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A new approach of general systems theory is used to study the feasibility of the definition of the theory so‐called the science of science. General scientific theory is…
A new approach of general systems theory is used to study the feasibility of the definition of the theory so‐called the science of science. General scientific theory is studied as a system. The technique, well used by Bertrand Russell in his famous Russell paradox, is applied to show that the theory of science of science cannot exist. A new definition of the theory of science of science is given, so that paradoxes similar to Russell's paradox will not occur in the new theory of science of science developed on the new definition.
This Introduction gives a historical and theoretical overview of this volume on Fields of Knowledge: Science, Politics and Publics in the Neoliberal Age, which showcases…
This Introduction gives a historical and theoretical overview of this volume on Fields of Knowledge: Science, Politics and Publics in the Neoliberal Age, which showcases original research in political sociology of science targeting the changes in scientific and technological policy and practice associated with the rise of neoliberal thought and policies since the 1970s. We argue that an existing family of field theoretic frameworks and empirical field analyses provides a particularly useful set of ideas and approaches for the meso-level understanding of these historical changes in ways that complement as well as challenge other theory traditions in sociology of science, broadly defined. The collected papers exhibit a dual focus on sciences’ interfield relations, connecting science and science policy to political, economic, educational, and other fields and on the institutional logics of scientific fields that pattern expert discourses, practices, and knowledge and shape relations of the scientific field to the rest of the world. By reconceptualizing the central problem for political sociology of science as a problem of field- and inter-field dynamics, and by critically engaging other theory traditions whose assumptions are in some ways undermined by the contemporary history of neoliberalism, we believe these papers collectively chart an important theoretical agenda for future research in the sociology of science.
Organizational researchers live in two worlds. The first demands and rewards speculations about how to improve performance. The second demands and rewards adherence to rigorous standards of scholarship (March & Sutton, 1997, p. 698).Those of us who study organizations and are professors of management work on the front lines, so to speak, where the beliefs we have about how to improve managerial performance get passed directly on to practitioners. The question is, What right do we have to put our beliefs in a privileged position? Beliefs, by definition, are supposed to be true. According to Webster’s (1996) a belief is a conviction about the truth of some statement and/or reality of some phenomenon, especially when based on examination of evidence. Are all of our lectures based on consensually agreed upon evidentiary standards? What are these standards and who should maintain them?
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.
In this paper, which was presented at the joint annual conferences of the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia and the Group for Research in Educational…
In this paper, which was presented at the joint annual conferences of the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia and the Group for Research in Educational Administration and Theory held at the University of New England, Armidale, in September 1986, the author examines, from the perspective of the new philosophy of science, some of the arguments of two important critics of traditional views of science of administration; notably the arguments of Richard Bates and Thomas Greenfield. The author concludes that the new emerging views of science can sustain a science of administration that escapes their major criticisms.
It was not until the late 1960s that housing attracted much attention from academic social scientists. Since that time the literature has expanded widely and diversified, establishing housing with a specialised status in economics, sociology, politics, and in related subjects. As we would expect, the new literature covers a technical, statistical, theoretical, ideological, and historical range. Housing studies have not been conceived and interpreted in a monolithic way, with generally accepted concepts and principles, or with uniformly fixed and precise methodological approaches. Instead, some studies have been derived selectively from diverse bases in conventional theories in economics or sociology, or politics. Others have their origins in less conventional social theory, including neo‐Marxist theory which has had a wider intellectual following in the modern democracies since the mid‐1970s. With all this diversity, and in a context where ideological positions compete, housing studies have consequently left in their wake some significant controversies and some gaps in evaluative perspective. In short, the new housing intellectuals have written from personal commitments to particular cognitive, theoretical, ideological, and national positions and experiences. This present piece of writing takes up the two main themes which have emerged in the recent literature. These themes are first, questions relating to building and developing housing theory, and, second, the issue of how we are to conceptualise housing and relate it to policy studies. We shall be arguing that the two themes are closely related: in order to create a useful housing theory we must have awareness and understanding of housing practice and the nature of housing.
