dunnettreader + evolution-social   58

Nicolas Claidière and Dan Sperber - Imitation explains the propagation, not the stability of animal culture (2008) - Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Biological Sciences
For acquired behaviour to count as cultural, two conditions must be met: it must propagate in a social group, and it must remain stable across generations in the process of propagation. It is commonly assumed that imitation is the mechanism that explains both the spread of animal culture and its stability. We review the literature on transmission chain studies in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and other animals, and we use a formal model to argue that imitation, which may well play a major role in the propagation of animal culture, cannot be considered faithful enough to explain its stability. We consider the contribution that other psychological and ecological factors might make to the stability of animal culture observed in the wild. -- Keywords: imitation, cultural evolution, animal culture -- See addendum commentary "The natural selection of fidelity in social learning" in Commun Integr Biol, volume 3 (2010) -- Both downloaded to Tab S2
article  downloaded  imitation  cognitive_science  cognition-social  cultural_transmission  cultural_stability  social_learning  cultural_change  evolution-as-model  evolutionary_biology  evolution-social  evolution-group_selection  cultural_evolution  natural_selection  sociobiology  socialization  epistemology-social 
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Nicolas Claidière and Dan Sperber - The natural selection of fidelity in social learning (2010) - Communicative and Integrative Biology
Follow-up to Royal Society article -- Social learning mechanisms are usually assumed to explain both the spread and the persistence of cultural behavior. In a recent article, we showed that the fidelity of social learning commonly found in transmission chain experiments is not high enough to explain cultural stability. Here we want to both enrich and qualify this conclusion by looking at the case of song transmission in song birds, which can be faithful to the point of being true replication. We argue that this high fidelity results from natural selection pressure on cognitive mechanisms. This observation strengthens our main argument. Social learning mechanisms are unlikely to be faithful enough to explain cultural stability because they are generally selected not for high fidelity but for generalization and adjustment to the individual’s needs, capacities and situation.
Key words: cultural evolution, bird song, imitation, memetic, social learning, transmission chain study
article  evolutionary_biology  evolution-social  social_learning  cultural_transmission  imitation  cultural_change  cultural_evolution  cultural_stability  tradition  cognitive_science  social_process  cognition-social  cognition 
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Ilkka Pyysiainen - Religon: From mind to society and back (2012) | Academia.edu
Book chapter - Exploring the cognitive basis of the social sciences and trying to ground the social in the cognitive requires taking an explicit stance on reduction(ism) as discussed in philosophy of science. In social science and the humanities, the question of reductionism has been especially salient in the study of religion. This chapter begins with a philosophical analysis of reduction; after that, two relatively new research programs in the study of religious thought and behavior are discussed: the standard model of the cognitive science of religion and approaches based on gene-culture coevolutionary theories. Finally, the question of reductionism is addressed and the possibility of combining multilevel explanations of religious phenomena is evaluated. -- Downloaded to Tab S2
chapter  Academia.edu  downloaded  cognitive_science  religion  philosophy_of_science  philosophy_of_social_science  level_of_analysis  reductionism  religious_belief  religious_experience  neuroscience  cognition  cognition-social  gene-culture_coevolution  cultural_transmission  cultural_change  sociology_of_religion  naturalism  natural_selection  evolution-social  evolution-as-model  evolution-group_selection 
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Alberto Acerbi & Alex Mesoudi,If we are all cultural Darwinians what’s the fuss about? Clarifying recent disagreements in the field of cultural evolution | SpringerLink
Acerbi, A. & Mesoudi, A. Biol Philos (2015) 30: 481. doi:10.1007/s10539-015-9490-2 -- Biology & Philosophy, July 2015, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 481–503 -- Cultural evolution studies are characterized by the notion that culture evolves accordingly to broadly Darwinian principles. Yet how far the analogy between cultural and genetic evolution should be pushed is open to debate. Here, we examine a recent disagreement that concerns the extent to which cultural transmission should be considered a preservative mechanism allowing selection among different variants, or a transformative process in which individuals recreate variants each time they are transmitted. The latter is associated with the notion of “cultural attraction”. This issue has generated much misunderstanding and confusion. We first clarify the respective positions, noting that there is in fact no substantive incompatibility between cultural attraction and standard cultural evolution approaches, beyond a difference in focus. Whether cultural transmission should be considered a preservative or reconstructive process is ultimately an empirical question, and we examine how both preservative and reconstructive cultural transmission has been studied in recent experimental research in cultural evolution. Finally, we discuss how the relative importance of preservative and reconstructive processes may depend on the granularity of analysis and the domain being studied. -- Keywords -- Cultural attraction, Cultural attractors, Cultural evolution, Cultural transmission
article  cultural_attractors  evolution-social  evolution-group_selection  evolution-as-model  evolution  cultural_change  cultural_transmission  cultural_influence  gene-culture_coevolution  social_process 
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Kenneth R Westphal - 'Analytic Philosophy
The definitive version of this article appears in:
The Owl of Minerva , 42.1–2 (2010–11):1–18.
Rejection of the philosophical relevance of history of philosophy remains pronounced within contemporary Anglophone analytic philosophy. The two main reasons for this rejection presuppose that strict deduction isboth necessary and sufficient for rational justification. However, this justificatory ideal of scientia holds only within strictly formal domains. This is confirmed by a neglected non-sequitur in van Fraassen’s original defence of ‘Constructive Empiricism’. Conversely, strict deduction is insufficient for rationaljustification in non-formal, substantive domains of inquiry. In non-formal, substantive domains, rational justification is also, in part, ineliminably social and historical, for sound reasons Hegel was the first to articulate. -- Downloaded via iPhone to DBOX
history_of_philosophy  historical_sociology  analytical_philosophy  Logical_Positivism  deduction  contextualism  evolution-social  development_process  Hegel  contingency  intellectual_history  logic  historicism  evolution-as-model  philosophy_of_social_science  van_Frassen  article  downloaded  analysis-logic  epistemology  epistemology-social  empiricism 
july 2016 by dunnettreader
Alberto Acerbi , Alex Mesoudi - If we are all cultural Darwinians what’s the fuss about? - Springer - Biology & Philosophy (2015)
If we are all cultural Darwinians what’s the fuss about? Clarifying recent disagreements in the field of cultural evolution, Biology & Philosophy, July 2015, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 481-503 -- Cultural evolution studies are characterized by the notion that culture evolves accordingly to broadly Darwinian principles. Yet how far the analogy between cultural and genetic evolution should be pushed is open to debate. Here, we examine a recent disagreement that concerns the extent to which cultural transmission should be considered a preservative mechanism allowing selection among different variants, or a transformative process in which individuals recreate variants each time they are transmitted. The latter is associated with the notion of “cultural attraction”. -- We first clarify the respective positions, noting that there is in fact no substantive incompatibility between cultural attraction and standard cultural evolution approaches, beyond a difference in focus. Whether cultural transmission should be considered a preservative or reconstructive process is ultimately an empirical question, and we examine how both preservative and reconstructive cultural transmission has been studied in recent experimental research in cultural evolution. Finally, we discuss how the relative importance of preservative and reconstructive processes may depend on the granularity of analysis and the domain being studied. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  evolutionary_biology  evolution-social  gene-culture_coevolution  cultural_change  cultural_transmission  cultural_attractors  cultural_exchange  cultural_influence  cultural_diversity  downloaded 
february 2016 by dunnettreader
Weibel P, Sloterdijk P, Finkielkraut A, Houellebecq M - La nouvelle conception de l'homme. La construction de l'être humain (2004) - Cairn.info
Weibel Peter, Sloterdijk Peter, Finkielkraut Alain, Houellebecq Michel, « La nouvelle conception de l'homme. La construction de l'être humain. », Le Philosophoire 2/2004 (n° 23) , p. 32-55
URL : www.cairn.info/revue-le-philosophoire-2004-2-page-32.htm.
