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21. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Manussos Marangudakis Multiple Modernities and the Theory of Indeterminacy: On the Development and Theoretical Foundations of the Historical Sociology of Shmuel N. Eisenstadt
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The essay presents the parallel development of Shmuel Eisenstadt’s historical and theoretical sociology from a critical correction of structural functionalism found in The Political Systems of Empires to the full development of the theory of indeterminacy of his later works that culminated in the ‘multiple modernities’ thesis. The key factor that shapes the course of Eisentadt’s theoretical progress is the crucial role of various elites to fill the open space between actuality and potentiality creating and sustaining institutions that permit the development of structural differentiation according to some fundamental cosmological and cognitive principles that shape the course of historical development inside these social systems. Infusing structural-functionalism with a strong dose of conflict sociology, Eisenstadt came to the conclusion that social development is not a process of internal systemic growth, but the unintended consequence of the elites’ efforts to institutionally control free resources. And while this process in the pre-modern past led to the development of relatively distinct civilizations, in the framework of modernity has created a global framework of fundamental contradictions of tensions intrinsically irresolvable.
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22. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Scott Wilson China’s State in the Trenches: A Gramscian Analysis of Civil Society and Rights-Based Litigation
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The article analyzes the rise of civil society organizations and litigation related to environmental pollution and HIV/AIDS in China. China’s state has responded to pressure from civil society with regulations to limit civil society organizations’ contentiousness and ties to international groups, restricted access to the courts, and creation of GONGOs to vie with grassroots organizations over leadership of civil society. Against liberal theories of civil society, the author argues for a Gramscian model of civil society in which the state takes an active role in constructing its hegemony in civil society.
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23. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Qingbo Zhang Modernization of Law in China – its Meaning, Achievements, Obstacles and Prospect
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The core of modernization of law in China is the protection of basic rights of freedom and equality, which was lacking in the tradtional Chinese society. Today, the modernization from the perspective of legal texts has been fast thoroughly finished, while the function of law and the mentality of people need developing. This process could be better understood against the whole background of modernization in China. With the deepening of modernization a modern legal system could be expected in China in the long run.
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24. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Merle Goldman Dissent of China’s Public Intellectuals in the Post-Mao Era
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During the reign of China’s Communist Party leader, Mao Zedong (1949–1976), any political or academic dissent was brutally suppressed. With Mao’s death in 1976, China, under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping and his successors, opened China to the outside world and loosened political controls over the intellectual community. As China moved to a market economy and engagement with the Western world, the party loosened controls over intellectual endeavors. Nevertheless, a small number of intellectuals who criticized party’ policies and publicly called for democratic reforms were silenced and a a number of them were imprisoned. Though, intellectuals enjoyed more personal and academic freedom in the post-Mao era, if they criticized the party’s policies or practices directly, they were ostracized from the intellectual community and a small number were imprisoned.
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25. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Francis Schortgen, Shalendra Sharma Manufacturing Dissent: Domestic and International Ramifications of China’s Summer of Labor Unrest
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With the onset of heretofore unprecedented instances of labor unrest in the summer of 2010, it has become readily apparent that China’s economy has reached a critical juncture. Perceptions of rising social inequity and redistributive injustice are indicative of strains of economic growth that have proved as inevitable as they are consequential. Against the backdrop of an impending leadership transition and a global economy emerging from recessionary throes, changing labor market conditions will shape economic development and growth in substan­tive ways as first-tier cities and provinces are beginning a transition from take-off to early maturity stage of development. In its effort to mitigate regional disparities, China is locked into a precarious socio-economic balancing act with far-reaching consequences for domestic stability and international competitiveness. What are the short- to medium-term implica­tions for China’s domestic political economy space? What is the likely effect on China’s global labor cost arbitrage and international competitiveness?