Attempts to prove, in this second chapter of the author’s monograph, that with a new research programme, it is possible to build a methodological bridge between economics…
Attempts to prove, in this second chapter of the author’s monograph, that with a new research programme, it is possible to build a methodological bridge between economics and all other natural sciences and the scientists should address this challenge. Reviews basic principles that govern nature, including Einstein’s findings along with such luminaries as Copernicus, Newton, Galileo and Jeans. Concludes that the future is safe, as a new generation of scientists is now emerging in the East and the West, and that the new methodology should provide enough space for new roads, ideas and interpretations, which may occur in the future. Closes by saying a new spirit should be initiated in economics and transplanted into natural sciences.
There is a double crisis in modern science and in particular inphysics and mechanics. Among others Einstein and Stephane Lupasco, inthe 1930s, warned about this crisis…
There is a double crisis in modern science and in particular in physics and mechanics. Among others Einstein and Stephane Lupasco, in the 1930s, warned about this crisis. The Quantum Theory cannot be reconciled with the Relativity Theory. Specifically there is a gap (cleavage) between micro – and macro‐physics and mechanics. Parallel or beneath there is also a second crisis derived from a discontinuity (again a cleavage) between classical and modern science, that is between two previous revolutions. A new research programme of a simultaneous equilibrium versus disequilibrium approach, initially applied in economics has now been extended to include natural sciences. It is the question of a new, more comprehensive methodology which is actually a sui generis synthesis between classical and modern heritage. The rigorous application of the new research programme leads to the organisation of an Orientation Table, that is, a methodological map of all possible combinations (systems). The Table shows, without any exaggeration, a few revolutionary results. For instance, with the help of the Table, modern science or the second revolution (Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg) does not appear contradictory but rather complementary to classical science or the first revolution (Newton, Lavoisier). The Kuhnian thesis to the contrary is disproved and the second crisis is solved. With the help of the Universal Hypothesis of Duality (the basis of the Orientation Table), matter and energy, at the micro – and macro‐level, appear in a double form (the Principle of Duality): stable (equilibrium) particles and unstable (disequilibrium) waves. The strong interactions from modern physics are associated with the law of gravitation (attraction) or stable equilibrium which governs stable matter and energy. The weak interactions are associated with the law of disgravitation (dispersion or repulsion) including entropy or unstable equilibrium which governs unstable matter and energy. In this way the first crisis is also solved.
This paper seeks to argue that sociology is in need of reconstruction on a theoretical and conceptual foundation of cybernetics, specifically, managerial cybernetics and…
This paper seeks to argue that sociology is in need of reconstruction on a theoretical and conceptual foundation of cybernetics, specifically, managerial cybernetics and to show how this hitherto unsuccessful task might be brought about.
The approach is one of a rigorous and deep querying of the reasons for the lack of successful fit heretofore between sociology and cybernetics. By taking a critical, historical and philosophical approach to the development of sciences it opens possibilities for the reconstruction of sociology as a “new science” based on the foundation of cybernetics, specifically the managerial cybernetics of Stafford Beer.
The work argues that the appropriate conceptual foundation for the social sciences is the realm of communication and control, ideas that were given a rigorous formulation in cybernetics, information theory and systems thinking since the 1940s. Many people have seen the prima facie appropriateness of these ideas for the study of human society and numerous attempts have been made to apply them. Almost, all of these efforts have been failures, at least from a sociological point of view. The paper suggests that the problem with all such previous attempts is that they consisted of too direct an application of cybernetics to sociology, entailing a metaphoric reduction that threatened the intellectual integrity of the discipline. Work in the history of sciences suggests that, whereas deep theoretical, foundational work may well be achieved for a realm in the abstract, so to speak, it is when attempts are made to apply these results to more phenomenal domains, to which in principle they are deemed appropriate and relevant, that problems of an apparent “lack of fit” arise. It has been found that a group of intermediating concepts is necessary to draw the two domains together in a workable fit. This process has been called “finalization of science”.
Of immediate value is the reconstruction of sociology as a cybernetically informed science of society that actually delivers theoretical, analytical, research and practical results.
The paper represents a highly original synthesis drawn from the history and philosophy of science development to yield immediate and useful results.