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Arguing against emergent and even dominant tendencies of recent political thought that emphasize the so-called primacy of affect, Peter Steinberger challenges political theorists to take account of important themes in philosophy on the topic of human rationality. He engages with major proponents of post-Kantian thought, analytic and continental alike, to show how political judgment and political action, properly understood, are deeply and definitively grounded in considerations of human reason. Focusing especially on influential arguments in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of action, he seeks to rediscover and reanimate the close connection between systematic philosophical speculation on the one hand and the theory and practice of politics on the other. The result is a neo-rationalist conception of judgment and action that promises to offer a substantial and compelling account of political enterprise as it plays out in the real world of public affairs.
This chapter presents an idealized path towards theory development (for all kinds of theories), called the “demarcation-explanation” cycle. The cycle comprised four stages: (a) the provisional demarcation of the explanandum in a working definition, (b) the proposal of different types of explanations, (c) the validation of explanations in empirical research, (d) and the proposal of a scientific definition flowing from these explanations. The chapter also takes a closer look at (a) different types of definitions (working vs. scientific, intensional vs. extensional/diviso) and ways to evaluate the adequacy of scientific definitions, (b) different types of explanations (constitutive, causal, mechanistic, teleological) and levels of analysis, and (c) ingredients of mechanistic explanations such as representations, operations, operating conditions (related to automaticity), and related notions of dual-process/system models, rationality, and cognition.
We prove rationality criteria over nonclosed fields of characteristic
for five out of six types of geometrically rational Fano threefolds of Picard number
and geometric Picard number bigger than
. For the last type of such threefolds, we provide a unirationality criterion and construct examples of unirational but not stably rational varieties of this type.
According to many accounts, propaganda is a variety of politically significant signal with a distinctive connection to irrationality. This irrationality may be theoretical, or practical; it may be supposed that propaganda characteristically elicits this irrationality anew, or else that it exploits its prior existence. The view that encompasses such accounts we will call irrationalism. This essay presents two classes of propaganda that do not bear the sort of connection to irrationality posited by the irrationalist: hard propaganda and propaganda by the deed. Faced with these counterexamples, some irrationalists will offer their account of propaganda as a refinement of the folk concept rather than as an attempt to capture all of its applications. The author argues that any refinement of the concept of propaganda must allow the concept to remain essentially political, and that the irrationalist refinement fails to meet this condition.
To this point I have offered an account of understanding by examining the conditions under which one can correctly and appropriately ascribe understanding to oneself or another. Correctness, I argued, depends on honoring the evidence available from an expression or text. Intersubjectivity is achieved by bringing the beliefs of the speaker and listener into alignment. These beliefs and expectations were left relatively unanalyzed, sometimes simply glossed as “context.” What calling this background the context fails to acknowledge is the depth of the beliefs and commitments that subjects bring to their understanding, commitments so fundamental that the linguistic properties of an expression are neglected. This is one implication of the proposition that all understanding involves the fixation and updating of beliefs; understanding is never the sentence processing independent of these beliefs.
The Conclusion reexamines Thomas Robert Malthus’s Essay on the Principle of Population from the perspective of the transformative mode of demographic governance explored throughout the earlier chapters, as well as in terms of the eighteenth-century debates about the limits and locus of demographic agency examined in Chapter 4. Rather than seeing Malthus’s Essay as marking a definitive break with earlier demographic thinking, it argues for strong continuities, particularly concerning the importance of situation, the providential nature of demographic processes and the real effects of intervention in demographic governance. Instead, it identifies Malthus’s key departure as an emphasis on the propertied and rational individual as the legitimate locus of demographic agency under God. The conclusion ends by considering some of the implications of the history of early modern demographic governance for reinterpreting – and broadening – the history of modern demographic thought.
This paper investigates the rational and emotional functions of symbols in organizational change and how collective sensemaking and acceptance of organizational changes are facilitated by the emotional functioning of executive symbolism. Evidence from archived data, news reports, reviews, and case studies are used to support our theoretical analysis. Our opinion is that the CEO can incorporate symbols into not only the rational calculation process to convey the benefits and losses of organizational changes but also the emotional identification process to create new emotional connections and reduce the resistance of the members to organizational changes. We describe why and when the implementation of symbolism will gain the acceptance of members toward organizational change and explain the scenarios that apply for the two functions.
