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At first glance, administrative law in Canada, where courts regularly defer to administrative decision-makers’ interpretations of law and judicial review of administrative action is organised around the concept of reasonableness, is very different to administrative law in England, where courts do not defer to administrative interpretations of law and prefer to conceive of the justification for judicial oversight of administrative action in terms of grounds of review and jurisdictional error. One might think, based on this first glance, that the differences must be attributable to deep-seated disagreement about the nature of judicial power and the appropriate allocation of interpretive authority between the branches of government. One might even suspect that such disagreement must rest on long-settled historical foundations. I will argue, however, that the difference between Canadian and English administrative law is best explained by relatively recent accidents of history. Indeed, I will suggest, a prolonged period of divergence may be coming to an end, with the Transatlantic rise of reasonableness review ushering in a new era of convergence. I will develop this argument by tracing the pattern of divergence and convergence in Canadian and English administrative law from the 1970s to the present day. From the common starting point identified in Part I, the two jurisdictions diverged dramatically between the 1970s and 2000s, as I will explain in Part II. Since then, the administrative law of the two jurisdiction has converged to some extent, as outlined in Part III. One of the implications of my argument is, as I discuss in Part IV, is that further convergence in the future is possible. Moreover, a corollary of this argument is that there is room for fruitful comparisons of English and Canadian administrative law. My message, to those who fear – for whatever reason – that “there be dragons”, is that they can safely venture forward in an Anglo-Canadian comparative administrative law endeavour. A reader interested in undertaking comparative analysis might well conclude that the nature of judicial power, the appropriate allocation of interpretive authority and long-settled historical foundations are substantially similar in both jurisdictions.
This final chapter draws together the complex claims made in the previous chapters into a single overall argument setting out the causal pathway to the genocide. It then takes stock of what we have cumulatively learned about Rwanda’s genocide in the twenty-five years that have elapsed since it occurred and explains the ways in which this book either reinforces or extends the scholarly consensus. It also articulates the book’s more novel contributions to our knowledge and understanding of Rwanda’s genocide and other cases. The chapter finally concludes by considering the broader theoretical implications that the book’s findings have for genocides and mass killings more generally.
By the 1960s it was becoming increasingly apparent that while major advances were being made in survey-based quantative research, and now increasingly at a macro-social level, a theoretical and explanatory deficit remained. Criticisms of ‘variable sociology’ arose on the grounds that it was not variables but the action of individuals that made things happen, and a shift in focus ‘from factors to actors’ was urged. In this development, Coleman and Boudon, both former students of Lazarsfeld, overcame their teacher’s dislike of the Weberian concept of action, and as their sociological work progressed, notably in the field of the sociology of education, action, and in particular action that could be construed as rational, became of central importance. For Coleman, a further leading concern was with the micro-macro link: i.e. with the way in which demonstrated macro-social regularities had to be seen and explained as the outcomes, often unintended and complex, of individual action and interaction. Towards the end of his career, and much influenced by Chicago economics, this led him to seek – problematically -- to go beyond middle-range theory towards a general theory of social systems. Boudon also insisted on the need to show how macrosocial regularities emerged from individual action, but his interests came to focus on the development of a theory of ‘everyday’ rationality, in terms of which the individual action generating such regularities could, following Weber, be both explained and understood. In his final works he sought to show how this conception of rationality could be extended to beliefs and – more questionably – to values.
While by the early twentieth century major advances had been made in establishing population regularities in ‘volitional phenomena’ through new methods of data collection and analysis, little attention had been given to the basis on which such regularities were to be explained. Lexis had made a start in the context of his critique of Quetelet but it was Weber who, over the course of several large-scale studies of agricultural and industrial labour in contemporary Germany and of his work on The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, played a crucial role in insisting on methodological individualism and in developing the concept of erklärendes Verstehen. Explanatory narratives of established population regularities had to be provided in terms of the action of individuals that could be understood - made intelligible – in terms of the at least subjective rationality that was involved. This led to his proposal of sociology as ‘a science concerning itself with the interpretive understanding of social action and thereby with a causal explanation of its course and consequences.’
As Socrates famously noted, there is no more important question than how we ought to live. The answer to this question depends on how the reasons that we have for living in various different ways combine and compete. To illustrate, suppose that I've just received a substantial raise. What should I do with the extra money? I have most moral reason to donate it to effective charities but most self-interested reason to spend it on luxuries for myself. So, whether I should live my life as I have most moral reason to live it or as I have most self-interested reason to live it depends on how these and other sorts of reasons combine and compete to determine what I have most reason to do, all things considered. This Element seeks to figure out how different sorts of reasons combine and compete to determine how we ought to live.
Although efficiency is a core concept in health economics, its impact on health care practice still is modest. Despite an increased pressure on resource allocation, a widespread use of low-value care is identified. Nonetheless, disinvestments are rare. Why is this so? This is the key question of this paper: why are disinvestments not more prevalent and improving the efficiency of the health care system, given their sound foundation in health economics, their morally important rationale, the significant evidence for a long list of low-value care and available alternatives? Although several external barriers to disinvestments have been identified, this paper looks inside us for mental mechanisms that hamper rational assessment, implementation, use and disinvestment of health technologies. Critically identifying and assessing internal inclinations, such as cognitive biases, affective biases and imperatives, is the first step toward a more rational handling of health technologies. In order to provide accountable and efficient care we must engage in the quest against the figments of our minds; to disinvest in low-value care in order to provide high-value health care.
