An ethnographic case study of a group of neuro-embryologists is described. We focused on the study of uncertainty management and innovation in the reasoning of those experts, tackling a complex, “ill-structured” problem. The problematics of uncertainty become a tool for investigating the dynamics of distributed reasoning in a natural setting. During the research task, the sequence of predefined methods, which constitute the loosely planned portion of the subjects' cognitive process, is studied: it emerges that the contextual contingencies gave rise to (...) unforeseen strategies. The field study of “thought in action” requires examining the process of problem-generation as well as problem-solving. (shrink)
Is the societal-level of analysis sufficient today to understand the values of those in the global workforce? Or are individual-level analyses more appropriate for assessing the influence of values on ethical behaviors across country workforces? Using multi-level analyses for a 48-society sample, we test the utility of both the societal-level and individual-level dimensions of collectivism and individualism values for predicting ethical behaviors of business professionals. Our values-based behavioral analysis indicates that values at the individual-level make a more significant contribution to (...) explaining variance in ethical behaviors than do values at the societal-level. Implicitly, our findings question the soundness of using societal-level values measures. Implications for international business research are discussed. (shrink)
This biography of Jacques Derrida tells the story of a Jewish boy from Algiers, excluded from school at the age of twelve, who went on to become the most widely translated French philosopher in the world – a vulnerable, tormented man who, throughout his life, continued to see himself as unwelcome in the French university system. We are plunged into the different worlds in which Derrida lived and worked: pre-independence Algeria, the microcosm of the École Normale Supérieure, the cluster of (...) structuralist thinkers, and the turbulent events of 1968 and after. We meet the remarkable series of leading writers and philosophers with whom Derrida struck up a friendship: Louis Althusser, Emmanuel Levinas, Jean Genet, and Hélène Cixous, among others. We also witness an equally long series of often brutal polemics fought over crucial issues with thinkers such as Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, John R. Searle, and Jürgen Habermas, as well as several controversies that went far beyond academia, the best known of which concerned Heidegger and Paul de Man. We follow a series of courageous political commitments in support of Nelson Mandela, illegal immigrants, and gay marriage. And we watch as a concept – deconstruction – takes wing and exerts an extraordinary influence way beyond the philosophical world, on literary studies, architecture, law, theology, feminism, queer theory, and postcolonial studies. In writing this compelling and authoritative biography, Benoît Peeters talked to over a hundred individuals who knew and worked with Derrida. He is also the first person to make use of the huge personal archive built up by Derrida throughout his life and of his extensive correspondence. Peeters’ book gives us a new and deeper understanding of the man who will perhaps be seen as the major philosopher of the second half of the twentieth century. (shrink)
It is widely agreed that humans have specific abilities for cooperation and culture that evolved since their split with their last common ancestor with chimpanzees. Many uncertainties remain, however, about the exact moment in the human lineage when these abilities evolved. This article argues that cooperation and culture did not evolve in one step in the human lineage and that the capacity to stick to long-term and risky cooperative arrangements evolved before properly modern culture. I present evidence that Homo heidelbergensis (...) became increasingly able to secure contributions form others in two demanding Paleolithic public good games (PPGGs): cooperative feeding and cooperative breeding. I argue that the temptation to defect is high in these PPGGs and that the evolution of human cooperation in Homo heidelberngensis is best explained by the emergence of modern-like abilities for inhibitory control and goal maintenance. These executive functions are localized in the prefrontal cortex and allow humans to stick to social norms in the face of competing motivations. This scenario is consistent with data on brain evolution that indicate that the largest growth of the prefrontal cortex in human evolution occurred in Homo heidelbergensis and was followed by relative stasis in this part of the brain. One implication of this argument is that subsequent behavioral innovations, including the evolution of symbolism, art, and properly cumulative culture in modern Homo sapiens , are unlikely to be related to a reorganization of the prefrontal cortex, despite frequent claims to the contrary in the literature on the evolution of human culture and cognition. (shrink)
