The question of whether social structures are efficacious can be tackled by examining how they are produced. There are roles and rules, and there are people. Only the latter have the necessary powers to generate social worlds as products. Changing the social world can be achieved only by changing the rules and customs active people follow. Selectionist models of change also draw our attention to rules. Finally, there are obstacles to social change in `reductions' - the minute social practices that (...) shape actual social orders. (shrink)
Rom Harré’s career spans more than 40 years of original contributions to the development of both psychology and other human and social sciences. Recognized as a founder of modern social psychology, he developed the microsociological approach ‘ethogenics’ and facilitated the discursive turn within psychology, as well as developed the concept of positioning theory. Used within both philosophy and social scientific approaches aimed at conflict analysis, analyses of power relations, and narrative structures, the development and impact of positioning theory can be (...) understood as part of a second cognitive revolution. Whereas the first cognitive revolution involved incorporating cognition as both thoughts and feelings as an ineliminable part of psychology and social sciences, this second revolution released this cognition from a focus on individuals, and towards a focus of understanding individuals as participating in public practices using public discourses as part of their cognition. This edited volume adds to the scholarly conversation around positioning theory, evaluates Rom Harré’s significance for the history and development of psychology, and highlights his numerous theoretical contributions and their lasting effects on the psychological and social sciences. Included among the chapters: What is it to be a human being? Rom Harré on self and identity The social philosophy of Harré as a philosophy of culture The discursive ontology of the social world Ethics in socio-cultural psychologies Discursive cognition and neural networks The Second Cognitive Revolution: A Tribute to Rom Harré is an indispensable reader for anyone interested in his cognitive-historical turn, and finds an audience with academics and researchers in the social and human science fields of cognitive psychology, social psychology, discursive psychology, philosophy, sociology, and ethnomethodology. (shrink)
The concept of rights is among the more thoroughly examined in political philosophy. Nonetheless, it remains ontologically elusive and morally problematical. In the form of an allegedly natural endowment bequeathed by the Stoic philosophers, it was famously dismissed by Bentham as ‘nonsense on stilts’. Chiefly by way of natural law theory and versions of Kantian moral philosophy rights arise at once from the presupposed autonomy of rational beings and from certain duties others have to beings of such a kind. Within (...) this tradition it is argued that morality itself is grounded in the autonomy of rational beings and that whatever overrides this autonomy converts such beings to instrumental means. Accordingly, there is a basic right to be regarded as a moral being and it is this right that generates or is foundational for the rest. Debate continues, of course, on such questions as to whether autonomy per se either logically or morally requires dutiful respect and whether rationality per se is either a necessary or a sufficient condition for autonomy itself. (shrink)
In the Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals' Kant is explicit, sometimes to the point of peevishness, in denying anthropology and psychology any part or place in his moral science. Recognizing that this will strike many as counterintuitive he is unrepentant: ‘We require no skill to make ourselves intelligible to the multitude once we renounce all profundity of thought’. That the doctrine to be defended is not exemplified in daily experience or even in imaginable encounters is necessitated by the very (...) nature of morality which cannot be served worse ‘… than by seeking to derive it from examples’. Thus, the project of the moral philosopher begins with the recognition that the moral realm is not mapped by anthropological data and does not get its content therefrom. Rather, moral philosophy must be ‘completely cleansed’ of everything that is appropriate to anthropology. (shrink)
Uniquely comparative and sweeping in scope, One Thousand Years of Philosophy covers the history of Western thought alongside the Vedic philosophies of India, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, as well as Islamic and Jewish contributions to philosophy.
Uniquely comparative and sweeping in scope, _One Thousand Years of Philosophy_ covers the history of Western thought alongside the Vedic philosophies of India, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, as well as Islamic and Jewish contributions to philosophy.