Philosophy of Science deals with the problem, 'What is science?' It seems that the answer to this question can only be found if we have an answer to the question, 'How does science function?' Thus, the study of the methodology of social sciences is a prominent factor in any analysis of these sciences. The history of philosophy shows clearly that the answer to the question, 'How does science function?' was the conditio sine qua non of any kind of philosophy of science, epistemology and even of logic. Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Mill, Russell, to mention a few classical authors, clearly emphasized the primacy of methodology of science for any kind of philosophy of science. One may even state that analyses of the presup positions, the foundations, the aims, goals and purposes of science are nothing else than analyses of their general and specific formal, as well as practical and empirical methods. Thus, the whole program of any phi losophy of science is dependent on the analysis of the methods of sciences and the establishment of their criteria. If the study of scientific method is the predominant factor in the philosophy of science, then all the other problems will depend on the outcome of such a study. For example, the old question of a possible unity of all social sciences will be brought to a solution by the study of the presuppositions, the methods, as well as of the criteria germane to all social sciences.
The Second International Conference on Foundations of Utility and Risk Theory was held in Venice, June 1984. This volume presents some of the papers delivered at FUR-84. (The First International Conference, FUR-82, was held in Oslo and some of the papers presented on that occasion were published by Reidel in the volume Foundations of Utility and Risk Theory with Applications, edited by Bernt P. Stigum and Fred Wenst~p). The theory of choice under uncertainty involves a vast range of controversial issues in many fields like economics, philosophy, psychology, mathematics and statistics. The idea of discussing these problems in international conferences has been successful: two conferences have been held and others will follow. The climate of the debate has changed in the meantime, partly as a result of these conferences. It is no more only a question of attacking or defending the neo-Bernoullian assumptions, but also of proposing wider generalizations and including new elements in the analysis of the decision process. For instance Amartya Sen - comparing the two current notions of rationality, internal consistency and self-interest pursuit introduces the concept of reasoning and considers the irrationality which may result from the failure of a positive correspondence between reasoning and choice or from a limited capacity of reasoning. Rationality is also considered with respect to the controversial axiom of strong independence. John C. Harsanyi introduces the concept of practical certainty, i. e.
Ethics, as one of the most respectable disciplines of philosophy, has undergone a drastic and revolutionary change in recent time. There are three main trends of this development. The first trend can be described as a tendency towards a rigorous formal and analytical language. This means simply that ethics has created beside its own formalized set theoretical language a variety of new formalized, logical and mathemati cal methods and concepts. Thus ethics has become a formalized meta or epidiscipline which is going to replace the traditional concepts, principles and ethical methods in the realm of social sciences. It is clear that a formalized form of ethics can be used more easily in social, economic and political theories if there are ethical conflicts to be solved. This first trend can be regarded as a conditio sine qua non for application in, and imposing ethical solutions on, social scientific theories. The second trend may be characterized as an association- or unification-tendency of a formalized and analytical ethics with decision theory. Decision theory as a new interdiscipline of social sciences is actually an assemblage of a variety of subtheories such as value-utility theory, game theory, collective decision theory, etc. Harsanyi has called this complex of subtheories a general theory of human behavior. Analytical or formal ethics is actually using this general theory of human behavior as a vehicle simply because this theory deals from the beginning with conflict solution, i. e.
This collection of articles contains contributions from a few of Werner Leinfellner's many friends and colleagues. Some of them are former students of Werner's. Others were colleagues of his at various American and European universities. Further, some have come to know Werner through his research, his long-standing editorship of Theory and Deci sion and his extensive participation in international conferences and congresses. The following articles are new to this volume. The areas covered are those in which Werner continues to play an active professional role. We offer them as a tribute to the many and multi-faceted contributions to the scientific enterprise for which Werner Leinfellner is so widely known. We believe such a festschrift to be fitting and long overdue. Because of the breadth of Werner's professional associations, it was difficult to select representatives from among his many spheres of influence. We apologize to the many scholars who could not be in cluded because of time and space considerations. Finally, we wish to express appreciation to Dean John Guilds of the University of Arkansas for providing financial support early on in the evolution of this project, to Jennifer Bauman for her bravura performance in copy-editing the manuscripts, and to our publisher at Reidel for bringing this volume to press.
