The International Union of History and Philosophy of Science organizing the 10th International Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science is at its cross-road: the alternative is mass-performance or creative exchange of ideas. The program is criticized because the thematic center in History and Philosophy of Science has been shifted too far into the realm of micro-fields of Logic and the time reduction for presentation and discussion of papers to 20 minutes should be reconsidered. Several (...) outstanding papers are shortly discussed: Martin-Löw on "Formalized Tarski-Semantics of Type Theory", Hoyningen-Huene on "Feyerabend and Kuhn", Leroux on "Helmholtz and Hertz", and Muller on "Bell meets Dirac". Finally the visiting-program is gratefully appreciated. (shrink)
In this paper I try to explain a strange omission in Hume’s methodological descriptions in his first Enquiry. In the course of this explanation I reveal a kind of rationalistic tendency of the latter work. It seems to contrast with “experimental method” of his early Treatise of Human Nature, but, as I show that there is no discrepancy between the actual methods of both works, I make an attempt to explain the change in Hume’s characterization of his own methods. This (...) attempt leads to the question about his interpretation of the science of human nature. I argue that his view on this science was not a constant one and that initially he identified this science with his account of passions. As this presupposes the primacy of Book 2 of his Treatise I try to find new confirmations of the old hypothesis that this Book had been written before the Book 1, dealing with understanding. Finally, I show that this discussion of Hume’s methodology may be of some interest to proponents of conceptual analysis. -/- . (shrink)
Reflection without Rules offers a comprehensive, pointed exploration of the methodological tradition in economics and the breakdown of the received view within the philosophy of science. Professor Hands investigates economists' use of naturalistic and sociological paradigms to model economic phenomena and assesses the roles of pragmatism, discourse, and situatedness in discussions of economic practice before turning to a systematic exploration of more recent developments in economic methodology. The treatment emphasizes the changes taking place in science theory and (...) its relationship to the movement away from a rules-based view of economic methodology. The work will be of interest to all economists concerned with methodological issues as well as philosophers and others studying the relationships between economics and contemporary science theory. (shrink)
The recent drastic development of agriculture, together with the growing societal interest in agricultural practices and their consequences, pose a challenge to agricultural science. There is a need for rethinking the general methodology of agricultural research. This paper takes some steps towards developing a systemic research methodology that can meet this challenge – a general self-reflexive methodology that forms a basis for doing holistic or (with a better term) wholeness-oriented research and provides appropriate criteria of scientific (...) quality.From a philosophy of research perspective,science is seen as an interactive learning process with both a cognitive and a social communicative aspect. This means, first of all,that science plays a role in the world that it studies. A science that influences its own subject area, such as agricultural science, is named a systemic science. From this perspective, there is a need to reconsider the role of values in science. Science is not objective in the sense of being value-free.Values play, and ought to play, an important role in science – not only in form of constitutive values such as the norms of good science, but also in the form of contextual values that enter into the very process of science. This goes against the traditional criterion of objectivity. Therefore, reflexive objectivity is suggested as a new criterion for doing good science, along with the criterion of relevance. Reflexive objectivity implies that the communication of science must include the cognitive context, which comprises the societal,intentional, and observational context. Ina ccordance with this, the learning process of systemic research is shown as a self-reflexive cycle that incorporates both an involved actor stance and a detached observer stance. The observer stance forms the basis for scientific communication.To this point, a unitary view of science as a learning process is employed. A second important perspective for a systemic research methodology is the relation between the actual,different, and often quite separate kinds of science. Cross-disciplinary research is hampered by the idea that reductive science is more objective, and hence more scientific, than the less reductive sciences of complex subject areas – and by the opposite idea that reductive science is necessarily reductionistic. Taking reflexive objectivity as a demarcator of good science, an inclusive framework of science can be established. The framework does not take the established division between natural, social, and human science as a primary distinction of science.The major distinction is made between the empirical and normative aspects of science,corresponding to two key cognitive interests.Two general methodological dimensions, the degree of reduction of the research world and the degree of involvement in the research world, are shown to span this framework. The framework can form a basis for transdisciplinary work by way of showing the relation between more and less reductive kinds of science and between more detached and more involved kinds of science and exposing the abilities and limitations attendant on these methodological differences. (shrink)
