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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2017

Lucia Morra

The essay builds a timeline of the friendship and intellectual intercourse between Sraffa and Wittgenstein with data from both their Cambridge Pocket Diaries (CPDs) and…

Abstract

The essay builds a timeline of the friendship and intellectual intercourse between Sraffa and Wittgenstein with data from both their Cambridge Pocket Diaries (CPDs) and their correspondence and biography. The timeline distinguishes five phases: their first meetings until June 1930, the time in which their weekly conversations run uninterrupted (October 1930–June 1933); the period in which the enchantment of their previous meetings was broken (October 1933–July 1936); the following decade in which their meetings were in some years intense, in others nearly inexistent, until Sraffa decided to put an end to their conversations; and finally the years preceding Wittgenstein’s death. The meetings between Sraffa and Wittgenstein from their CPDs are listed in the Appendix.

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Including a Symposium on New Directions in Sraffa Scholarship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-539-9

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1981

Hugh V. McLachlan

Recently there has been much discussion of the relevance to sociology of Wittgenstein's philosophy. In this discussion, reference has been made to Wittgenstein's remarks…

Abstract

Recently there has been much discussion of the relevance to sociology of Wittgenstein's philosophy. In this discussion, reference has been made to Wittgenstein's remarks on classification. For instance, Dutton writes “After Wittgenstein, we might say that the category of acts which may be labelled criminal (or deviant) is the category: “any” acts”. (Ditton, 1979, p. 20). According to Hughes, “Wittgenstein uses the term “family resemblances” to make the point that states of affairs falling under a common term, such as ‘games’ show overlapping similarities and resemblances rather than universal, finitely specifiable common properties”. (1977, p. 72). However, the philosophical importance of Wittgenstein's remarks and their relevance to the concerns of the sociologist have not been fully explored. What precisely is Wittgenstein thought to be asserting and denying with his observations about games? After all, on the face of it, it hardly seems controversial or interesting to say that games resemble each other. It has been argued, most notably by Bambrough, that Wittgenstein's remarks are directed towards “the problem of universals”.

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1997

Robert P. Watson

What has emerged in large organizations is the use of hybrid language of abstractions, jargon, euphemisms, and complex syntax known as bureacratease. Often this misuse of…

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Abstract

What has emerged in large organizations is the use of hybrid language of abstractions, jargon, euphemisms, and complex syntax known as bureacratease. Often this misuse of language is done with the purpose of deceiving and misinforming. Whether or not this was the intent, however, the result of bureaucratees is often just that along with the breakdown of communication between the organization and the clientele it serves. Moreover, there is insufficient research devoted to this phenomenon. Borrowing from Wittgenstein, this article offers a model for understanding bureaucratese and attempts to move the field of public administration toward a theory of this misuse of language in organization.

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Journal of Management History, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-252X

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Book part
Publication date: 7 February 2011

John Shotter and Haridimos Tsoukas

In this chapter, drawing primarily on Wittgenstein, we argue that a representationalist view of theory in an applied or practical science such as organization and…

Abstract

In this chapter, drawing primarily on Wittgenstein, we argue that a representationalist view of theory in an applied or practical science such as organization and management theory (OMT) is unrealistic and misleading, since it fails to acknowledge theory's ineradicable dependence on the dynamics of the life-world within which it has its ‘currency’. We explore some of the difficulties raised by the use of representational theorizing in OMT, and mainly explore the nature of a more reflective form of theorizing. Reflective theory, we argue, invites practitioners to attend to the grammar of their actions, namely to the rules and meanings that actors draw upon in their participation in social practices. In this view, the role of theory resembles the role Wittgenstein ascribed to philosophy: it is theory-as-therapy. The latter seeks to make action more perspicuous by providing the conceptual means to practitioners to engage in re-articulating, not only their taken-for-granted assumptions and models but also their modes of orientation and their ways of relating themselves to the situations in which they must work. Reflective theory works to draw their attention to aspects of people's interactions in organizations not usually noticed, to bring to awareness unconscious habits, confusions, prejudices and pictures that hold practitioners captive, and, furthermore, to point out that other continuations of them than those routinely followed are possible. This view of theory – as perceptually reorienting rather than as cognitively explaining – is illustrated by looking at the Karl Weick's sensemaking theory.

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Philosophy and Organization Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-596-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1984

Anghel N. Rugina

In this monograph the author discusses the problems in constructing a logical and ethical‐empirical foundation so that relevant social values may be studied by the…

Abstract

In this monograph the author discusses the problems in constructing a logical and ethical‐empirical foundation so that relevant social values may be studied by the scientific method. Part One is concerned with the difficulties posed by the prevailing methodology. Part Two presents a new research programme based on the simultaneous equilibrium versus disequilibrium approach in conjunction with Wittgenstein's logic and the current research in ethics.

