Author Information: Kwang-Kuo Hwang, National Taiwan University, kkhwang@ntu.edu.tw

Hwang, Kwang-Kuo. “Philosophical Switch for the Third Wave of Psychology in the Age of Globalization.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 5 (2014): 56-69.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-15j

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The epistemological goal of indigenous psychology is to construct a series of culture-inclusive theories to represent the universal structure of human minds on the one hand, and to account for people’s specific mentalities in a particular indigenous culture on the other hand. In order to attain this goal, three levels of breakthrough must be made for the sustainable progress of indigenous psychology: philosophical reflection, theoretical construction, and empirical research. In my book, Foundations of Chinese Psychology: Confucian Social Relations (Hwang 2012), I explained how I constructed the Face and Favor model which may reflect the deep structure of universal human mind in interpersonal relationships. Then I used it as a framework to analyze the inner structure of Confucianism which might enable us to understand the specific mentality of people living in Confucian society. The attributes of Confucian ethics were analyzed from the perspective of modern ethics, and a series of culture-inclusive theories had been constructed on the presumption of relationalism to integrate findings of previous empirical researches on social exchange, achievement motivation, face dynamism, quanxi and organizational behaviors, and strategies of conflict resolution in Confucian society. Through the efforts of this book, it is expected that we may not only achieve the epistemological goal of indigenous psychology, but also establish the research tradition of Confucian relationalism in social psychology. Continue Reading…

Future Fundamentals of Social Epistemology: A Symposium
July 28 – August 1, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
An open symposium, no fees or charges.
Participate on site or virtually.

“The question in the future will be how to market epistemic values so that people voluntarily adopt them, despite the personal risks.” — Steve Fuller, “Social Epistemology: A Quarter-Century Itinerary”, 2012

We invite you to join us for a symposium that will chart a vital course for social epistemology — understood as inquiry addressing how we should collectively organize and pursue knowledge. Our symposium will explore key terms and select concepts, themes and ideas associated with Steve Fuller’s scholarship; the work of the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective (http://social-epistemology.com); and research found in the journal Social Epistemology (http://bit.ly/1pdB3QM).

Given our symposium topics, we will discuss how best to set, realize and judge an immediate intellectual agenda for social epistemology. If, indeed, social epistemology is a vocation with the goal of social transformation, what should be our aims over the next decade? Topics include: Extended Mind; Humanity 2.0; Intersubjectivity; Normativity; Philosophy of Technology; Proactionary and Precautionary Principles, Science and Technology Studies; Social Epistemology for the Social Sciences.

A tentative list of symposium participants includes:

Steve Fuller, Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology, University of Warwick; Jim Collier, Virginia Tech; William Davis, Virginia Tech; Willem deVries, University of New Hampshire; Eric Kerr, National University of Singapore; Joan Leach, University of Queensland; Ben Letson, Emory & Henry College; Melissa Orozco, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro; Patrick Reider, University of Pittsburgh, Greensburg; Francis Remedios, Independent Researcher; Gregory Sandstrom, European Humanities University; Frank Scalambrino, University of Dallas; Miika Vähämaa, University of Helsinki; Mark West, University of North Carolina, Asheville; Michael Wolf, Washington and Jefferson College.

Please direct questions to Jim Collier (jim.collier@vt.edu).

An email from Steve Fuller to the SERRC on 17 April 2014:

I’ve been commuting to Edinburgh over the past couple of weeks for various events, and it turns out that I won the ‘Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas’ competition at the Edinburgh Science Festival. My dangerous idea was that relaxing ethical strictures on research on humans and animals would enable us to make more progress. My main competitor was that old Socratic chestnut: writing. But trust me, there were those on the night who thought that writing would lead to the end of authenticity and creativity. Clearly these people never heard of Second Life …  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Lyudmila A Markova, Russian Academy of Sciences, markova.lyudmila2013@yandex.ru

Markova, Lyudmila A. “Understanding, Not Only Cognition.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 5 (2014): 52-55.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1pP

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Introduction

Recently, we discussed the idea of the surrounding world as able to perceive and to think. If the whole world is alive, we can converse with each thing as if it is a living creature. Of course, humans pay special attention to non-human animals [1] that we understand as having the highest level of intellect. But many questions arise. Can we see animals as our equals? Can animals have the same rights we have? Do animals need “our rights” or, perhaps, are their lives unique so as to obey other norms of behavior? I confess that when I first read the articles on this topic on the Review and Reply Collective, I did understand the importance of the discussion. The discussion seemed only to pretend to make philosophical sense. However, my opinion changed when I read the articles again and the response of Gregory Sandstrom to my previous comment. I am now convinced of the usefulness of these discussions.  Continue Reading…

Author Information:Martin Beckstein, University of Zurich, martin.beckstein@philos.uzh.ch

Beckstein, Martin. “Addressing Ruben’s ‘Internal and External Perspectives’.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 5 (2014): 35-36.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1pr

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In his reply, David-Hillel Ruben (2014) argues that “internal perspectives” on disputes over true succession (i.e. of the parties involved) might well rely on counterfactuals, but that “external perspectives” (i.e. of scholars) ought to dispense with them because they are hard to verify. Continue Reading…

