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Criticisms of naturalistic coherentism are suggested that are not raised by its critics in the literature. The rejection of traditional foundationalism does not necessarily entail the acceptance of coherentism. Coherentism can be seen as another version of foundationalism. Most interestingly, Evers and Lakomski’s stance on “strong vs weak” naturalism seems to be vague. Then, in closing, it is suggested that a recent theory in epistemology termed “foundherentism” might provide some avenues for the further development of naturalistic coherentism, such as by emphasising empirical input in coherentism and adopting a weak version of naturalism.
Purpose – To develop an alternate metaethical framework based upon a specific modality of difference.
Methodology/approach – A radicalisation of Moore's naturalistic fallacy and the application of the open question argument within the broader context of the continental tradition allow one to direct the ethical question away from non-naturalism and towards a speculative ethics.
Findings – Suggesting an ethical modality irreducible to ontological description or political prescription, the chapter argues for a metaethics of ‘exhortation’.
Originality/value of chapter – The chapter opens a new space for thinking ethics, and further encourages the continuing rapprochement between continental and analytical traditions in philosophy.
Practical implications – Questions of practical ethics will find new modes of engagement and expression in the context of a hortative metaethics.
The relationship between ontology, realism, and normativity is complex and contentious. While naturalist and realist stances have tended to ground questions of normativity…
The relationship between ontology, realism, and normativity is complex and contentious. While naturalist and realist stances have tended to ground questions of normativity in ontology and accounts of human nature, critical theories have been critical of the relationship between ontological and normative projects. Queer theory in particular has been critical of ontological endeavors. Exploring the problem of normativity and ontology, this paper will make the case that the critical realist ontology of open systems and complex, contingent, conjunctural causation deeply resonates with queer theory, generating a queer ontology that both allows for and undermines ontological and normative projects.
Purpose – To better understand the relation between Friedrich Hayek's “theoretical psychology” and contemporary connectionist theories of mind.Methodology/approach – There…
Purpose – To better understand the relation between Friedrich Hayek's “theoretical psychology” and contemporary connectionist theories of mind.
Methodology/approach – There is much in The Sensory Order that recommends the oft-made claim that Hayek anticipated connectionist theories of mind. To the extent that this is so, contemporary arguments against and for connectionism, as advanced by Jerry Fodor, Zenon Pylyshyn, and John Searle, are shown as applicable to theoretical psychology. However, the final section of this chapter highlights an important disanalogy between theoretical psychology and connectionist theories of mind.
Findings – While Hayek can be construed as a connectionist, it is argued that Hayek's ontological presuppositions are not shared by contemporary theorists of mind. In particular, modern critiques of Hayek's theoretical psychology qua connectionism assume that he attempts to provide an account of the mind within the confines of scientific naturalism. This essay argues that this assumption is false. Hayek's ontological presuppositions are more akin to Kant's, implying that Hayek's question is importantly different from those asked by contemporary theorists of mind.
Originality/value of the chapter – At a certain level of abstraction, a Hayakian machine is not unlike certain versions of a connectionist machine. However, to adequately assess the significance of The Sensory Order on its own terms, Hayek's project must be disentangled from our own ontological preoccupations.
Purpose – First, to look closely and critically at Hayek's treatment of science in The Sensory Order. This provides hints as to the difficulties in maintaining a theory of scientific knowledge as a selective sum of the identifiable contributions of individual scientists. Second, to generalize from Hayek's theory of how the brain generates an individual's knowledge to a theory of how science generates scientific knowledge, knowledge that is not a simple sum of individual contributions. Third, to apply this picture of science to understanding developments in postpositivist philosophy and post-Mertonian sociology of science.
Approach – We provide a short survey of the conventional understanding of science and scientific knowledge, including that of Hayek in The Sensory Order. We examine in more depth the ways in which developments in postpositivist philosophy and sociology have transformed our understanding of science. We describe how, by analogy with Hayek's theory of the brain, science can be seen as an adaptive system that adjusts to its environment by classifying the phenomena in that environment to which it is sensitive, and we apply this systemic picture of science with a view to integrating much of the more moderate content of recent philosophy and sociology of science.