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1998

Anghel N. Rugina

The economic science is again in a crisis and a new solution prolegomena to any future study in economics, finance and other social sciences has just been published by the…

Abstract

The economic science is again in a crisis and a new solution prolegomena to any future study in economics, finance and other social sciences has just been published by the International Institute of Social Economics in care of the MCB University Press in England. The roots of the major financial and economic problems of our time lie in an open conflict between theory and practice. In the 1930s and before the conflict was between classical theory and given realities. In the 1990s the conflict appears between the now prevailing modern, Keynesian theory and the actual realities. In addition during the twentieth century a great argument developed between the two schools of thought, argument which is not yet settled. In one sentence, the prolegomena tried and was successful to solve the conflict between theory and practice and the big doctrinal dispute of the twentieth century. It was a struggle of research and observation over half a century between 1947 and 1997.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Hugh V. McLachlan

Relativism, at least in some of its forms, is antithetical to sociology as traditionally practiced and conceived. (See, for instance, Benton and Crabb, 2001, pp.50‐74 and…

Abstract

Relativism, at least in some of its forms, is antithetical to sociology as traditionally practiced and conceived. (See, for instance, Benton and Crabb, 2001, pp.50‐74 and 93‐1006; Collins 1996a; Mann, 1998; Murphy, 1997; and Taylor‐Gooby, 1994). Hence, sociologists should consider abandoning traditional sociology or rejecting relativism. An example of the sort of relativism I have in mind is the philosophical theory that the truth and falsity of propositions is relative to the social context of their promulgation. Such epistemological relativism is expressed by Newton‐Smith when he says: “The central relativist idea is that what is true for one tribe, social group or age might not be true for an other tribe, social group or age” (Newton‐Smith, 1982, p.107).

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 25 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2007

Hans Rudi Fischer

In Bateson's theory of mind, the adaptation of Russell's theory of logical types is of key importance. Korzybski represented the type‐logical difference between language…

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Abstract

Purpose

In Bateson's theory of mind, the adaptation of Russell's theory of logical types is of key importance. Korzybski represented the type‐logical difference between language and reality as the metaphorical distinction between map and territory. The confounding of logical types generates cognitive, and logical problems, which Bateson reflected in his theory of schizophrenia. In Wittgenstein's philosophy, this type‐logical distinction is of equal significance.

Design/methodology/approach

The present paper, through the elucidation of the concept of language‐game and its relationship with grammar, demonstrates the proximity of Wittgenstein's and Bateson's understanding of language, which allows for a productive improvement of possible therapies of insanity.

Findings

For Bateson, schizophrenia is the attempt to escape from a pathogenic learning context, within which the map of thought has become malformed. Insanity can thus be understood as transformed grammar and can additionally be illuminated by both Wittgenstein's and Kant's conception of insanity. Wittgenstein's idea that in madness the lock is not destroyed, only altered is further reflected in connection with Bateson's theory of schizophrenia. On the basis of this conception of language, we develop an understanding of language that allows us to interpret “insanity” as deviating cognition originating in a family's system of communication.

Originality/value

On account of the “reality‐constitutive” character of language, it can be shown that “insane” thinking is based on a change of grammar. Therefore, the aim of therapy must be the change of pathological language‐games and the creation of bridges between inconsistent self‐interpretations of the patient by means of inventing new language‐games (stories).

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Kybernetes, vol. 36 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2021

Stephen Macdonald

This study builds on a first study by Macdonald and Birdi (2019) that argues the concept of neutrality within library and information science (LIS) demands a sensitivity…

Abstract

Purpose

This study builds on a first study by Macdonald and Birdi (2019) that argues the concept of neutrality within library and information science (LIS) demands a sensitivity to context often omitted in existing literature. This study aims to develop the conceptual architecture of LIS neutrality in a way that is more conducive to reconciling the contextual nuance found in within the first study.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken develops LIS neutrality through a Wittgensteinian lens. Two distinct ideas are explored. First, Wittgenstein's notion of a “grammatical investigation” is used to map the varied contexts in which neutrality is used within professional practice. Liberal neutrality is explored as an analogy to lend plausibility to the concept's heterogeneity. Second, Wittgenstein's “family resemblance” develops the concept in a way that facilitates greater contextual understanding.

Findings

Three features of liberal neutrality literature: conceptual heterogeneity, distinct justifications for specific conceptions and the possibility that neutrality may operate with limited scope are applied to LIS neutrality. All three features successfully translate, leaving “latent conceptual space” to understand LIS neutrality as nuanced and multifaceted. Second, “family resemblance” also translates successfully, bringing its own pedagogical benefits.

Originality/value

This study's originality lies in its development of LIS neutrality using a descriptive Wittgensteinian lens. Understanding the concept via this paradigm may facilitate a more productive discussion of LIS neutrality and pave the way for a new, less polarised, normative response to it.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 63 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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