1980 (2) Issue 1
Table of Contents
Title: Intentionality and Physicalism: a Resolvable Dispute
Author: Ausonio Marras
Abstract: This paper discusses the traditional antagonism between the Intentionalist and the Physicalist paradigms of the nature of mind and human behaviour. After tracing the development of the concept of intentionality in contemporary analytic philosophy and delineating some of the problems it presented for the so-called Thesis of Physicalism in several of its formulations, the paper proceeds to show how a liberalized methodology of theory construction and an understanding of functional systems and artificial intelligence models may enable us to reconstruct the intentional states of persons in a way compatible with the demands of physicalism. In particular, it is suggested that the intentional states which, on the intentionalist paradigm, mediate human behaviour might be understood as (theoretically postulated) functional states of a physical organism modelled on the functional states of a (probabilistic) automaton.
Title: Soziologische Relativität. Überlegungen zur ethnomethodologischen Theorie praktischer Rationalität
Author: Elisabeth List
Abstract: Ethnomethodology criticises sociological objectivism in a double sense: a) concerning the idea of "objectively" given social facts; b) concerning the idea of objectivity as a realistic claim of common sense and scientific knowledge. The theoretical alternative presented by Garfinkel and his followers consists a) in an analysis of the interpretative procedures, by which common sense beliefs in the objectivity of reality are constituted; b) in the intention, to take practical reasoning not as a source, but as a topic of empirical study. The paper argues that while the proposed analysis of practical activities conveys a useful approach, its epistemological implications lead to inconsistencies and problematical consequences.
Title: Ethnomethodologie: Ende der Regeln oder Regeln ohne Ende?
Author: Martin Löw-Beer
Abstract: List (ANALYSE & KRITIK 1/80) and Baurmann/Leist/Mans (ANALYSE & KRITIK 1/79) try to characterize ethnomethodology by two groups of statements. One group consists of trivialties, the other one contains only absurdities. This way of getting rid of ethnomethodology is enforced through some unfortunate self-representations of ethnomethodologists and a radical version of labelling theory. This part of ethnomethodology deserves criticism and shall get it in the first part of my paper. But the way of dealing with ethnomethodology by getting rid of absurdities and being bored by trivialities deserves in itself to be criticized. I do this in an indirect way by proposing an alternative way to characterize ethnomethodology. This is a way that seems to me more in accordance with the practical activities of ethnomethodologists. In the last part of my paper I criticize some relativistic and some wrong epistemological convictions of ethnomethodologists, that appear in their practical research.
Title: Wissenschaftstheorie und Politikberatung. Analyse kritisch-rationalistischer Auffassungen zum Verhältnis von Wissenschaftstheorie, Wissenschaft und Politik
Author: Heiner Drerup / Ewald Terhart
Abstract: Critical Rationalists have developed some concepts to clarify what it means to take a "critical rationalist" standpoint towards political matters. The "critical attitude as a way of life", the application of realizability tests, the "law of unintended consequences" and the conception of "piecemeal technology" are introduced for this purpose. Our analysis tries to show that such doctrines do not provide a basis for a viable "critical rationalist" political theory. They at best offer a repertory of arbitrary arguments for the symbolic use of politics.
Title: Rawls and the Left: Some Left Critiques of Rawls' Principles of Justice
Author: Kai Nielsen
Abstract: This is an examination of some Left critiques of Rawls. Stress is put, not on his underlying moral methodology, including his contractarianism, though surely there is need for such a critique as well, but on an examination of his principles of justice, particularly his equal liberty principle and his difference principle. This is often thought to be the heart of his theory. It is argued that Rawls, asociological and ahistorical approach and his ignoring of questions of power and of ideology and his lack of an adequate conceptualization of liberty lead to major distortions in his account. Both principles are shown to be problematic and the equal liberty principle is shown to be in conflict with the difference principle.