Archives For Harry Collins

Author Information: Harry Collins, Cardiff University, CollinsHM@cardiff.ac.uk

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-3cm

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fractal

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With any fractal there comes a point when as the scale becomes smaller the fractal nature of the object ceases to apply. The florets of a cauliflower have sub-florets within them and so on but eventually one reaches the organism’s individual cells. The same applies when the fractal model is used to understand the way social groups are embedded within on another— eventually individual decisions—shall I have salad or omelette for lunch—cease to exhibit the collective quality (though note that the available range of the choice is still collective—mostly it does not include sheep’s eye). The actuality of the [Ron] Drever lock-out has to be understood this way.[1]

[1] Editor’s Note: Collins describes the incident involving Ron Drever in “Collectivities and Tacit Knowledge” (2016). In response, Moodey addresses the issue in “The Fault-Line Remains: A Reply to Collins” (2016).

Author Information: Ilya Kasavin, Russian Academy of Sciences, itkasavin@gmail.com

Kasavin, Ilya. “A Brief Comment on the Moodey – Collins Exchange on Knowledge.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 5, no. 9 (2016): 18.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-3c6

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In der Bibliothek

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Richard Moodey, in his reply to Harry Collins, wrote:

My disagreement with Collins turns on my denial that “knowledge” is something that can be “possessed,” the same sense that money or physical objects can be possessed. If “knowledge” is imagined to be something that can be possessed, then it follows that it can be possessed by either a collectivity or a person. I do not, however, imagine knowledge to be something that can be possessed. I imagine “knowledge” as inseparable from acts of knowing, as something performed, rather than possessed (42).  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Richard W. Moodey, Gannon University and Allegheny College, moodey001@gannon.edu

Moodey, Richard W. “The Fault-Line Remains: A Reply to Collins.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 5, no. 9 (2016): 13-17.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-39Q

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fault_line

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Harry Collins says: “I am completely sure you cannot understand the notion of tacit knowledge without understanding that collectivities are the location of much of it.”[1] He once used the language of naval warfare in defending his belief in the existence of “collective tacit knowledge”:

I will nail my colours to the mast of my three-way classification of tacit knowledge and am ready to go down with the ship. The three-way classification is ‘Relational Tacit Knowledge’ (RTK); ‘Somatic Tacit Knowledge’ (STK); and ‘Collective Tacit Knowledge’ (CTK).[2]

It seems clear to me that Collins is not going to change his mind about the existence of “collective tacit knowledge.”  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Harry Collins, Cardiff University, CollinsHM@cardiff.ac.uk

Collins, Harry. “Knowledge as It Says on the Tin: Response to Moodey.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 5, no. 7 (2016): 50-51.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-33P

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paint_tins1

Image credit: Abhisek Sarda, via flickr

The problem I am having is that it all seems terribly simple. Think of it like paint—red paint in this tin, blue paint in that tin, green paint in that tin. Take a human and dip it in one tin and it will come out red, dip it in another tin and it will come out blue and so on. The tins are, of course, societies and, of course, societies are more complicated than tins of paint: for one thing society-tins are found at a hugely different scales—some tins being enormous and some being very small. Worse, in the weird multi-dimensional space in which society-type tins exist, tins are found inside other tins are found inside other tins and it is possible humans get dipped into lots of tins at all the different scales at once: this is the fractal model of societies. What you get is that each human winds up coloured by all the different paints it has been dipped into—English speaker, cricketer, Christian, gravitational wave physicist, and so on.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Carl G. Herndl, University of South Florida, cgh@usf.edu

Herndl, Carl G. “Doing and Knowing in the L’Aquila Case.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 5, no. 6 (2016): 1-6.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-30p

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l'aquila - 78

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In bringing multiple ontology theory to bear on the question of expertise and the conduct of sociotechnical decision making, Danielle DeVasto (2016) stages the conversation between two bodies of theory with different origins, purposes and affordances. This is a daunting task and makes for a delicate coupling rather like the docking procedures of space ships from two different technologies in a science fiction novel (summer reading will out). There are multiple points of contact and misfit between the two, but the general purpose and direction of the project is productive.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Harry Collins, Cardiff University, CollinsHM@cardiff.ac.uk

Collins, Harry. “Collectivities and Tacit Knowledge.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 5, no. 4 (2016): 26-28.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-2Qd

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ropes_collective

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I think the best I can do is just start with the final contribution (Moodey 2016) and use its themes to provide the framework for an explanation of where I stand. I would certainly like everyone to know whether they agree or disagree with me as I think striving for clarity is fundamental value of the scientific form of life and I consider my work to be informed by scientific values. That is, I intend my work to be repeatable by anyone who puts themselves in the same position even though my empirical sociology uses what are generally referred to as ‘subjective’ methods: I hang around and interact with the people I am trying to understand until I understand them.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Richard W. Moodey, Gannon University, moodey001@gannon.edu

Moodey, Richard W. “Response to Gulick: Complementarity, Fault Lines, Terminology, Metaphors and Assertions.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 5, no. 3 (2016): 15-20.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-2HD

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complementarity

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Walter Gulick and I agree that Stephen Turner’s is the best of three recent interpretations of the tacit dimension. Turner is provides a more accurate interpretation of Michael Polanyi’s work and points out more fruitful lines of development. As Gulick says, some of the differences between the two of us “turn on slightly different uses of terminology.”[1] In what follows, I focus on some of those disagreements, but I want to emphasize that I agree with most of what Gulick has written about these three books specifically, and about the tacit dimension more generally.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Walter Gulick, Montana State University Billings wgulick@msubillings.edu

Gulick, Walter. “On Moodey’s Response with Additional Comments Toward Understanding the Tacit.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 5, no. 2 (2016): 6-11.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-2A8

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old_bike

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It is always pleasant to receive a thoughtful response to one’s article, and Richard Moodey’s comments are constructively reflective. As a matter of full disclosure, it should be noted that Moodey and I have for some years exchanged thoughts and reactions to our mutual benefit. He is clear in how he differs with one and why, but his criticisms are offered with modesty and in a way that invites open dialogue. To use one of Michael Polanyi’s trademark phrases, discourse with Moodey is convivialContinue Reading…

Author Information: Richard Moodey, Gannon University, moodey001@gannon.edu

Moodey, Richard. “Relating Polanyi’s Tacit Dimension to Social Epistemology: A Response to Walter Gulick” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 5, no. 1 (2016): 1-6.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-2xs

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goalie

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Walter Gulick reviews three recent books, Harry Collins’ Tacit and Explicit Knowledge (2010), Neil Gascoigne and Tim Thornton’s Tacit Knowledge (2013) and Stephen Turner’s Understanding the Tacit (2014). He reports that Turner is “harshly critical” of Collins (2015, 21) and that Turner regards Gascoigne and Thornton’s approach as “too restricted to be of much help in understanding the tacit” (2015, 22). He praises Turner’s book as being “the closest in spirit to Polanyi’s exploration of the tacit dimension” (2015, 23), and says that Turner’s naturalistic approach to the tacit “is the most promising avenue of development” (2015, 26). Gulick’s hope “is to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive theory of the tacit, a theory that illuminates both the individual and social dimensions of tacit knowing” (2015, 2). In agreement with Gulick, I find better materials for such a groundwork in the texts of Polanyi and Turner than I do in those of Collins or Gascoigne and Thornton.  Continue Reading…