How we understand the nature and role of grief depends on what we take its object to be and vice versa. This paper focuses on recent claims by philosophers that grief is frequently or even inherently irrational or inappropriate in one or another respect, all of which hinge on assumptions concerning the proper object of grief. By emphasizing the temporally extended structure of grief, we offer an alternative account of its object that undermines these assumptions and dissolves the apparent problems. The principal object of grief, we suggest, is a loss of life possibilities, which is experienced, understood, and engaged with over a prolonged period. Other descriptions of grief's object identify more specific aspects of this loss in ways that do not respect a straightforward distinction between concrete and formal objects.
The chapter discusses Pasinetti’s arguments for a theory which is ‘firmly placed on an objective foundational framework’ rather than on the fictional reality of the ‘purely imaginary world of rationally behaving individuals’. This approach – Pasinetti argues – was typical of the ‘Cambridge Keynesians’, which following a path traced by Marshall, placed at centre of the analysis not abstract entities, but flesh-and-blood economic agents acting in various specific markets. The vision of economic behaviour guided by customs and habits, setting limits to the crude maximisation through marginal analysis, was shared by Kahn and Keynes, who accepted it in its modified form, namely, not as exact calculation but as the outcome of a trial and error method. Although they did not endorse Sraffa’s rejection of its validity for price determination and income distribution, they shared the common objective of placing reality at the centre of their analysis, rather than abstract rationality, as the principle guiding behaviour. In other words, what characterises the approach is a vision of individuals less stereotyped than mere maximising machines. This means that in the Cambridge approach there is room for rationality in depicting political and economic decisions, as long as we interpret it as constrained by limited knowledge and uncertainty.
Frames and framing make one dimension of a decision problem particularly salient. In the simplest case, frames prime responses (as in, e.g., the Asian Disease paradigm, where the gain frame primes risk-aversion and the loss frame primes risk-seeking). But in more complicated situations frames can function reflectively, by making salient particular reason-giving aspects of a thing, outcome, or action. For Shakespeare's Macbeth, for example, his feudal commitments are salient in one frame, while downplayed in another in favor of his personal ambition.
The role of frames in reasoning can give rise to rational framing effects. Macbeth can prefer fulfilling his feudal duty to murdering the king, while also preferring bravely taking the throne to fulfilling his feudal duty, knowing full well that bravely taking the throne just is murdering the king. Such patterns of quasi-cyclical preferences can be correct and appropriate from the normative perspective of how one ought to reason.
The paper explores three less dramatic types of rational framing effects: (1) Consciously framing and reframing long-term goals and short-term temptations can be important tools for self-control; (2) In the prototypical social interactions modeled by game theory, allowing for rational framing effects solves longstanding problems, such as the equilibrium selection problem and explaining the appeal of non-equilibrium solutions (e.g., the cooperative solution in the Prisoner's Dilemma). (3) Processes for resolving interpersonal conflicts and breaking discursive deadlock, because they involve internalizing multiple and incompatible ways of framing actions and outcomes, in effect create rational framing effects.
Ethical constructivism holds that truths about the relation between rationality, morality, and agency are best understood as constructed by correct reasoning, rather than discovered or invented. Unlike other metaphors used in metaethics, construction brings to light the generative and dynamic dimension of practical reason. On the resultant picture, practical reasoning is not only productive but also self-transforming, and socially empowering. The main task of this volume is to illustrate how constructivism has substantially modified and expanded the agenda of metaethics by refocusing on rational agency and its constitutive principles. In particular, this volume identifies, compares and discusses the prospects and failures of the main strands of constructivism regarding the powers of reason in responding to the challenges of contingency. While Kantian, Humean, Aristotelian, and Hegelian theories sharply differ in their constructivist strategies, they provide compelling accounts of the rational articulation required for an inclusive and unified ethical community.
