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Toll stations, Greece. Ontology & epistemology. Ontology: a specification of a conceptualization 1 E.g., What is society? What do we mean when we invoke “society”? Who does it contain? What are its boundaries? Generally understood as a theory of what is, of being, existence

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Toll stations greece

Toll stations, Greece


Ontology epistemology

Ontology & epistemology

  • Ontology: a specification of a conceptualization1

    • E.g., What is society? What do we mean when we invoke “society”? Who does it contain? What are its boundaries?

    • Generally understood as a theory of what is, of being, existence

  • Epistemology: the study of knowledge and justified belief 2

    • What are the necessary and sufficient conditions of knowledge? What are its sources? What is its structure, and what are its limits?

    • How we are to understand the concept of justification? What makes justified beliefs justified? Is justification internal or external to one's own mind?

    • Understood more broadly, epistemology is about issues having to do with the creation and dissemination of knowledge in particular areas of inquiry

1.T. R. Gruber. A translation approach to portable ontologies. Knowledge Acquisition, 5(2):199-220, 1993.

2. Steup, Matthias, "Epistemology", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2011/entries/epistemology/>.


Metatheoretical map

MetatheoreticalMap

Nonrational

commodity festishism

alienation/estrangement

ORDER

Collective

Individual

surplus value

class conflict

class interests

labor exploitation

forces & relations of production

A

C

T

I

O

N

Rational


Metatheoretical map1

Metatheoretical Map

Nonrational

A

C

T

I

O

N

DURKHEIM

Collective

Individual

ORDER

MARX

Rational


Emile durkheim 1858 1917

Emile Durkheim (1858-1917)

There can be no society which does not

feel the need of upholding and reaffirming

at regular intervals the collective sentiments

and the collective ideas which makes its unity and personality. Now this moral remaking cannot be achieved except by the means of reunions, assemblies and meetings where the individuals, being closely united to one another, reaffirm in common their common sentiments.

(Durkheim 1912/1995: 474-75)


Intellectual influences

Intellectual influences

  • Auguste Comte (1798-1857), founder of French positivism, coined the term “sociology”

    • Through systematic collection, the patterns behind and within individual behavior can be uncovered

    • positivism: the idea that the study of social phenomena should employ the same scientific techniques used in the natural sciences

    • Comte saw "social physics" or sociology as a means to combat anarchy in the wake of the French Revolution

    • Society is sui generis (an objective reality that is irreducible to the individuals that compose it) and amenable to scientific investigation

  • Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), British philosopher, shared organic view of society

    • as social organism grows, it becomes more complex, due to differentiation

    • differentiation: in essence, any change that increases the variety of social forms having durable connections to each other 3

      • can take the form of industrialization, urbanization, immigration of people from alien cultures, and any number of other changes

      • the myriad variations among people based on selected social characteristics such as age, sex, race, educational attainment, occupational status, etc. is an example of differentiation

3 Tilly, Big Structures, p. 50


Influences and core ideas

Influences and core ideas

  • Sense of moral crisis in turn of the century France

    • ED defended Captain Alfred Dreyfus (center of "Dreyfus Affair"), a young Jewish artillery officer of Jewish descent, who was falsely charged w/treason, as the result of rampant anti-Semitism

    • ED considered anti-Semitism a "moral sickness of society”

  • ED was a reformist, not a revolutionary

    • described Marxism as a “disputable set of outdated hypotheses“

    • ED did not support agitation, feared and hated social disorder, but did not believe social disorder was inherent in capitalism or a necessary part of modern world

    • Disorder could be reduced through social reforms

  • Critique of individualism

    • society, not the individual, is primary

    • ED was critical of utilitarian individualism, economism


Core ideas in durkheim s early work

Core ideas in Durkheim’s early work

  • roleof ideals &moral unity in the continuity of society

  • individual as active agent &passive recipient of social influence

  • society is more than sum of its parts

  • society as an organism, which can be healthy or pathological

  • change from traditional to modern society likened to biological processes involving differentiation of cells


Metatheoretical map2

Metatheoretical Map

Nonrational

Mead

DURKHEIM

Simmel

Du Bois

Collective

Individual

Weber

Gilman

Marx

Rational


Metatheoretical map3

Metatheoretical Map

Nonrational

anomie

collective conscience

collective representations

sacred & profane

social solidarity

mechanical solidarity

organic solidarity

division of labor

ORDER

Collective

Individual

A

C

T

I

O

N

Rational


The division of labor in society

The Division of Labor in Society

1893


Key concepts

Key concepts

  • social facts: conditions and circumstances external to the individual that, nevertheless, determine the individual’s course of action

