In this paper I argue that applied philosophers hoping to develop a stronger role in public policy formation can begin by aligning their methods with the tools employed in the policysciences. I proceed first by characterizing the standard view of policymaking and policy education as instrumentally oriented toward the employment of specific policy tools. I then investigate pressures internal to philosophy that nudge work in applied philosophy toward the periphery of policy (...) debates. I capture the dynamics of these pressures by framing them as the “dilemma dilemma” and the “problem problem.” Seeking a remedy, I turn to the interdisciplinarity of a unique approach to policymaking generally known as the “policysciences.” Finally, I investigate the case of bioethics, an instance where philosophy has made decent headway with policymakers. From this I draw parallels to public policy. I suggest that because the policysciences are essentially analchemist’s brew of academic fields, and because philosophy covers many of the foundational questions associated with these fields, it is only natural that applied philosophers should begin collaborations with other applied academics by adopting the strategies that have so successfully applied in other theoretical fields. (shrink)
Charles Taylor has been one of the most original and influential figures in contemporary philosophy: his 'philosophical anthropology' spans an unusually wide range of theoretical interests and draws creatively on both Anglo-American and Continental traditions in philosophy. A selection of his published papers is presented here in two volumes, structured to indicate the direction and essential unity of the work. He starts from a polemical concern with behaviourism and other reductionist theories (particularly in psychology and the philosophy (...) of language) which aim to model the study of man on the natural sciences. This leads to a general critique of naturalism, its historical development and its importance for modern culture and consciousness; and that in turn points, forward to a positive account of human agency and the self, the constitutive role of language and value, and the scope of practical reason. The volumes jointly present some two decades of work on these fundamental themes, and convey strongly the tenacity, verve and versatility of the author in grappling with them. They will interest a very wide range of philosophers and students of the human sciences. (shrink)
This collection of essays, first published two decades ago, presents central feminist critiques and analyses of natural and social sciences and their philosophies. Unfortunately, in spite of the brilliant body of research and scholarship in these fields in subsequent decades, the insights of these essays remain as timely now as they were then: philosophy and the sciences still presume kinds of social innocence to which they are not entitled. The essays focus on Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hobbes, Rousseau, (...) and Marx; on the 'adversary method' model of philosophic reasoning; on principles of individuation on philosophical ontology and philosophy of language; on individualistic assumptions in psychology; functionalism in sociological and biological theory; evolutionary theory; the methodology of political science; and conceptions of objective inquiry in the sciences. In taking insights of both Liberal and Marxian women's movements into the purportedly most abstract and value-free areas of Western thought, these essays chart sexist and androcentric assumptions, claims and practices in the cognitive, technical cores of Western sciences and their philosophies. They begin to identify the distinctive aspects of women's experiences and locations in male-supremacist social structures which can provide resources needed for the creation of post-androcentric thinking in research, scholarship, and public policy. Such uses of feminist insights remain controversial today, and even among some feminists. These authors were all junior researchers and scholars two decades ago; today many are among the most distinguished senior scholars in their fields. Their work here provides a splendid opportunity for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in philosophy and the social sciences to explore some of the most intriguing and controversial challenges to disciplinary projects and to public policy today. (shrink)
In the twentieth century, philosophy (especially within the United States) embraced the notion of disciplinary expertise: philosophical research consists of working with and writing for other philosophers. Projects that involve non-philosophers earn the deprecating title of “applied” philosophy. The University of North Texas (UNT) doctoral program in philosophy exemplifies the possibility of a new model for philosophy, where graduate students are trained in academic philosophy and in how to work with scientists, engineers, and policy (...) makers. This “field” (rather than “applied”) approach emphasizes the inter- and transdisciplinary nature of the philosophical enterprise where theory and practice dialectically inform one another. UNT’s field station in philosophy at Cape Horn, Patagonia, Chile is one site for developing this ongoing experiment in the theory and practice of interdisciplinary philosophic research and education. (shrink)
In this article we argue that a widespread adoption of nudging can alter legal and political institutions. Debates on nudges thus far have largely revolved around a set of philosophical theories that we call individualistic approaches. Our analysis concerns the ways in which adherents of nudging make use of the newest findings in the behavioral sciences for the purposes of policy-making. We emphasize the fact that most nudges proposed so far are not a part of the legal system (...) and are also non-normative. We propose two ideal types: “law-as-normative” and “law-as-instrumental”, that allow us to understand and evaluate the relation of nudges and the law. We stress the importance of law as a safeguard for the possible negative consequences of nudges and conclude with proposals that could complement nudging policies. (shrink)
Originally published in 1986. All students of social science must confront a number of important philosophical issues. This introduction to the philosophy of the social sciences provides coherent answers to questions about empiricism, explanation and rationality. It evaluates contemporary writings on the subject which can be as difficult as they are important to understand. Each chapter has an annotated bibliography to enable students to pursue the issues raised and to assess for themselves the arguments of the authors.
