind to the world of reality, with the search for truth. In Leonardo, this search is shown in the thinking and the works of a supreme artist whose means of apperception are the senses. The essay on Max Weber commemorates a man Jaspers knew personally and ardently admired. The main essay in the collection is an exhaustive, three (...) part study of Descartes: analysing Descartes’ new philosophical operation, Descartes’ Method, and the position of his philosophy within the wider historical context of philosophical thought. (shrink)
The State of the Political challenges traditional interpretations of the political thought of Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, and Franz Neumann. Focusing on their adaptation of a German tradition of state-legal theory, the book offers a scholarly, contextualized account of the interrelationship between their political thought and practical political criticism. Dr Kelly criticizes the typical separation of these writers, and offers a substantial reinterpretation of modern German political thought in a period of profound transition, in particular the relationship between political (...) theory and conceptual change. Alongside its focus on German political and juridical thought, the book contributes significantly to the history of European ideas, discussing parliamentarism and democracy, academic freedom and cultural criticism, political economy, patriotism, sovereignty and rationality, and the inter-relationships between law, the constitution and political representation. (shrink)
Maxwellian electrodynamics genesis is considered in the light of the author’s theory change model previously tried on the Copernican and the Einstein revolutions. It is shown that in the case considered a genuine new theory is constructed as a result of the old pre-maxwellian programmes reconciliation: the electrodynamics of Ampere-Weber, the wave theory of Fresnel and Young and Faraday’s programme. The “neutral language” constructed for the comparison of the consequences of the theories from these programmes consisted in the language (...) of hydrodynamics with its rich content of analogous models ranging from the uncompressible fluid up to molecular vortices. The programmes’ meeting led to construction of the whole hierarchy of crossbred objects beginning from the displacement current and up to common hybrids. After that the interpenetration of the pre-maxwellian programmes began that marked the beginning of theoretical schemes of optics and electromagnetism unification. Maxwell’s programme did assimilate some ideas of the Ampere-Weber programme, as well as the presuppositions of the programmes of Fresnel and Faraday; and the significance of this fact for further methodology of scientific research programmes development is discussed. It is argued that the core of Maxwell’s unification strategy was formed by Kantian epistemology looked through the prism of William Whewell and such representatives of Scottish Enlightenment as Thomas Reid and William Hamilton. All these enabled Maxwell to start to unify not only optics and electromagnetism, but British and continental research traditions as well. Maxwell’s programme did supersede the Ampere-Weber one because Maxwell did put forward as a synthetic principle the idea, that differed from that of Ampere-Weber by its flexible and contra-ontological, strictly epistemological, Kantian character. For Maxwell, ether was not the last building block of physical reality, from which fields and charges should be constructed . “Action at a distance”, “incompressible fluid”, “molecular vortices” were only analogies for Maxwell, capable to direct the researcher on the “right” mathematical relations. From the “representational” point of view all this hydrodynamical models were doomed to failure efforts to describe what can not be described in principle – things in themselves, the “nature” of electrical and magnetic phenomena. On the contrary, Maxwell aimed his programme to find empirically meaningful mathematical relations between the electrodynamics basic objects, i.e. the creation of inter - coordinated electromagnetic field equations system. Namely the application of this epistemology enabled Hermann von Helmholtz and his pupil Heinrich Hertz to arrive at such a version of Maxwell’s theory that served a heuristical basis for the radiowaves discovery. (shrink)
The volume documents, and makes an original contribution to, an astonishing period in twentieth-century philosophy—the progress of Arne Naess's ecophilosophy from its inception to the present. It includes Naess's most crucial polemics with leading thinkers, drawn from sources as diverse as scholarly articles, correspondence, TV interviews and unpublished exchanges. The book testifies to the skeptical and self-correcting aspects of Naess's vision, which has deepened and broadened to include third world and feminist perspectives. Philosophical Dialogues is an essential addition to (...) the literature on environmental philosophy. (shrink)