We introduce BPS, a research paradigm which takes seriously the cognitive limitations and varied motivations of citizens and elites as they make politics happen around the world. The most important claim in this book is that a set of ideas from psychology, economics, political science and communication studies can be combined in a simple way to greatly enhance our understanding of politics. These approaches can help explain the many deviations we see in political attitudes, political decision making, and political behavior that are often predicted from the dominant, alternative approach to understanding politics: RCT. The BPS paradigm encapsulates a broad set of research programs that challenge traditional assumptions about the processes and motivations structuring political decision-making, including: (1) the role, use and influence of heuristics and cognitive biases on decision-making, 2() the effects of message framing on political attitudes, (3) institutional factors and the psychology of group-decision making in state policy formation, (4) the role of emotions in political behavior, (5) individual differences in preferences stemming from personality, values and norms, and (6) the importance of motivation and identity in information processing.
We come to the end of the book with a hopeful summary and discussion about the benefits to the policy community of behavioral political ccience and our synthesis of rational choice and BPS. By linking ideas from diverse social scientific disciplines – economics, political science, sociology, psychology, communication, and others – we hope the book might create benefits larger than the sum of its individual chapters. Moving beyond the simple assumptions of Economic Man, BPS has improved our understanding of how people actually think, decide, and act in the political realm. We also discuss how BPS insights can be incorporated into the formal political models that are the hallmark of RCT approaches to political sciences, paving a path for integration of the work by theorists working in both traditions. The biases carefully reviewed in the first half of the book, combined with insights about what types of preferences, with what origins, influence political decisions leave us much better off than we were even fifty years ago in the field. We hope the reader will agree, and that those who hope to make informed, responsive public policies will use BPS insights as a helpful foundation.
Digitalization in the legal domain is an amazing example of the way information technology (IT) can displace or enrich typically human tasks. Fueled by the recent progress in artificial intelligence (AI) (big data, machine learning, natural language processing, etc.), this phenomenon of digitalization affects more and more legal tasks and functions. Effective examples of digitalization in the legal domain are very diverse, ranging from exploration of patent classifications1 to prediction of legal cases’ outcomes (e.g., anticipation of foreseeable damages from an action).2 One can also mention e-discovery,3 as well as the digitalization of the organization and review of legal documents.4
How and why do people make political decisions? This book is the first to present a unified framework of the Behavioral Political Science paradigm. – BPS presents a range of psychological approaches to understanding political decision-making. The integration of these approaches with Rational Choice Theory provides students with a comprehensible paradigm for understanding current political events around the world. Presented in nontechnical language and enlivened with a wealth of real-world examples, this is an ideal core text for a one-semester courses in political science, American government, political psychology, or political behavior. It can also supplement a course in international relations or public policy.
How does representative government function when public administration can reshape democracy? The traditional narrative of public administration balances the accountability of managers, a problem of control, with the need for effective administration, a problem of capability. The discretion modern governments give to administrators allows them to make tradeoffs among democratic values. This book challenges the traditional view with its argument that the democratic values of administration should complement the democratic values of the representative government within which they operate. Control, capability and value reinforcement can render public administration into democracy administered. This book offers a novel framework for empirically and normatively understanding how democratic values have, and should be, reinforced by public administration. Bertelli's theoretical framework provides a guide for managers and reformers alike to chart a path toward democracy administered.
The main aim of this Element is to introduce the topic of limited awareness, and changes in awareness, to those interested in the philosophy of decision-making and uncertain reasoning. While it has long been of interest to economists and computer scientists, this topic has only recently been subject to philosophical investigation. Indeed, at first sight limited awareness seems to evade any systematic treatment: it is beyond the uncertainty that can be managed. On the one hand, an agent has no control over what contingencies she is and is not aware of at a given time, and any awareness growth takes her by surprise. On the other hand, agents apparently learn to identify the situations in which they are more and less likely to experience limited awareness and subsequent awareness growth. How can these two sides be reconciled? That is the puzzle we confront in this Element.