DOI : 10.3917/phoir.023.0032.
Transcript from 2001 conference
Downloaded via iPhone to DBOX
21stC  evolution-social  biocultural_evolution  Modernism  humanism  downloaded  posthumanism  human_nature  change-social  conference  genetics  anti-humanism  neuroscience  social_theory  postmodern 
february 2016 by dunnettreader
Sylvie Taussig - Déclin et progrès chez Blumenberg (2011) - Cairn.info
La question du sens de l’histoire est un leitmotiv de la pensée moderne. La cosmologie issue de la révolution copernicienne a remis en cause la vision chrétienne qui posait de la Parousie au terme de l’histoire. Que des philosophies de l’histoire totalisantes aient pris le relais constitue une part de la sécularisation. Hans Blumenberg affirme la dimension indépassable de l’historicité tout en s’opposant aux tentatives de conférer un sens global à cette condition d’historicité de l’existence. Les Temps modernes, débarrassée des interminables discussions sur le progrès ou le déclin, sont légitimes. La sécularisation est ce processus dans lequel les ruines de l’âge ancien hantent la pensée moderne et l’aveuglent sur les enjeux de sa nouveauté – la mise à nu de sa contingence existentielle et du rôle humanisant de la culture
evolution-as-model  declinism  evolution-social  Blumenberg  progress  anti-modernity  secularization  secularism  modernity  historicism  Counter-Enlightenment  politico-theology  article  modernity-emergence  Europe-Early_Modern  intellectual_history  philosophy_of_history 
february 2016 by dunnettreader
Krasnow et al - Group Cooperation without Group Selection: Modest Punishment Can Recruit Much Cooperation, PLoS ONE (April 2015) | via Researchgate
Max M Krasnow, Andrew W Delton, Leda Cosmides, John Tooby -- PLoS ONE 04/2015; 10(4):e0124561. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124561 (Impact Factor: 3.23). -- ABSTRACT -- Humans everywhere cooperate in groups to achieve benefits not attainable by individuals. Individual effort is often not automatically tied to a proportionate share of group benefits. This decoupling allows for free-riding, a strategy that (absent countermeasures) outcompetes cooperation. Empirically and formally, punishment potentially solves the evolutionary puzzle of group cooperation. Nevertheless, standard analyses appear to show that punishment alone is insufficient, because second-order free riders (those who cooperate but do not punish) can be shown to outcompete punishers. Consequently, many have concluded that other processes, such as cultural or genetic group selection, are required. Here, we present a series of agent-based simulations that show that group cooperation sustained by punishment easily evolves by individual selection when you introduce into standard models more biologically plausible assumptions about the social ecology and psychology of ancestral humans. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  biocultural_evolution  evolutionary_biology  evolution-social  evo_psych  natural_selection  cooperation  free-riding  evolution-group_selection  game_theory  punishment-altruistic  norms  agent-based_models  downloaded 
january 2016 by dunnettreader
Inclusive fitness theory and eusociality, Nature, 2011 - Everybody & his cousins reckoned by the dozens defending the theory | via Researchgate
Nature, 03/2011; 471(7339):E1-4; author reply E9-10. DOI: 10.1038/nature09831 (Impact Factor: 41.46). STRATOSOHERIC IMPACT, 100+ cites, so see Researchgate for bibliography -- Source: PubMed -- ABSTRACT -- Arising from M. A. Nowak, C. E. Tarnita & E. O. Wilson 466, 1057-1062 (2010); Nowak et al. reply. Nowak et al. argue that inclusive fitness theory has been of little value in explaining the natural world, and that it has led to negligible progress in explaining the evolution of eusociality. However, we believe that their arguments are based upon a misunderstanding of evolutionary theory and a misrepresentation of the empirical literature. We will focus our comments on three general issues. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  biology  evolutionary_biology  evolution-social  evo_psych  natural_selection  empiricism  scientific_method  eusociality  cooperation  bibliography 
january 2016 by dunnettreader
Daniel Dennett - Information, Evolution, and intelligent Design - Video | 3quarksdaily - August 2015
2 YouTube videos, 1st (1 hour+) of Dennett's presentation and then the Q&A -- looks like it was at RI Institute. He's NOT dealing with Intelligent Design initial caps.
