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)
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)
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)
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)
Pace Fuller, religion is neither necessary nor sufficient a condition for the development of evolutionary biology. Their historical connection notwithstanding, they are better considered as separate systems of ideas, in parallel to the manner in which they separated themselves as systems of institutions. As to schooling, enriched teaching of the real history of biology should be sufficient.
Chagnon narrates the ups and downs of his career, how he managed to document the basic ethnography of the Yanomamö of Amazonia, and the loss of scientific compass in American anthropology that brought a good deal of personal villification and the end of his research. The reviewer endorses the view that organized American anthropology is in an intellectually sorry state but argues that Chagnon’s anthropology of anthropology is lacking.
_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)
A book in which analytic philosophers examine the portrayal of sex in art and the possible artistic value of pornography proves a disappointment. Although a transcendental objection to pornographic art is rebutted, the papers employ barren philosophical methods that divert energy away from significant problems and into scholastic quibbles.
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. There are social and political explanations of this outcome, but little critical engagement with Popper's ideas. (shrink)
Der Kunsthistoriker Ernst Hans Josef Gombrich hat einen „wissenschaftlichen“ oder kognitiven Ansatz zur Erforschung der Geschichte und Psychologie der Künste entwickelt, der sehr maßgeblich von der Wissenschaftstheorie seines engen Freundes Karl Popper beeinflusst worden ist. Die geistige Nähe zwischen beiden wird in Gombrichs zentraler Arbeit zur Wiederentdeckung der Repräsentation in der Renaissance und zur Historiografie der Kunst deutlich. Ihre Differenzen verdienen allerdings ebenfalls Beachtung. Gombrichs Ansicht zufolge verändern sich Geschmack und Stil entsprechend der von ihm so genannten „Logik der Mode“. (...) Gombrich hat dargelegt, auf welch vielfältige Weise Veränderungen in der Kunst sich vollziehen. Während sich die Moden in der Kunst auf unvorhersehbare, launenhafte Weise wandeln, tauchen technische Veränderungen als Lösungen für technische Probleme auf und werden im Modus von Versuch und Irrtum ermittelt. Auf diese Weise stieß Gombrich auf eine Antinomie in der Kunsttheorie: Handwerkliche Fähigkeiten und Können wandeln sich durch rationalen Fortschritt, während sich Stile durch den irrationalen Mitläufereffekt verändern. In der Kunst ist der relativistische Pluralismus zur Mode geworden, und diese Mode hat seine Antinomie ignoriert – und zwar, sofern er richtig liegt, recht willkürlich. (shrink)