Through a study of the history of the concepts of wealth and poverty, this paper investigates the onset of a tradition in the conceptual architecture of epidemiological research concerning social differences in mortality rates from 1858 to 1914. It raises the question as to what the concepts of wealth and poverty meant to those who used them and what objects of interventions the conceptual architecture surrounding the concepts enabled the researchers to create. It argues that a transition began in the late 19th century in which an important framework for the understanding of causal relations behind the mortality patterns changed and that this change in turn influenced the scope of what was conceived as relevant objects of intervention.
Little is known about the world's first sociological society, Emile Littré's Société de Sociologie (1872-4). This article, based on prosopographic research, offers an interpretation of the foundation, political-intellectual orientation and early demise of the society. As indicated by recruitment and texts by its founding members, the Société de Sociologie was in fact conceived more as a political club than a learned society. Guided in this by Littré's heterodox positivism and the redefinition of sociology he proposed around 1870, the Société de Sociologie was intended first and foremost to accompany intellectually the political changes that Littré considered imperative in the early years of the Third Republic (1870-1940). This expectation found little echo among the members of the society, and it seems possible that Littré himself and his closest associates were the ones to interrupt the society's meetings. Some of its members' general studies on the status of the social sciences and their main divisions were continued in the framework of the journal "La Philosophie positive" (1867-83), but the authors most committed to those studies were on the margins of the Littré network. Neither the dominant positivist republicanism, centered around Littré and Dubost, nor the general sociology of the more peripheral members of the network (Mesmer, Roberty, Vitry) represented an important intellectual contribution to the formation of academic sociology in France. Given that the Société de Sociologie did contribute to diffuse the project of a sociological science and developed forms of sociology coherent enough to be rejected by the pioneers of university sociology, the group constitutes a significant case of failure in the history of the discipline.
This article is concerned with interactions between the natural and the human sciences. It examines a specific late 19th-century episode in their relationship and argues that the schism between the two branches of knowledge was due to cognitive factors, but consolidated through the social dynamics of institutionalized disciplines. It contends that the assignment of a social function to the human sciences to compensate for the self-destructive tendencies inherent in the technological society was expressed even by those, at the end of the 19th century, who were fervent advocates of a science-and technology-driven modernization.
This article explores a German philosophy of metaphor, which proposed a close link between the body and the mind as the basis for metaphor, debunked the view that metaphor is just a decorative rhetorical device and questioned the distinction between the literal and the figurative. This philosophy of metaphor developed at the intersection between a reflection on language and thought and a reflection on the nature of beauty in aesthetics. Thinkers such as Giambattista Vico, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Jean Paul and others laid the foundations for this philosophy and it was successively refined by Gustav Gerber, Alfred Biese and Friedrich Nietzsche. It influenced in its turn in various ways the linguistic study of metaphor and the psychology of metaphor as elaborated, for instance, by a lesser-known American scholar, Gertrude Buck. All these thinkers contributed to a philosophy and psychology of the metaphoric according to which metaphors are not only nice, but necessary for the structure and growth of human thought and language. Obvious parallels between this 19th-century philosophy of metaphor and the 20th-century theory of metaphor developed by Lakoff and his followers are examined throughout.
Christoph Meiners (1747-1810) was one of 18th-century Europe's most important readers of global travel literature, and he has been credited as a founder of the disciplines of ethnology and anthropology. This article examines a part of his final work, "Untersuchungen über die Verschiedenheiten der Menschennaturen" [Inquiries on the differences of human natures], published posthumously in the 1810s. Here Meiners developed an elaborate argument, based on empirical evidence, that the different races of men emerged indigenously at different times and in different places in natural history. Specifically this article shows how a sedentary scholar who never left Europe constructed a narrative of human origins and migrations on the basis of (1) French theory from the 1750s (Charles de Brosses and Simon Pelloutier) and (2) data gathered by explorers as reported in travel literature (J.R. Forster, Pérouse, Cook, Marsden).
This article explores two very different forms in which immoral conduct was problematized over the course of the 19th century. It does this by contrasting the sexual purity politics of the Vice Society and the medicalization of morality as `moral insanity'. Early in the century the Vice Society promoted coercive legislation with the aim of `suppressing vice'. From mid-century, moral insanity theories sought to grapple with vice by disaggregating `moral' from other forms of insanity. These two movements had quite distinct and incompatible lines of development; and they never overtly engaged with each other. The article makes its key argument by demonstrating the way in which such dissimilar trajectories came together towards the end of the century in the `moral hygiene' movement, mobilizing discourses of `degeneration' (and `feeblemindedness') with projects promoting sexual purity.
