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61. ProtoSociology: Volume > 15
Konrad Thomas Ein anderes Verständnis von Gewalt: Der gesellschaftsanalytische Beitrag des Literaturwissenschaftlers René Girard
62. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
Jonathan Sutton The Things People Say
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It appears that the objects of belief and the objects of assertion are, often, one and the same. The objects of assertion must be communicable – if an assertion leads to successful communication, the audience grasps what the speaker said. There are good reasons for thinking that beliefs are relations to very fine-grained contents, however, which appear to be unsuitable for reliable transmission from speaker to audience. I consider two accounts of the apparent intersection of the objects of belief and the objects of assertion, and find them unable to embrace both of these claims. I defend the view that beliefs have multiple, truth-conditionally equivalent contents on the grounds that it is able to reconcile the apparently conflicting claims.
63. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
Cara Spencer Representing What Others Say
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The semantics of belief reports has recently received a great deal of attention. Speech reports have largely been left behind in this discussion. Here I extend a familiar recent account of attitude reports, the Russellian theory, to the special case of speech reports. I then consider how it compares to Davidson’s paratactic theory with respect to a few examples that raise special problems about speech reports. Neither theory accounts for everything we want to say about these cases. I suggest that the problem lies in an assumption common to both theories, that in reporting what others say, we aim to represent what was said exactly as the original speaker represented it, in so far as this is possible.
64. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
Emma Borg The Semantic Significance of What is Said
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It is often held that a correct semantic theory should assign a semantic content, p, to a given sentence, s, just in case a speaker who utters s says that p – thus ‘what is said’ is taken to be a semantically significant notion. This paper explores what exactly such a claim amounts to and offers five versions of the relationship between a semantic theory and judgements of what is said. The first three of these versions embody the central claim of semantic significance; however, I argue that none of these versions are feasible. Thus, contrary to the initial proposal, I claim that ‘what is said’ is not a semantically significant notion. Assignments of semantic content do not turn on evaluations of what a speaker uttering a sentence says.
65. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
Eros Corazza Reports and Imagination
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The following thesis will be discussed and defended:An attitude ascription is an empathetic exercise resting on our, more general, imaginative faculty. Sentences of natural language are the best medium we have to classify someone’s mental life.The sentence used to classify one’s mental state is the one the reporter would use to express the attributee’s mental state if the reporter were in the attributee’s situation. A report of the form “A believes/desires/wishes/… that p” captures the attributee’s (A) mental life inasmuch as it conveys the sentence the reporter would use to express her mental state if the latter were in A’s situation.
66. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
Sanford C. Goldberg Reported Speech and the Epistemology of Testimony
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Speech reports of the form ‘A said that p’ are sometimes used by a speaker S as a reason in support of S’s own claim to know that p – in particular, when S’s claim to know is made on the basis of A’s testimony. In this paper I appeal to intuitions regarding the epistemology of testimony to argue that such ‘testimonial’ uses of speech reports ought to be ascribed their strict de dicto truth conditions. This result is then used as the basis for the claim that, no matter how they are used, all speech reports of this form ought to be ascribed their strict de dicto truth conditions. I conclude by offering a characterization of the content of the notions of saying and what is said, and by making some programmatic remarks regarding the role of these notions in semantic theory.
67. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
David Hunter On Representing Content
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I consider whether the content of a speech act is best represented by a set of possible worlds or by an ordered set containing the individual and properties the speech act is about. I argue that there is nothing in such contents that an ordered set can represent that a set of worlds cannot. In particular, both can be used to capture what is distinctive about singular propositions. But a set of worlds better represents content in cases where the content concerns individuals that no longer exist. It is also better at representing how content can be expressed in different ways, and how assertion relates to the pursuit of truth. Finally, representing content by a set of worlds allows for a clearer view of the puzzle about logical omniscience, even though it is often taken to founder on that puzzle.
68. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
Corey Washington Content Partialism and Davidson’s Dilemma
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Hartry Field, Jerry Fodor and others differ with Donald Davidson over the question of how a theory of content should be structured. Field and Fodor maintain that a theory should begin by following the compositional structure of a sentence in reducing the semantic properties of complex expressions to the semantic properties of their simplest parts and complete the job by reducing the semantic properties of the parts to non-semantic ones. Davidson describes this approach as the ‘Building-Block method’ and maintains that it cannot possibly succeed. He holds that a theory of content should ‘give up reference’ by treating the semantic properties of basic expressions as a purely technical devices with no direct relation to non-semantic phenomenon. In this essay, I examine what I call “Davidson’s Dilemma”, the conflict between the apparent soundness the arguments for the view that a theory must treat reference as a point where linguistic and non-linguistic reality meet and the equally apparent soundness his argument that reference cannot possibly play this role. I propose a resolution to the dilemma that grants the validity of Davidson’s arguments against the building-block theories but is, I believe, more palatable to mainstream semanticists than Davidson’s solution. This solution, which I call ‘content partialism’ treats the reference of terms as regularities across propositional contents. I show how content partialism is consistent with a Kripkean theory of reference fixing, the touchstone of those who advocate building-block theories.
69. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
Max A. Freund Conceptual Realism and Interpretation
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Conceptual realism (a logico-philosophical semantic theory) has introduced a logical distinction between the cognitive structure of an assertion and its truth-conditions. We shall argue that the cognitive structure is part of the meaning of an assertion and that, consequently, should be taken into account when interpreting a natural language. We shall also explore this topic in relation to the problem of radical interpretation. The distinction will be made evident by first formulating a logical system (having conceptual realism as its philosophical background) and then exhibiting it in the formal system. This will be preceded by a description of the main philosophical features of conceptual realism.
70. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
Hans Lenk Epistemological Remarks Concerning the Concepts “Theory” and “Theoretical Concepts”
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Current interpretations of the concept of theory by philosophers of science of different orientations are sketched out, in particular the traditional statement view (theories as systems of statements) and the formal axiomatic interpretation (theories as calculi) as well as the historical or historicist interpretation of theories as series of successive research programs or paradigms etc. (theory dynamics). In addition, the model-theoretical nonstatement view (the so-called structuralist interpretation) of theories is roughly delineated and discussed as regards the status and interpretation of theoretical (T-theoretical) concepts. Finally, technological and action-theoretical approaches defining the model-theoretic view are presented as particularly apt for a methodology of technology.A number of recommendations are developed from this, particularly the idea of satisficing in construction theory and the methodological idea of optimum fit instead of approximation to truth.The interplay between action, experiment and gaining knowledge is highlighted from a methodological and schema-interpretationist perspective. This approach seems to be conducive to a methodology and epistemology of engineering sciences, in particular construction theory and design theory.
71. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
Steven Miller, Marcel Fredericks Social Science and (Null) Hypothesis Testing: Some Ontological Issues
72. ProtoSociology: Volume > 17
Steven Gross Vagueness, Indirect Speech Reports, and the World
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Can all truths be stated in precise language? Not if true indirect speech reports of assertions entered using vague language must themselves use vague language. Sententialism – the view that an indirect speech report is true if and only if the report’s complement clause “same-says” the sentence the original speaker uttered – provides two ways of resisting this claim: first, by allowing that precise language can “same-say” vague language; second, by implying that expressions occurring in an indirect speech report’s complement clause are not used. I reject the first line of resistance, but argue that the second is successful if one accepts sententialism.
73. ProtoSociology: Volume > 20
Richard E. Lee, Gerhard Preyer Introduction: Contemporary Directions and Research in World-Systems Analysis
74. ProtoSociology: Volume > 20
Christopher Chase-Dunn, Terry Boswell Global Democracy: A World-Systems Perspective
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This essay is on the concept of global democracy. We discuss the historical development of the concept of democracy and the material bases for the possible emergence of a democratic and collectively rational global commonwealth in the future. We confront the problem of contested meanings of democracy, the roots of the modern concept in the European Enlightenment, the problem of Eurocentrism in the formulation of a global philosophy of democracy, the relationship between capitalist globalization and antisystemic movements and the need for globalization from below.
75. ProtoSociology: Volume > 20
Richard E. Lee A Note on Method with an Example – The “War on Terror”
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Much has been made of the centrality of comparison to sociological research. The world-systems perspective, however, posits a single unit of analysis that challenges the possibility of designating the independent cases demanded by the formal logic of comparative analysis. The present work suggests an alternative to comparisons of multiple cases in the form of analogies among instances of processes. The consequences of such a methodological shift are explored through the example of the contemporary “War on Terror”.