speech  video  Dennett  human_nature  epistemology-social  evolution-as-model  evolution-social  mind  cognition  information  information_theory  information-intermediaries  design  social_process  decision_theory 
august 2015 by dunnettreader
Herbert A. Simon - Altruism and Economics (May, 1993) | JSTOR - The American Economic Review
Herbert A. Simon,The American Economic Review, Vol. 83, No. 2, Papers and Proceedings of the Hundred and Fifth Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association (May, 1993), pp. 156-161 -- overview of how he models "utility" to handle bounded rationality, and how groups need to be included in utility behavior models to get at "altruism" or preferences for other-regarding behavior -- basic message is public choice and rational choice have such an impoverished concept of "rationality" they will never be able to get their axiomatic models to work with what requires rich empirical observations -- doesn't say it, but their limited concept of rationality is less an empirically verified theory re how the world works, but rather a bundle of normative assumptions -- and when they try to extend what's really prescriptive to areas like the family, they've gotten way outside their lane -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  jstor  economic_theory  economic_sociology  microeconomics  behavioral_economics  rational_choice  rationality-economics  rationality-bounded  rationality-adaptive  Darwinism  evolution-as-model  evolution-social  evolution-group_selection  self-interest  altruism  utility  public_choice  Simon_Herbert  downloaded 
april 2015 by dunnettreader
Rajiv Sethi: The Agent-Based Method - August 2014
It's nice to see some attention being paid to agent-based computational models on economics blogs, but Chris House has managed to misrepresent the methodology so completely that his post is likely to do more harm than good. -- Useful discussion of both DSGE and agent-based modeling approaches plus links. Chris House, for a highly touted "expert", keeps exposing his combination of ignorance and bias ("facts have a conservative bias"!!) Apparently since he already knows what the facts are going to tell him, he doesn't actually have to learn something about which he is ignorant but feels free to spout what "must" be the case. Extraordinary indictment of the upper levels of the economics professoriate. Seth's post is a fine description of what agent-based models are about, and the dilemmas of coming up with criteria for evaluating robustness of research results -- a problem which DSGE papers don't seem to have, apparently because of the agreed upon math and that most of the variables are exogenous chosen by the modeler, and theoretical papers which can be judged on the coherence of their mathematical logic. Links to some agent-based work - Seth himself working on market structure and trading practices (e.g. GFT) within a "market ecology" framework
economic_theory  macroeconomics  economic_models  rationality-economics  markets  markets-structure  ecology  ecology-economic  agent-based_models  evolution-as-model  evolution-social  links 
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Herbert Gintis - Gene–culture coevolution and the nature of human sociality | Royal Society - Issue Theme "Human Niche Construction" - Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 27 March 2011, vol. 366, no. 1566, 878-888
Human characteristics are the product of gene–culture coevolution, which is an evolutionary dynamic involving the interaction of genes and culture over long time periods. Gene–culture coevolution is a special case of niche construction. Gene–culture coevolution is responsible for human other-regarding preferences, a taste for fairness, the capacity to empathize and salience of morality and character virtues. -- Keywords: gene–culture coevolution, sociobiology, epistatic information transfer -- Published 14 February 2011 doi: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0310 -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  gene-culture_coevolution  sociobiology  social_theory  genetics  cultural_change  social_process  niche_construction  evolution  evolution-social  evolutionary_biology  human_nature  character  preferences  altruism  fairness  empathy  moral_sentiments  moral_psychology  morality-innate  morality-conventional  virtue  tradition  cultural_transmission  evolution-group_selection  downloaded  EF-add 
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Kim Sterelny - From hominins to humans: how sapiens became behaviourally modern | Royal Society - Issue Theme " Human Niche Construction " - Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 27 March 2011, vol. 366, no. 1566, 809-822
Philosophy Program and Tempo and Mode, Australian National University and Philosophy Program, Victoria University of Wellington -- This paper contributes to a debate in the palaeoarchaeological community about the major time-lag between the origin of anatomically modern humans and the appearance of typically human cultural behaviour. Why did humans take so long—at least 100,000 years—to become ‘behaviourally modern’? The transition is often explained as a change in the intrinsic cognitive competence of modern humans: often in terms of a new capacity for symbolic thought, or the final perfection of language. These cognitive breakthrough models are not satisfactory, for they fail to explain the uneven palaeoanthropological record of human competence. Many supposed signature capacities appear (and then disappear) before the supposed cognitive breakthrough; many of the signature capacities disappear again after the breakthrough. So, instead of seeing behavioural modernity as a simple reflection of a new kind of mind, this paper presents a niche construction conceptual model of behavioural modernity. Humans became behaviourally modern when they could reliably transmit accumulated informational capital to the next generation, and transmit it with sufficient precision for innovations to be preserved and accumulated. In turn, the reliable accumulation of culture depends on the construction of learning environments, not just intrinsic cognitive machinery. I argue that the model is (i) evolutionarily plausible: the elements of the model can be assembled incrementally, without implausible selective scenarios; (ii) the model coheres with the broad palaeoarchaeological record; (iii) the model is anthropologically and ethnographically plausible; and (iv) the model is testable, though only in coarse, preliminary ways. - Keywords : niche construction, behavioural modernity, hominins -- doi: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0301 -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  sociobiology  anthropology  paleontology  prehistoric  evolution  evolution-social  evolutionary_biology  genetics  gene-culture_coevolution  niche_construction  brain  social_process  cultural_change  learning  cognition  cognition-social  cultural_transmission  downloaded  EF-add 
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Luke Rendell, Laurel Fogarty and Kevin N. Laland - Runaway cultural niche construction | Royal Society Issue Theme " Human Niche Construction " - Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 27 March 2011 vol. 366 no. 1566, 823-835
School of Biology, University of St Andrews, -- Cultural niche construction is a uniquely potent source of selection on human populations, and a major cause of recent human evolution. Previous theoretical analyses have not, however, explored the local effects of cultural niche construction. Here, we use spatially explicit coevolutionary models to investigate how cultural processes could drive selection on human genes by modifying local resources. We show that cultural learning, expressed in local niche construction, can trigger a process with dynamics that resemble runaway sexual selection. Under a broad range of conditions, cultural niche-constructing practices generate selection for gene-based traits and hitchhike to fixation through the build up of statistical associations between practice and trait. This process can occur even when the cultural practice is costly, or is subject to counteracting transmission biases, or the genetic trait is selected against. Under some conditions a secondary hitchhiking occurs, through which genetic variants that enhance the capability for cultural learning are also favoured by similar dynamics. We suggest that runaway cultural niche construction could have played an important role in human evolution, helping to explain why humans are simultaneously the species with the largest relative brain size, the most potent capacity for niche construction and the greatest reliance on culture. Keywords: niche construction, cultural transmission, gene–culture coevolution, human evolution, spatially explicit models -- doi: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0256 -- didn't download
article  sociobiology  anthropology  genetics  gene-culture_coevolution  niche_construction  social_theory  social_process  change-social  cultural_transmission  evolution  evolution-social  evolutionary_biology  human_nature  evolution-group_selection  EF-add 
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Jeremy Kendal, Jamshid J. Tehrani and John Odling-Smee - Human niche construction in interdisciplinary focus | Royal Society - Theme Issue "Human Niche Construction" Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 27 March 2011, vol. 366, no. 1566, 785-792