This article provides a brief review of Saybrook Review, Vol 6, No. 1, Spring 1986. Special issue: Extensions in Human ScienceMethodology guest edited by Donald E. Polkinghorne. This issue contains articles written by four of the faculty of the Saybrook Institute, all of which examine "the consequences of extending the criteria of science beyond the traditional objectivism-relativism dichotomy." Polkinghorne's lead article is a compelling and clear historical characterization of the place of human science in today's (...) academic world. The second is an article by Anthony Stigliano that proposes "an ontology for the human sciences" where research would be grounded in a language of description that is "incomplete, discontinuous, dialogal, and interlaced with different 'levels' of discourse". Jurgen Kremer's article reviews prevailing views of reason and truth, and makes a proposal "for the development of narratives of truths...that consciously include moral and aesthetic dimensions." The final article is by Marcia Salner and is a piece that explores the question of validity in human science research, paying particular attention to "the central role of linguistic communication as a major data source, and to the role of communal negotiation and juridical rules for dealing with conflicting interpretations." Together these articles make a positive advance toward the understanding of the context as well as consequences of an epistemological position that stresses contextual relativism and embraces methodological pluralism. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
John Gerring's exceptional textbook has been thoroughly revised in this second edition. It offers a one-volume introduction to social sciencemethodology relevant to the disciplines of anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology and sociology. This new edition has been extensively developed with the introduction of new material and a thorough treatment of essential elements such as conceptualization, measurement, causality and research design. It is written for students, long-time practitioners and methodologists and covers both qualitative and quantitative methods. (...) It synthesizes the vast and diverse field of methodology in a way that is clear, concise and comprehensive. While offering a handy overview of the subject, the book is also an argument about how we should conceptualize methodological problems. Thinking about methodology through this lens provides a new framework for understanding work in the social sciences. (shrink)
This paper is based on a study that explored the responses of bioscientists to changes in national science policy and research funding in Canada. In the late 1990s, a range of new science policies and funding initiatives were implemented, linking research funding to Canada’s competitiveness in the ‘global knowledge economy’. Bourdieu’s theory of practice is used to explore the multi-scalar, cross-field effects of global economic policy and national science policy on scientific practice. While most science and (...) educational policy studies use Bourdieu’s concepts ontologically, as “thinking tools” to theorize power, this study adopted Bourdieu’s relational epistemology, empirically linking objective positions of power with position-takings towards market-oriented science. A relational epistemology made it possible to explore what forms and weight of capital scientists brought to bear on symbolic struggles over the legitimacy of a market and scientific logic. By empirically investigating how power shaped bioscientists’ responses to market-oriented science policy, this study was able to identify key mechanisms of change within the scientific field and between science, politics and the market. First, it identified the rise of a new form of entrepreneurial capital and a market-oriented logic that coexists alongside a traditional scientific logic within the scientific field in a bipolar system of stratification. Second, it illustrated changes in scientific practice, which contribute to change in the structure of the distribution of capital within the scientific field. This study challenges Bourdieu’s emphasis on a single dominant logic or symbolic order and challenges science and technology scholars to both use and extend his theoretical contributions. (shrink)
This book explores aspects of science from an economic point of view. The author begins with economic models of misconduct in science, moving on to discuss other important issues, including market failure and the market place of ideas.