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26. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Ritu Vij Time, Politics and Homelessness in Contemporary Japan
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This paper examines heterotopias of homelessness in contemporary Japan. Against received claims about a shift from a social to a post-social form of politics, the paper draws attention to distinct temporal horizons that shape statist and precarious political subjectivities at sites of economic abandonment, complicating generalizations about the demise of the social and the shift to new (post-representational) political practices in neoliberal Japan. In contrast to the politics of representation that continue to mobilize statist social imaginaries around advocacy and care for the homeless, political heterotopias of homelessness index a critical refusal of hegemonic interpellations of home and home-coming. In an effort to expand understanding of the political in Japan, the paper draws attention to the multiple temporalities constitutive of the social space of homelessness. In so doing, it seeks to make visible fugitive forms of political subjectivities beyond statist and neoliberal enclosure, and contribute more broadly to a critical discourse on the nature of politics in contemporary Japan.
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27. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Beatriz Carrillo Garcia Business Opportunities and Philanthropic Initiatives: Private Entrepreneurs, Welfare Provision and the Prospects for Social Change in China
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This paper explores the different ways in which the Chinese Party-state has promoted for-profit service provision and the philanthropic initiatives of private entrepreneurs, in order to elucidate the changing nature of China’s social contract. Throughout the 1980s and up to the mid-1990s the prevalent social contract, built around the idea that market mechanisms would bring economic prosperity to all citizens, had largely not been challenged. That changed in the late 1990s as a result of rising socio-economic inequalities, massive lay-offs from state owned enterprise reform, rising urban poverty, rising health care costs, the countryside consistently falling behind urban levels of development, and other social issues. Over the last decade there has been a reconfiguration and rearticulation of the social contract in China, with social welfare policy becoming a key element of the Party-state’s efforts to maintain legitimacy. Initially adopting an ambivalent position towards the private provi­sion of core public services such as health and education, the Party-state now recognises the important role played by private service providers, and has introduced legislation designed to protect the providers of such services, while also ensuring that their activities can be regulated more closely.
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28. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Ho-fung Hung Is China Saving Global Capitalism from the Global Crisis?
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Ever since the onset of the latest global financial crisis in 2008, China’s continuous rapid growth has led many to see the Chinese model as a viable alternative to neoliberal development. Some even see Chinese capitalism as the last hope for the rejuvenation of global capitalism. This paper argues that rather than constituting a progressive alternative to neo­liberalism, China’s stellar export-led economic growth is in fact a core part of the global neoliberal order. The exceptional competitiveness of China’s export sector originates in an urban-bias policy that is detrimental to rural-agricultural development, creating a large rural surplus labor, perpetuating the low manufacturing wage among rural migrant workers, and restraining domestic consumption. The falling consumption share of the economy led China to depend on western markets, the US in particular, for its exports. The global financial crisis ended the consumption spree in the US and elsewhere in the global North, precipitating a crisis of China’s export-led growth. China’s apparent success in weathering the global economic crisis so far is grounded on a stimulus program that escalated debt-financed fixed asset investment, which is unsustainable, though the beginning of the end of the urban bias is also evident over the last few years. The continuous rise of China as the new center of global capitalism in the long run, therefore, hinges not on the perpetuation of China’s current model of development, but on whether China could shift to a new model of development based on urban-rural balanced growth and larger household consumption share of the economy.
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29. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
David C. Schak Educational Modernisation Across the Taiwan Straits: Pedagogical Transformation in Primary School Moral Education Textbooks in the PRC and Taiwan
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Chinese education was for millennia been based on memorization of texts and teacher-centered instruction. However, new primary school moral education texts produced in the past decade in both the PRC and Taiwan are based on a radically different pedagogy with students as the focus and as personally involved in their education through research, analysis of findings, and active classroom participation. Moreover, their education extends beyond acquiring knowledge and includes confidence building, social skills and emotional problem solving. The major questions are the extent to which this new pedagogy will be followed and be extended to other subjects and into middle school.