doi: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0306 Jeremy Kendal1 and Jamshid J. Tehrani - Centre for the Coevolution of Biology and Culture, Department of Anthropology, University of Durham -- John Odling-Smee - School of Anthropology, University of Oxford -- Issue introduction -- Niche construction is an endogenous causal process in evolution, reciprocal to the causal process of natural selection. It works by adding ecological inheritance, comprising the inheritance of natural selection pressures previously modified by niche construction, to genetic inheritance in evolution. Human niche construction modifies selection pressures in environments in ways that affect both human evolution, and the evolution of other species. Human ecological inheritance is exceptionally potent because it includes the social transmission and inheritance of cultural knowledge, and material culture. Human genetic inheritance in combination with human cultural inheritance thus provides a basis for gene–culture coevolution, and multivariate dynamics in cultural evolution. Niche construction theory potentially integrates the biological and social aspects of the human sciences. We elaborate on these processes, and provide brief introductions to each of the papers published in this theme issue. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  evolution  evolution-social  evolutionary_biology  sociobiology  human_nature  genetics  gene-culture_coevolution  niche_construction  ecology  species  environment  social_theory  social_process  change-social  cultural_change  cultural_transmission  downloaded  EF-add 
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Paul A. Lewis - Notions of Order and Process in Hayek: The Significance of Emergence (Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2014) :: SSRN
DOI: 10.1093/cje/beu043 -- King's College London - Department of Political Economy -- This article explores the notions of order and process to which Friedrich Hayek subscribed. It is argued that a satisfactory understanding of Hayek’s conceptions of ‘order’ and ‘process’ — and in particular a clear understanding of those how the two concepts relate to each other in his scheme of thought — requires an appreciation of the ontological categories of ‘emergence’ and ‘emergent properties.’ Ultimately, for Hayek the capacity of liberal market economies to co-ordinate people’s actions in the face of tacit and dispersed knowledge is an emergent property that arises only when people’s interactions are governed by certain sets of rules. This static analysis of the co-ordinative powers of the market as an emergent property of a given system of rules must be supplemented by a dynamic account of the process through which the set of rules in question comes into being. Hayek provides such an account in his account of society as developing through a multi-level evolutionary process. Key implications of Hayek’s accounts of order and process for debates about the co-ordinative powers of free market economies are drawn out. -- Number of Pages in PDF File: 27 -- Keywords: Hayek, order, process, emergence, ontology, Austrian economics -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  SSRN  philosophy_of_social_science  social_theory  ontology-social  markets  markets-structure  social_order  emergence  heterodox_economics  Austrian_economics  evolution-social  social_process  coordination  downloaded  EF-add 
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Paul A. Lewis - An Analytical Core for Sociolgy: A Complex, Hayekian Analysis (2014, Review of Behavioral Economics, Forthcoming) :: SSRN
Lewis, Paul A., An Analytical Core for Sociolgy: A Complex, Hayekian Analysis (November 11, 2014). Review of Behavioral Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2522810 -- King's College London - Department of Political Economy -- This paper develops a Hayekian perspective on Herbert Gintis, and Dirk Helbing's, attempts to develop a unified analytical approach to the social sciences. Like Hayek, Gintis and Helbing view both the economy, and also the human mind, as a complex adaptive system. Their emphasis on emergence, on group selection, on the social relations that structure people’s interactions, and on the importance of motivations stemming from so-called 'social preferences', sees them develop themes present in Hayek's own work, often in ways that build on and strengthen Hayek's own analysis. However, Gintis and Helbing's continued commitment to a model of people as maximising their expected utility, and to general equilibrium theory, arguably leaves them less able than Hayek to do justice to the importance of innovation, novelty and radical uncertainty in the economic process. -- Number of Pages in PDF File: 24 -- Keywords: Gintis, complexity, evolution, emergence, Hayek, reductionism, behavioral economics, equilibrium, order, uncertainty. -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  SSRN  social_theory  Hayek  Gintis  complexity  complex_adaptive_systems  evolution-as-model  evolution-social  evolutionary_biology  evolution  emergence  behavioral_economics  behavioralism  evolution-group_seledtion  rationality-economics  rational_choice  rationality-bounded  utility  social_order  uncertainty  reductionism  equilibrium  Innovation  economic_theory  economic_sociology  downloaded  EF-add 
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Jeremy Dunham, review - W. J. Mander (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // September 22, 2014
This volume is a hugely important contribution to scholarship on 19thC philosophy. ...for many important aspects of British philosophy in the 19thC the scholarship is almost non-existent. As Mander notes in the introduction, when we hear "19thC philosophy", we are more likely to think of 'the great systems of continental thought'. This volume shows that the British tradition boasts a remarkably rich and varied range of philosophical resources, and that it deserves the level of scholarship that the British traditions of the 17thC and 18thC are beginning to enjoy. In a review of another recent volume on 19thC philosophy Frederick Beiser argued that 'No period ... stands in more need of an original historian than 19thC philosophy. The standard tropes and figures do no justice to its depths, riches, and powers'. One of this present volume's greatest virtues is that it answers Beiser's plea as well as offering an impressive number of very original contributions.... It does an outstanding job of introducing a wide range of philosophical figures and ideas that will be unknown... It also includes excellent contributions on well-known philosophers and orientates the reader to the secondary literature.... The... volume provides a clear and comprehensive picture of how 19thC philosophy was practised and understood during the period. -- The Handbook has 6 parts: (1) Logic and Scientific Method; (2) Metaphysics; (3) Science and Philosophy; (4) Ethical, Social, and Political Thought; (5) Religious Philosophy; and, (6) The Practice of Philosophy. As Mander states, these classifications come from our contemporary perspective, and we should not expect the work of 19thC philosophers to neatly fit within them. Nonetheless, the individual authors [present] the aspects of a philosopher or school.. that fits within these categories while ... making clear how these aspects fit within a larger philosophical perspective ....
books  reviews  amazon.com  find  intellectual_history  19thC  British_history  Scottish_Enlightenment  Common_Sense  German_Idealism  British_Idealism  Kant  Hegelian  Mill  Sidgwick  Marx  Newman_JH  metaphysics  epistemology  empiricism  mind  perception  ideas-theories  idealism-transcendental  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  social_theory  Coleridge  philosophy_of_religion  philosophy_of_science  philosophy_of_social_science  science-and-religion  scientific_method  Darwinism  evolution  evolution-as-model  evolutionary_biology  evolution-social  Spencer_Herbert  political_philosophy  intelligentsia  elite_culture  professionalization  university  Evernote 
october 2014 by dunnettreader
ECONOMICS AS SOCIAL THEORY - Routledge Series edited by Tony Lawson - Titles List
Social theory is experiencing something of a revival within economics. Critical analyses of the particular nature of the subject matter of social studies and of the types of method, categories and modes of explanation that can legitimately be endorsed for the scientific study of social objects, are re-emerging. Economists are again addressing such issues as the relationship between agency and structure, between the economy and the rest of society, and between inquirer and the object of inquiry. There is renewed interest in elaborating basic categories such as causation, competition, culture, discrimination,evolution, money, need, order, organisation, power, probability, process, rationality, technology, time, truth, uncertainty and value, etc. The objective for this series is to facilitate this revival further. In contemporary economics the label `theory' has been appropriated by a group that confines itself to largely a-social, a-historical, mathematical `modelling'. Economics as Social Theory thus reclaims the `theory' label, offering a platform for alternative, rigorous, but broader and more critical conceptions of theorising.