This volume is a unique contribution to the philosophy of the social sciences, presenting the results of cutting-edge philosophers' research alongside critical discussions by practicing social scientists. The book is motivated by the view that the philosophy of the social sciences cannot ignore the specific scientific practices according to which social scientific work is being conducted, and that it will be valuable only if it evolves in constant interaction with theoretical developments in the social sciences. (...) With its unique format guaranteeing a genuine discussion between philosophers and social scientists, this thought-provoking volume extends the frontiers of the field. It will appeal to all scholars and students interested in the interplay between philosophy and the social sciences. (shrink)
Realism in Action is a selection of essays written by leading representatives in the fields of action theory and philosophy of mind, philosophy of the social sciences and especially the nature of social action, and of epistemology and philosophy of science. Practical reason, reasons and causes in action theory, intending and trying, and folk-psychological explanation are some of the topics discussed by these leading participants. A particular emphasis is laid on trust, commitments and social institutions, on (...) the possibility of grounding social notions in individual social attitudes, on the nature of social groups, institutions and collective intentionality, and on common belief and common knowledge. Applications to the social sciences include, e.g., a look at the Erklären-Verstehen controversy in economics, and at constructivist and realist views on archeological reconstructions of the past. (shrink)
This is a comprehensive and authoritative reference collection in the philosophy and methodology of the social sciences. The source materials selected are drawn from debates within the natural sciences as well as social scientific practice. This four volume set covers the traditional literature on the philosophy of the social sciences, and the contemporary philosophical and methodological debates developing at the heart of the disciplinary and interdisciplinary groups in the social sciences. It addresses the needs (...) of researchers and academics who are grappling with the relationship between questions of knowledge construction and the problems of social scientific method. (shrink)
Design research has been positioned as an important methodological contribution of the learning sciences. Despite the publication of a handbook on the subject, the practice of design research in education remains an eclectic collection of specific approaches implemented by different researchers and research groups. In this paper, I examine the learning sciences as a design science to identify its fundamental goals, methods, affiliations, and assumptions. I argue that inherent tensions arise when attempting to practice design research as an (...) analytic science. Drawing inspiration and insight from Chinese philosophy and the practice of Chinese medicine, I propose that the learning sciences may better attain its claims to science through greater reliance on inductive synthesis rather than linear causal analysis. In so doing, I reposition the endeavor of science making within the metaphysics of process philosophy instead of classical Western philosophy. I suggest that theory building will be strengthened empirically and pragmatically by more careful observation and systematic generalization of the stability patterns of design related phenomena. It also needs to be more situated in its orientation. (shrink)
Is a policy-friendly philosophy of science possible? In order to respond this question, I consider a particular instance of contemporary philosophy of science, the semantic view of scientific theories, by placing it in the broader methodological landscape of the integration of philosophy of science into STS (Science and Technology Studies) as a component of the overall contribution of the latter to science policy. In that context, I defend a multi-disciplinary methodological integration of the special discipline (...) composing STS against a reductionist interdisciplinary unification, arguing that if STS wants to contribute to policy advising by constructing narratives of science practice feasible for science policy both in terms of descriptive completeness and intelligibility, then it must avoid the explanatory reductionism tendencies of special disciplines in interdisciplinary contexts. This would favour, at the same time, a relaxation of esoteric language. On this basis, it seems that the semantic view is one right candidate among other approaches in the philosophy of science for facilitating the integration of the methodologically different contributions to STS toward policy objectives. In fact, besides offering a more realistic and descriptively complete picture of science practice with respect to its predecessor in the philosophy of science, namely the syntactic view, the semantic view is also able to capture some aspects of science practice that elude even sociological approaches to STS, thus inviting different perspective on the same subject matter. (shrink)
As one of the leading figures of the idealist movement, Bernard Bosanquet (1848-1923) made major contributions to philosophy and had a significant role in the formation of British social policy. This set contains previously uncollected articles and essays that were first published in little known journals or magazines. Each volume includes new introductions and primary and secondary bibliographies.