Modern economic theory gives an important role to expectations as an influence on outcomes. This paper reviews evidence on how well measures of expectations conform to outcomes. It confirms earlier results that measures taken from financial markets perform poorly as predictors of outcomes. Looking at the individual responses to the Confederation of British Industry’s Industrial Trends Survey, it does find, however, that there are significant correlations between expected and realised outcomes of wages, prices, costs orders and employment. It also finds some evidence that actual prices reflect expected future prices, but with a coefficient much lower than economic theory predicts. There is evidence that forecast errors are explained by past forecasts, as well as revisions to the economic outlook, casting doubt on the idea that firms’ forecasts make the best use of the information available at the time. The paper concludes by observing that, while expectations are undoubtedly important, economists need to build on work looking at how they are derived instead of simply assuming they are rational.
Max Weber’s work explored two great themes from a universal comparative historical perspective: the relationship between economy and society, and the effects of religion on socioeconomic life. This chapter sets forth his theses and accomplishments in investigating these themes, particularly as related to the world of modern capitalism. In this context, it also considers his analyses of rationality, rationalization processes, authority or domination, and the nature of the scientific calling, as well as the enduring significance of the Weberian legacy.
Lawrence A. Scaff is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Sociology at Wayne State University, Detroit. He is the author of Fleeing the Iron Cage (1989), Max Weber in America (2011), and Weber and the Weberians (2014), and coedited The Oxford Handbook of Max Weber (2019).
This contribution offers a sympathetic historical and intercultural reflection on Stephen Palmquist’s work Kant and Mysticism. It examines (1) the appropriateness of this portrayal of Kant and mysticism in relation to its historical context (which encompasses figures such as Malebranche, Spinoza and Swedenborg), suggesting that Kant is committed to an account of rationality, ethical personhood and a ‘critical ethos’ in tension with mysticism; and (2) the inadequacy of Kant’s understanding of mysticism in the context of South and East Asian philosophical and religious discourses, indicating the need for an intercultural turn in the philosophy of religion.
This article analyzes the origins of the concept of symphonia, its historical development, and its utilization by the Russian Orthodox Church as a normative ideal for church-state relations. In various historical contexts, this concept has referred to different normative requirements; it relied on different paradigms in Byzantium and in medieval Russia and it acquired new meanings in Imperial Russia. The reinterpretations of this concept by the Russian Orthodox Church in order to legitimize its position in the political life of contemporary Russia take this concept far from its original meaning. Using methods from the history of concepts of, among others, Reinhart Koselleck and Quentin Skinner, the author considers how the semantic transformations of symphonia in modern contexts by the Russian Orthodox Church lead to a hollowing of this concept. This conception is hardly reconcilable with the normative logic of the actual Russian political and legal systems.
Originally developed by applying models from cognitive psychology to the study of foreign policy decision making, the field of behavioral IR is undergoing important transformations. Building on a broader range of models, methods, and data from the fields of neuroscience, biology, and genetics, behavioral IR has moved beyond the staid debate between rational choice and psychology and instead investigates the plethora of mechanisms selected by evolution for solving adaptive problems. This opens new opportunities for collaboration between scholars informed by rational choice and behavioral insights. Examining the interactions between the individual's genetic inheritance, social environment, and downstream behavior of individuals and groups, the emerging field of behavioral epigenetics offers novel insights into the methodological problem of aggregation that has confounded efforts to apply behavioral findings to IR. In the first instance empirical, behavioral IR raises numerous normative and philosophical questions best answered in dialogue with political and legal theorists.
Chapter 9 argues for a “social turn” in the philosophy of religion, by showing how the information economy framework can be fruitfully applied to several perennial issues in religious epistemology, including the problem of religious disagreement, Hume’s critique of testimonial evidence for miracles, and the problem of divine hiddenness. More generally, the chapter argues, contemporary epistemology of religion assumes an overly individualistic account of knowledge and justification, including reductionist accounts of testimonial knowledge and evidence. By adopting recent advances in the epistemology of testimony and in social epistemology more generally, a social religious epistemology promises to enrich and expand the field.
Anil Gupta’s Conscious Experience: A Logical Inquiry provides an impressive and novel account of rational justification based on conscious experience which is used as a foundation for a new theory of empiricism. In this critical notice, I argue that Gupta’s project is fascinating, but is often hampered by a lack of sufficient philosophical justification and clarity regarding some essential features of his project, as well as a lack of engagement with relevant scientific domains that would directly bear on it, such as computational neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, and cognitive psychology. This limits the sort of logical inquiry available to him in problematic ways.
Most human actions, including suicide, are motivated by variable mixes of rational and irrational factors. Notwithstanding debates about rational suicide, the vast majority of people who die by suicide suffer deeply beforehand. Those who present to mental health services in suicidal crises do so in search of treatment, care and support. It is a privilege to try to provide it.