books  social_theory  economic_theory  social_sciences  intellectual_history  political_economy  causation-social  economic_sociology  economic_culture  rationality-economics  rational_choice  rationality-bounded  rational_expectations  critical_realism  evolution-social  history_of_science  historical_sociology  agency-structure  power  power-asymmetric  business-and-politics  capitalism  capital_as_power  Marxist  Post-Keynesian  epistemology  epistemology-social  conventions  social_order  civil_society  public_policy  public_goods  anarchism  competition  financialization  development  economic_growth 
october 2014 by dunnettreader
William M. Dugger and William Waller - Radical Institutionalism: From Technological to Democratic Instrumentalism | JSTOR: Review of Social Economy, Vol. 54, No. 2 (SUMMER 1996), pp. 169-189
This article explains the nature and significance of radical institutionalism. Radical institutionalism does not represent a break with the institutionalist paradigm, but an attempt to move it beyond its outmoded, Ayresian philosophical foundation. Radical institutionalism involves the introduction of three new elements into the contemporary stream of institutionalist works. These three new elements include an emphasis on Veblenian fundamentals, a shift in research interests, and a reconsideration of the philosophical foundations of inquiry. -- interesting institutional bibliography -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  20thC  social_sciences-post-WWII  postmodern  critical_theory  social_theory  political_economy  institutional_economics  evolution-social  epistemology-social  philosophy_of_social_science  Veblen  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Stephen Nash and Liza Rybak - On Logical Difficulties, Philosophy, and the T.C.E. Explanation of the Firm | JSTOR: Review of Social Economy, Vol. 68, No. 3 (SEPTEMBER 2010), pp. 339-363
By exploring the implications of the linkage between Knight and Pragmatism, some non-trivial implications can be argued to exist. Specifically, section 2 outlines the T. C. E. literature, and how it exists in an atmosphere mixed with Marshallian competition and Knightian uncertainty. Section 3 then considers the disparate philosophical positions behind the work of Knight and Marshall. Knight's critique of Marshall is seminal, not because of any trivial technical innovations that Knight may have inspired within economic theory, but because Knight grounds his work on a philosophical viewpoint that effectively devastated Hegelian philosophy: American Pragmatism. Section 4 then links together the previous two sections by considering how the T. C. E. literature exhibits a dependency on both Pragmatism and Hegelian philosophy. The non-trivial implications of understanding the T. C. E. literature as a branch of Marshallian economics, which recognises Knightian uncertainty, are developed in section 5. Possible conclusions and a summary of the argument are provided in section 6. -- over 100 references from Kant through the pragmatists, Knight and 20thC economics, variants of neoclassical, and empirical evidence including probability and uncertainty in econometrics with heavy emphasis on theories of the firm, transaction cost analysis, Coase and Williamson, markets and hierarchies-- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  19thC  20thC  economic_theory  economic_models  macroeconomics  neoclassical_economics  econometrics  probability  risk  certainty  uncertainty  Kant  Hegel  Hegelian  Marshall  transaction_costs  markets  markets-structure  firms-theory  organizations  hierarchy  management  Knight  Coase  Williamson_O  pragmatism  Peirce  Dewey  economic_sociology  economic_culture  evolution-social  competition  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Paul T. Homan - An Appraisal of Institutional Economics | JSTOR: The American Economic Review, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Mar., 1932), pp. 10-17
Paper presented at Round Table Conference, December 29, 1931, at forty-fourth annual meeting of the American Economic Association, Washington, D.C. Veblen's attempt to make of economics an evolutionary science has been little developed by other economists. The differentiating characteristics of an institutional economics are hard to find; but some economists have oriented their thinking by a postulated institutional prescription of human conduct in an evolving society, in association with an attack upon the ideology of systematic economic theory. The central concern of this group for economic theory has, however, been in making it relevant to problems of social control. Descriptive studies have constituted the principal recent additions to economic knowledge. Few if any of these can be regarded as integral parts of a differentiated institutional economics. Nor can one find peculiarly institutional contributions to the solution of problems of economic control. The supposed existence of a distinguishable body of economic knowledge or theory properly to be called institutional is an intellectual fiction. -- see also roundtable conference report
article  jstor  intellectual_history  20thC  entre_deux_guerres  economic_theory  neoclassical_economics  institutional_economics  Veblen  evolution-social 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter, Michael Weisberg - Why Evolutionary Biology is (so Far) Irrelevant to Law (2007, last revised 2014) :: SSRN
U of Texas Law, Law & Econ Research Paper No. 81 -- U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 89 -- We argue that as the actual science stands today, evolutionary biology offers nothing to help with questions about legal regulation of behavior. -- Evolutionary accounts are etiological accounts of how a trait evolved. [A]n account of causal etiology could be relevant to law if (1) the account of causal etiology is scientifically well-confirmed, and (2) there is an explanation of how the well-confirmed etiology bears on questions of development (the Environmental Gap Objection). ....the accounts of causal etiology that might be relevant are not remotely well-confirmed by scientific standards. We argue, in particular, that (a) evolutionary psychology is not entitled to assume selectionist accounts of human behaviors, (b) the assumptions necessary for the selectionist accounts to be true are not warranted by standard criteria for theory choice, and (c) only confusions about levels of explanation of human behavior create the appearance that understanding the biology of behavior is important. We also note that no response to the Environmental Gap Objection has been proffered. In the concluding section of the article, we turn directly to the work of Prof Owen Jones, a leading proponent of the relevance of evolutionary biology to law, and show that he does not come to terms with any of the fundamental problems identified in this article. -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  SSRN  legal_theory  philosophy_of_science  philosophy_of_law  philosophy_of_social_science  evolution-social  evolutionary_biology  evo_psych  causation-social  causation-evolutionary  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
John Passmore, The Perfectibility of Man ( 3rd edition 2000) - Online Library of Liberty