Hannah Arendt is widely regarded as a political theorist who sought to rescue politics from "society," and political theory from the social sciences. This conventional view has had the effect of distracting attention from many of Arendt's most important insights concerning the constitution of "society" and the significance of the social sciences. In this article, I argue that Hannah Arendt's distinctions between labor, work, and action, as these are discussed in "The Human Condition" and elsewhere, are best understood as a set of claims about the fundamental structures of human societies. Understanding Arendt in this way introduces interesting parallels between Arendt's work and both classical and contemporary sociology. From this I draw a number of conclusions concerning Arendt's conception of "society," and extend these insights into two contemporary debates within contemporary theoretical sociology: the need for a differentiated ontology of the social world, and the changing role that novel forms of knowledge play in contemporary society as major sources of social change and order.
This article looks at three historical efforts to coordinate the scientific study of biological and cultural aspects of human consciousness into a single comprehensive theory of human development that includes the evolution of the human body, cultural evolution and personal development: specifically, the research programs of Wilhelm Wundt, Lev Vygotsky and Albert Bandura. The lack of historical relations between these similar efforts is striking, and suggests that the effort to promote cultural and personal sources of consciousness arises as a natural foil to an overemphasis on the biological basis of consciousness, sometimes associated with biological determinism.
During the post-Second World War period, Adam Smith’s moral theory was down-played and he acquired the undeserved reputation of an amoral, radical individualist. The trend in recent scholarship has been to rehabilitate him as a moral theorist and this article continues that trend. After a sketch of Smith’s moral theory, the article addresses his little-studied views on moral education. This education is important in the creation of human excellence and social stability. Smith offers a series of recommendations about the moral education of the young. For him, liberal society needs moral education: some of it is to be provided privately and some is to be provided by the public.
This article critically interrogates contemporary forms of addiction medicine that are portrayed by policy-makers as providing a "rational" or politically neutral approach to dealing with drug use and related social problems. In particular, it examines the historical origins of the biological facts that are today understood to provide a foundation for contemporary understandings of addiction as a "disease of the brain." Drawing upon classic and contemporary work on "styles of thought," it documents how, in the period between the mid-1960s and the mid 1970s, such facts emerged in relation to new neurobiological styles of explaining and managing social problems associated with drug abuse, and an alliance between a relatively marginal group of researchers and American policy-makers who were launching the "War on Drugs." Beyond illustrating the political and material conditions necessary for the rise of addiction neuroscience, the article highlights the productivity of neurobiological thought styles, by focusing on the new biological objects, treatments and hopes that have emerged within the field of addiction studies over the last several decades.
This article revisits Arendt's and Foucault's converging accounts of modern (bio)politics and the entry of biological life into politics. Agamben's influential account of these ideas is rejected as a misrepresentation both because it de-historicizes biological/organic life and because it occludes the positivity of that life and thus the discursive appeal and performative force of biopolitics. Through attention to the genealogy of Arendt's and Foucault's own ideas we will see that the major point of convergence in their thinking is their insistence upon understanding biological thinking from the inside, in terms of its positivity. Agamben's assessment of modern politics is closer to Arendt's than it is to Foucault's and this marks a fascinating point of disagreement between Arendt and Foucault. Whereas Arendt sees the normalizing force of modern society as being in total opposition to individuality, Foucault posits totalization and individuation as processes of normation, which casts a light upon the relative import they place upon politics and ethics.
Humanitarian aid's psycho-therapeutic turn in the 1990s was mirrored by the increasing emotionalization and subjectivation of fund-raising campaigns. In order to grasp the depth of this interconnectedness, this article argues that in both cases what we see is the post-Fordist production paradigm at work; namely, as Hardt and Negri put it, the direct production of subjectivity and social relations. To explore this, the therapeutic and mental health approach in humanitarian aid is juxtaposed with the more general phenomenon of psychologization. This allows us to see that the psychologized production of subjectivity has a problematic waste-product as it reduces the human to 'Homo sacer', to use Giorgi Agamben's term. Drawing out a double matrix of a de-psychologizing psychologization connected to a politicizing de-politicization, it will further become possible to understand psycho-therapeutic humanitarianism as a case of how, in these times of globalization, psychology, subjectivity and money are all interrelated.
While many commentators have held that the concept "alienation" is of crucial importance when attempting to understand human existence, others have held that it is an inherently empty concept that we should abandon. In this article, I refute the latters' charge by showing that each conception of "alienation" is underpinned by a normative ontological conception of the preferable, or authentic, self and show that the concept "alienation" has ethical, existential and socio-political uses. From this I conclude that, when properly understood, the concept "alienation" can provide us with vital insights into human existence.
