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The Poverty of Historicism

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... Reiser (2001aReiser ( , 2001bReiser ( , 2017aReiser ( , 2017b and Molenda (2008) trace the order of major IDT developments and the naming of the field of IDT throughout the twentieth century. All previously mentioned IDT histories describe the development, change, and flow of events towards an undetermined endpoint measured by progress (Arnold 2000;Cheng 2012;Kvale 1995;Popper 2002) to demonstrate the trajectory of IDT's history. However, while valuable to understanding how IDT developed as a field, these perspectives also construct what historians call "meta-narratives" defined by recognized postmodernist Jenkins (1991) as "old organizing frameworks that presupposed the privileging of centers" (p. ...
... Historical periodization is a necessary tool in historical writing and heavy reliance on periodization in writing structures permeates teleological histories. Historians use periodization to label sections of time to easily describe changes and progression with identifiable start and end points (Arnold, 2000;Gaddis, 2002;Popper, 2002). Teleological interpretations of history adhere heavily to divisibility of time to demonstrate passage of time (Cheng, 2012). ...
... Teleological interpretations of history adhere heavily to divisibility of time to demonstrate passage of time (Cheng, 2012). While practical in displaying an organized progression of the field through periodization of events, theories, and ideas, periodization is a historical paradox (Bentley, 1996;Popper, 2002). Researchers use periodization in consideration of their goals in writing which in turn unintentionally prescribes meaning about how a period is situated in the broader framework of history. ...
... Karl popper expresses a different and a more positive view of social engineering, hence his idea of piecemeal social engineering is discussed subsequently. (Popper, 1957). By implication, a sociological experiment is for sociological development using various available resources. ...
... With his thesis that true development, whether social or technological, is dependent on the direction of knowledge, Popper adopts a term to accommodate the two kinds of predictions, hence his idea of technological social science (Popper, 1957 (Popper, 1957, p. 46) From the above quotation, Popper stresses the fact that social engineering, as he intends to propagate, would adopt historical experiences as a most important source of information. The aim is not to find laws for social development but to identify laws which impose limitations upon the construction of social institutions. ...
... This position proposes that though wishes, thoughts, dreams, reasoning, fears and knowledge, as well as interests and energies, are all forces in the societal development, they cannot bring about anything according to plan. In other words, social revolutions are not brought about by rational plans but by social forces, for example, conflicts of interest (Popper, 1957). Interpreting Popper's analysis of the historicist's position implies that social revolution is not a direct result of rational plans but a conflict of interests. ...
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Most established communities aspire for growth and developments demonstrable in the degree of scientific and technological outputs. These outputs are made possible through the function of the human mind, hence, the expedience of the human person as the focus of social development. However, the sustenance of development is made possible through human policies from reformed entities, and this is where the state and its apparatus (social institutions) like the government are inevitable. Less emphasis has been laid on human reform and the role it plays in social reform in Africa through piecemeal engineering. Therefore, this paper investigates the position and primacy of human reform in social reform in Africa. Using Karl Popper's idea of piecemeal social engineering as a theoretical framework, this paper argues that human reform remains pivotal to Africa's social reform. This paper argues that if there is no sufficient human reform, Karl Popper's piecemeal social engineering which has greatly impacted social reforms in some developed nations will be fruitless in Africa. The methods of argumentation will be expository, analytic as well as evaluative.
... Contemporary scientific philosophy largely exists in support of, or reaction to, the work of the Austrian philosopher Sir Karl Popper (1972). The challenge that ...
... Perhaps surprisingly, it was Sir Arthur Eddington -a physicist best known for his early experimental work on general relativity (Brian 1996) who first noted a distinction between primary laws that determine the impossibility of certain events, and secondary laws that merely determine their improbability (Eddington 1928). To adopt tbis second category as the model for palaeoecological enquiry will necessarily entail a blunting of our analytical tools, as a probability hypothesis can never be wholly falsified (Popper 1972). ...
... Although certain historiansnotably those working within a Marxist framework (Landes 1994) -have been sympathetic to deterministic explanation, the general attitude of the subject towards anything suggestive of a scientific method (Popper 1960(Popper ,1966cf. Florence 1927) has traditionally been hostile: ...
Thesis
p>Multi-proxy palaeoecological analyses were conducted on late Holocene cores taken from six sites in Cumbria. The project had three major objectives: to study regional abandonment phases during the Medieval era (particularly in the 14<sup>th</sup> century AD), to rigorously test the possible impact of environmental changes (climatic deterioration and soil nutrient depletion) on any such phases, and to investigate the potential of diatoms as alternative proxy indicators of human impact. Two major Medieval abandonment phases were identified in the pollen spectra. One in the late 9<sup>th</sup> century AD was extremely widespread and associated with substantial woodland regeneration - suggesting the near-total abandonment of extensive areas of the county during this period. This phase can probably be linked to the Danish invasion of Cumbria in the 870s. Another decline in the 14<sup>th</sup> century AD was more subtle, only affecting arable-type indicators; pollen records from this period suggest a general reduction of population rather than complete regional abandonment. Plant macrofossil and humification data from Walton Moss and Hulleter Moss showed three major episodes of climatic deterioration in the Medieval era (AD 920-970, AD 1160-1190 and AD 1370-1430). Only the 14<sup>th</sup> century decline had any discernible impact on settlement patterns. Surprisingly, the more populous lowland sites appeared more vulnerable to climatic forcing during this phase. These results suggest that traditional conceptions of marginality are misleading, and that lowland Medieval communities were actually more vulnerable to environmental impacts due to their low levels of economic and ecological diversity. Tests at Mockerkin Tarn on the impact of catchment nutrient depletion were inconclusive. Geochemical and diatom data showed a significant decline in catchment phosphorus from AD 450-1000, but this had no definite impact on land-use patterns.</p
... The thesis conceptualizes Canadian society as an open, scientific, knowledge-making sociotechnical society concerned with self-governance for survival in a changing environment (Bacon; Beer, 1984;Bunge, 1975Bunge, , 1977Bunge, , 1979Bunge, , 1999Descartes;Dewey, 1912Dewey, , 1938Dewey, /2018Dewey, , 1984Hume, 1748Hume, /1902James;Popper, 1957Popper, , 1966Popper, , 2003Popper, , 2014Weick, 1969Weick, /1979Weick, , 1995. See Table 4: The Epistemological Roots of STEI-KW as a Sociotechnical Theory of Society and Table 5: STEI-KW and Society. ...