John Passmore, The Perfectibility of Man (3rd ed.) (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2000). 07/13/2014. <http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/670> -- A reviewer of the original edition in 1970 of The Perfectibility of Man well summarizes the scope and significance of this renowned work by one of the leading philosophers of the twentieth century: “Beginning with an analytic discussion of the various ways in which perfectibility has been interpreted, Professor Passmore traces its long history from the Greeks to the present day, by way of Christianity, orthodox and heterodox, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, anarchism, utopias, communism, psychoanalysis, and evolutionary theories of man and society. Both in its broad sweep and in countless supporting reflections, it is a journey through spiritual scenery of the most majestic and exhilarating kind.” Thoroughly and elegantly, Passmore explores the history of the idea of perfectibility – manifest in the ideology of perfectibilism – and its consequences, which have invariably been catastrophic for individual liberty and responsibility in private, social, economic, and political life. -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  etexts  intellectual_history  metaphysics  theology  ancient_philosophy  medieval_philosophy  Early_Christian  Renaissance  Enlightenment  French_Enlightenment  German_Idealism  Romanticism  political_economy  psychoanalysis  utopian  anarchical_society  communism  Enlightenment_Project  evolution-social  evolution-as-model  15thC  16thC  17thC  18thC  19thC  20thC  progress  perfectibility  human_nature  moral_psychology  moral_philosophy  political_philosophy  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
On Compromise (1874) -- The works of Lord Morley, Vol 3 - John Morley - Google Books
Concerned about erosion of acting according to moral and political principles. Analysis of causes (1) French example of claiming that policies deduced from general principles gives principle a bad name (2) historicism (1st rumbles of "relativism" accusation) (3) newspapers responding to short term opinions and prejudices of buyers (4) State Church puts important part of educated elite into defense of status quo and rejection of thinking through implications of new information, conditions etc - as well as encourage hypocrisy (5) nouveau riche that has neither the class tradition of noblesse oblige nor what he takes to be widely shared American attachment to the notion of the common good -- a political and intellectual_history of 19thC England, including reaction to Enlightenment - last chapter focus on free thought vs free speech, Locke, JS Mill, liberty and toleration, ending with remarks by Diderot -- added to Google_Books library
books  etexts  Google_Books  18thC  19thC  British_history  British_politics  intellectual_history  France  Anglo-French  Enlightenment  Hume  Diderot  Locke-religion  Mill  tolerance  free-thinkers  free_speech  public_opinion  newspapers  haute_bourgeoisie  moral_philosophy  political_philosophy  political_culture  Church_of_England  religious_culture  religious_belief  historicism  evolution-social  evolution-as-model  liberalism  Victorian  Morley  EF-add 
may 2014 by dunnettreader
Kenan Malik - A BOOK IN PROGRESS [PART 17]: SCIENCE, NIHILISM & MORALITY | Pandaemonium - June 2012
This extract is from the section that unpacks Alex Rosenberg’s arguments about morality in his book The Atheist’s Guide to Reality. -- For Mackie, cultural variations in moral norms provided evidence for the truth of nihilism. Rosenberg, on the other hand, finds that evidence in the lack of cultural variation in the most important values, in the existence of a core, shared morality. Leaving aside the question of whether nihilism itself is a plausible account of moral life, it is possible that both Mackie and Rosenberg are right about moral norms. It is not implausible that humans posses a small number of evolved, shared moral beliefs, surrounded by an ocean of culturally variable norms. -- The debate about the degree to which moral norms are shared across cultures and the extent to which they vary remains unresolved. A century ago the argument for cultural variation held sway. More recently the idea of an evolved set of cultural and moral universals found favour. There are signs now of a swing back in the pendulum; recent research has plausibly, if controversially, claimed that even traits that had seemed unquestionably evolved and universal – such as facial expressions, for instance, or language – may be far more culturally varied than once thought. Given this debate, Rosenberg is not giving a scientific account of how natural selection may have shaped our moral norms, but is rather telling a story, a story of the kind he is so dismissive about in histories, biographies, the humanities and literature, but one that is often less persuasive because he seems so cavalier with both fact and observation.
books  reviews  kindle-available  moral_philosophy  intellectual_history  morality-objective  morality-conventional  morality-innate  evo_psych  evolution-social  metaethics  EF-add 
may 2014 by dunnettreader
Craig Calhoun - Gerhard Lenski, Some False Oppositions, and "The Religious Factor" | JSTOR: Sociological Theory, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Jun., 2004), pp. 194-204
Special issue - Religion, Stratification, and Evolution in Human Societies: Essays in Honor of Gerhard E. Lenski -- very useful intellectual_history of 20thC historical sociology -- from earlier stadial to evolution-social to modernization, rejected by 60s generation, and reformulated as historical sociology
article  jstor  intellectual_history  20thC  social_theory  evolution-social  evolution-as-model  modernization  progress  historical_sociology  downloaded  EF-add 
may 2014 by dunnettreader
Amazon.com: Herbert Gintis' review of Michael Tomasello, Natural History of Human Thinking
Herb is very enthusiastic re the key theoretical innovations, a lot less re the attempts to use game theory to describe the innovation
books  reviews  kindle-available  human_nature  evo_psych  evolution-social  sociability  cooperation  mind  philosophy_of_language  metaethics  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Mark J. Roe - Chaos and Evolution in Law and Economics | JSTOR: Harvard Law Review, Vol. 109, No. 3 (Jan., 1996), pp. 641-668
Adds chaos theory for accidental starting position, path dependency, to standard Social Darwinism of law and economics evolutionary model. Heavily cited for a decade and still showing up in corporate governance. Not clear how he deals with "efficiency" as the evolutionary fitness test, and impacts of judiciary, regulations, lobbying on both efficiency and survival. -- didn't download
article  jstor  legal_theory  social_theory  evolution-social  corporate_governance  firms-theory  Social_Darwinism  chaos_theory  path-dependency  rational_choice  efficiency  behavioral_economics  law-and-economics  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Contents | Yi-Cheng Zhang - The Structure of Information Economy [book chapter drafts]
TOC and links to chapter drafts. Zhang is at Fribourg, a physicist who uses Soros reflexivity insights as part of top level Darwinian inflected theory of NESS - non-equilibrium social sciences.