A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balanceeconomics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary toman′s finding the good life and society…
A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balance economics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary to man′s finding the good life and society enduring as a civilized instrumentality. Looks for authority to great men of the past and to today′s moral philosopher: man is an ethical animal. The 13 essays are: 1. Evolutionary Economics: The End of It All? which challenges the view that Darwinism destroyed belief in a universe of purpose and design; 2. Schmoller′s Political Economy: Its Psychic, Moral and Legal Foundations, which centres on the belief that time‐honoured ethical values prevail in an economy formed by ties of common sentiment, ideas, customs and laws; 3. Adam Smith by Gustav von Schmoller – Schmoller rejects Smith′s natural law and sees him as simply spreading the message of Calvinism; 4. Pierre‐Joseph Proudhon, Socialist – Karl Marx, Communist: A Comparison; 5. Marxism and the Instauration of Man, which raises the question for Marx: is the flowering of the new man in Communist society the ultimate end to the dialectical movement of history?; 6. Ethical Progress and Economic Growth in Western Civilization; 7. Ethical Principles in American Society: An Appraisal; 8. The Ugent Need for a Consensus on Moral Values, which focuses on the real dangers inherent in there being no consensus on moral values; 9. Human Resources and the Good Society – man is not to be treated as an economic resource; man′s moral and material wellbeing is the goal; 10. The Social Economist on the Modern Dilemma: Ethical Dwarfs and Nuclear Giants, which argues that it is imperative to distinguish good from evil and to act accordingly: existentialism, situation ethics and evolutionary ethics savour of nihilism; 11. Ethical Principles: The Economist′s Quandary, which is the difficulty of balancing the claims of disinterested science and of the urge to better the human condition; 12. The Role of Government in the Advancement of Cultural Values, which discusses censorship and the funding of art against the background of the US Helms Amendment; 13. Man at the Crossroads draws earlier themes together; the author makes the case for rejecting determinism and the “operant conditioning” of the Skinner school in favour of the moral progress of autonomous man through adherence to traditional ethical values.
Learning is a natural human activity. The more trainers seek to contrive learning processes the more problems are created. The author argues for the removal of the…
Learning is a natural human activity. The more trainers seek to contrive learning processes the more problems are created. The author argues for the removal of the mystification and jargon and for the re‐creation of the individual's instinctive and natural abilities to learn/help others to learn.
Caldwell’s Beyond Positivism was a key publication that helped precipitate the consolidation of the methodology of economics into a distinct subfield within economics…
Caldwell’s Beyond Positivism was a key publication that helped precipitate the consolidation of the methodology of economics into a distinct subfield within economics. Reconsidering it after 35 years, it is striking for its antinaturalism (i.e., its lack of deference to the actual practices of economics) or, perhaps, for its meta-naturalism (displayed in its excessive deference to the philosophy of science) and for its defense of pluralism. It offers pluralism as an unsuccessful defense against dogmatism. Against Caldwell’s pluralism, dogmatism is better opposed by a commitment of fallibilism and scientific humility. Caldwell’s defense of Austrian methodology is taken as a case study to illustrate and investigate his key themes and the issues that they raise.
The main purpose of this contribution lies in the attempt to show that the future of western civilisation has been placed in jeopardy as a result of the declining…
The main purpose of this contribution lies in the attempt to show that the future of western civilisation has been placed in jeopardy as a result of the declining influence of the Christian ethic, a system of transcendental values, and the increased acceptance of moral relativism due to the zeal and diligence of the proponents of secular humanism, naturalism, pragmatism and utilitarianism.
The purpose of this paper is to explicate the ways in which the practice of the dramatic arts has evolved to facilitate second-order observation of social systems and can…
The purpose of this paper is to explicate the ways in which the practice of the dramatic arts has evolved to facilitate second-order observation of social systems and can be used to “pragmatize” systems thinking for a wider audience.
Survey of selected dramatic theory and practice from the nineteenth century to the present framed within the cyber-systemic theories of Niklas Luhmann, Werner Ulrich and Oswaldo Garcia de la Cerda and Maria Saavedra Ulloa.
Beginning with Naturalism in the late nineteenth century, theatrical practitioners have increasingly revealed the structure of social systems through their work, largely without any explicit adoption or deployment of systems theory. Current methods of theatrical presentation are highly compatible with cyber-systemic heuristics and could be used to make this body of theory known to a wider public.
Work involving the direct application of systems theory to theatrical practice is still in its very early stages.
Despite the lack of direct influence by systems theory, Western theatrical practice has evolved in such a way as to facilitate increased opportunities for second-order observation of, and subsequent intervention in, the structure of social systems. The deliberate cultivation and integration of systems theory could allow theatre to become a significant tool for the explication of systems theory to the general public in a highly practical manner.
As a communal and, in certain forms, interactive endeavour, a systems-oriented theatrical practice can provide an inclusive public space for the critique of social systems as they are currently structured and for the modelling of alternative structures.
Theorizing selected moments of theatre history as the development of platforms for second-order observation is a unique analytical approach. The applications suggested in this paper may lead to novel approaches to the development of systems literacy across society.