Abstract Recent criticisms of intuition from experimental philosophy and elsewhere have helped undermine the authority of traditional conceptual analysis. As the product of more empirically informed philosophical methodology, this result is compelling and philosophically salutary. But the negative critiques rarely suggest a positive alternative. In particular, a normative account of concept determination—how concepts should be characterized—is strikingly absent from such work. Carnap's underappreciated theory of explication provides such a theory. Analyses of complex concepts in empirical sciences illustrates and supports (...) this claim, and counteracts the charge explication is only suitable for highly mathematical, axiomatic contexts. Explication is also defended against the influential criticism it is “philosophically unilluminating”. Content Type Journal Article Category Original paper in Philosophy of Science Pages 1-19 DOI 10.1007/s13194-011-0027-5 Authors James Justus, Philosophy Department, Florida State University and University of Sydney, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA Journal European Journal for Philosophy of Science Online ISSN 1879-4920 Print ISSN 1879-4912. (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)
Is methodology fruitless? Intense controversy has resulted from attempts to understand economics through philosophy of science. This collection clarifies and responds to the issues raised, arguing that methodology is an essential activity.
Ever since the formation of the field of economic methodology in the 1990s, doubts have been raised about its discursive closure from both inside and outside the field. Rather than embarking on a programmatic discussion, I present a historical narrative regarding the conditions of the formation of the field, which may have necessitated this closure. These conditions are found in the role methodological reflections played in the formalist revolution of the 1950s and in its critique in the 1970s. Both (...) episodes gave occasion to, but did not require the import of philosophy of science in the mid-1970s. Since the 1980s, when the field became separately established through post-Popperian methodology, it remains an open question whether this imposition still holds. (shrink)
A number of authors have drawn attention to the contributions to geology of Robert Hooke, and it has been pointed out that in several ways his ideas were more advanced than those of Steno, who is sometimes taken to be the founder of geology as a scientific discipline. Moreover, it has been argued that in a number of instances Hooke should receive the credit for ideas which are usually believed to have originated in the work of James Hutton. This recognition (...) of the significance of Hooke's work is regarded by the present writer as being well founded. But, by contrast, the relationship between Hooke's geological ideas and his views on the proper methods for conducting scientific enquiries has been largely overlooked, and his views on the methodology of science, as revealed in his Posthumous works, have received little discussion. Moreover, on one of the few occasions on which they were discussed, by William Whewell, they were belittled. Whewell regarded Hooke's methodological contribution as merely ‘an attempt to adapt the Novum organon to the age which succeeded its publication’, 5 and he implied that the ‘same imperfections’ were to be found in the writings of both Hooke and Bacon. The influence of Bacon is, to be sure, most obvious in Hooke's general philosophy. Nevertheless, it will be argued that Hooke had a much clearer idea than did Bacon of the importance of so-called ‘hypothetico-deductive’ methods in science, and that in many ways his methodological views represent a significant advance on those of Bacon. (shrink)
Describing the methodology of a prominent mathematician can be an over-ambitious task, especially if the mathematician in question has made crucial contributions to almost the whole of mathematical science. John von Neumann’s case study falls within this category. Nonetheless, we can still provide a clear picture of von Neumann’s methodology of science. Recent literature has clarified its key feature—the opportunistic approach to axiomatics—and has laid out its main principles. To be honest, this work can hardly be (...) superseded. What I would like to do is to complete the picture by adding one more step and emphasizing a point so far neglected, namely the role of Hilbert’s ideal in von Neumann’s epistemology. Von .. (shrink)
This article discusses the cultural understanding of the fantastic from Julio Cortazar’s work, expressed particularly in their metalinguistic texts, as a Latin American way of assuming "the real", which can project the fundamentals of Cortazar's work to the humanities and especially to ethnology. En este artículo se reflexiona sobre la comprensión transcultural y el tema de lo fantástico, ello desde el examen de la obra de Julio Cortázar, expresada particularmente en sus textos metalingüísticos, como un modo latinoamericano y de la (...) misma manera más ampliamente occidental de asumir “lo real”, lo que puede proyectar los fundamentos de la obra de Cortázar hacia las ciencias humanas y especialmente hacia la etnología. (shrink)