The recent literature on social norms has stressed the centrality of emotions in explaining punishment and norm enforcement. This article discusses four negative emotions (righteous anger, indignation, contempt, and disgust) and examines their relationship to punitive behavior. I argue that righteous anger and indignation are both punitive emotions strictly speaking, but induce punishments of different intensity and have distinct elicitors. Contempt and disgust, for their part, cannot be straightforwardly considered punitive emotions, although they often blend with a colder form of (...) indignation to favor low-cost, indirect, and collective forms of punishment such as mockery, exclusion, and ostracism. (shrink)
This paper is an interim report of joint work begun in on dialectic from Parmenides to Aristotle. In the first part we present rules for dialectical games, understood as a specific form of antilogikê developed by philosophers, and explain some of the key concepts of these dialectical games in terms of ideas from game semantics. In the games we describe, for a thesis A asserted by the answerer, a questioner must elicit the answerer’s assent to further assertions B1, B2,…, Bn, (...) which form a scoreboard from which the questioner seeks to infer an impossibility ; we explain why the questioner must not insert any of his own assertions in the scoreboard, as well as the crucial role the Law of Non Contradiction, and why the games end with the inference to an impossibility, as opposed to the assertion of ¬A. In the second part we introduce some specific characteristics of Eleatic Antilogic as a method of enquiry. When Antilogic is used as a method of inquiry, then one must play not only the game beginning with a given thesis A, but also the game for ¬A as well as for A & ¬A, while using a peculiar set of opposite predicates to generate the arguments. In our discussion we hark back to Parmenides’ Poem, and illustrate our points with Zeno’s arguments about divisibility, Gorgias’ ontological argument from his treatise On Not-Being, and the second part of Plato’s Parmenides. We also identify numerous links to Aristotle, and conclude with some speculative comments on the origin of logic. (shrink)
The emotion of anger has a long love–hate relationship with morality. On the one hand, anger often motivates us to sanction wrongdoing and uphold demanding moral standards. On the other hand, it can prompt aggression behaviors that are at odds with morality and even lead to moral disasters. This article describes this complex relationship. I argue that the intensity of anger elicited by moral transgressions is highly sensitive to key variables, including the identity of the person wronged, the nature of (...) the wrongdoing, and expectations about what should and will be done. Depending on the context, we sometimes experience more anger than would be commendable and sometimes less. These characteristics of anger, in turn, explain the ubiquity of norms and discourses aimed at governing the expression of this emotion. (shrink)
The history of innovation as a category is dominated by economists and by the contribution of J. A. Schumpeter. This paper documents the contribution of a neglected but influential author, the American sociologist William F. Ogburn. Over a period of more than 30 years, Ogburn developed pioneering ideas on three dimensions of technological innovation: origins, diffusion, and effects. He also developed the first conceptual framework for innovation studies—based on the concept of cultural lags—which led to studying and forecasting the impacts (...) of technological innovation on society. All in all, Ogburn has been as important to the sociology of technology as Robert K. Merton has been to the sociology of science and Schumpeter to the economics of technological innovation. (shrink)
When on the last page of What Is Philosophy?, Deleuze and Guattari (1995: 218) claim that philosophy needs a non-philosophy, this statement is the result of a long engagement with the problem of thinking in society. It is this engagement that we intend to reconstruct in this article. By developing an original definition of thinking after Heidegger, Deleuze is able to claim that philosophy is not the only ‘thinking’ discipline. Our point of departure is Deleuze's constant reference to a phrase (...) from Heidegger's lecture course What Is Called Thinking?: ‘We are not yet thinking’ (Deleuze 1988: 116, 1989: 167, 1994: 144, 2002: 108; Deleuze and Guattari 1995: 56). This phrase points to the demand for a new distribution of the relation between philosophy and its outside. The purpose of this article is to trace Heidegger's influence on Deleuze's definition of thinking and to raise two points. First, Deleuze borrows some elements of Heidegger's definition of thinking to further his own understanding of politics as an involuntary practice. For both, the question of thinking is political. Second, by departing from Heidegger, Deleuze can democratise the definition of thinking, beyond its confinement to philosophy, by turning to cinema. Deleuze calls cinema the art of the masses because it brings the masses in contact with external signs. Finally, in the last part of this article, we will discuss how Deleuze raises stupidity (and not error) as a transcendental problem that should be constantly fought. In this way, we hope to shed light on how Deleuze moves from Heidegger's question ‘what is called thinking?’ to the problem of stupidity and shame. (shrink)