... At the same time, tools shape society itself, as well as its values, norms and practices" (Quan-Haase, 2016, p. 43). Third, technology is theorized as a knowledgemaking epistemology (i.e., STEI-KW)--liberal empirical pragmatism epistemology of knowledge as a social construction, based on a philosophical understanding of the scientific method (Bacon; Beer, 1984;Bunge, 1975Bunge, , 1977Bunge, , 1979Bunge, , 1999Descartes;Dewey, 1912Dewey, , 1938Dewey, /2018Dewey, , 1984Hume, 1748Hume, /1902James;Popper, 1957Popper, , 1966Popper, , 2003Popper, , 2014 within social science (the STS tradition). ...
... What are the key properties of Canadian society as a sociotechnical system and what is the underlying structure and values shaping behavior? Canada is presented as an open, scientific, knowledge-making sociotechnical society concerned with self-governance for survival in a changing environment (Bacon; Beer, 1984;Bunge, 1975Bunge, , 1977Bunge, , 1979Bunge, , 1999Descartes;Dewey, 1912Dewey, , 1938Dewey, /2018Dewey, , 1984Hume, 1748Hume, /1902James;Popper, 1957Popper, , 1966Popper, , 2003Popper, , 2014Weick, 1969Weick, /1979Weick, , 1995. See Table 4: The Epistemological Roots of STEI-KW as a Sociotechnical Theory of Society and Table 5: STEI-KW and Society. ...
Thesis
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Cyber attacks by domestic and foreign threat actors are increasing in frequency and sophistication. Cyber adversaries exploit a cybersecurity skill/knowledge gap and an open society, undermining the information security/privacy of citizens and businesses and eroding trust in governments, thus threatening social and political stability. The use of open digital hacking technologies in ethical hacking in higher education and within broader society raises ethical, technical, social, and political challenges for liberal democracies. Programs teaching ethical hacking in higher education are steadily growing but there is a concern that teaching students hacking skills increases crime risk to society by drawing students toward criminal acts. A cybersecurity skill gap undermines the security/viability of business and government institutions. The thesis presents an examination of opportunities and risks involved in using AI powered intelligence gathering/surveillance technologies in ethical hacking teaching practices in Canada. Taking a qualitative exploratory case study approach, technoethical inquiry theory (Bunge-Luppicini) and Weick’s sensemaking model were applied as a sociotechnical theory (STEI-KW) to explore ethical hacking teaching practices in two Canadian universities. In-depth interviews with ethical hacking university experts, industry practitioners, and policy experts, and a document review were conducted. Findings pointed to a skill/knowledge gap in ethical hacking literature regarding the meanings, ethics, values, skills/knowledge, roles and responsibilities, and practices of ethical hacking and ethical hackers which underlies an identity and legitimacy crisis for professional ethical hacking practitioners; and a Teaching vs Practice cybersecurity skill gap in ethical hacking curricula. Two main S&T innovation risk mitigation initiatives were explored: An OSINT Analyst cybersecurity role and associated body of knowledge foundation framework as an interdisciplinary research area, and a networked centre of excellence of ethical hacking communities of practice as a knowledge management and governance/policy innovation approach focusing on the systematization and standardization of an ethical hacking body of knowledge.
... To explain this topic, we are going to refer not only to Hempel's writings, but also to those by Popper and Weber. As pointed out by Hempel (1965) and Popper (1957;1966), the use of probabilistic laws, which is quite common in the social sciences (but also present in the natural ones), entails that the same explanandum is compatible with different explanans. ...
... As a consequence, Popper (1957) contends that the situational analysis, which is a basic assumption of methodological individualism, is fundamental to developing sound nomological explanations in this field. ...
... To understand this point, it is necessary to focus on the role of what Popper (1957;1963;Jarvie 1972) calls "situational analysis" in D-N explanations (see also Di Nuoscio & Di Iorio, 2019). The analysis of this role is missing in the literature on the relationship between social mechanisms and analytical sociology. ...
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According to the dominant view, analytical sociology is largely incompatible with the deductive-nomological (D-N) model because the latter allows neither for accurate and precise explanations, nor for explanations that give individuals and their actions a privileged role. This view neglects two relevant facts about the D-N model as understood by Hempel and Popper and some of their precursors such as J. S. Mill and Weber. The first is the relationship between this model, situational analysis and the use of probabilistic laws in explanation. The second is that, from the standpoint of the D-N theory, it is possible to make sense of social mechanisms in terms of Weber's ideal-typical models. Like these models, mechanisms are functional for the development of concrete empirical sociological hypotheses that, without covering generalizations, lack explanatory power.
... 3 More importantly, any model simulation that concerns social science -in contrast to a simulation that concerns only natural science -has to take into account the fact that humans change their behaviour consequent upon new information that they receive. As Hayek (1952) and Popper (1957) famously argued, this impedes significantly the utility of employing the methods of natural science when it comes to social science: it is unpredictable how exactly humans will adapt their behaviour upon the reception of new information. It is no objection to this claim that there may be historical data available on how humans adapted their behaviour in comparable situations in the past. ...
... These individuals were prepared to use the next best virus outbreak to push through their plans -out of sincere conviction, will to power or profit interests. But as Popper (1945Popper ( , 1957 convincingly showed, no individual or group of individuals can determine the course of society by means of a prepared plan. It was contingent circumstances -such as perhaps the images from Wuhan and Bergamo -combined with panic reactions that led to the outcome that this time these plans found favour in broad circles of media, politicians and scientists. ...
... It can be shaped in exactly the same way with respect to the climate crisis -as, for instance, explicitly proposed in the editorial of Science on 26 November 2021: 7 again, the model simulations that predict catastrophic outcomes neglect the wide range of possible initial values for the relevant parameters. They furthermore commit the mistake pointed out by Hayek (1952) and Popper (1957): they hugely overestimate the applicability of model simulations stemming from natural science in social science by neglecting the spontaneous and unpredictable adaptation of humans to new situations. These model simulations can be employed to justify rendering the value of fighting global warming absolute as a moral value that overrides basic human rights and shaping science accordingly with the defamation of dissenting voices. ...