Alienation theory has acted as the stimulus for a great deal of research and writing in the history of sociology. It has formed the basis of many sociological "classics" focused on the workplace and the experiences of workers, and has also been mobilized to chart wider social malaise and individual troubles. Alienation theory usage has, however, declined significantly since its heyday of the 1960s and 1970s. Here, the reasons why alienation theory was "forgotten" and what can be gained by "remembering" alienation theory are explored. to realize this ambition this article proceeds by (1) briefly visiting differing definitions of alienation theory, before charting its high point, and the various debates and tensions of the time, during the 1960s and 1970s; (2) analysing the reasons why alienation theory fell from grace from the 1980s onwards; (3) elaborating how and why alienation theory is still relevant for sociology and the wider social sciences today.
The past decade has seen an explosion of work on the history of the human sciences during the Cold War. This work, however, does not engage with one of the leading human sciences of the period: linguistics. This article begins to rectify this knowledge gap by investigating the influence of linguistics and its concept of study, language, on American public, political and intellectual life during the postwar and early Cold War years. I show that language emerged in three frameworks in this period: language as tool, language as weapon, and language as knowledge. As America stepped onto the international stage, language and linguistics were at the forefront: the military poured millions of dollars into machine translation, American diplomats were required to master scores of foreign languages, and schoolchildren were exposed to language-learning on a scale never before seen in the United States. Together, I argue, language and linguistics formed a critical part of the rise of American leadership in the new world order - one that provided communities as dispersed as the military, the diplomatic corps, scientists and language teachers with a powerful way of tackling the problems they faced. To date, linguistics has not been integrated into the broader framework of Cold War human sciences. In this article, I aim to bring both language, as concept, and linguistics, as discipline, into this framework. In doing so, I pave the way for future work on the history of linguistics as a human science.
This article concerns the emergence of psychological constructs of personal power and control in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s and the ways in which they contributed to contemporary political explanations of social unrest. While social scientists and politicians at the time saw this unrest as a social problem that posed threats to social cohesion and stability, they located its cause not in the power structure of society but in the individual’s sense of his or her own powerlessness. The article discusses ‘locus of control’ as the central construct in new psychological explanations of powerlessness which drew on personality theory and behavioural psychology. The first half of the article traces the rise of the self-managing subject in behavioural psychology, identifying a key shift in conceptual, strategic and technical emphases, away from using behavioural approaches to modify the behaviour of others and towards developing ways of enabling people to manage their own behaviour. In the second half it examines the ways in which locus of control and related constructs were used to account for the educational under-achievement and political militancy of poor, black people in the United States. These explanations implicated individual helplessness and a sense of powerlessness in black people as a major social problem in the USA during this period: as a threat not only to personal development but, in particular, to social stability. In the process of this analysis I aim to demonstrate that the deployment of these constructs did more than reformulate old social problems in new ways; it enabled new social problems to be identified for which these constructs could offer explanations and solutions which both appealed to political authorities and helped to shape their conceptions of the ‘problem’.
Largely unacknowledged by historians of the human sciences, late-19th-century psychical researchers were actively involved in the making of fledgling academic psychology. Moreover, with few exceptions historians have failed to discuss the wider implications of the fact that the founder of academic psychology in America, William James, considered himself a psychical researcher and sought to integrate the scientific study of mediumship, telepathy and other controversial topics into the nascent discipline. Analysing the celebrated exposure of the medium Eusapia Palladino by German-born Harvard psychologist Hugo Münsterberg as a representative example, this article discusses strategies employed by psychologists in the United States to expel psychical research from the agenda of scientific psychology. It is argued that the traditional historiography of psychical research, dominated by accounts deeply averse to its very subject matter, has been part of an ongoing form of 'boundary-work' to bolster the scientific status of psychology.
This article looks at the feminist activism of particular women in the ancestry of the eminent Canadian sociologist, Dorothy E. Smith, and at the archival data that confirm the traces of their influence found in her theory-building. Using the method of interpretative historical sociology and a conceptual framework drawn from Marx called the "productive forces," the article examines the feminist theology of her Quaker ancestor, Margaret Fell, and the militant suffrage activism of her mother and her grandmother, Dorothy Foster Place and Lucy Ellison Abraham, respectively. The article argues that the household labour of the remarkable women in her family line became a "productive force" that facilitated her imagining of the feminist theory, "the standpoint of women".
Humoralism, the view that the human body is composed of a limited number of elementary fluids, is one of the most characteristic aspects of ancient medicine. The psychological dimension of humoral theory in the ancient world has thus far received a relatively small amount of scholarly attention. Medical psychology in the ancient world can only be correctly understood by relating it to psychological thought in other fields, such as ethics and rhetoric. The concept that ties these various domains together is character (êthos), which involves a view of human beings focused on clearly distinguishable psychological types that can be recognized on the basis of external signs. Psychological ideas based on humoral theory remained influential well into the early modern period. Yet, in 17th-century medicine and philosophy, humoral physiology and psychology started to lose ground to other theoretical perspectives on the mind and its relation to the body. This decline of humoralist medical psychology can be related to a broader reorientation of psychological thought in which the traditional concept of character lost its central position. Instead of the focus on types and stable character traits, a perspective emerged that was primarily concerned with individuality and transient passions.