Roman monetary history, like all history, is history of mind. Purposeful action, as a product of the human mind, creates history. Economic models, methods and agendas, therefore, which ignore or assume away the mind are of only limited use for historians. Historians, however, can use the tools and concepts in this book to clarify and redeem some economic theories and concepts in order to better understand the societies they study.
Some Roman economic historians are skeptical of an economic rationality which explicitly imposes capitalism-centric value judgements on antiquity. Should Roman historians study rationality as a phenomenon exclusively ‘locked’ inside the minds of individuals, or is it possible to study rationality as something at least influenced or even determined by collectivized social and cultural structures (or embedding contexts)? In this chapter, I argue that Collingwood’s observation that observers and subjects share the same cognitive process opens up new opportunities for understanding the thinking of ancient peoples. First, I define this cognitive process, after Weber and especially Mises, as ‘purposefulness’ and defend its a priori epistemological status. Then, using Weber’s insights on ideal types, I discuss how embedding contexts bounded purposefulness. Finally, I combine these arguments into an experimental heuristic model for understanding the purposeful actions of historical individuals by comparing these choices to both ideal-typical economic theory and unchosen counterfactual actions.
Chapter 28 deals with developments in thinking about justification during the ‘Long Nineteenth Century’ – the period between the French Revolution of 1789 and the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. The chapter deals with the issue of retrieval and reconfiguration of the doctrine of justification, partly in reaction to the critical overstatements and rationalisations associated with the Enlightenment. There are three main sections in this chapter, the first deals with F. D. E. Schleiermacher’s retrieval of the subjective aspects of the doctrine of justification in response to the moralising accounts of the doctrine developed by Enlightenment writers such as Töllner and Steinbart. The second is John Henry Newman’s 1837 reassessment of the doctrine’s implications for ecclesiology. Although Newman’s historical analysis is seriously flawed, it shows how the doctrine has an ongoing history of use in the modern period. The third is Albrecht Ritschl’s substantial programme of retrieving and reconfiguring the objective aspects of the doctrine, set out in the three volumes of his Christliche Lehre von der Rechtfertigung und Versöhnung (1870–2). This important set of works uses historical analysis to demonstrate that aspects of the doctrine can be retrieved, rather than being rendered obselete by historical progress.
The nature and consequences of readers’ affective engagement with literature has, in recent years, captured the attention of experimental psychologists and philosophers alike. Psychological studies have focused principally on the causal mechanisms explaining our affective interactions with fictions, prescinding from questions concerning their rational justifiability. Transportation Theory, for instance, has sought to map out the mechanisms the reader tracks the narrative experientially, mirroring its descriptions through first-personal perceptual imaginings, affective and motor responses and even evaluative beliefs. Analytical philosophers, by contrast, have largely focussed on the problems fiction poses for traditional theories of rationality (as in the ‘Paradox of Fiction), challenging fiction’s wider epistemic value. The result has been a theoretical impasse in which the power of fiction to affectively ‘transport’ a reader is at once often lauded (by psychologists) as a privileged route to interpersonal understanding, and condemned (by philosophers) as an abdication of the authority of reason. This chapter surveys some of the central claims on both sides, tracing the source of the debate to competing conceptions of rationality.
Ever since the Wednesbury decision in 1947, United Kingdom public law has been applying the concepts of ‘rationality’ and ‘reasonableness’ indistinguishably. Rationality has also been used as a ‘mega-ground of judicial review’, covering many other, distinct grounds of review. The main purpose of this article is to promote conceptual clarity in UK public law by highlighting the overlooked differences between reasonableness and rationality, indicating the nature of rationality as a distinct ground of judicial review and explaining why it should not be used as a mega-ground of review. It is argued that (i) reasonableness is in its essence a balancing and weighing test; (ii) the most accurate way of understanding rationality review in public law is to perceive it as ‘instrumental rationality’ or as a ‘suitability test’ which reviews the logical and causal connection between means and end; (iii) this ‘instrumental’ perception of rationality is already applied in UK public law as part of the proportionality test; (iv) rationality, unlike reasonableness, is not a weighing and balancing test; thus it is wrong to use the concepts of ‘reasonableness review’ and ‘rationality review’ indistinguishably; and (v) it is conceptually wrong and confusing to use rationality as a ‘mega-ground of review’.
There are individual differences in rational thinking that are less than perfectly correlated with individual differences in intelligence because intelligence and rationality occupy different conceptual locations in models of cognition. A tripartite extension of currently popular dual-process theories is presented in this chapter that illustrates how intelligence and rationality are theoretically separate concepts. Thus, individual differences in the cognitive skills that underlie rational thinking must be studied in their own right because intelligence tests do not explicitly assess rational thinking. We close the chapter by describing our attempt to develop the first prototype of a comprehensive test of rational thought, the Comprehensive Assessment of Rational Thinking (CART). With the CART, we aim to draw more attention to the skills of rational thought by measuring them systematically and by examining the correlates of individual differences in these cognitive skills.