Author Information: Taylor Loy, @taylorAloy, taylor.loy@gmail.com

Loy, Taylor. “Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life, J. Craig Venter.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 5 (2014): 31-34.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1p8

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Part history, part primer, part argument for a Nobel Prize nomination, J. Craig Venter’s Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life provides one man’s privileged perspective on the burgeoning synthetic biology (synthbio) industry. This text also serves as another step in the largely successful campaign to rebrand the nefarious-sounding discipline of genetic engineering. In opposition to the dystopic (pre)cautionary concerns of the Frankenstein paradigm, Venter frames his story with some of science fiction’s more optimistic, proactionary tales such as Isaac Asimov’s robot novels as he promotes synthbio’s “limitless potential.”[1] Despite being jargon thick at times, Venter writes with clarity and conviction to a scientifically literate readership leading indelibly toward the cusp of digital life’s titular DawnContinue Reading…

Author Information: Maya J. Goldenberg, University of Guelph, mgolden@uoguelph.ca

Goldenberg, Maya J. “Diversity in Epistemic Communities: A Response to Clough.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 5 (2014): 25-30.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1oY

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Abstract

In Clough’s reply paper to me (2013a), she laments how feminist calls for diversity within scientific communities are inadvertently sidelined by our shared feminist empiricist prescriptions. She offers a novel justification for diversity within epistemic communities and challenges me to accept this addendum to my prior prescriptions for biomedical research communities (Goldenberg 2013) on the grounds that they are consistent with the epistemic commitments that I already endorse. In this response, I evaluate and accept her challenge.

Introduction

In “Feminist Theories of Evidence and Biomedical Research Communities: A Reply to Goldenberg” (2013a), Sharyn Clough addresses the feminist concern of lack of diversity within the composition of scientific communities. She correctly notes that this problem gets sidelined by the form of feminist empiricism that both she and I endorse—what I called “values as evidence” feminist empiricism, and differentiated from the predominant “community-based social knowledge” feminist empiricism of Helen Longino (1990) and Lynn Hankinson Nelson (1990; 1993) (Goldenberg 2013). Continue Reading…

Author Information: Steven Lukes, New York University, sl53@nyu.edu

Lukes, Steven. “How Relativist Should We Be? A Reply to Stenmark.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 5 (2014): 13-16.

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Mikael Stenmark’s article is admirably short, succinct and lucid. It proffers an explanation of relativism’s current appeal to people in general and in the humanities and social sciences in particular; an analysis of its central claims in the form of four ‘theses’; and it ends by challenging the reader to assess its scope. How relativist should we be? Continue Reading…

Author Information: Justin Cruickshank, University of Birmingham, J.Cruickshank@bham.ac.uk

Cruickshank, Justin. “From Ex Cathedra Legislators to Dialogic Exemplars? Popper, Rorty and the Politics and Sociology of Knowledge.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 5 (2014): 1-12.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1oa

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I would like to thank Raphael Sassower for his response to my article on Popper and Rorty. Sassower argued that ‘if we contextualise the writings of Popper and Rorty we could easily understand their respective difference in focus or attitude rather in substance’ (58), with this standing in contrast to the ‘partisan politics of the academy’ which produced dogmatic and superficial readings of their work (57-58). For Sassower (2006a, 2006b, 2014) it is the case that politics can legitimately influence philosophy, not only with normative commitments influencing the solutions proffered for problems, but with normative commitments influencing the construal of what constitutes a legitimate and interesting problem. So, whilst it was the case that Popper and Rorty were engaging in different ways with different traditions in different historical contexts, they nonetheless shared a similar normative motivation which shaped their philosophies. Specifically, neither were conceptualising themselves as ‘disembodied’ intellectuals engaging in purely technical problems abstracted from any socio-political and historical context. Instead, both regarded themselves as engaging in a public conversation about the dialogic nature of knowledge and socio-political problem-solving, where a recognition of fallibilism or contingency precluded appeal to any source of certainty. For both it was important to avoid the authoritarian follies that lurk in intellectuals’ clerical tendency to presume a privileged access to a higher domain of reality, with this being used monologically to legislate on the beliefs and actions of others; as well as avoiding the parochialism of holding that philosophical problems, in effect, have no import for life outside technical philosophy. In place of the intellectual as ex cathedra legislator basing their authority on a particular metaphysical doctrine, or parochial technician, intellectuals were to move public dialogue forward by being interlocutors.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Abby Kinchy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, kincha@rpi.edu

Kinchy, Abby. “Explaining Absolute Absences: A Critical Reply to Scott Frickel.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 4 (2014): 24-29.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1nO

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In science and technology studies, the recent turn to studies of ignorance (including secrecy, suppression of research agendas, and abandoned knowledge) has offered new ways of revealing that “things could have been otherwise”. In his insightful contribution on how to study what is absent in modern technoscience practice, Scott Frickel observes that most of the new research in this vein considers “’things that are not there’ but were there once, or have become hidden, or are somewhere else” (Frickel 2014, 87). In contrast, however, he calls on us to attend to “absolute” absences, the “things that are not there or anywhere else and probably never were” (87-88). Continue Reading…