books  philosophy_of_social_science  economic_theory  evolution-as-model  evolution-social  Soros  reflexivity  information-markets  information-asymmetric  cognition  cognition-social  fallibility  Innovation  marketing  networks-social  supply_chains  equilibrium  networks-information  EF-add 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
Yi-Cheng Zhang :: Broader scopes of the reflexivity principle in the economy - Journal of Economic Methodology [Soros special issue] - Volume 20, Issue 4 -Taylor & Francis Online
pages 446-453 -- downloaded pdf to Note -- The reflexivity principle of George Soros – that man's fallible understanding can have reflexivity impacts that shape reality – challenges mainstream economics in a fundamental way. This essay will outline a research program that corroborates the reflexivity principle and extends it to broader economic issues. We shall often use examples of consumer and finance markets, but the implications go beyond these examples. The following eight sections build up our main thesis that reflexivity plays an essential role in understanding the economy. -- see bookmark for his draft book on information economy (Oxford 2014 or 2015) and the project he leads on NESS non-equilibrium social sciences
article  philosophy_of_social_science  economic_theory  evolution-as-model  evolution-social  Soros  reflexivity  information-markets  information-asymmetric  cognition  cognition-social  fallibility  Innovation  marketing  networks-social  supply_chains  equilibrium  networks-information  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
Smirnov, Dawes, Fowler, Johnson and McElreath -The Behavioral Logic of Collective Action: Partisans Cooperate and Punish More Than Nonpartisans | JSTOR: Political Psychology, Vol. 31, No. 4 (August 2010), pp. 595-616
Laboratory experiments indicate that many people willingly contribute to public goods and punish free riders at a personal cost. We hypothesize that these individuals, called strong reciprocators, allow political parties to overcome collective action problems, thereby allowing those organizations to compete for scarce resources and to produce public goods for like-minded individuals. Using a series of laboratory games, we examine whether partisans contribute to public goods and punish free riders at a greater rate than nonpartisans. The results show that partisans are more likely than nonpartisans to contribute to public goods and to engage in costly punishment. Given the broad theoretical literature on altruistic punishment and group selection as well as our own formal evolutionary model, we hypothesize that it is being a partisan that makes an individual more likely to be a strong reciprocator and not vice versa. -- didn't download -- interesting bibliography
article  jstor  political_science  political_participation  parties  evolution-social  punishment-altruistic  cooperation  social_psychology  bibliography  EF-add 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
Geoffrey M. Hodgson: The Mystery of the Routine: The Darwinian Destiny of An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change - JSTOR: Revue économique, Vol. 54, No. 2 (Mar., 2003), pp. 355-384
The three core Darwinian principles of variety, inheritance and selection are found in Nelson and Winter's Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change (1982). Is the application of these core Darwinian principles purely analogical, or does it also relate to ontological communalities between social and biological evolution? Why do Nelson and Winter describe their theory as "Lamarckian" despite this strong Darwinian content? This "Lamarckian" inclination is related to their imperfect and inconsistent definitions of their core concept of "routine". It is argued here that a routine must be treated as a genotype rather than a (behavioural) phenotype. Following Winter (1987), it is also argued that the use of Darwinian principles in economics relates to general features that are common to both social and biological systems. This permits consideration of the routine as a replicator in a broad Darwinian analysis. A definition of replication is taken from the recent literature on cultural evolution and applied to the key concepts of (individual) habit and (organisational) routine. An ontologically-grounded Darwinian and evolutionary economics leads us to a more detailed discussion of the mechanisms of replication, as well as the sources of variety and the processes of selection. -- didn't download paper
paper  jstor  social_theory  evolution-social  evolution-as-model  economic_theory  economic_sociology  EF-add 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
Ken Koford: Gould and Multilevel Evolution - JSTOR: Eastern Economic Journal, Vol. 31, No. 2 (Spring, 2005), pp. 313-316
Nice little editor's essay - links from Adam Smith to Darwin and to multilevel evolution to eg technology process (Mokyr) and New Institutional Economics (Williamson)
Gould and Multilevel Evolution
Ken Koford
Eastern Economic Journal
Vol. 31, No. 2 (Spring, 2005) (pp. 313-316)
Page Count: 4
intellectual_history  economic_theory  evolution-social  evolutionary_biology  Innovation  institutional_economics  EF-add 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
Gowdy et al - Economic cosmology and the evolutionary challenge | Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization Special Issue 2013
2nd lead articl5 -- downloaded pdf to Note -- The intellectual histories of economics and evolutionary biology are closely intertwined because both subjects deal with living, complex, evolving systems. Because the subject matter is similar, contemporary evolutionary thought has much to offer to economics. In recent decades theoretical biology has progressed faster than economics in understanding phenomena like hierarchical processes, cooperative behavior, and selection processes in evolutionary change. This paper discusses three very old “cosmologies” in Western thought, how these play out in economic theory, and how evolutionary biology can help evaluate their validity and policy relevance. These cosmologies are: (1) “natural man” as a rational, self-sufficient, egotistical individual, (2) competition among individuals can lead to a well-functioning society, and (3) there exists an ideal optimal state of nature. These correspond to Colander et al. (2004) “holy trinity of orthodox economics”, rationality, greed, and equilibrium. It is argued below that current breakthroughs in evolutionary biology and neuroscience can help economics go beyond these simple cosmologies.

They equate Pope’s Essay (self love and social are the same) with Mandeville Fable of the Bees
paper  journal  intellectual_history  ancient_philosophy  Western_civ  natural_law  cosmology  Providence  self-interest  competition  markets  economic_theory  economic_sociology  economic_culture  evolution-social  biocultural_evolution  evo_psych  evolution-as-model  reason  rationality-economics  rational_choice  downloaded  EF-add  equilibrium  complexity  Smith  Pope  Mandeville 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
David Sloan Wilson & John M. Gowdy - Evolution as a general theoretical framework for economics and public policy | Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 2013
1st lead article to special issue of same title -- downloaded pdf to Note -- Economic and evolutionary thinking have been entwined throughout their histories, but evolutionary theory does not function as a general theoretical framework for economics and public policy, as it does for the biological sciences. In this lead article for a special issue of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, we first describe how evolution functions as a general theoretical framework in the biological sciences. Then we consider four reasons why evolution might not need to be consulted for human-related subjects such as economics and public policy. We conclude that these reasons can be valid in particular cases, but they fail for any sizeable human-related subject area. Hence evolution can and should become a general theoretical framework for economics and public policy. The other articles in the special issue help to substantiate this claim.
paper  journal  economic_theory  economic_models  public_policy  social_theory  social_sciences  evolution-social  evolution-as-model  evo_psych  institutions  institutional_economics  organizations  evolutionary_biology  biocultural_evolution  downloaded  EF-add 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
“Evolution as a General Theoretical Framework for Economics and Public Policy” - Special Issue | Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization | The Evolution Institute 2013
Special issue editors: David Sloan Wilson, John M. Gowdy, J. Barkley Rosser -- This supplementary issue of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization is based on a collaborative project between the Evolution Institute and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center that started in 2009 with a NESCent catalysis meeting titled “The Nature of Regulation: How Evolution Can Inform the Regulation of Large-scale Human Social Interactions”. The meeting led to a 2-year project on integrating economic and evolutionary theory. This project used NESCent’s working group rubric to organize three workshops, whose participants were drawn from a larger advisory group. Other outputs of the project include a white paper submitted to the National Science Foundation and a final workshop titled “The Science-to-Narrative Chain”, which examines how to create a new public narrative based on the evolutionary paradigm. Supplemental material can also be found at our online magazine: This View of Life http://www.thisviewoflife.com/
social_sciences  public_policy  economic_theory  evolution-social  evolution-as-model  evo_psych  institutions  institutional_economics  organizations 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
The evolution of morality – Allen Buchanan and Russell Powell – Aeon - December 2013
Allen Buchanan is professor of philosophy and professor of law at Duke University in North Carolina. His latest book is Better Than Human: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Ourselves (2011).

Russell Powell is a philosopher at Boston University, whose research interests include bioethics and biotechnology. His book, Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity, is forthcoming.