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The paper points out the relevance of Popper’s seminal work on The open society and its enemies for the current situation of the handling of the corona crisis. It shows how studies that were employed to justify coercive policies committed two well-known mistakes that were pointed out notably by Popper: (i) they promoted as actual predictions model simulations that set initial parameters in such a way that pessimistic outcomes are produced; (ii) they applied methods of natural science to social science without paying heed to the fact that humans spontaneously adapt their behaviour to new information they receive. The paper then argues, following Popper, that there is no knowledge that enables social engineering with the aim of realizing one particular value such as health protection. The paper concludes with a suggestion how to deal with negative externalities that is based on human freedom.
... Все остаётся в прошлом. Примером могут быть работы Карла Поппера [6][7][8][9][10][11][12]. ...
Preprint
An incredible amount of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction (chemical and biological) was accumulated in the USSR. It so happened that it is located in the Russian Federation. This probably gives strength and incentives putin to generate an unprovoked and obviously losing conflict. How to understand what is happening? It is even more strange that the Russian Federation is simply not ready for war in many ways. Why was all this started? To answer countless questions, a system of scientific projects is proposed that really help to understand what and how is happening in the post-Soviet space. The most important thing is to very clearly define the measure of our ignorance about the novelties of Russian reality. Something strange and very dangerous is going on. The novelty goes beyond the usual understanding of the confrontation between states and different cultures. There is a detailed justification for each project. Project deadlines can be very tight. Special conditions require special efforts from experts.
... 8 This uneven playing field is exactly what concerned Popper when he wrote about suppression and control of the means of science communication. 9 The preservation of institutions designed to further scientific objectivity and impartiality (i.e., public laboratories, independent scientific periodicals and congresses) is entirely at the mercy of political and commercial power; vested interest will always override the rationality of evidence. 10 Regulators receive funding from industry and use industry funded and performed trials to approve drugs, without in most cases seeing the raw data. ...
... Crime science has an unequivocal commitment to science itself as a methodology for helping to find better ways of responding to crime, be the concern with prevention, disruption, detection or offender management. The position taken in crime science is broadly Popperian (Popper 1957(Popper , 1959(Popper , 1972. This means the following: ...
... In the latter, randomness is an essential feature; in this way we highlight that the evolution of human thought is not deterministic. Karl Popper [52] expressed this truth tens of years ago in more general terms, in the form of an elaborate essay. Our goal, which according to our knowledge is new, is the construction of a computational illustration of this statement. ...
Article
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The main goal of our work is to show how ideas change in social networks. Our analysis is based on three concepts: (i) temporal networks, (ii) the Axelrod model of culture dissemination, (iii) the garbage can model of organizational choice. The use of the concept of temporal networks allows us to show the dynamics of ideas spreading processes in networks, thanks to the analysis of contacts between agents in networks. The Axelrod culture dissemination model allows us to use the importance of cooperative behavior for the dynamics of ideas disseminated in networks. In the third model decisions on solutions of problems are made as an outcome of sequences of pseudorandom numbers. The origin of this model is the Herbert Simon’s view on bounded rationality. In the Axelrod model, ideas are conveyed by strings of symbols. The outcome of the model should be the diversity of evolving ideas as dependent on the chain length, on the number of possible values of symbols and on the threshold value of Hamming distance which enables the combination.
... Some argue that this should be achieved via an elite vanguard of enlightened actors -Plato's Philosopher King or Aristotle's aristocracy, or even more conservative notions of leaders working ruthlessly for the national interest backed by populist forces (Plato, 1991;Popper, 2002;Reeve, 1988). Others argue that limited or broad democracy is required, even if they affect the process of emancipation (Diamond and Plattner, 2006). ...
Article
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There has been frequent reference to the concept of an emancipatory peace in the critical academic literature on peace and conflict studies in IR, much of it rather naive. It has developed an ecosystem of its own within debates on peace without drawing on wider disciplinary debates. Terms such as ‘emancipation’ and its relative, ‘social justice’ are widely used in critical theoretical literature and were common parlance in previous ideological eras. It was clear what such terms meant in the context of feudalism, slavery, imperialism, discrimination, a class system, nuclear weapons and racism over the previous two centuries. Now it is less clear in the context of changing peace praxis.
... Rather, he wrote, human welfare and social progress are achieved through diverse initiatives and testsmultiple engineering experiments. In Popper's (1957) words, 'What we need is not holism. It is piecemeal social engineering'. ...
... The spontane- (Hayek, 2014). Popper (1994) suggested that society could be improved by policies-piecemeal social engineering. Popper had no model of collective rationality except his rejection of totalitarian models. ...
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... What strikes me as most problematic in this general orientation is its underlying historical realism, a perennial source of dogmatism in Marxism that defeats the purpose of social constructivism, including the version supposedly espoused by the 'young', 'Hegelian' Marx, who inspired the reinvention of 'Western Marxism' in the 1960s. Such historical realism is what Popper (1957) first identified as 'historicism', in his idiosyncratic use of the term. It is what passes for 'materialism' in Marxist circles. ...
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William Lynch has provided an informed and probing critique of my embrace of the post-truth condition, which he understands correctly as an extension of the normative project of social epistemology. This article roughly tracks the order of Lynch’s paper, beginning with the vexed role of the ‘normative’ in Science and Technology Studies , which originally triggered my version of social epistemology 35 years ago and has been guided by the field’s ‘symmetry principle’. Here the pejorative use of ‘populism’ to mean democracy is highlighted as a failure of symmetry. Finally, after rejecting Lynch’s appeal to a hybrid Marxian–Darwinism, Carl Schmitt and Thomas Hobbes are contrasted en route to what I have called ‘quantum epistemology’.
... But those studying deep geologic time are limited by a profoundly incomplete rock record that itself may reflect significant preservation biases (e.g., Morgan, 1985). Popper (1945) argued that "while the theoretical sciences are mainly interested in finding and testing universal laws, the historical sciences take all kinds of universal laws for granted and are mainly interested in finding and testing singular statements". This is hardly a condemnation of historical geology; one does not study the Archean to prove quantum mechanics but rather to constrain conceptual models based on physical laws assumed to be constant through time. ...
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Some thoughts about deep time and stuff.
... La ingeniería social, tanto holística como fragmentaria, ya está planteada desde hace décadas (Popper, 1957). entorno: a) el diseño puede modificar lo natural, como sucede de modo habitual en casos de tipo artístico y tecnológico; b) el diseño puede crear elementos en el entorno social, bien sea sobre bases preferentemente científicas 6 o bien con orientación tecnológica (vía empresas públicas o privadas); y c) el diseño ciertamente puede potenciar lo artificial, cuando añade elementos que no están disponibles por vía de la Naturaleza o mediante un entorno propiamente social (principalmente en su vinculación a la industria). ...