In 1927, the Scottish philosopher John Anderson arrived in Australia to take up the chair of Philosophy at the University of Sydney. By the late 1930s, the "macrostructure" of his realist system was in place. It includes a theory of process and a substantial metaphysics, one that opposes positivism, linguistic philosophy and all forms of idealism. However, beyond Australia it remains largely unknown, despite its bearing on a number of current issues in psychology and the social sciences generally. This article outlines Anderson's transition from Hegelian idealism to realism, describes aspects of his ontology and epistemology, compares some of Anderson's ideas with Dewey's pragmatism and explains their relevance to present-day psychology.
If personhood is the quality or condition of being an individual person, "brainhood" could name the quality or condition of being a brain. This ontological quality would define the "cerebral subject" that has, at least in industrialized and highly medicalized societies, gained numerous social inscriptions since the mid-20th century. This article explores the historical development of brainhood. It suggests that the brain is necessarily the location of the "modern self," and that, consequently, the cerebral subject is the anthropological figure inherent to modernity (at least insofar as modernity gives supreme value to the individual as autonomous agent of choice and initiative). It further argues that the ideology of brainhood impelled neuroscientific investigation much more than it resulted from it, and sketches how an expanding constellation of neurocultural discourses and practices embodies and sustains that ideology.
This article aims to integrate discourse analysis of politically instrumental imagined identity geographies with the relational and territorial geography of the communities of praxis and interpretation that produce them. My case study is the international community of nationalist scientists who classified Europe's biological races in the 1820s-1940s. I draw on network analysis, relational geography, historical sociology and the historical turn to problematize empirically how spatial patterns of this community's shifting disciplinary and political coalitions, communication networks and power relations emerged, were structured, persisted, changed, interacted and disappeared. I focus especially on core-periphery relations. I argue that if local historical spatial patterns affect those of later phenomena, geographies like that of European integration should be understood in the context of Europe's complex historical cultural geography. Unlike discourse deconstruction alone, this complementary relational de-essentialization of geography can identify large-scale, enduring associations of cultural patterns as well as cultural flux and ambiguity.
Drawing on an analysis of Irving Kirsch and colleagues' controversial 2008 article in "PLoS [Public Library of Science] Magazine" on the efficacy of SSRI antidepressant drugs such as Prozac, I examine flaws within the methodologies of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that have made it difficult for regulators, clinicians and patients to determine the therapeutic value of this class of drug. I then argue, drawing analogies to work by Pierre Bourdieu and Michael Power, that it is the very limitations of RCTs -- their inadequacies in producing reliable evidence of clinical effects -- that help to strengthen assumptions of their superiority as methodological tools. Finally, I suggest that the case of RCTs helps to explore the question of why failure is often useful in consolidating the authority of those who have presided over that failure, and why systems widely recognized to be ineffective tend to assume greater authority at the very moment when people speak of their malfunction.
During the Second World War, through innovations in officer selection and group therapy, the army psychiatrists John Rickman and Wilfred Bion changed our understanding of leadership. They showed how soldiers under stress could develop real authority through their attentiveness to each other. From contrasting experiences 25 years earlier each had seen how people in groups are moved by elemental forces that undermine judgement and thought. This article arose from my experiences as a trainee at the Tavistock Clinic, where the method of reflective work discussion, giving individuals seated in a circle the choice to speak or to remain silent, seemed similar to a Quaker meeting. Many decades later, I found that this association had a basis in fact. Among other influences on Bion -- a childhood in India, distinguished service in the First World War, and a surgical apprenticeship with Wilfred Trotter -- there is a little-acknowledged Quaker source, in John Rickman, for Bion's radical work in the army that led to new methods of training and organizational consultancy in the postwar Tavistock.
This article argues that the meaning of the word 'autism' experienced a radical shift in the early 1960s in Britain which was contemporaneous with a growth in epidemiological and statistical studies in child psychiatry. The first part of the article explores how 'autism' was used as a category to describe hallucinations and unconscious fantasy life in infants through the work of significant child psychologists and psychoanalysts such as Jean Piaget, Lauretta Bender, Leo Kanner and Elwyn James Anthony. Theories of autism were then associated both with schizophrenia in adults and with psychoanalytic styles of reasoning. The closure of institutions for 'mental defectives' and the growth in speech therapy services in the 1960s and 1970s encouraged new models for understanding autism in infants and children. The second half of the article explores how researchers such as Victor Lotter and Michael Rutter used the category of autism to reconceptualize psychological development in infants and children via epidemiological studies. These historical changes have influenced the form and function of later research into autism and related conditions.
