Based on a careful study of his unpublished manuscripts as well as his published work, this book explores Peirce's general theory of signs and the way in which Peirce himself used this theory to understand subjectivity.
There are various reasons for taking a second look at anything at all. One reason is to discern aspects which have been overlooked; another frequently related reason is to reappraise the value or relevance of whatever is being reconsidered. A thing might be deemed worthless or negligible because some feature or set of features has been overlooked. And this way of conceiving the thing might become so familiar, so entrenched, that it powerfully, because subtly, works against alternative conceptions. In certain (...) intellectual circles, for example, the critiques of religion have become so familiar that the religious hypothesis is not a “living option.” As John Dewey noted, familiarity is more likely to breed credulity than contempt: We take the familiar conception, containing its implicit evaluation, as worthy of our belief, simply because it is familiar. Thus, a second look undertaken from a fresh perspective is ordinarily most promising; for it is most likely to bring into focus overlooked facets and unsuspected relevancies of familiar topics. (shrink)
Studies on captive dolphins have shown that they are capable of social learning. However, ethnographic data are less conclusive and many examples given for social learning can be explained in other ways. Before we can claim that cetacean culture is unique we need more rigorous studies which are fortunately not as difficult as Rendell and Whitehead seem to think.
Leon J. Goldstein critically examines the philosophical role of concepts and concept formation in the social sciences. The book undertakes a study of concept formation and change by looking at four critical terms in anthropology , politics , and sociology.