Chapter
Se aborda aquí la cuestión del marco filosófico-metodológico del diseño institucional. Comienza con la caracterización de “diseño” y analiza después la diversidad de tipos de diseño. A partir de ahí se tratan las innovaciones democráticas y el papel de las relaciones internacionales respecto de estas innovaciones. Se dan así varios pasos en el análisis: 1) El diseño comporta un plano interno, de caracterización conceptual —con elementos semánticos, epistemológicos y ontológicos—, y un dominio externo, de interacción con el entorno (social, cultural, económico, político, etc.). 2) Existe diversidad en los tipos de diseño, que se centran en los dos polos de su sentido y referencia: (i) el constructo intelectual y (ii) el producto o artefacto. Cabe entonces distinguir tres grandes tipos de diseño: el artístico, el científico y el tecnológico. Son fuente de inspiración para los modelos institucionales. 3) Al concebir a las instituciones como sujetos sociales, la innovación social se despliega como una actividad de instituciones democráticas. Hay tres grandes direcciones: la cultural, la apoyada en bases científicas y la tecnológica, preferentemente fragmentaria. 4) En el domino externo, las relaciones internacionales tienen un papel especialmente relevante, para los diseños institucionales —en su configuración y evaluación— y la innovación democrática.
... Scholars have despaired (and sometimes disparaged attempts) at finding any systematic, comprehensive macro-historical, social 'forces' and 'laws' or 'mechanisms' that could causally and consistently account for the observed historical trajectories of states, let alone make plausible quantitative estimates and predictions about the dynamics of the scale, duration, or rates of expansion of these states [12][13][14][15]. Nevertheless, recent investigations [16,17] suggest that understanding the state's cooperative ability to make competitive, expansive war [7, 18] and its later collective inability to support the demands of its growing population [19] together, provide a compelling framework for a comprehensive account of state dynamics. ...
Article
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Understanding the rise, spread, and fall of large-scale states in the ancient world has occupied thinkers for millennia. However, no comprehensive mechanistic model of state dynamics based on their insights has emerged, leaving it difficult to evaluate empirically or quantitatively the different explanations offered. Here I present a spatially- and temporally-resolved agent-based model incorporating several hypotheses about the behavior of large-scale (>200 thousand km ² ) agrarian states and steppe nomadic confederations in Afro-Eurasia between the late Bronze and the end of the Medieval era (1500 BCE to 1500 CE). The model tracks the spread of agrarian states as they expand, conquer the territory of other states or are themselves conquered, and, occasionally, collapse. To accurately retrodict the historical record, several key contingent regional technological advances in state military and agricultural efficiencies are identified. Modifying the location, scale, and timing of these contingent developments allows quantitative investigation of historically-plausible alternative trajectories of state growth, spread, and fragmentation, while demonstrating the operation and limits of the model. Under nominal assumptions, the rapid yet staggered increase of agrarian state sizes across Eurasia after 600 BCE occurs in response to intense military pressure from ‘mirror‘ steppe nomadic confederations. Nevertheless, in spite of various technological advances throughout the period, the modeled creation and spread of new agrarian states is a fundamental consequence of state collapse and internal civil wars triggered by rising ‘demographic-structural’ pressures that occur when state territorial growth is checked yet (warrior elite) population growth continues. Together the model’s underlying mechanisms substantially account for the number of states, their duration, location, spread rate, overall occupied area, and total population size for three thousand years.
... Насамперед, варто привернути увагу до фундаментальної праці Томаса Сміта «Історія і Міжнародні відносини», де ахісторицизму присвячений окремий розділ з промовистою назвою «Злиденність ахісторицизму». Із назви та змісту розділу можна зробити припущення, що йдеться про своєрідну заочну дискусію з відомою науковою працею Карла Поппера «Злиденність історицизму» [14]. При цьому слід зазначити, що видатний філософ не просто критикує історизм, він фактично ставить під сумнів науковість історичного пізнання як такого. ...
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The radical transformation of world politics has led to an active rethinking of practice and the theory of international relations. The situation is significantly complicated by the fact that historical parallels are most often used to justify or justify specific political decisions. Turning to the answers to History on the problems of modernity without proper methodological guidelines increases the risk of replacing the systematic reconceptualization of the nature of international relations with repeated "plastic surgery" of outdated theoretical approaches. The primary methodological source of substituting reconceptualization for "conceptual plastic surgery" is ahistoricism, the critical feature of which is the tendency to define and apply universal laws of historical development, unchanging characteristics of historical phenomena, whose nature depends little on the impact of specific historical circumstances. The purpose of the study is to reveal the essence and consequences of the influence of ahistoricism on the understanding of international relations after the end of the Cold War. Its achievement is expected through the implementation of three research objectives: assessment of the analytical potential of the method of historical analogy; consideration of the case of the concept of the "new cold war" and substantiation of its ahistorical methodological origins; proposals for a theoretical alternative to ahistoricism in the study of the modern world order, which is based on the methodological principle of historicism. The autonomy of the two functions of the method of historical analogy (evidence and heuristic), the emphasis on the heuristic function, helps avoid the "trap of ahistoricism". Conclusions of the study: the effectiveness of the method of historical analogy in the study of international relations depends on a correct analysis of the nature of the compared phenomena and the whole set of factors influencing their behaviour and the state of the international system; the case of the "new cold war" is a convincing illustration of the "trap of historicism" in the understanding of international relations; analytical productivity of Cold War concepts is minimal, understanding modern world politics requires careful study of all dimensions of the historical context and social nature of the subjects, which requires updating methodological approaches.
... In consequence, the complexity of social space across multiple scales is partially misunderstood. The science of complex systems bridges between disciplines for finding out the existence of deterministic mechanisms behind collective behaviors 16 . To that end, they apply a number of concepts from physics, including interaction networks, chaotic dynamics, extreme event theory, pervasive uncertainty, and contextual conditioning [17][18][19] . ...