Despite the long history of beliefs about the therapeutic properties of work for people with mental ill health, rarely has therapeutic work itself been a focus for historical analysis. In this article, the development of a therapeutic work ethic (1813-1979) is presented, drawing particular attention to the changing character and quality of beliefs about therapeutic work throughout time. From hospital factories to radical "anti-psychiatric" communities, the article reveals the myriad forms of activities that have variously been considered fit work for people with mental health problems. While popular stereotypes of basket-weaving paint a hapless portrait of institutional work, a more nuanced reading of therapeutic work and its political and philosophical commitments is advanced. The article concludes by arguing that the non-linear and inherently contested development of therapeutic work is less the effect of paradigmatic shifts within the therapeutic professions, but rather evidence of a broader human struggle with work.
Bedwetting has confounded the presumed boundaries of the human body, existing in a fluid space, between the normal and pathological, its treatment has demanded the application of a wide array of different technologies, each based on a distinct conception of the relationship between the body and personality, human organs and personal conduct. In tracing the social history of bedwetting and its regulation, this article examines the ontological assumptions underpinning the treatment of bedwetting and how they have changed over the past two centuries. Through the analysis of medical journals, newspaper articles and magazine advertisements, different topologies are identified which redefine the boundaries of the human body and its capacities. From 16th-century naturalism, in which the human body is subordinated to a cosmic totality, to the circumscribed space of 19th-century paediatrics and the expansive circuits of behavioural psychology and modern psychoanalysis, the body has become multiplied, differently enacted through the application of diverse technologies. It was be shown how coordinating the messy and divergent conceptions of the human body has posed an endemic problem for the human sciences, and how the enduring tension between object enactment and subject constitution is an expression of modern "baroque" subjectivity.
First, this article will outline the metaphysics of "the social" that implicitly and explicitly connects the work of classical and contemporary cosmopolitan sociologists as different as Durkheim, Weber, Beck and Luhmann. In a second step, I will show that the cosmopolitan outlook of classical sociology is driven by exclusive differences. In understanding human affairs, both classical sociology and contemporary cosmopolitan sociology reflect a very modernist outlook of epistemological, conceptual, methodological and disciplinary rigour that separates the cultural sphere from the natural objects of concern. I will suggest that classical sociology -- in order to be cosmopolitan -- is forced (1) to exclude "non-social and non-human objects" as part of its conceptual and methodological rigour, and (2) consequently and methodologically to rule out the non-social and the non-human. Cosmopolitan sociology imagines "the social" as a global, universal "explanatory device" to conceive and describe the non-social and non-human. In a third and final step the article draws upon the work of the French sociologist Gabriel Tarde and offers a possible alternative to the modernist social and cultural other-logics of social sciences. It argues for a inclusive conception of "the social" that gives the non-social and non-human a cosmopolitan voice as well.
This article considers the two major biographies of sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, MD (1868-1935), an early campaigner for "gay rights" avant la lettre. Like him, his first biographer Charlotte Wolff (1897-1986) was a Jewish doctor who lived and worked in Weimar Republic Berlin and fled Germany when the Nazi regime came to power. When researching Hirschfeld's biography (published in English in 1986) Wolff met a librarian and gay activist, Manfred Herzer, who would eventually be a cofounder of the Gay Museum in Berlin and publish (in German, in 1992) the other major Hirschfeld biography currently available. Using, inter alia, the correspondence between Wolff and Herzer, the article aims to explore and interrogate the boundaries and possibilities of "biography" as a form of "doing history."
The invention of photography in the early 19th century changed the way that we see the world, and has played an important role in the development of western science. Notably, photographic vision is implicated in the definition of a new temporal relation to the natural world at the same time as modern biological science emerges as a disciplinary formation. It is this coincidence in birth that is central to this study. I suggest that by examining the relationship of early photography to nature, we can gain some insight into the technological and epistemological underpinnings of biological vision. To this end, this article is primarily concerned with the role of photographic technology in the genealogy of biological vision. I argue that photography has always been ambiguously located between art and science, between nature and culture, and between life and death. Hence, while it may be a technological expression of the scientific desire to know and to control nature, photographic vision has continually disrupted and frustrated the ambitions of biological technoscience. The technovision of early biological science illustrates that the elusive temporality of nature has always been central to the production of knowledge of life.
The aim of this article is (1) to investigate the "neurosciences" as an object of study for historical and genealogical approaches and (2) to characterize what we identify as a particular "style of thought" that consolidated with the birth of this new thought community and that we term the "neuromolecular gaze." This article argues that while there is a long history of research on the brain, the neurosciences formed in the 1960s, in a socio-historical context characterized by political change, faith in scientific and technological progress, and the rise of a molecular gaze in the life sciences. They flourished in part because these epistemological and technological developments were accompanied by multiple projects of institution-building. An array of stakeholders was mobilized around the belief that breakthroughs in understanding the brain were not only crucial, they were possible by means of collaborative efforts, cross-disciplinary approaches and the use of a predominantly reductionist neuromolecular method. The first part of the article considers some of the different approaches that have been adopted to writing the history of the brain sciences. After a brief outline of our own approach, the second part of the article uses this in a preliminary exploration of the birth of the neurosciences in three contexts. We conclude by arguing that the 1960s constitute an important "break" in the long path of the history of the brain sciences that needs further analysis. We believe this epistemological shift we term the "neuromolecular gaze" will shape the future intellectual development and social role of the neurosciences.