Abstract In The Rational and the Social James Brown argues against the use of the method of reflective equilibrium in attempting to justify methodological norms. For, according to Brown, this would involve a circularity for that method presupposes an account of good scientific practice. In this paper it is argued that the method can be sustained without such a presupposition using either conherentism, reliabilism or defeasible foundationalism. That being so there is no circularity in applying it within normative methodology (...) of science. (shrink)
This article addresses some recent tendencies in economic methodology defined as a philosophy of science for economics. I review the problem of normative/positive distinction in methodology and argue that normativity in its past forms is intolerable today but is, at the same time, indispensable for methodological inquiry. Using recent texts by Mirowski and Nik-Khah and by Alexandrova and Northcott on the applications of auction theory as a case study, I compare in more detail various approaches to economic (...)methodology inspired by the science and technology studies (STS) and philosophy of science literatures, respectively. On the basis of this comparison, I show that the STS programme in economic methodology may prove fruitful in the future, but there is still a place for more aprioristic philosophical thinking. Methodology and history of economics also play a fundamental role that goes beyond the descriptive analysis of STS and offer conceptual clarification paired with normative concerns provided by philosophers of science. (shrink)
This paper deals with two questions. First, if all scientists were perfect Popperians, how much influence could their background values and experiences have? It is argued that background can play a role in problem choice and in the constructing and testing of hypotheses. Second, do the ideals of feminism suggest the need for a new methodology and epistemology for science? In answering this question, Harding's paper in this volume is discussed.
This fine book is a comprehensive and careful survey of the current situation in the methodology of economics. It is directed primarily at economists and students of economics. Indeed, the economist who reads it with the care it deserves will have a better grip on matters of methodology in economics than most philosophers of science, but philosophers and historians of science will also find the work rewarding and interesting. Though a few examples may be beyond the (...) economically untutored reader, they are not essential to the exposition, and other examples are accessible and enlightening: the brief discussions of Paul Samuelson's revealed preference approach and Julie Nelson's criticism of Gary Becker's work on economics of the family are good instances. Chapter 2, “The Methodological Tradition in Economics,” is a calm and brief introduction to its subject.Until quite recently practicing scientists, economists among them, and philosophers of science presupposed several strong theses about science and knowledge: that all genuine knowledge is scientific; that the objects of this knowledge are eternal and free of context; that all knowledge and all science is one, unified at least by a common scientific method; that, though not infallible, this method is progressive—it approaches truth as a limit—and operates in independence of the nonscientific beliefs and values of its practitioners. These principles cannot be presupposed today. Those who would accept any of them must be ready to meet serious criticisms. The import of this contemporary Methodenstreit as it affects economics is the dominant theme of Reflection without Rules. The reader is left with the conviction that the science of economics and the study of its methodology are inseparable and that it was only dedicated and myopic attachment to The Legend that kept this messy business at bay. Nor can there be any return to the age of innocent division of labor—economists to economics, philosophers to methodology.There are too many topics treated in the book even to list in a brief review. There are calm and clear accounts of Thomas Kuhn's work; of logical positivism ; of the deep effects of the collapse of The Legend on Walrasian equilibrium models; of Daniel Hausman's work on the nature of economics; of the strong program, which strives to reduce scientific activity to the effects of the social interests of scientists; of Alvin Goldman's reliabilism and social epistemology ; and of the important differences between pre‐ and post‐Legend views of science and knowledge.The question of values in science arises for economics in a special and pointed way, for economics studies many sorts of values. It also, at least since Adam Smith, deals in the unintended collective consequences of individual intentional actions. Economics evidently consists in the largely unintended consequences of the intentional actions of individual economists, and, once The Legend is discredited, economics is seen to navigate the very currents that it studies. This opens the door to the virtuous possibility of self‐criticism in tune with the strong naturalism of contemporary epistemology.It is not the least virtue of Reflection without Rules that its author wears his impressive erudition gracefully and well. The book is sophisticated and at the same time naive in the best sense. It will fortunately be the standard reference for work in the methodology of economics for some time to come. (shrink)