J. Schumpeter is a key figure, even a seminal one, on technological innovation. Most economists who study technological innovation refer to Schumpeter and his pioneering role in introducing innovation into economic studies. However, despite having brought forth the concept of innovation in economic theory, Schumpeter provided few if any analyses of the process of innovation itself. This paper suggests that the origin of systematic studies on technological innovation owes its existence to the economist W. Rupert Maclaurin from MIT. In the (...) 1940s and 1950s, Maclaurin developed Schumpeter’s ideas, analyzing technological innovation as a process composed of several stages or steps, and proposed a theory of technological innovation, later called the linear model of innovation. The paper also argues that Maclaurin constructed one of the first taxonomies for measuring technological innovation. (shrink)
My main intention in this article is to settle the question whether having the ability to \ is, as Ryleans think, necessary for knowing how to \, and to determine the kind of role played by procedural knowledge in knowing how to \ and in acquiring and possessing the ability to \. I shall argue, in a seemingly anti-Rylean fashion, that when it comes to know-hows that are ordinarily categorised as physical skills, or—to be, for the moment, philosophically neutral—as enabling (...) one to possess such skills, it is necessary to have procedural knowledge of how to \ in order to possess those know-hows. However, I shall contend that this knowledge cannot be acquired without acquiring the kind of ability to \ in which having the skill to \ consists. And that having acquired the ability to \ is not only necessary but also sufficient for having acquired procedural knowledge of how to succeed in \-ing. (shrink)
Of the many ethical corporate marketing practices, many firms use corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication to enhance their corporate image. Yet, consumers, overwhelmed by these more or less well-founded CSR claims, often have trouble identifying truly responsible firms. This confusion encourages ‘greenwashing’ and may make CSR initiatives less effective. On the basis of attribution theory, this study investigates the role of independent sustainability ratings on consumers’ responses to companies’ CSR communication. Experimental results indicate the negative effect of a poor sustainability (...) rating for corporate brand evaluations in the case of CSR communication, because consumers infer less intrinsic motives by the brand. Sustainability ratings thus could act to deter ‘greenwashing’ and encourage virtuous firms to persevere in their CSR practices. (shrink)
Innovation has become a very popular concept over the twentieth century. However, few have stopped to study the origins of the category and to critically examine the studies produced on innovation. This paper conducts such an analysis on one type of innovation, namely technological innovation. The study of technological innovation is over one hundred years old. From the early 1900s onward, anthropologists, sociologists, historians, and economists began theorizing about technological innovation, each from his own respective disciplinary framework. However, in the (...) last forty years an economic and “dominant” understanding of technological innovation has developed: technological innovation defined as commercialized invention. This paper documents the origins of this representation and the tradition of research to which it gave rise: “innovation studies.” More specifically, it analyzes what distinguishes this tradition from that concerned with technological change as the use of inventions in industrial production, and looks at why such a tradition originated in Europe. (shrink)
This paper analyses the threat of Jihadism to modern democracies through the lens of René Girard’s mimetic theory. The study’s main contention is that terrorism is caused not only by resentment and nihilism but is also symptomatic of the contemporary malfunction of Religion when deprived of its sacrificial safeguards. Eventually, this paper aims to deduce the requisites for safeguarding democracy and the foundation of a new interfaith dialogue.