Milgram's series of obedience experiments and Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment are probably the two best-known psychological studies. As such, they can be understood as central to the broad process of psychologization in the postwar era. This article will consider the extent to which this process of psychologization can be understood as a simple overflow from the discipline of psychology to wider society or whether, in fact, this process is actually inextricably connected to the science of psychology as such. In so doing, the article will argue that Milgram's and Zimbardo's studies are best usefully understood as twin experiments. Milgram's paradigm of a psychology which explicitly draws its subject into the frame of its own discourse can be said to be the precondition of Zimbardo's claim that his experiment offers a window onto the crucible of human behaviour. This will be analysed by drawing on the Lacanian concepts of acting out and passage à l'acte. The question then posed is: if both Milgram and Zimbardo claim that their work has emancipatory dimensions - a claim maintained within mainstream psychology - does a close reading of the studies not then reveal that psychology is, rather, the royal road to occurrences such as Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib? The drama of a psychology which is fundamentally based on a process of psychologization is that it turns its subjects into homo sacer of psychological discourse.
This article examines the notion of the 'scientist as a moral person' in the light of the early stages of the commodification of science and the transformation of research into a big enterprise, operating on the principle of the division of labour. These processes were set in train at the end of the 19th century. The article focuses on the concomitant changes in the public persona and the habitus of scientific' entrepreneurs. I begin by showing the significance of the professional networks that were built up and maintained to further a group's research ideas and the careers of its members, thus demonstrating one condition on which depended their practice of science and their ability to earn a living. This leads to a characterization of the changing styles of work, thought and life, and to a consideration of public perceptions and of the ways in which a new self-image of scholarship and science was fashioned. A critical discussion of the public role of these mandarin scientists follows in order to highlight the strains created by the commodification of science at a time of international tensions and conflicts, when shared beliefs in scholarly cosmopolitanism were subverted by appeals to science and scholarship to work in the service of one's own nation as its 'courtiers'. Various considerations of peculiar analogies between national styles of research and the style of social organization are then noted. In the final section, the article queries the long-term impact of these developments on the ideal of the scientist as a 'moral person'. Taking a cue from Max Weber and pursuing reflections by Zygmunt Bauman on 'science moralized', I argue that the emergence of a type of 'specialists without spirit' was an unintended but fatal consequence of the changes in research practices promoted by scientific entrepreneurs such as Du Bois-Reymond. I conclude that the temptation to sever the ties to a general ethos of civil virtues lay in the rationalization, specialization and potential de-humanization of the objectifying scientific outlook once advocated for its efficiency.
This article examines the myth of the supposed superiority of the desert noble savage over civilized man. With the Bedouin of Arabia and the Aborigines of Australia as its two prime examples, the article argues that two versions of this myth can be traced: one in which the desert noble savage is valorized due to his valour, physical prowess and martial skill (Bedouin); and another, later version, where the desert noble savage is valorized as a pacifist, an ecologist and a mythmaker/storyteller (Aborigines). The article concludes by examining the way in which this turn from one type of desert noble savage to another reflects the manner in which western modernity has shifted its values from Cartesian dualities and Enlightenment rationalism to that of networks, potentialities, ecology and myth.
The increasing attention to the brain in science and the media, and people's continuing quest for a better life, have resulted in a successful self-help industry for brain enhancement. Apart from brain books, foods and games, there are several devices on the market that people can use to stimulate their brains and become happier, healthier or more successful. People can, for example, switch their brain state into relaxation or concentration with a light-and-sound machine, they can train their brain waves to cure their Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or solve their sleeping problems with a neurofeedback device, or they can influence the firing of their neurons with electric or magnetic stimulation to overcome their depression and anxieties. Working on your self with a brain device can be seen as a contemporary form of Michel Foucault's "technologies of the self." Foucault described how since antiquity people had used techniques such as reading manuscripts, listening to teachers, or saying prayers to "act on their selves" and control their own thoughts and behaviours. Different techniques, Foucault stated, are based on different precepts and constitute different selves. I follow Foucault by stating that using a brain device for self-improvement indeed constitutes a new self. Drawing on interviews with users of brain devices and observations of the practices in brain clinics, I analyse how a new self takes shape in the use of brain devices; not a monistic (neuroscientific) self, but a "layered" self of all kinds of entities that exchange and control each other continuously.
