The symposium on Francesco Guala’s Understanding Institutions was thought provoking. Five critical papers took issue with Guala’s reconciliation of the game-theoretical view of institutions and the rule-governed view. We offer some critical commentary that adopts a different perspective. We agree that institutions are central to social life and, thus, also to the social sciences; they are also prior to and more fundamental than individuals. We add some historical points on the ways previous philosophers thought about institutions, and we come at (...) this from a philosophical viewpoint that is not that of analytic philosophy but rather that of Popper’s critical rationalism. In that framework, we espouse an idea of the relation between philosophy and the philosophy of science that is different from that of Guala and his commentators, and we recommend a reformist philosophy of institutions that is neither radical nor traditionalist and that makes better sense of the institution of the scholarly symposium than do... (shrink)
Examines the overlap between film and philosophy in three distinct ways: epistemological issues in film-making and viewing; aesthetic theory and film; and film as a medium of philosophical expression. This title available in eBook format. Click here for more information . Visit our eBookstore at: www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk.
Shankman holds that Derek Freeman “trashed” Margaret Mead’s reputation as a public intellectual by portraying her as a naïve and gullible anthropologist who perpetrated a serious error about adolescence in American Samoa. Shankman concedes that Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa was factually in error but argues that her reputation in anthropology did not rest on it but rather on her extensive works on other societies. Ostensibly about Samoa, her book was rather a critique of American society and should be (...) judged as such. It is unjust that its factual errors undermine her status as a public intellectual. Fieldwork method and the lingering influence of inductivism are shown to underlie the controversy. (shrink)
Peter Mandler’s Return from the Natives examines Margaret Mead mid-career when she devoted much energy to promoting anthropology and anthropologists to government and industry and positioned herself as a prominent social commentator. By the time she returned to the field after an interlude of 14 years, something had happened to her professionally: she was treated as a bit of an embarrassment, no longer a scientific heavyweight, and much of this stems from the rather hare-brained “culture cracking” she engaged in during (...) the war. So while honors and kudos enhanced her official image, behind the scenes, she complained of being neglected and shunted aside. Her discipline became radicalized, and her balanced and accommodating approach was rejected. (shrink)
Popper's Open Society After Fifty Years presents a coherent survey of the reception and influence of Karl Popper's masterpiece The Open Society and its Enemies over the fifty years since its publication in 1945, as well as applying some of its principles to the context of modern Eastern Europe. This unique volume contains papers by many of Popper's contemporaries and friends, including such luminaries as Ernst Gombrich, in his paper "The Open Society and its Enemies: Remembering its Publication Fifty Years (...) Ago.". (shrink)
Polanyi's and Popper's defenses of the status quo in science are explored and criticized. According to Polanyi, science resembles a hierarchical and tradition-oriented republic and is necessarily conservative; according to Popper's political philosophy the best republic is social democratic and reformist. By either philosopher's lights science is not a model republic; yet each claims it to be so. Both authors are inconsistent in failing to apply their own ideals. Both underplay the extent to which science depends upon the wider society; (...) and neither makes sufficient allowance for the ways it can disrupt the social order. Polanyi even demands extraterritorial exemption for science from the scrutiny of incompetent outsiders. In their different ways, each minimizes the problems of institutionalized science and fails to consider the value, even the long-term necessity, for science of democratic criticism and control. Transnational control of science is an open challenge for democratic polities. (shrink)
Popper holds to the unity of scientific method: any differences between natural and social science are a product of theory, not a pretheoretical premise. Distin guishing instead pure and applied generalizing sciences, Popper focuses on the different role of laws in each. In generalizing social science, our tools are the logic of the situation, including the rationality principle, and unintended conse quences. Situations contain individuals, but also social entities not reducible to individuals: conspiracy theory is the extreme form of individualism. (...) Action in situations has unintended consequences. Both social and natural laws may be required to explain outcomes. The fate of Popper's ideas is a case study in the logic of the situation. Professional philosophers of social science lean toward individualism and a priorism (either intuitionist or rational choice). There are social and political explanations of this outcome, but little critical engagement with Popper's ideas. (shrink)