Article
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The social space refers to physical or virtual places where people interact with one another. It decisively influences the emergence of human behaviors. However, little is known about the nature and complexity of the social space, nor its relationship to context and spatial scale. Recently, the science of complex systems has bridged between fields of knowledge to provide quantitative responses to fundamental sociological questions. In this paper, we analyze the shifting behavior of social space in terms of human interactions and wealth distribution across multiple scales using fine-grained data collected from both official (US Census Bureau) and unofficial data sources (social media). We use these data to unveil how patterns strongly depend upon the observation scale. Therefore, it is crucial for any analysis to be framed within the appropriate context to avoid biased results and/or misleading conclusions. Biased data analysis may lead to the adoption of fragile and poor decisions. Including context and a proper understanding of the spatial scale are essential nowadays, especially with the pervasive role of data-driven tools in decision-making processes.
... Q3 ep : Strong positivism considers it the goal of research to discover the laws governing the social world by identifying invariant regularities (Popper, 1986). 3 A fundamental symmetry between explaining and predicting is assumed in that social laws, like those of physics, are general across time and space. ...
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Philosophy of social science (PoS) typologies can help practitioners in the social sciences to reflect upon the often-tacit assumptions embedded in research. Existing PoS typologies however suffer from various shortcomings , one of them being a tendency to present extreme versions of the assumptions underpinning research. Having considered this and other shortcomings, the present paper advances a flexible PoS typology. Operating with strong and moderated versions of three PoS perspectives-posi-tivism, constructionism and (critical) realism-the typol-ogy captures key assumptions underpinning a broad range of contemporary social research. Moreover, it opens up the possibility of contemplating the assumptions embedded in research in a more fruitful way. To render tangible how the typology constitutes an improvement over existing typologies, it is used in reflections on sustainability research on climate negotiations, green growth and housing development.
... We started with the hypothesis that the design of a new social museography should integrate the contributions made by different currents and experiences (from the showcase to smartphones) in the key to "fragmentary engineering" of the concept close to Popper [21]. This implied considering the exhibition systems of traditional museography (showcases, panels, texts, scenography . . . ) but also the contributions of mechanical interactive museography, interactive computer museography, audiovisual and iconographic resources, as well as emerging digital museography. ...
Article
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The Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations in the 2030 agenda point out the need to safeguard cultural heritage and the importance of convergence towards quality education. Through different museum projects (between 2010 and 2021), the DIDPATRI research group of the University of Barcelona has developed heritage museum models following sustainability parameters. The lines of work have been based on the use of previous museum cultures (integrating existing models) to respond to the needs of the present. The working hypotheses have raised the need to build a new social museography around the historical heritage, which can respond to the social demands of citizen education and sustainability. Museography should be oriented to formal and non-formal teaching-learning environments. Social museography must be based on the understanding of historical heritage in broad sectors of the public as well as on the participation of social agents, civil society, and the scientific community. Social museography must be based on the enhancement of heritage resources (tangible or intangible) in a way that is compatible with sustainable development options; it must be built with the support of protocols that consider production costs that are consistent with the economic and social resources available and with the reasonable use of complex technologies. This desire for research (on the paths of a new social museography) has been channeled through the development of research and transfer projects. The results obtained have generated empirical models that have contributed (methodologically) to the development of museographic options that respond to emerging demands in the environment of historical-archaeological heritage.
Chapter
The concept of Intentional Action is at the core of Praxeology, as developed by the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises. Under this unique approach, defined as the science of human action and designed to study the field of the social sciences, Mises created an axiomatic-deductive system starting from the “action axiom”: the contention that every acting man is eager to substitute a more satisfactory state of affairs for a less desired one. From this axiom, the Austrian scholar is able to derive the fundamental features and implications of human action; such as value, scale of value, scarcity, abundance, profit, loss, uncertainty and causality, among others. This chapter intends to present the praxeological perspective on intentional action and its epistemological implications; it also attempts to answer objections to this thesis.
Thesis
This thesis presents a study of the influence of urban street configuration on the pattern of commercial office rents in Berlin. The hypothesis is that there is a relationship between the two, and that the alteration of the street network with reunification has precipitated a spatial reorganisation of office rents. The identification of an independent spatial variable that can be used to account for the pattern of rent is a key problem in office rent studies. Unlike previously used distances to a point in the Central Business District (CBD) or other destinations, this study uses 'space syntax' measures of the morphology of the street network. 'Global integration' is used to measure the role of each street within the entire configuration, revealing fundamental changes in the spatial structure of Berlin both with the city's historical development and with reunification. Whereas most previous office rent studies have used yearly average asking rents per building for a short period, a sample of 412 achieved rents over a 7 year period was collected to control for the influence of lease provisions and the effect of market change over time on rents. The spatial pattern of 'location rents' is investigated through visual representations using GIS. Significant variation from street to street and a marked rise from periphery to centre are found. Unlike previous studies, spatial changes over time were investigated: a marked shift in the pattern of rents from West Berlin to the East has occurred in the 7 years following reunification. This shift corresponds to the changing spatial structure of the city revealed in the spatial analysis. Multiple Regression Analysis (MRA) is used to quantify the importance of spatial variables (space syntax measures) in rent determination but also taking non-spatial variables (time, building quality, and lease provisions) into account. The main findings are that rents in West Berlin can be explained by the date of lease commencement (falling with the recession) and the global spatial integration as it was in divided Berlin. In East Berlin the global integration pattern of reunfied Berlin is most important and secondly the date of lease commencement. Other variables such as floorspace and lease length are not found to have statistical significance. It is concluded that the change in Berlin's spatial structure that occurred with reunification led to a spatial reorganisation of prime office rents from the West Berlin CBD into the former East Berlin district of Mitte. It is argued that 'location value' will be an emergent property of any spatial system because a differentiated potential for co-presence is created.
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As we consider the role of time in sociology, we come to a chain of interrelated questions which, as many contemporary authors state, cannot be addressed in isolation, but on the contrary have multilateral ties.
Article
This article attempts to re-evaluate Karl Mannheim’s notion of “planning for freedom” within the context of contemporary global citizenship education (GCE). First, it examines Mannheim’s distinctions between “planning”, “founding”, and “administration” and analyses his notion of principia media. It argues that Mannheim conceptualised “planned thinking” as a dynamic and interdependent type of thinking necessary for grasping the whole situation of a changing world. This kind of thinking is interdisciplinary and serves to develop human capacity, through higher education, towards the cultivation of active global citizens. Second, this article examines Mannheimian conceptions of “democratic personality”, “integrative behaviour”, and “creative tolerance”, all of which are related to civility, which in turn is an indispensable aspect for GCE. The aim of this article is not to simply study Mannheim’s thoughts in the strictest sense of the word. Rather, it interprets his insights in the context of current GCE’s values and knowledge.