76. ProtoSociology: Volume > 20
Peter J. Taylor Material Spatialities of Cities and States
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The concept of spatiality is introduced as an analytical tool for studying the modern world-system. The spatialities of cities and states are contrasted as spaces of flows and spaces of places respectively. It is argued that the latter is embedded in the social sciences as an unexamined spatiality. Dis-embedding is achieved through constructing a revisionist world-systems analysis that focuses on cities. This world-systems analysis is then used to describe two world-spatialities, for the current situation and for a generation hence. The conclusion identifies a systemic bifurcation as an anarchist moment.
77. ProtoSociology: Volume > 20
Göran Therborn Culture as a World System
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This article attempts to come to grips with the lack of a systematically argued “systemness” in world-systems analysis and with a reductionism regarding the multidimensionality of world-system relations. In addressing these issues, systemness is taken as a contingent variable and a case made for distinguishing at least five major interconnected and interacting human world systems, that, however, are not reducible to one another. From this perspective, the world system of culture is singled out and illustrative examples of the relationships between religious identities, family structures, cognitive and symbolic forms, and high and popular culture on a global scale are examined to highlight the contradictions of hegemony and resistance in the contemporary world.
78. ProtoSociology: Volume > 20
Barrie Axford Multi-Dimensionality, Mutual Constitution and the Nature of Systemness: The Importance of the Cultural Turn in the Study of Global Systems
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In this article I will address the critical question of the constitution of global systems and the part played in such processes by what is often summarized as culture. I examine the important distinction between culture and globalization and culture as constitutive of global social relations. The need to cleave to a systemic treatment of globality is put, while noting the dangers that lie in one-dimensional accounts of global system constitution. To offset any such tendency I explore the constitution of global systemness from a structurationist perspective. I outline the nature and significance of culture in the study of global systems, drawing attention to different literatures. Finally I underscore the importance of the cultural turn in the study of global systems and what has to be done to take full advantage of it.In what follows I will address the critical question of the constitution of global systems and the part played in such processes by what is conveniently – if sometimes unhelpfully – summarized as “culture”. By global systems I mean networks of interaction and meaning that transcend both societal and national frames of reference. I want to shift the emphasis away from an under-theorized focus on cultural globalization to a consideration of global systems as enacted in part through cultural processes. In other words, I do not want to conflate the conjunctional features of contemporary (cultural) globalization with culture as the realm of lived experience integral to the enactment of all social-systemic relations. In some respects this approach may be seen as part of a shift – perhaps a paradigm shift – in how we understand the space of the social, and in how, or whether, we construe the global as the constitutive of all social relations (Beck 2003; Shaw 2003). I will begin with a mild polemic against a well-known systemic account of world-making forces that highlights some of these issues.
79. ProtoSociology: Volume > 20
Dale Tomich Atlantic History and World Economy: Concepts and Constructions
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This article presents a unified, multidimensional, and relational approach to Atlantic history by treating the Atlantic as a historical region of the capitalist world economy. In contrast to more conventional comparative approaches, the approach presented here grounds Atlantic history in the longue durée geographical historical structure of the maritime Atlantic and construes particular political, economic, social, or cultural units as parts of the more encompassing Atlantic and world economies. Within this framework, particular units or relations are viewed as complex historical outcomes of relations and processes operating across diverse spatial and temporal scales. Thus each unit is related to the others, and each occupies a distinctive location in the maritime Atlantic division of labor. Through an example of plantation slavery, the article examines the ways in which specific units are formed within the larger historical field and examines the variation among them. By calling attention to the relations among units over time and in space within a unified historical field, it identifies specific conjunctures and contingencies shaping Atlantic history.
80. ProtoSociology: Volume > 20
Denis O’Hearn Path-Dependency, Stocks, Switching-Points, Flows: Reflections on Long-term Global Change and Local Opportunities
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This paper examines the possibilities for peripheral localities to achieve upward mobility in the world-system by “hooking on” to larger processes of world-system accumulation. In particular, is it possible for economies that are dependent on foreign investment to receive a flow of investments that is high enough to overcome the negative impacts of a high stock of foreign investment, thus enabling them to cross a threshold and achieve upward mobility in the world-system? An analysis of the recent experience of the southern Irish “Celtic Tiger” economy during 1990-2000 indicates that such an upward movement is possible on the basis of massive foreign investment inflows. On closer examination, however, the Irish-type model appears to be highly deficient, because a high proportion of growth is illusionary and also on grounds of social desirability and lack of generalizability.