Contents: John A. HALL and Ian JARVIE: Preface. John A. HALL and Ian JARVIE: The Life and Times of Ernest Gellner. PART 1 INTELLECTUAL BACKGROUND. Ji_i MUSIL: The Prague Roots of Ernest Gellner's Thinking. Chris HANN: Gellner on Malinowski: Words and Things in Central Europe. Tamara DRAGADZE: Ernest Gellner in the Soviet East. PART 2 NATIONS AND NATIONALISM. Brendan O'LEARY: On the Nature of Nationalism: An Appraisal of Ernest Gellner's Writings on Nationalism. Kenneth MINOGUE: Ernest Gellner and the Dangers of (...) Theorising Nationalism. Anthony D. SMITH: History and Modernity: Reflection on the Theory of Nationalism. Michael MANN: The Emergence of Modern European Nationalism. Nicholas STARGARDT: Gellner's Nationalism: The Spirit of Modernisation? PART 3 PATTERNS OF DEVELOPMENT. Peter BURKE: Reflections on the History of Encyclopaedias. Alan MACFARLANE: Ernest Gellner and the Escape to Modernity. Ronald DORE: Sovereign Individuals. Shmuel EISENSTADT: Japan: Non-Axial Modernity. Marc FERRO: l'Indépendance Telescopée: De la Décolonisation a l'Impérialisme Multinational. PART 4 ISLAM. Abdellah HAMMOUDI: Segmentarity, Social Stratification, Political Power and Sainthood: Reflections on Gellner's Theses. Henry MUNSON, Jr.: Rethinking Gellner's Segmentary Analysis of Morocco's Ait cAtta. Jean BAECHLER: Sur le charisme. Charles LINDHOLM: Despotism and Democracy: State and Society in the Premodern Middle East. Henry MUNSON, Jr.: Muslim and Jew in Morocco: Reflections on the Distinction between Belief and Behavior. Talal ASAD: The Idea of an Anthropology of Islam. PART 5 SCIENCE AND DISENCHANTMENT. Perry ANDERSON: Science, Politics, Enchantment. Ralph SCHROEDER: From the Big Divide to the Rubber Cage: Gellner's Conception of Science and Technology. John DAVIS: Irrationality in Social Life. PART 6 RELATIVISM AND UNIVERSALS. John SKORUPSKI: The Post-Modern Hume: Ernest Gellner's 'Enlightenment Fundamentalism'. John WETTERSTEN: Ernest Gellner: A Wittgensteinian Rationalist. Ian JARVIE: Gellner's Positivism. Raymond BOUDON: Relativising Relativism: When Sociology Refutes the Sociology of Science. Rod AYA: The Devil in Social Anthropology; or, the Empiricist Exorcist; or, the Case Against Cultural Relativism. PART 7 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY. William MCNEILL: A Swan Song for British Liberalism? Andrus PARK: Gellner and the Long Trends of History. Eero LOONE: Marx, Gellner, Power. Rosaire LANGLOIS: Coercion, Cognition and Production: Gellner's Challenge to Historical Materialism and Postmodernism. Ernest GELLNER: Reply to Critics. Ian JARVIE: Complete Bibliography of Gellner's Work. Name index. Subject index. (shrink)
Popper's Open Society After Fifty Years presents a coherent survey of the reception and influence of Karl Popper's masterpiece The Open Society and its Enemies over the fifty years since its publication in 1945, as well as applying some of its principles to the context of modern Eastern Europe. This unique volume contains papers by many of Popper's contemporaries and friends, including such luminaries as Ernst Gombrich, in his paper 'The Open Society and its Enemies: Remembering its Publication Fifty Years (...) Ago'. (shrink)
Anthropology, the science of human culture, includes in its scope the anthropology of scientific cultures. Anthropological accounts of these scientific cultures -- which also happen to be the cultures to which most anthropologists belong -- are scarcely adequate. All too often science is assimilated to the practices and thought systems of non-scientific cultures; some anthropologists espousing the anti-scientific methods of symbol analysis and relativism. Arguments of M. Douglas, C. Geertz and F. Hanson are used as critical illustrations.
This book is a first attempt to cover the whole area of aesthetics from the point of view of critical rationalism. It takes up and expands upon the more narrowly focused work of E. H. Gombrich, Sheldon Richmond, and Raphael Sassower and Louis Ciccotello. The authors integrate the arts into the scientific world view and acknowledge that there is an aesthetic aspect to anything whatsoever. They pay close attention to the social situatedness of the arts. Their aesthetics treats art as (...) emerging from craft in the form of luxurious and playful challenge to the audience. In developing it they place emphasis on the number of questions and claims that can be settled by appeal to empirical facts; on the historical character of aesthetic judgements; and on the connection of aesthetic truth to true love and true friendship, i.e. fidelity and integrity, not to informative truth. (shrink)
In his lucid paper “The Objectivity of History” Professor Pass more poses the problem of history's objectivity and seeks to find out in what the objectivity of history might consist. In this note I wish only to criticize his presentation of Popper's views . I think Pass more's failure to report Popper's views correctly causes him to overlook the striking similarity between Popper's conclusion and his own.
The following intellectual as opposed to practical reasons for all anthropologists doing fieldwork are examined: fieldwork: (1) records dying societies, (2) corrects ethnocentric bias, (3) helps put customs in their true context, (4) helps get the "feel" of a place, (5) helps to get to understand a society from the inside, (6) enables appreciation of what translating one culture into terms of another involves, (7) makes one a changed man, (8) provides the observational, factual basis for generalizations. None of these (...) is found sufficient to make fieldwork imperative for all anthropologists, although they are quite sufficient to allow that it is imperative for anthropology as a whole that fieldwork in some form by some people continue. In place of the view of fieldwork as an essential preparation for doing anthropology, an alternative role for it is explored: namely as a testing procedure. The implications of this--that the study of problems and the articulation of theories can usefully proceed prior to or even independently of fieldwork--are drawn out, and a new institution of selective fieldwork is proposed. (shrink)