This article argues that a new diagram is emerging in the criminal justice system as it encounters developments in the neurosciences. This does not take the form that concerns many "neuroethicists" -- it does not entail a challenge to doctrines of free will and the notion of the autonomous legal subject -- but is developing around the themes of susceptibility, risk, pre-emption and precaution. I term this diagram "screen and intervene" and in this article I attempt to trace out this new configuration and consider some of the consequences.
In this article we present and compare two early attempts to establish psychology as an independent scientific discipline that had considerable influence in central Europe: the theories of Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776-1841) and Franz Brentano (1838-1917). While both of them emphasize that psychology ought to be conceived as an empirical science, their conceptions show revealing differences. Herbart starts with metaphysical principles and aims at mathematizing psychology, whereas Brentano rejects all metaphysics and bases his method on a conception of inner perception (as opposed to inner observation) as a secondary consciousness, by means of which one gets to be aware of all of one's own conscious phenomena. Brentano's focus on inner perception brings him to deny the claim that there could be unconscious mental phenomena - a view that stands in sharp contrast to Herbart's emphasis on unconscious, "repressed" presentations as a core element of his mechanics of mind. Herbart, on the other hand, denies any role for psychological experiments, while Brentano encouraged laboratory work, thus paving the road for the more experimental work of his students like Stumpf and Meinong. By briefly tracing the fate of the schools of Herbart and Brentano, respectively, we aim to illustrate their impact on the development of psychological research, mainly in central Europe.
Some humanist theologians within the French Reformed Church in the 17th century developed the notion that a disability of the intellect could exist in nature independently of any moral defect, freeing its possessors from any obligations of natural law. Sharpened by disputes with the church leadership, this notion began to suggest a species-type classification that threatened to override the importance of the boundary between elect and reprobate in the doctrine of predestination. This classification seems to look forward to the natural history of mind that emerged later in the century.
Differing accounts are conventionally given of the origins of medical sociology and its parent discipline sociology. These distinct "histories" are justified on the basis that the sociological founders were uninterested in medicine, mortality and disease. This article challenges these "constructions" of the past, proposing the theorization of health not as a "late development of sociology" but an integral part of its formation. Drawing on a selection of key sociological texts, it is argued that evidence of the founders' sustained interest in the infirmities of the individual, of mortality, and in medicine, have been expunged from the historical record through processes of "canonization" and "medicalization."
This article investigates the construction of urban/rural binary distinctions in 18th- and 19th-century social scientific literature, and in particular in the writings of the statistical societies in England. The 18th-century writers were primarily concerned with the spread of luxury, vice, and effeminacy among the upper social strata in large cities. Later on, statisticians began to focus on moral hazards among the urban working poor. These writings are significant in several respects: they contributed to the spatial mapping of moral character, played a role in the development of quantitative social scientific techniques, and foreshadowed later sociological debates over the nature and consequences of social evolution from simpler to more complex societies.
The radical psychiatrist R.D. Laing's first book, "The Divided Self" (1960), is informed by the work of Christian thinkers on scriptural interpretation -- an intellectual genealogy apparent in Laing's comparison of Karl Jaspers's symptomatology with the theological tradition of "form criticism." Rudolf Bultmann's theology, which was being enthusiastically promoted in 1950s Scotland, is particularly influential upon Laing. It furnishes him with the notion that schizophrenic speech expresses existential truths as if they were statements about the physical and organic world. It also provides him with a model of the schizoid position as a form of modern-day Stoicism. Such theological recontextualization of "The Divided Self" illuminates continuities in Laing's own work, and also indicates his relationship to a wider British context, such as the work of the "clinical theologian" Frank Lake.
This article examines the processes through which civilian fear was turned into a practicable investigative object in the inter-war period and the opening stages of the Second World War, and how it was invested with significance at the level of science and of public policy. Its focus is on a single historical actor, Solly Zuckerman, and on his early war work for the Ministry of Home Security-funded Extra Mural Unit based in Oxford's Department of Anatomy (OEMU). It examines the process by which Zuckerman forged a working relationship with fear in the 1930s, and how he translated this work to questions of home front anxiety in his role as an operational research officer. In doing so it demonstrates the persistent work applied to the problem: by highlighting it as an ongoing research project, and suggesting links between seemingly disparate research objects (e.g. the phenomenon of 'blast' exposure as physical and physiological trauma), the article aims to show how civilian 'nerve' emerged from within a highly specific analytical and operational matrix which itself had complex foundations.