When one tries to determine what the iconic dimension of thought consists in for Peirce and what its range is, one might have the impression that his remarks on this matter are inconsistent. For instance, on the one hand he writes the following: Remember it is by icons only that we really reason, and abstract statements are valueless in reasoning except so far as they aid us to construct diagrams. The sectaries of the opinion I am combating seem, on the (...) contrary, to suppose that reasoning is performed with abstract "judgments," and that an icon is of use only as enabling me to frame abstract statements as premisses. In an apparently similar fashion, Peirce argues that the predicate of a... (shrink)
The ambiguity of concepts is a constant obstacle faced by political scientists. Some of the most popular concepts are characterized by their imprecision and their use in very different contexts of study. This article analyses one of these equivocal notions: corporatism. Following Goertz, a conceptualization of meso-corporatism is constructed and operationalized through the case of agriculture in Quebec, Canada. This exercise highlights the theoretical, empirical and comparative contributions of conceptual analysis to scientific inquiry.
This essay explores the thought of Heidegger and Sartre concerning whether existentialism is conducive to a certain ethics conceived of as a theory of moral conduct. In the Letter on Humanism, Heidegger stresses the importance of a return to the idea of “ethos” as a replacement for the metaphysically conceived “ethics.” Sartre, conversely, in his essay Existentialism is a Humanism outlines an ethics that draws heavily from the philosophical tradition. This paper’s guiding question is whether the study of human existence, (...) given the views of these thinkers, leads to a particular ethics, or whether it suggests something like Heidegger’s return to the ancient Greek notion of “ethos,” that is, morality conceived of as a manner of being. The paper outlines the basic conceptions of human being held by these two thinkers, and shows how their individual conceptions of ethics unfold from these. I explicate and bring these thinkers’ conceptions of ethics into contrast in order to approach an answer to the question of whether existentialism is conducive to an ethics. (shrink)
The reception of René Girard’s work in France deserves book-length treatment to fully describe the heated debates, conflicting expectations, and controversy that it inspired before its lasting importance was eventually recognized. We must keep in mind that, although he lived in the US and became a citizen in 1956, he always kept his sights on his native land. He watched the transformations of French thought from the other side of the ocean; he forged his own writing strategies in response to (...) French thought; and it was within the context of French debates that he chose to formulate, through the conjoined hypotheses concerning mimetic desire, the scapegoat, and Judeo-Christian writing, the founding event of his... (shrink)
In order to help understand the possible interplay between transmission and digitization, a pilot project for the long-term preservation of research data in the social sciences and humanities is presented by its two coordinators. The article provides some background context on transmission in digital form of past and present research in SSH. It shows the discrepancy between the increasing role of digital information and its fragility. It presents the standard abstract model for archival information systems and the way it was (...) instantiated in the pilot project. It ends with some reflexive remarks on the factors that are bound to act upon the future of such projects: organizational behaviours, role of data and knowledge, communities of users, institutional issues and status of collective memory in SSH. Pour permettre de comprendre les interactions possibles entre transmission et numérisation, un projet pilote d’archivage numérique pérenne est présenté par ses deux coordinateurs. L’article évoque le contexte actuel de transmission sous forme numérique des recherches passées et présentes en sciences humaines et sociales. Il souligne l’écart entre le rôle croissant des données numériques et leur fragilité. Il présente le modèle abstrait standard d’archivage numérique pérenne et la manière dont il a été instancié dans le projet pilote. Il termine par un retour réflexif sur les facteurs qui vont conditionner l’avenir de projets similaires: choix et comportements organisationnels, rôles respectifs des données et des connaissances, constitution et comportement des communautés d’utilisateurs, statut de la mémoire collective en SHS. (shrink)
ABSTRACT : Many philosophers and psychologists think that moral norms have a different nature as rules from convention: while we are obliged to respect moral norms because of what they are in themselves, our respect for conventions depends on our attitude toward a particular social context. I question this distinction between moral norms and conventions and argue that conventions depend on social context because the context structures the agents’ expectations, sets reference points for the assessment of gains and losses, and (...) helps the observer to infer the presence and the seriousness of harms. (shrink)