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30. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Robert Kowalski International Development, Paradox and Phronesis
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Three out of five paradoxes previously identified within international development are considered to be the core challenges to professional practice and congruence. The first, that of fostering autonomy, is considered from the perspective of the role that language plays in maintaining inappropriate donor ascendancy taking the concept of participation as an exemplar. The second, based in determinism and free will, is discussed in terms of the gap between practitioners’ espoused theory and theory-in-use that creates a syndrome of dissonance that undermines practice by elevating the importance of techne above phronesis and exemplified in the practice of planning. The third, where help appears as a threat, is discussed in terms of the moral hazard and the failure to distinguish need from deficiency, linked to humanitarian assistance and development assistance.
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31. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Robert Cummins Précis of “The World in the Head”
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32. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Steffen Borge Communication, Cooperation and Conflict
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According to Steven Pinker and his associates the cooperative model of human communication fails, because evolutionary biology teaches us that most social relationships, including talk-exchange, involve combinations of cooperation and conflict. In particular, the phenomenon of the strategic speaker who uses indirect speech in order to be able to deny what he meant by a speech act (deniability of conversational implicatures) challenges the model. In reply I point out that interlocutors can aim at understanding each other (cooperation), while being in conflict. Furthermore, Pinker’s strategic speaker relies on the Cooperative Principle when conveying a conversational implicature, and so non-cooperative behaviour (denial) only emerges as a response to a negative reaction from the audience. It is also doubtful in the cases Pinker presents whether a denial will successfully cancel the conversational implicature – change the audience’s interpretation of speaker’s meaning. I also argue that a strategic speaker might choose indirect speech due to the ignorability of conversational implicatures, in which case the strategic speaker can be highly cooperative.
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33. ProtoSociology: Volume > 3
Göran Ahrne Outline of an Organizational Theory of Society
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It is argued that organizations are the mechanisms that transform human action into social processes. Organizations are the origins of individuality and organizations are the foundations of what is regarded as societies. Four features make up the basis of organizations a) affiliation and exclusion b) resources c) exchangeability of individuals d) accumulative control. There are four main types of organizations: enterprises, voluntary associations, states and families. The main social actors are the organizational centaurs, which are part human and part organization. Social processes and social change are analyzed in terms of interaction between ana constellations of organizations. Organizations transcend the boundaries of systems and societies.
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34. ProtoSociology: Volume > 30
Jacob Beck Sense, Mentalese, and Ontology
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Modes of presentation are often posited to accommodate Frege’s puzzle. Philosophers differ, however, in whether they follow Frege in identifying modes of presentation with Fregean senses, or instead take them to be formally individuated symbols of “Mentalese”. Building on Fodor (1990; 1998), Margolis and Laurence (2007) defend the latter view by arguing that the mind-independence of Fregean senses renders them ontologically suspect in a way that Mentalese symbols are not. This paper shows how Fregeans can withstand this objection. Along the way, a clearer understanding emerges of what senses must be to serve as an ontologically benign alternative to symbols of Mentalese.
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35. ProtoSociology: Volume > 30
Carlo Penco What Happened to the Sense of a Concept-Word?
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In this paper I shall outline a short history of the ideas concerning sense and reference of a concept-word from Frege to model theoretic semantics. I claim that, contrary to what is normally supposed, a procedural view of sense may be compatible with model theoretic semantics, especially in dealing with problems at the boundary between semantics and pragmatics. A first paragraph on the paradox of the concept horse will clarify the attitude concerning the history of ideas that I assume in this paper. In the second paragraph I will discuss some misunderstandings in the shift from the sense/reference distinction in Frege to the intension/extension distinction in model theoretic semantics. In the third I will show how a particular interpretation of the Fregean sense of a concept word (and of cognitive sense in general) may be of interest for model theoretic semantics.