This article offers a historical analysis of the relationship between the practice of participant-observation among American sociologists and Erving Goffman's dramaturgical model of the self. He was a social scientist who privileged ethnography in the field over the laboratory experiment, the survey questionnaire, or the mental test. His goal was a natural history of communication among humans. Rather than rely upon standardizing technologies for measurement, Goffman tried to obtain accurate recordings of human behavior through secretive observations. During the 1950s, he conducted three major studies as a participant-observer, disguised from those studied through insincere performances. As originally presented, his dramaturgical theory did not draw upon the theater as the governing metaphor, but rather the confidence game. It is suggested that Goffman's writings exemplify what Gerd Gigerenzer calls the tools-to-theories heuristic. Goffman's depiction of the confidence man's behavior closely mirrored how he and his fellow sociologists described the practice of participant-observation. Both were represented as embedded and attentive yet coolly detached observers skilled at playing different roles as the situation necessitated. The similarities between his own professional behavior and the activities of the confidence man may have suggested to Goffman the latter as a model for human nature.
Without access to Michel Foucault's courses, it was extremely difficult to understand his reorientation from an analysis of the strategies and tactics of power immanent in the modern discourse on sexuality (1976) to an analysis of the ancient forms and modalities of relation to oneself by which one constituted oneself as a moral subject of sexual conduct (1984). In short, Foucault's passage from the political to the ethical dimension of sexuality seemed sudden and inexplicable. Moreover, it was clear from his published essays and interviews that this displacement of focus had consequences far beyond the specific domain of the history of sexuality. "Security, Territory, Population" (Foucault, 2007) contains a conceptual hinge, a key concept, that allows us to link together the political and ethical axes of Foucault's thought. Indeed, it is Foucault's analysis of the notions of conduct and counter-conduct in his lecture of 1 March 1978 that seems to me to constitute one of the richest and most brilliant moments in the entire course. Is is astonishing, and of profound significance, that the autonomous sphere of conduct has been more or less invisible in the history of modern (as opposed to ancient) moral and political philosophy. This article argues that a new attention should be given to this notion, both in Foucault's work and more generally.
Descartes' metaphysics lays the foundation for the special sciences, and the notion of consciousness ("conscientia") belongs to metaphysics rather than to psychology. I argue that as a metaphysical notion, "consciousness" refers to an epistemic version of moral conscience. As a consequence, the activity on which science is based turns out to be conscientious thought. The consciousness that makes science possible is a double awareness: the awareness of what one is thinking, of what one should be doing, and of the possibility of a gap between the two.
Although there has long been a division in studies of consciousness between a focus on neuronal processes or conversely an emphasis on the ruminations of a conscious self, the long-standing split between mechanism and meaning within the brain was mirrored by a split without, between information as a technical term and the meanings that messages are commonly thought to convey. How to heal this breach has posed formidable problems to researchers. Working through the history of cybernetics, one of the historical sites where Claude Shannon's information theory quickly became received doctrine, we argue that the cybernetic program as it developed through second-order cybernetics and autopoietic theory remains incomplete. In this article, we return to fundamental questions about pattern and noise, context and meaning, to forge connections between consciousness, narrative and media. The thrust of our project is to reintroduce context and narrative as crucial factors in the processes of meaning-making. The project proceeds along two fronts: advancing a theoretical framework within which context plays its property central role; and demonstrating the importance of context by analyzing two fictions, Stanislaw Lem's "His Master's Voice" and Joseph McElroy's "Plus," in which context has been deformed by being wrenched away from normal human environments, with radical consequences for processes of meaning-making.
Throughout his career, William James defended personal consciousness. In his "Principles of Psychology" (1890), he declared that psychology is the scientific study of states of consciousness as such and that he intended to presume from the outset that the thinker was the thought. But while writing it, he had been investigating a dynamic psychology of the subconscious, which found a major place in his Gifford Lectures, published as "The Varieties of Religious Experience" in 1902. This was the clearest statement James was able to make before he died with regard to his developing tripartite metaphysics of pragmatism, pluralism and radical empiricism, which essentially asked "Is a science of consciousness actually possible?" James's lineage in this regard, was inherited from an intuitive psychology of character formation that had been cast within a context of spiritual self-realization by the Swedenborgians and Transcendentalists of New England. Chief among these was his father, Henry James, Sr., and his godfather, Ralph Waldo Emerson. However, james was forced to square these ideas with the more rigorous scientific dictates of his day, which have endured to the present. As such, his ideas remain alive and vibrant, particularly among those arguing for the fusion of phenomenology, embodiment and cognitive neuroscience in the renewed search for a science of consciousness.
We argue that Kant's views about consciousness, the mind-body problem and the status of psychology as a science all differ drastically from the way in which these topics are conjoined in present debates about the prominent idea of a science of consciousness. Kant never used the concept of consciousness in the now dominant sense of phenomenal qualia; his discussions of the mind-body problem center not on the reducibility of mental properties but of substances; and his views about the possibility of psychology as a science did not employ the requirement of a mechanistic explanation, but of a quantification of phenomena. This shows strikingly how deeply philosophical problems and conceptions can change even if they look similar on the surface.