Proceedings of the Fifth Research Conference on Subjective Probability, Utility, and Decision Making, Darmstadt, 1–4 September, 1975
Author: H. Jungermann
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Category: Social Science
It is only just recently that people have the tools to judge how well they are doing when making decisions. These tools were conceptualized in the seventeenth century. Since then many people have worked to sharpen the concepts, and to explore how these can be applied further. The problems of decision-making and the theory developed correspondingly have drawn the interest of mathematicians, psychologists, statisticians, economists, philosophers, organizational experts, sociologists, not only for their general relevance, but also for a more intrinsic fascination. There are quite a few institutionalized activities to disseminate results and stimulate research in decision-making. For about a decade now a European organizational structure, centered mainly around the psy chological interest in decision-making. There have been conferences in Hamburg, Amsterdam, Uxbridge, Rome and Darmstadt. Conference papers have been partly published+. The organization has thus stabilized, and its re latively long history makes it interesting to see what kind of developments occurred, within the area of interest.
The papers contained in this volume are based on the contributions to an international, interdisciplinary Symposium entitled 'Analytical and Sociologi cal Action Theories' which took place in Berlin (West) on September 1-3, 1982. Each part comprises a main paper followed by two (in Part IV three) papers commenting on it. On the whole there is an equal division into philo sophical and sociological papers. In particular each main paper receives both inter- and innerdisciplinary comments. The Berlin Symposium was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Bonn) and, to a smaller extent, by the Freie UniversiHit Berlin; both grants are acknowledged gratefully. Berlin and Helsinki, May 1984 GOTTFRIED SEEBASS RAIMO TUOMELA vii GOTTFRIED SEEBASS INTRODUCTION I. It is a striking fact that the extended efforts of both sociologists and analytical philosophers to work out what is termed a 'theory of action' have taken little, if any, account of each other. Yet of the various reasons for this that come to mind none appears to be such as to foil any hopes for fruitful interdisciplinary exchange. Being concerned, apparently, with the same set of phenomena, viz. individual and social actions, the two theories can reasonably be expected to be partially overlapping as well as competitive and complementary. Accordingly each can eventually be shown by the other to need completion or revision. Whether or to what extent this is the case is subject to inquiry and discussion.
Linking Social and Economic Indicators through Tangible Behavior Settings
Author: K. Fox
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Category: Social Science
This book results from a research program on which I have spent most of my time since 1974. It addresses two of the major problems facing social system account ing: how to measure and account for nonmarket activities and how to combine social and economic indicators. The solution I propose is accounts based on behavior settings, a concept originated by Roger G. Barker more than thirty years ago. Behavior settings are the natural units of social activity into which people sort themselves to get on with the busi ness of daily life--grocery stores, school classes, reI i gious services, meetings, athletic events, and so on. The descriptive power of behavior settings has been established in surveys of complete communities in the United States and England, of high schools ranging in size from fewer than 100 to more than 2000 students, of rehabilitation centers in hospitals, and of several other types of organizations. Behavior settings are empirical facts of everyday life. A description of a community or an organization in terms of behavior settings corresponds to common experi ence. In many cases, small establishments are behavior settings; the paid roles in behavior settingsare occupa tions; and the buildings and equipment of establishments are the buildings and equipment of behavior settings.
When John Harsanyi came to Stanford University as a candidate for the Ph.D., I asked him why he was bothering, since it was most un likely that he had anything to learn from us. He was already a known scho lar; in addition to some papers in economics, the first two papers in this vol ume had already been published and had dazzled me by their originality and their combination of philosophical insight and technical competence. However, I am very glad I did not discourage him; whether he learned any thing worthwhile I don't know, but we all learned much from him on the foundations of the theory of games and specifically on the outcome of bar gaining. The central focus of Harsanyi's work has continued to be in the theory of games, but especially on the foundations and conceptual problems. The theory of games, properly understood, is a very broad approach to social interaction based on individually rational behavior, and it connects closely with fundamental methodological and substantive issues in social science and in ethics. An indication of the range of Harsanyi's interest in game the ory can be found in the first paper of Part B -though in fact his owncontri butions are much broader-and in the second paper the applications to the methodology of social science. The remaining papers in that section show more specifically the richness of game theory in specific applications.
One of the most promising trends in modem political science is the develop ment of a theory of politics as rational action. Focussing on choice as the central topic of study, rational choice theorists set out to specify what alter native an actor should prefer if he has some given knowledge of the conse quences of each alternative and wants to see his preference system as fully realized as possible. But rational choice theory is not confmed to the norma tive sphere of science. It can also be used for explanatory purposes. Then, the alternatives actually chosen are specified and the task is to explain the decisions by fmding out what considerations lay behind them. The starting point for an emerging research program at the Department of Government, Uppsala University, on 'Politics as Rational Action' is to describe the major choices in fifteen different policy areas of Swedish domes tic politics and explain why they were made.