This paper addresses the question: what is an unintended consequence? It presents a classification which enables us to understand different types of unintended consequences. The classification refers to several questions: whether or not the effects are social, whether they are desirable, whether they fulfil the initial intention, whether they are unanticipated, and whether they occur later than the initial action. The classification is used to deal with the phenomenon of unintended-but-anticipated consequences and is exemplified by the cases of sub-optimality, counter-finality and structuration.
This article sets out the basic principles of a new theory of intellectual interventions centred round the notion of positioning. Intellectual interventions are seen as ways in which intellectuals locate themselves in the socio‐political and intellectual field, thereby also positioning others. The existing contributions to the study of intellectuals often take the self‐concepts or dispositions of intellectuals to be fixed, and they tend to focus on the causes and motivations behind intellectual interventions. Challenging this perspective, the theory proposed substitutes a vocabulary of effects for the existing vocabulary of intentions and causes: rather than speculating on the sociological determinants or purposes that underlie an intellectual intervention, this theory explores its effects for the symbolic and institutional recognition of the author(s) and for the diffusion of the ideas propagated.
This article introduces a new, performative framework for analysing intellectuals and intellectual interventions. It elaborates on the strengths of this theoretical perspective vis-à-vis rival approaches and develops this frame of reference by exploring key constituent concepts, including positioning, script and staging. The article then exemplifies the framework and demonstrates its applicability by exploring a public intellectual performance by Jean-Paul Sartre. To conclude, the article reflects on recent shifts in public intellectual performances, especially changes that are relatively durable and connected to the rise of new media.
IntroduçãoOs enfoques economicistas e individualistas da vida social eram uma dasbêtes noires I do projeto sociológico de Durkheim. Parte da constituição da nova disciplina da Sociologia era distingui-la claramente da Psicologia e da Economia, não apenas em termos de objeto, mas também em termos de abordagem teórica. Ao contrário de análises individualistas, a sociedade era considerada por Durkheim como uma entidade sui generis, e não apenas um mero agregado dos seus componentes. Além disto, atitudes de cálculo racional foram consideradas como limitadas a esferas particulares da vida social, e mesmo nos casos em que os cálculos eram predominantes, uma precondição para a sua existência era identificada nas normas sociais e em Representa o último assalto imperialista da economia na Sociologia: a subordinação do homo sociologicus ao homo economicus.
This article introduces and critically analyses Richard Rorty’s neo-pragmatism as a contribution to the philosophy of social sciences. Although Rorty has written little about philosophy of social sciences as such, it is argued that his overall philosophical position has significant ramifications for this subject area. The first part of the article sets out the implications of Rorty’s neo-pragmatism for various issues in the philosophy of social sciences, for instance, the doctrine of naturalism, the nineteenth-century Methodenstreit, the philosophical tenets of Marxism, and the relatively recent wave of post-structuralism. The second part presents a constructive critique of Rorty’s neopragmatist philosophy of social sciences. Although critical of some aspects of Rorty’s argument, it is argued that his stance could provide a base for a fruitful view of social sciences, aiming at enlarging human potentialities rather than representation.
Patrick BaertUniversity of Cambridge, UK.ABSTRACT: This paper introduces the concept of 'performative citizenship' to account for the manner in which the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM), and in particular its charismatic leader Steve Biko, transformed a collection of relatively abstract philosophical ideas into concrete political practice. We outline how the BCM challenged the psychological internalisation of white supremacy and asserted citizenship claims through a variety of performative techniques, many of which explicitly and implicitly reiterated earlier rights-based claims both in South Africa and abroad. We show how this took place within a remarkably restrictive context, which on the one hand constrained performances, but on the other augmented their dramatic efficacy. The paper makes an argument about the performance of counter-power, showing how whilst the apartheid complex retained its command over economic, military, and political power, it struggled to control the social drama that was unfolding on the cultural plane, therefore losing its grip on one key element of ideological power. Finally, the paper also makes a methodological contribution to reception studies by showing how researching the reception of ideas exclusively through the spoken or written word neglects other modes through which ideas might find expression, especially in contexts of pervasive censorship and political repression.
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