  • social solidarity: the cohesion of social groups

  • collective conscience: “the totality of beliefs and sentiments common to average citizens of the same society” that “forms a determinate system which has its own life”


T he modern division of labor marx vs durkheim

The modern division of labor – Marx vs. Durkheim

  • Marx claimed the division of labor (or economic specialization) in capitalism inevitably resulted in alienation

  • Durkheim, by contrast, argued that economic specialization was not necessarily bad for the individual or society

    • It depends on the conditions, whether voluntary and spontaneous


D ivision of labor social solidarity

Division of labor & social solidarity

  • The Division of Labor in Society challenged claim that modern society was headed towards disintegration

  • Despite declining significance of traditional moral beliefs (rooted in religion), a new system of moral regulation could be found in the differentiated DOL

    • Not based on formalcontracts, as utilitarianssuggest

    • Social norms upholding contracts give them force - "noncontractualbasis of contract"

  • In modern societies, the form of social cohesion called mechanical solidarity is increasingly supplanted by a new type: organic solidarity

     contemporary society still has a moral order!


There are two types of positive solidarity mechanical organic

There are two types of positive solidarity: mechanical & organic

  • mechanical solidarity, links the individual to society without any intermediary

    • Society is organized collectively and is composed of beliefs common to all members of the group

    • The individual consciousness depends on the collective consciousness


Mechanical vs o rganic solidarity

Mechanical vs. organic solidarity

  • Where mechanical solidarity is the main basis of societal cohesion, collective conscience completely envelops the individual conscience and therefore presumes an identity between individuals in their beliefs and actions

  • With organic solidarity, society is a system of different functions united by definite relationships, which bring about the DoL


Dol social solidarity

DoL & social solidarity

  • In modern DoL, each individual must have a sphere of action and a personality which is his own

  • Individuality grows at the same time as the parts of society

    • Society becomes more effective at moving in concert though at the same time each of its elements has more movements that are peculiarly its own

  • Solidarity stems not simply from acceptance of common set of beliefs but from functional interdependence in DoL

  • The growth of organic solidarity and the expansion of the DOL are hence associated with increasing individualism

  • The progress of organic solidarity is necessarily dependent on the declining significance of the collectiveconscience


The rules of the sociological method

The Rules of the Sociological Method

1895


A science of morality

A science of morality

  • ED sought to treat the facts of moral life according to the method of the positive sciences

    • vs. the moral philosophers who began with a priori postulates about essential human nature

    • & vs. psychology, where propositions are applied through a process of logical deduction

  • ED sets out not to extract ethics from science, but to establish a science of morality

    • moral rules develop in society and are bound up with the conditions of social life pertaining in a given time and place

    • science of moral phenomena thus sets out to analyze how changing forms of society effect transformations in the character of moral norms and to observe and classify these


Sociology is the study of social facts

Sociology is the study of social facts

  • Sociology is a distinct field of study

  • Although the social sciences are distinct from the natural sciences, the methods of the latter can be applied to the former

  • The social field is also distinct from the psychological realm


Crime is normal

Crime is normal

  • Crime is present in all societies of all types

  • Its form changes

    • acts thus characterized are not the same everywhere but everywhere and always there have been people whose behavior draws punishment

  • Crime is not only inevitable, it is necessary - an integral part of all healthy societies


What is crime

What is crime?

  • Crime consists of an act that offends certain very strong collective sentiments

  • It is not the intrinsic quality of a given act that makes it a crime, but the definition which the “collective conscience” of society gives it


Crime plays role in social evolution

Crime plays role in social evolution

  • Where crime exists, collective sentiments are sufficiently flexible to take on a new form, and crime sometimes helps determine the form they will take

    • Socrates’ crime, independence of thought, provided a service not only to humanity but to his country, preparing the ground for a new morality & faith in Athens, since traditions were no longer in harmony with current conditions

      • his violation was a crime, but it was useful as a prelude to necessary reforms


Crime has a social function

Crime has a social function

  • Crime must no longer be conceived as an evil to be suppressed

  • Instead, we should attempt to discern its social function, the purpose it serves for society


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