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The present paper is a theoretical study of the educational system in the coming postindustrial society. The authors propose a conceptual model of that modern educational system. The model represents the approaching new school as a culturological space defined by three planes corresponding to three new phenomena closely related to the modern information technologies. These phenomena affecting the new school are: a) Social Media as a new way of forming social consciousness; b) Personal Identity Online as a new way of forming personality, and c) Data Intensive Science as a new scientific and methodological paradigm. It is shown that each of these phenomena is a result of evolution in three fields: knowledge acquiring, learning process, and science methodology. Development of the educational system/process is considered to benefit from а conflict between two tendencies: socialization and individualization. The paper also discusses digital curation as a novel educational activity which can be born in the new school based on a combined contribution of the above three phenomena. No doubt that education in the social media, within the abundance of various content, and with stimulating the students’ personal identity online - such education should drastically change roles of both the teacher and the students in the new school. Key words: educational system, methodological paradigm, postindustrial society.
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This chapter asks what insights long-term historical information from before the Great Acceleration and Anthropocene might offer to policy and practice in the twenty-first century. Conventional sustainability research usually focuses on shallower time horizons that could miss insightful environmental and social processes evolving over centuries to millennia. Although we push for increased engagement with historical researchers, parallels between pre-modern and contemporary environmental and societal challenges need to be treated with caution. So-called cases of societal collapse—often associated with environmental calamities—provide limited or at best flawed parallels with challenges faced today. The pitfalls of reductionism and determinism that often attend collapse discourse account for social agency and complexity in incomplete and unconvincing ways. Instead, we argue that historical evidence should serve as context to environmental problems faced today, as antecedents of the accelerated environmental change of later modernity rather than as direct analogies. Historical antecedents can be understood, to an extent, as previous experiments against which to test and improve theory or to structure possibilistic scenarios that help anticipate unexpected social and environmental challenges. In concluding, we suggest that researcher in historical sciences and the humanities require resources, space and incentives to explore sticky questions of uncertainty, risk, and vulnerability to environmental change together with global change researchers, policymakers, and environmental practitioners.
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In this chapter, we examine the iconic disappearance of the Medieval Norse Greenlanders and use qualitative scenarios and counterfactual analysis to produce lessons for policymakers. We stress the role that archaeologists and historians have in adding context to contemporary social and environmental challenges and use human-environmental histories as ‘natural experiments’ with which to test scenarios. Rather than drawing direct analogies with discrete historical case studies such as Norse Greenland, such cases form complete experiments with which to ask ‘what if’ questions and learn from a range of real (retrofactual) and alternative (counterfactual) scenarios. By testing a range of scenarios associated with climate impacts and adaptive strategies, evidence from the past might be used to learn from unanticipated changes and build a better understanding of theory and concepts, including adaptation and vulnerability, and their application to the present. The Norse Greenland case study illustrates an important lesson for climate change adaptation scenarios; even a highly adaptive society can, over the course of several centuries, reach limits to adaptation when exposed to unanticipated social and environmental change.
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Science and technology develop not only along historical trajectories, but also as next-order regimes that periodically change the landscape. Regimes can incur on trajectories which are then disrupted. Using citations and references for the operationalization, we discuss and quantify both the recently proposed “disruption indicator” and the older indicator for “critical transitions” among reference lists as changes which may necessitate a rewriting of history. We elaborate this with three examples in order to provide a proof of concept. We shall show how the indicators can be calculated using Web-of-Science data. The routine is automated (available at < http://www.leydesdorff.net/software/di/index.htm >) so that it can be upscaled in future research. We suggest that “critical transitions” can be used to indicate disruption at the regime level, whereas disruption is developed at the trajectory level. Both conceptually and empirically, however, continuity is grasped more easily than disruption.
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Im Gesamtwerk Simmels und innerhalb der später als klassisch verstandenen Periode der Soziologie nimmt diese frühe Schrift eine Sonderrolle ein. Denn hier werden explizit die Grundlagen geschichtlichen Erkennens soziologisch verhandelt.
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Ernest Nagel was one of the first philosophers of science who reflected systematically on the methodology of the social sciences. His cooperation with Paul F. Lazarsfeld at Columbia University proved to be instructive in this regard. Moreover, Nagel stood in close contact with representatives of sociological functionalism and published, in 1956, a contribution on the prospects of a formalization of functionalism. In his seminal The Structure of Science from 1961, Nagel devoted two long chapters to methodological and explanatory problems of the social sciences. The aim of the present chapter is to rationally reconstruct this 1961 account. I will proceed in three steps: first, I shall shed some light on Nagel’s discussion of the problem of a clear-cut demarcation between the natural and the social sciences; then Nagel’s interpretation of the presumptive ‘immaturity’ of the social sciences will be taken into account; finally, two case studies will be provided in order to illustrate the implications of Nagel’s particular analysis.
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Includes:PART ONEAN OUTLINE OF FINNISH PHILOSOPHY BEFORE 18091.1. Prehistory1.2. Christianity Arrives1.3. The Academy of TurkuPART TWOFROM IDEALISM TO NATIONALISTIC AND LIBERAL CONSTRUCTIONS OF THE STATE2. 1. Varieties of ldealism: Franzén, Lagus, and Hartman2.2. Romanticism in Turku: Bergbom, Ottelin, Arwidsson, and Hwasser2.3. J. J. Tengström's Teaching of Hegel's Philosophy of Right2.4. J. V. Snellman's Career: Philosopher, Journalist, Senator2.5. Academic Freedom and Bildung2.6. Personality, Spirit, and Nation2.7. Snellman’s Doctrine of the State2.8. Fight for Enlightenment: Wilhelm Bolin2.9. Ways out of HegelPART THREEENTANGLEMENT OF PHILOSOPHY AND EMPIRICAL RESEARCH3.1. From Philosophical Psychology to Experimental Psychology3.2. Logic and Psychology in Lotze's Spirit: Thiodolf Rein3.3. Psychological Laboratory: Hjalmar Neiglick3.4. Philosophy of History: Arvi Grotenfelt3.5. Psychological Ethics and Social Anthropology: Edward 'Westermarck3.6. A Promethean Philosopher and Psychologist: Rolf Lagerborg3.7. Logical Paradoxes: Hjalmar Magnus Eklund3.8. Modern Philosophical Currents: Eino Kaila3.9. Debates on Mach3.10. New Trends in Psychology in the 1910s3.11. Philosophy and Public Affairs: The Philosophical Society
Article
In the late 1970s Paul Samuelson drafted the outline of a paper, never published, with a critical assessment of the theoretical innovations of postwar development economics. He found it a “vital” but essentially “not tractable” subject, with a “voluminous” and “repetitive” literature. This article discusses how that assessment fits in Samuelson’s published writings on economic development, throughout several editions of his textbook Economics, and in papers he wrote before and after that assessment. Increasing returns posed a main analytical hurdle, together with the elusive attempt to provide “laws of motion” of economic development. Samuel son’s notion of “tractability” may be traced back to Peter Medawar’s well-known definition of science as the “art of the soluble.”