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36. ProtoSociology: Volume > 30
Maria Cristina Amoretti Orcid-ID Concepts Within the Model of Triangulation
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In Davidson’s opinion, the model of triangulation, which is a situation where two or more sufficiently similar interacting creatures respond to one another within a shared external environment, can give explanation to how concepts and mental contents are acquired and also clarify their very nature. In this paper, I will explore the model of triangulation, its various levels, and its specific role in concept acquisition. I will then assess the plausibility of Davidson’s account and suggest a few possible amendments to the model of triangulation, in order to make it effective in explaining the process of concept acquisition. Finally, I will argue that the model of triangulation cannot be disconnected from holism and will briefly sketch some consequences of this claim.
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37. ProtoSociology: Volume > 30
Ingo Brigandt A Critique of David Chalmers’ and Frank Jackson’s Account of Concepts
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David Chalmers and Frank Jackson have promoted a strong program of conceptual analysis, which accords a significant philosophical role to the a priori analysis of (empirical) concepts. They found this methodological program on an account of concepts using two-dimensional semantics. This paper argues that Chalmers and Jackson’s account of concepts, and the related approach by David Braddon-Mitchell, is inadequate for natural kind concepts as found in biology. Two-dimensional semantics is metaphysically faulty as an account of the nature of concepts and concept possession. It is also methodologically flawed as a guideline for how to study scientific concepts. Proponents of two-dimensional semantics are criticized for not taking seriously semantic variation between persons and for failing to adequately account for the rationality of semantic change. I suggest a more pragmatic approach to natural kind term meaning, arguing that the epistemic goal pursued by a term’s use is an additional semantic property.
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38. ProtoSociology: Volume > 30
Agustin Vicente, Orcid-ID Fernando Martinez-Manrique The Influence of Language on Conceptualization: Three Views
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Different languages carve the world in different categories. They also encode events in differ­ent ways, conventionalize different metaphorical mappings, and differ in their rule-based metonymies and patterns of meaning extensions. A long-standing, and controversial, ques­tion is whether this variability in the languages generates a corresponding variability in the conceptual structure of the speakers of those languages. Here we will present and discuss three interesting general proposals by focusing on representative authors of such proposals. The proposals are the following: first, that the effect of language in conceptualization is general and deep; second, that the effect is local, transient, shallow and easily revisable; and third, that there is no proper effect of language on conceptualization, although there is surely some cognitive impact of language: many conceptual tasks engage language one way or another.
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39. ProtoSociology: Volume > 30
Sofia Miguens Views of Concepts and of Philosophy of Mind—from Representationalism to Contextualism
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My main purpose in this article is to explore the connections between views of concepts and of philosophy of mind. My analysis focuses on recent work on concepts and on the conceptual-non conceptual distinction by French philosopher Jocelyn Benoist (Benoist 2005, 2010, 2011). While tracing back Benoist’s contextualist counterproposal to representationalism in the philosophy of mind to converging influences ranging from phenomenology (Husserl 1994) to philosophy of language (Travis 2008), I spell out some of the problems posed by viewing concepts as representations in a mental repository (a conception which has survived all attacks to the classic necessary and sufficient conditions view in the last half century (Murphy 2002, Prinz 2002)).
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40. ProtoSociology: Volume > 30
Richard Manning Changes in View: Concepts in Experience
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In this paper, I assume that a satisfactory account of our thinking requires a conception of perceptual experience on which it provides reasons for judgment, and also that the Myth of the Given—the myth of episodes whose contents can provide reasons without the involve­ment of concepts—must be avoided. From these assumptions it follows that the content of perceptual experience must be conceived as concept-involving. The question I address is whether, given that it involves concepts, the content of perceptual experience is best conceived as propositional, or as non-propositional. I focus my discussion around John McDowell’s shift from the former to the latter sort of view. After explicating his new, non-propositional view, I raise inconclusive doubts as to whether the contents of experience, on that view, can really function as reasons. I then address broadly phenomenological considerations, arguing that the appearance that the non-propositional view has the upper hand here is superficial, and that in fact, there are strong phenomenological grounds for preferring a propositional view. Though these considerations hardly settle the matter, they do place the propositional view in a comparatively favorable light.
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