Nevertheless, the evo-conservative argument has some attractions. Human altruism does tend to be parochial, and people do often act as if they ascribe significantly greater moral worth to kin, kith and countryman. The trouble with this understanding of morality is that it cannot be the whole picture, or even most of it. After all, these evolutionary accounts are incapable of explaining a large swath of contemporary moral behaviour that we call the ‘inclusivist anomaly’. These are features of human morality that are strikingly more inclusive than evolutionary theory would lead us to expect, suggesting that human moral nature is far more flexible than evo-conservatives have acknowledged. This flexibility in turn offers ample room for the development of still more inclusive moralities that, on the evo-conservative view, evolution is purported to have ruled out.
evo_psych  evolution-social  moral_philosophy  moral_sentiments  cosmopolitanism  human_nature  moral_psychology  progress  conservatism 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
Kenan Malik - HOW HUMAN IS CULTURE? | Pandaemonium Dec 2013
Enlightenment philosophes talked more of ‘civilisation’ than of culture and through that notion they tried to express three key ideas. First, they saw civilisation as a single phenomenon, an expression of human universalities, rather than of human differences. Second they understood it as transformative, as an expression of human agency. Culture was as much about our emancipation from nature as of our embodiment in it. And third, it expressed their belief in progress – technological, moral and social.

The Romantic view of culture developed through the nineteenth century directly in response to such Enlightenment beliefs. Romantics saw not a single civilisation, but a plurality of cultures, each rooted in a particular people’s history and myth. Culture, therefore, was an expression of differences, not of universals; and of a putative past, rather than of a potential future. Anthropologists influenced by this tradition came to view culture as functional rather than as transformative, that is, as something essential for social integration and stability, and hence downplayed the role of agency in human life.
intellectual_history  18thC  19thC  20thC  culture  anthropology  human_nature  evolution  evolution-social  social_theory  social_sciences  EF-add 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
The Paradox of Automatic Planning [FIERY CUSHMAN:] HeadCon '13 What's new in social science: Part III | Edge.org
Neurosciences at Brown - some interesting stuff about stimulus-response and basal ganglia that can control both motor response and seems to interact with working memory for goal oriented action -- but where he thinks research is going is the pretty obvious bio-cultural synthesis. Scary that brain researchers on cognition that are hooked with artificial intelligence modeling seem to ignore the humanities perspectives -- quote -- In the literature right now there's a debate between two rival theories for what makes humans unique. One theory calls itself the "cognitive niche" and it basically says what makes us unique is that we can think very, very carefully and hard about things in a controlled way. Another hypothesis calls itself the "cultural niche", and it says, no, what makes us unique is that we get for free the answers to problems culturally. Other people have worked it out through trial and error and they tell us.

What I find really exciting is the idea that it's not just that both of those things are true but that they're codependent. That in principle you could not make the mathematics of controlled cognition work, you couldn't solve the computational intractability without the support of cultural input, and that cultural knowledge wouldn't be much good if you couldn't flexibly reassemble it in the way that hierarchical representations allow you to.
neuroscience  cognition  cognition-social  evolutionary_biology  evolution  evolution-social  human_nature  EF-add 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
John Dewey: The Evolutionary Method As Applied To Morality: II Its Significance for Conduct | George Herbert Mead Project
John Dewey. "The Evolutionary Method As Applied To Morality: II Its Significance for Conduct", Philosophical Review 11, (1902): 353-371.

I would have those who deny moral significance to the historical method show how we may guide and control the formation of our further moral judgments if we forego inquiry into the process of their formation as historically set before us....... The point of the genetic method is then that it shows relationships, and thereby at once guarantees and defines meaning. We must take the history of any intuition or attitude of moral consciousness in both directions: both ex parte ante and ex parte post. We must consider it with reference to the antecedents which evoked it, and with reference to its later career and fate. It arises in a certain context, and as a reaction to certain circumstances ; it has a subsequent history which can be traced. It maintains and reinforces certain conditions, and modifies others. It becomes a stimulus which provokes new modes of action. Now when we see how and why the belief came about, and also know what else came about because of it, we have a hold upon the worth of the belief which is entirely wanting when we set it up as an isolated intuition. Pure intuitionalism. is often indeed undistinguishable from the crassest empiricism. The ' intuition' is declared to be a content of 'reason,' but reason is a mere label. The ordinary relation and criteria of rationality are expressly eliminated. Quite likely we have deified the results of a merely accidental history or series of circumstances. The only way to introduce reasonableness is to analyze in detail the course of events from which the intuition results, and to trace in further detail the influences that radiate from it. There is much ground for John Stuart Mill's basis of opposition to intuitionalism -- it tends to perpetuate prejudice and sanctify conservatism by calling them eternal truths of reason, and thus to erect barriers in the way of moral progress.
article  online_texts  Dewey  19thC  20thC  intellectual_history  US_history  moral_philosophy  intuitionism  values  reason  history-as_experiment  evolution-as-model  evolution-social  genealogy-method  morality-objective  morality-conventional  epistemology-moral  progress  pragmatism  culture  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
John Dewey: The Evolutionary Method As Applied to Morality: 1. Its Significance for Conduct I George Herbert Mead Project
John Dewey. "The Evolutionary Method As Applied to Morality: 1. Its Scientific Necessity", Philosophical Review 11, (1902): 107-124 . -- I shall endeavor to point out that there is more than analogy, there is an exact identity, between what the experimental method does for our physical knowledge, and what the historical method in a narrower sense may do for the spiritual region : the region of conscious values. My aim is to show that the historical method reveals to us a process of becoming, and thereby brings under intellectual and practical control facts which utterly resist general speculation or mere introspective observation.

History, as viewed from the evolutionary standpoint, is not a mere collection of incidents or external changes, which something fixed (whether spiritual or physical) has passed through, but is a process that reveals to us the conditions under which moral practices and ideas have originated. This enables us to place, to relate them. In seeing where they came from, in what situations they arose, we see their significance. Moreover, by tracing the historical sequence we are enabled to substitute a view of the whole in its concrete reality for a sketchy view of isolated fragments. History is for the individual and for the unending procession of the universe, what experiment is to the detached field of physics.
article  online_texts  Dewey  intellectual_history  19thC  20thC  US_history  experimental_philosophy  evolution-social  evolution-as-model  moral_philosophy  history-as_experiment  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
Social Evolution Forum - Institutional Rigidity and Evolutionary Theory: Trapped on a Local Maximum [eScholarship]
[eScholarship] Cliodynamics, 2(2) Author:

Lustick, Ian S, University of Pennsylvania; Nettle, Daniel, University of Newcastle; Wilson, David Sloan, Binghamton University; Kokko, Hanna, Australian National University; Thayer, Bradley A, Baylor University

Downloaded pdf to Note
article  social_theory  evolution-social  institutions  downloaded  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader

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