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The subject-matter of the paper is the theory of class struggle proposed by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, one of the leading representatives of libertarian political philosophy in the radical tradition of Murray N. Rothbard. The author reconstructs and critically comments on the theory at hand. The author's remarks focus on the ethical and methodological background of Hoppe's approach, the main question being whether the latter theory is consonant with the thinker's positions on ethics and methodology, as well as with his political standpoint. The author argues that not only does class analysis not contradict other core beliefs of Hoppe but it also represents an indispensable element of his libertarian philosophy. There is, however, a significant tension between the class approach and Hoppe's secondary philosophical position – his historical idealism. The article is concluded by indicating some further issues in the Hoppean theory of class that, in the author's opinion, should be subject to future inquiry.
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This chapter attempts to share some insights into how cancer cytogenetics is likely to develop in the years to come. Genetic classifications of leukemias and, by inference, cancers in general thus gained in importance. In other words, pathogenetic classifications gradually came across as more relevant than grouping neoplasms by secondary features such as cellular size or form, and the newfound therapeutic usefulness of genetic classifications (imatinib treatment of patients with Ph‐positive leukemias) seemed to clinch the matter. With the advent of cancer cytogenetics and molecular genetics, however, data on the neoplastic cells’ acquired genomic changes are increasingly included in the equation. Ever more sophisticated studies of the leukemic cells – beginning with cytogenetic screening and ending with detailed, molecular‐level knowledge of the crucial pathogenetic event – eventually revolutionized the clinical management of patients with Ph‐positive leukemias.
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In this paper, I consider whether the critical rationalist philosophy of science may provide a rationale for trusting scientific knowledge. In the first part, I refer to several insights of Karl Popper’s social and political philosophy in order to see whether they may be of help in offsetting the distrust of science spawned by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the second part, I address the more general issue of whether the theoretical principles of the critical rationalist philosophy of science may afford a foundation for building trust in science. Both parts of the discussion, confined for the sake of the argument largely to the repudiation of the concept of good reasons for considering a theory to be true, imply that this question would have to be answered negatively. Against this, I argue that such a conclusion is based on a misconception of the nature of scientific knowledge: critical rationalism views science as a cognitive regime which calls for bold theories and at the same time demands a rigorous and continuous distrust towards them, and it is precisely this attitude that should be adopted as a compelling argument for trusting science.
Article
The origins and content of the methodology of scientific research programs of I. Lakatos are considered taking into account the problems and tasks of the history of sociology. The reception of the methodology of research programs in sociology can be explained by the relevance of the analytical model of the structure and dynamics of the research program in the analysis of sociological knowledge. Within the framework of sociological knowledge, metatheoretical, theoretical and empirical structural levels are analytically distinguished. Certain structural analogies are observed: between the “hard core” and “negative heuristics” of the research program, on the one hand, and metatheory, on the other; between the “protective belt” and the “positive heuristic” of the research program, on the one hand, and theory, on the other; between the empirical content of the research program, on the one hand, and the empirical basis of sociology, on the other. One can observe a number of analogies in the dynamics of functional connections between the structural components of the research program, on the one hand, and the dynamics of functional connections between metatheorizing, theorizing, and empirical analysis in sociology, on the other.
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This paper analyzes the ethics of social science research (SSR) employing big data. We begin by highlighting the research gap found on the intersection between big data ethics, SSR and research ethics. We then discuss three aspects of big data SSR which make it warrant special attention from a research ethics angle: (1) the interpretative character of both SSR and big data, (2) complexities of anticipating and managing risks in publication and reuse of big data SSR, and (3) the paucity of regulatory oversight and ethical recommendations on protecting individual subjects as well as societies when conducting big data SSR. Against this backdrop, we propose using David Resnik’s research ethics framework to analyze some of the most pressing ethical issues of big data SSR. Focusing on the principles of honesty, carefulness, openness, efficiency, respect for subjects, and social responsibility, we discuss three clusters of ethical issues: those related to methodological biases and personal prejudices, those connected to risks arising from data availability and reuse, and those leading to individual and social harms. Finally, we advance considerations to observe in developing future ethical guidelines about big data SSR.
Conference Paper
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Wine tourism is one of the relatively young tourist activities in the Czech Republic, wine as a tourist product has only recently begun to be promoted to a greater extent. The beginnings of wine tourism can be traced mainly to southern Moravia, where wine growing is traditionally associated with a specific rural culture and folk architecture. On the example of a particular wine region, this paper captures natural as well as cultural and material-technical prerequisites for tourism development and introduces it to potential tourists. The aim is to apply localization and implementation factors within a wine tourism field on a territory of Moravia in the Czech Republic. The Moravia wine region has a high potential for wine tourism and further development by natural as well as cultural and historical predisposition, followed by well-spread cycling routes, number of touristic attractions and services facilities together with quality wine production.
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According to Searle's theory of collective intentionality, the fundamental structure of any society can be accounted for in terms of cooperative mechanisms that create deontic relations. This paper criticizes Searle's standpoint on the ground that, while his social ontology can make sense of simple systems of interaction like symphony orchestras and football teams, the whole coordinative structure of the modern market society cannot be explained solely in terms of we-intentional collaboration and deontic relations. As clarified by Hayek, because of its complexity, this society is a self-organizing system. It results not only from micro-level agreed constraints, but also from an unintended cybernetic mechanism that affects and shapes both its micro and macro dynamics via a circular causality. Searle ignores the coordination problem posed by complexity and provides strawman arguments against the theory of action underpinning the invisible hand explanation of social phenomena.
