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1980 (2) Heft 2

Abstracts | Inhalt

Helmut F. Spinner
Ist der Kritische Rationalismus am Ende?

Abstract: Motivated by Drerup's and Terhart's stimulating contribution (ANALYSE & KRITIK 1 /80) to the notorious "Critical Rationalism and Contemporary Politics"-affair with its fatal repercussions on Popper's original position. Part One of this paper discusses the development of Popperian philosophy of science and society from the hopeful beginnings to the rather unsatisfactory present state, with the main emphasis on the separate fate of his Social Philosophy in Germanspeaking countries. A reconstruction and evaluation of this development is made in comparison to Popper's basic idea of an open-minded Social Philosophy and critical Social Science. The German mainstream development adds to Popper's own radically liberal interpretation a positivistic, a normativistic and a conformistic phase, thus leading this degenerating research programme to the present philosophical stagnation and badly compensating political reideologization. The intellectual as well as the institutional causes and consequences of the deviant German case are analysed. - This exposition of the present state of reception is to be completed, in Part Two, by an analysis of the resulting state of problems with regard to the remaining chances for the realization of the original Popperian programme just-mentioned in contemporary rebuilding.

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Norbert Froese
Messung und Systematisierung in der Soziologie

Abstract: This essay is a systematic investigation of the problems concerning the measurement of theoretical qualities in the social sciences. If someone wants to measure theoretical qualities like attitudes, intelligence or aggressivity the first and most difficult task is to formulate an operationalisation. To show such operationalisations being correct is the central problem of empirical research. In this essay it is shown that no adequate methods exist to demonstrate operationalisations as true ore false statements. As long as the problem of operationalisation is treated and analysed as a problem of isolated statements it seems to be absolutely unsolvable. The problem of the correctness of operationalisations must be interpreted as the problem of the correctness of the theories in which they are used. Whether an operationalisation is accepted or not depends only on the empirical success of the theory in which it is contained. This implies that we can only measure theoretical qualities if we have successful theories working with these theoretical qualities.

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Jürgen Backhaus
The Pareto Principle

Abstract: The purpose of the paper is a discussion of the meaning and relevance of the Pareto principle in economics. To begin with, the principle is briefly retraced in Pareto's own writings. Its contemporary meaning was, however, developed in the context of the "New Welfare Economics". While Pareto technically employed the principle in order to describe an equilibrium situation, Kaldor and Hicks developed it somewhat differently as a yardstick for economic policy formulation. Sometimes, the principle is also discussed as a decision rule, and in this context some critics - though not the present author - believe it to have a conservative bias. Finally, recent discussions center around the incompatibility of the Pareto principle and "liberal" values. This conflict might be of limited relevance, only, due to a misconstrued formalism.

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Tapas Majumdar
The Rationality of Changing Choice

Abstract: Economists are used to associate the rationality of individual choice behaviour with simple and unchanging individual preference patterns, typically predicting unique behavioural outcomes in a choice situation - leaving little room for probing apparent inconsistencies (except in situations of game-theoretic stratagems used by the choosers), and no provision for analysing genuine dilemmas. The paper comments on the (in this respect) richer contents of two recent extensions of the concept of rational choice: the first involved in Sen's theory of meta-ranking, and the second implied in Scitovsky's distinction between "pleasure" and "comfort" as the two constituents of the state of individual welfare. The paper then proceeds to suggest a somewhat similar extension of rationality implied, it is argued, in tht idea of"development" or "becoming" as part of a chosen, distinct, and articulated process involved, specifically, in education, or more vaguely, in "modernisation". The emerging concept of rationality which permits of changes in individual preference patterns consistently, in steps, and in a direction initiated and chosen by the individual himself, is claimed in the paper to be more appropriate for the analysis of choice situations likely to be encountered by rational individuals in a complex developing society. The consistency conditions for individual behaviour permitted by such rich, "directional", rationality have, however, yet to be specified.

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Prasanta K. Pattanaik
A Note on the ,Rationality of Becoming, and Revealed Preference

Abstract: This note comments on Professor Majumdar's concept of an individual who seeks to change his own preferences over time. It is argued that while one can formulate "revealed preference axioms" which will rationalize the choices of Professor Majumdar's individual, it is unlikely that the choice of such an individual will reveal his preferences.

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Diskussion / Discussion

Comments on A. Marras, "Intentionality and Physicalism: A Resolvable Dispute"

Albert Flores
Comment on Ausonio Marras: Intentionality and Physicalism: a Resolvable Dispute (ANALYSE & KRITIK 1/80)
183 - 189

Abstract: This paper explores the nature of the dispute between the competing theses of intentionality and physicalism, as discussed by A. Marras in his paper "Intentionality and Physicalism: a Resolvable Dispute". Although as originally conceived neither thesis is viable, it is apparent that a physicalist account of human behavior must take into consideration the intentionality of human behavior. This paper reviews a recent attempt to give a physicalist reconstruction of intentionality and shows that such an approach succeeds in providing scientifically acceptable explanations of human behavior without needing to answer the metaphysical questions that this dispute implies.

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Harold Morick
Comment on Ausonio Marras: Intentionality and Physicalism: a Resolvable Dispute (ANALYSE & KRITIK 1/80)

Abstract: Contrary to Marras: (1) the third of Chisholm's Intentional criteria of sentences about mental states and events succeeds in highlighting an intuitive feature of Intentionality. (2) If there ist such a thing as modality, it resides either in the way we speak of things or in the things, regardless of the way we speak of them. If the latter, modal sentences fail to satisfy Chisholm's criterion for mentalistic sentences; and if the former, modal sentences turn out to be mentalistic sentences. So either way - if either the latter or the former - modal sentences fail to provide a counterexample to Chisholm's claim that his criterion picks out only mentalistic sentences. (3) Functionalisrn doesn,t enable physicalism to accomodate Intentional states and events, because functionalismrejects a traditional tenet of physicalism.

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