The Dynamics of Social Practice -- Introducing Theories of Practice -- Materials and Resources -- Sequence and Structure -- Making and Breaking Links -- Material, Competence and Meaning -- Car-Driving: Elements and Linkages Making Links -- Breaking Links -- Elements Between Practices -- Standardization and Diversity -- Individual and Collective Careers -- The Life of Elements -- Modes of Circulation -- Transportation and Access: Material -- Abstraction, Reversal and Migration: Competence -- Association and Classification: Meaning -- Packing and Unpacking -- (...) Emergence, Disappearance and Persistence -- Recruitment, Defection and Reproduction -- First Encounters: Networks and Communities -- Capture and Commitment: Careers and Carriers -- Collapse and Transformation: The Dynamics of Defection -- Daily Paths, Life Paths and Dominant Projects -- Connections Between Practices -- Bundles and Complexes -- Collaboration and Competition -- Selection and Integration -- Coordinating Daily Life -- Circuits of Reproduction -- Monitoring Practices-as-Performances -- Monitoring Practices-as-Entities -- Cross-Referencing Practices-as-Performances -- Cross-Referencing Practices-as-Entities -- Aggregation -- Elements of Coordination -- Intersecting Circuits -- Representing the Dynamics of Social Practice -- Representing Elements and Practices -- Characterizing Circulation -- Competition, Transformation and Convergence -- Reproducing Elements, Practices and Relations between Them -- Time and Practice -- Space and Practice -- Dominant Projects and Power -- Promoting Transitions in Practice -- Climate Change and Behaviour Change -- Basis of Action -- Processes of Change -- Positioning Policy -- Transferable Lessons -- Practice Theory and Climate Change Policy -- Configuring Elements of Practice -- Configuring Relations between Practices -- Configuring Careers: Carriers and Practices -- Configuring Connections -- Practice Oriented Policy Making. (shrink)
Environmental pragmatism is a new strategy in environmental thought. It argues that theoretical debates are hindering the ability of the environmental movement to forge agreement on basic policy imperatives. This new direction in environmental thought moves beyond theory, advocating a serious inquiry into the merits of moral pluralism. Environmental pragmatism, as a coherent philosophical position, connects the methodology of classical American pragmatic thought to the explanation, solution and discussion of real issues. This concise, well-focused collection is the first comprehensive (...) presentation of environmental pragmatism as a new philosophical approach to environmental thought and policy. (shrink)
What are the relationships between philosophy and the history of philosophy, the history of science and the philosophy of science? This selection of essays by Lorenz Krüger (1932-1994) presents exemplary studies on the philosophy of John Locke and Immanuel Kant, on the history of physics and on the scope and limitations of scientific explanation, and a realistic understanding of science and truth. In his treatment of leading currents in 20th century philosophy, Krüger presents new and (...) original arguments for a deeper understanding of the continuity and dynamics of the development of scientific theory. These result in significant consequences for the claim of the sciences that they understand reality in a rational manner. The case studies are complemented by fundamental thoughts on the relationship between philosophy, science, and their common history. (shrink)
Like_ _John Dewey, his mentor and friend, Sidney Hook shares the classic conception of philosophy as the pursuit of wisdom. A philosopher is concerned ultimately with the conception of the good life in a good society. In these essays extending over many years, Hook illustrates the activity of the philosopher in the cave of social life. He brings to bear the tools of reflective analysis on dominant social and political issues: human rights; the role of personality and leadership in (...) history; the attempt to defend freedom as we seek to preserve and extend the welfare state; and a criticism of the common premise of historical materialism shared by both Marxists and their opponents. Most significantly, Hook addresses the relation between morality and religion and the place of religion in democratic society. A secular and naturalistic humanism, he contends, generates an authentic, reliable commitment to the_ _democratic faith. (shrink)
Equality, diversity and radical politics -- Value incommensurability -- Empathic imagination and its limits -- Critiquing compassion-based social relations -- Egalitarianism, disability and monistic ideals -- Equality, identity and disability -- Paradox and the limits of reason.