Thesis
Meine Dissertation stellt eine historische Rekonstruktion der Krisenforschung der ordoliberalen Ökonomen Wilhelm Röpke, Walter Eucken und Friedrich A. Lutz in der Zwischenkriegszeit dar. Eine solche Rekonstruktion ist notwendig, da seit der Eurokrise im Jahre 2010 die Gefahr bestand, die deutsche wirtschaftspolitische Position in Bezug auf die verschuldeten südeuropäischen Länder als logische Fortsetzung und praktische Anwendung des intellektuellen Vermächtnisses des Ordoliberalismus im Allgemeinen und der Freiburger Schule im Besonderen zu interpretieren. Aus dogmenhistorischer Sicht ist eine solche Interpretation kritisch zu beurteilen, da sie der Botschaft der Forschungsprogramme unterschiedlicher Autoren nicht gerecht wird und außerdem zu viel Raum für eine subjektive Auslegung oder gar ahistorische Manipulation schafft. Meine Dissertation besteht aus vier Aufsätzen.
Chapter
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Thinking together-cognition as a fundamentally social process-has been studied by social psychologists since the emergence of the field at the turn of the twentieth century. Thinking clearly about socially shared cognition has been challenging, however. Social psychologists have struggled with whether and how to conceptualize, measure, and study social units as entities with their own properties and behavior. After briefly summarizing the history of theoretical and methodological approaches to social cognition by psychologists, we introduce four "core configurations"-characteristic social units of different sizes-in which people repeatedly assemble and interact. These configurations comprise "the selective context for uniquely human mental systems" that characterizes the history of evolved human social life Caporael (1997, 276). Using this framework of differently sized social units, we explore thinking as a fundamentally social process of creating, shaping, storing, retrieving, deploying, and reshaping knowledge. We discuss how joint attention and other shared cognitive processes develop initially in dyads (starting with the mother-infant dyad), then examine how small interacting work and family groups use distributed cognitive resources such as memory to coordinate thoughts and actions. The final section discusses phenomena such as meaning making, motivated forgetting, and social identity that emerge in the context of larger scale social units, and can scale up to collectives that include thousands or millions of people. An earlier version of this chapter provided a selective tour of relevant literature followed by a very brief application to a context in which accessing and sharing memories about a collective experience has profound social implications. When the first author presented the chapter at the Socially
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What is techno-optimism and how can it be defended? Although techno-optimist views are widely espoused and critiqued, there have been few attempts to systematically analyse what it means to be a techno-optimist and how one might defend this view. This paper attempts to address this oversight by providing a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of techno-optimism. It is argued that techno-optimism is a pluralistic stance that comes in weak and strong forms. These vary along a number of key dimensions but each shares the view that technology plays a key role in ensuring that the good prevails over the bad. Whatever its strength, to defend this stance, one must flesh out an argument with four key premises. Each of these premises is highly controversial and can be subjected to a number of critiques. The paper discusses five such critiques in detail (the values critique, the treadmill critique, the sustainability critique, the irrationality critique and the insufficiency critique). The paper also considers possible responses from the techno-optimist. Finally, it is concluded that although strong forms of techno-optimism are not intellectually defensible, a modest, agency-based version of techno-optimism may be defensible.
Thesis
Originated in a philosophical questioning on the French-Algerian postcolonial situation, this thesis focuses on Sartre’s philosophy as an attempt to answer the theoretical conflicts inherited from the French Revolution. I conceptualise the post-revolutionary era as a conflict between ethics and aesthetics that gave birth to positivism, which was on the road to challenge political philosophy in the twentieth century. I show that, at the very same time, Sartre was finding a solution to the challenges posed to political philosophy by criticising positivism thanks to his pursuit of a reconciliation of existentialism and Marxism. I analyse this pursuit as his own attempt to reconcile ethics and aesthetics, that the French Revolution had pulled apart. In Chapter 1, I lay down my interpretation of the meaning of the French Revolution for political philosophy, and enunciate the premise of the role Sartre has in solving the theoretical conflicts that emerged from it. It leads me to assess the role of subjectivity for him in Chapter 2, where I suggest to shed light on it thanks to the unvoiced Sartrean concept of collective past. From this original understanding of the connection between subjectivity and history, emerges an interpretation of intersubjectivity that leads to a theory of recognition very specific to Sartre, that I present and rebuild in Chapter 3. I the fourth and last chapter, I make the hypothesis that the concept of recognition stands as the connecting link between ethics and aesthetics, and I also give a full account of what aesthetics means for Sartre’s political philosophy. Sartre was involved in this enormously ambitious philosophical work at the very same time that he was politically involved in the anticolonial fight; throughout the thesis, I build a Sartre-inspired network of concepts apt for understanding of the French-Algerian situation.
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This paper explains the role of methodological individualism as a methodology for the social sciences by briefly discussing its forerunners in economics and sociology, especially in the works of Carl Menger and Max Weber, followed by some comments on Karl Popper’s and other critical rationalists’ contributions as well as rational choice theories. Some recent arguments against methodological rationalism are then provided, including counterarguments, mainly based on exemplary work by economists and sociologists. This paper proposes a scheme for analyses using (weak) methodological individualism, in particular, arguing that evolutionary approaches to the explanation of economic and other social phenomena that accord with methodological individualism suggest that it is a successful and progressive methodology for economics and sociology.
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Parallels have been drawn between the 1930s and today, notably the existence of unstable economic conditions as well as deepening, antagonistic ideological divisions. In the 1940s, two books appeared that presented opposing diagnoses of, and remedies for, the problems that faced Western societies at that time. In Man and Society, Karl Mannheim argued that forms of political organization had not adapted to changing social, economic, and technological conditions, and that this explained the rise of communism and fascism. He insisted that, in order to avoid disorder and political extremism, liberal democracies needed to engage in greater planning of their economic and social affairs, with sociology providing the synthesis of scientific knowledge required for this. Just a few years later, Friedrich Hayek published The Road to Serfdom, in which Mannheim's work was a central target. He insisted that only the preservation of liberal freedoms and competitive markets could prevent the spread of totalitarianism. This paper outlines the arguments of each of these authors and provides an account of some of the historical background against which their disagreement arose. It also explores the relevance of their very different positions today, at a time when the neoliberal ideology that Hayek championed continues to have great influence but is under increasing attack from across the political spectrum.
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