In the late 1980s, a new conceptual framework appeared in the science, technology, and innovation studies: the National Innovation System. The framework suggests that the research system's ultimate goal is innovation, and that the system is part of a larger system composed of sectors such as government, university, and industry and their environment. The framework also emphasized the relationships between the components or sectors, as the ``cause'' that explains the performance of innovation systems. Most authors agree that the framework came (...) from researchers like Freeman, Nelson, and Lundvall. In this article, the author want to go further back in time and show what the ``system approach'' owes to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and its very early works from the 1960s. This article develops the idea that the system approach was fundamental to OECD work, and that, although not using the term National Innovation System as such, the organization considerably influenced the above-mentioned authors. (shrink)
The object of this study is the presence and the operation of space in the films of the Dardenne brothers. In this paper, we will examine three films - Rosetta , The Child and The Silence of Lorna - and present the argument that they depict an original account of the contemporary European city as a totality (in this case an eastern Belgian steel town). The construction of the characters, their relationships, and the moral implications of their actions are usually (...) the most discussed aspect of the Dardennes' cinema. Instead, we want to shift focus to the city, focusing on its concrete, visceral materiality. The aim of this paper is to chart out the leaden landscape of these films, by tracing the movements of the protagonists in two particular kinds of recurring spaces: the woods that lie next to motorways in Rosetta and The Silence of Lorna , and the motorways that feature prominently in The Child . Even though these spaces are the left-over spaces of the city, cut out and discarded from the inner spaces of the city, they are still heavily inscribed and symbolic sites. Not only do they move the plot forward and are expressive of the characters that inhabit them, they also engage in a sustained, though understated, political critique. (shrink)
Basic research is a central concept of science and science policy. This article examines the role statistics played in helping to create the concept and shows how it was in part constructed by statistics to serve social and political agendas. Most of this statistical work was conducted in the United States in the 1940s and 1950s, then standardized by the OECD in the 1960s.
Official science and technology statistics arefifty years old. Among industrial countries,the forerunners were the United States, Canadaand Great Britain. This paper traces thedevelopment and the construction of S&Tstatistics in these three countries, and theirsubsequent standardization, mainly by theOECD, in the 1960s. It shows how military andscience policy needs drove the construction ofstatistics, until economic considerations cameto dominate their development. It alsodiscusses how statistics interacted withpolitics by way of studies that documentedgaps between OECD Member countries and betweenthe OECD and the USSR.
In Imagining Europe, Chiara Bottici and Benoît Challand explore the formation of modern European identity. Europe has not always been there, although we have been imagining it for quite some time. Even after the birth of a polity called the European Union, the meaning of Europe remained a very much contested topic. What is Europe? What are its boundaries? Is there a specific European identity or is the EU just the name for a group of institutions? This book answers (...) these questions, showing that in Europe's formation, myth and memory, although distinct, are often merged in a common attempt to construct an identity for its present and its future. In a time when Europe is facing an existential crisis, when its meaning is being questioned, Imagining Europe explores a vital and often unacknowledged aspect of the European project. (shrink)
In seven paragraphs written in 1893, Peirce puts forward a puzzling and thought-provoking claim about the role of rather mysterious “skeleton-sets” in processes of association of ideas: all association of ideas, either by resemblance or by contiguity, requires and involves “skeleton sets”, whose iconic dimension is necessary for these processes to take place. Because it relates to the question of the nature and mode of the existence of ideas, to that of the role of icons in thought, and to that (...) of the content of concepts, this thesis is clearly of great importance for Peirce’s philosophical system. In this paper, I would like to examine two questions: what is the justification of Peirce’s claim that “skeleton-sets”, or “skeleton ideas”, are necessary for an association of ideas – by resemblance or by contiguity – to take place in one’s mind? Is this claim compatible with Peirce’s philosophical system? (shrink)
In 1928, Maurice Holland, Director of the Engineering and Industrial Research Division at the US National Research Council, produced a paper on what he called the ‘research cycle’. He portrayed the development of modern industries as a series of sequential steps from basic research to commercialization of technological inventions. The present article documents the source or context of the research cycle, the arguments on which it relies, and the use to which it was put, namely persuading more industrialists to build (...) research laboratories in order to accelerate the development of industry. It suggests that Holland turned a frequently heard but poorly formalized argument into a ‘theory’, paving the way for what came to be called ‘the linear model of innovation’. (shrink)
Que faire des miracles ? Cette question a passablement embarrassé la théologie catholique au cours des dernières décennies. Il est vrai que l’héritage des siècles passés n’était pas simple à recevoir. Longtemps, l’apologétique classique a fait jouer aux miracles un rôle qu’ils ne pouvaient remplir, celui d’argument péremptoire en faveur de la foi.Le présent essai tente de confronter les lacunes de l’apologétique classique aux ressources de la tradition théologique, en fonction de la situation nouvelle créée par les exigences critiques de (...) l’épistémologie moderne ainsi que par les résultats convergents des historiens.What is to be done with miracles? This question has been of considerable embarrassment to Catholic theology over recent decades. It is true that the heritage of past centuries was not easy to handle. For many years, classical apologetics put miracles into a role they could not fill – that of a peremptory argument in favor of faith.This essay attempts to confront the shortcomings of classical apologetics with the resources of theological tradition within the framework of the new situation created by the critical requirements of modern epistemology as well as the results of historical research that converge with them. (shrink)
This article addresses the treatment of individuals who experience conflict between their religious convictions and their same-sex attraction. Recently, attention has been drawn to the ethical issues involved in the practice of sexual reorientation therapy (SRT) with such conflicted individuals. This article reviews the ethical arguments for and against SRT through the lens of the general ethical principles of the American Psychological Association's (2002) ethics code. Practitioners are then challenged to think about how they might respond virtuously (Meara, Schmidt, & (...) Day, 1996) when presented with such a client. Thought questions are presented to assist therapists to develop in virtue while working with religious clients who are conflicted about same-sex desire. (shrink)
_The Politics of Imagination_ offers a multidisciplinary perspective on the contemporary relationship between politics and the imagination. What role does our capacity to form images play in politics? And can we define politics as a struggle for people’s imagination? As a result of the increasingly central place of the media in our lives, the political role of imagination has undergone a massive quantitative and a qualitative change. As such, there has been a revival of interest in the concept of imagination, (...) as the intimate connections between our capacity to form images and politics becomes more and more evident. Bringing together scholars from different disciplines and theoretical outlooks, _The Politics of Imagination_ examines how the power of imagination reverberates in the various ambits of social and political life: in law, history, art, gender, economy, religion and the natural sciences. And it will be of considerable interest to those with contemporary interests in philosophy, political philosophy, political science, legal theory, gender studies, sociology, nationalism, identity studies, cultural studies, and media studies. (shrink)
This article argues for the need to recover the concept of political myth in order to understand the crucial phenomena of our epoch. By drawing on Blumenberg’s philosophical reflections on myth, it proposes to understand political myth as the continual process of work on a common narrative by which the members of a social group can provide significance to their political conditions and experience. In order to show how this understanding of political myth can throw light on important aspects of (...) contemporary politics, the article analyses the work on one of the most conspicuous political myths of our time: the clash of civilizations. By reconstructing the mechanisms through which this myth works, the article shows how a paradigm that has been strongly criticized as too simplistic and scientifically inadequate could have turned into a successful political myth, i.e. into a self-fulfilling prophecy. (shrink)