Michel_Foucault the subject and power (image via www.ub.edu)

Michel Foucault – The Subject and Power

“A writer in a well-known French newspaper once expressed his surprise: “Why is the notion of power raised by so many people today? Is it such an important subject? Is it so independent that it can be discussed without taking into account other problems?” This writer’s surprise amazes me. I feel skeptical about the assumption that this question has been raised for the first time in the twentieth century. Anyway, for us it is not only a theoretical question but a part of our experience. I’d like to mention only two “pathological forms” —those two “diseases of power”— fascism and Stalinism.

Continue Reading

Pierre Bourdieu the market of symbolic goods (image via edge.ua.edu)

Pierre Bourdieu – The Market of Symbolic Goods

The Logic of Process Automization

“Dominated by external sources of legitimacy throughout the middle ages, part of the Renaissance and, in the case of French court life, throughout the classical age, intellectual and artistic life has progressively freed itself from aristocratic and ecclesiastical tutelage as well as from its aesthetic and ethical demands. This process is correlated with the constant growth of a public of potential consumers, of increasing social diversity, which guarantee the producers of symbolic goods minimal conditions of economic independence and, also, a competing principle of legitimacy.

Continue Reading

Habermas Reason and the rationalization of society (image via www.politipedia.pt)

Jürgen Habermas – Reason and the Rationalization of Society

“The rationality of beliefs and actions is a theme usually dealt with in philosophy. One could even say that philosophical thought originates in reflection on the reason embodied in cognition, speech, and action; and reason remains its basic theme. From the beginning philosophy has endeavored to explain the world as a whole, the unity in the multiplicity of appearances, with principles to be discovered in reason-and not in communication with a divinity beyond the world nor, strictly speaking, even in returning to the ground of a cosmos encompassing nature and society.

Continue Reading

Inequality and economic efficiency of society through the prism of thermodynamics (image by www.ima.umn.edu)

Ksenzhek & Petrova – Inequality and Economic Efficiency of Society through the Prism of Thermodynamics

“Inequality, when it refers to social problems, is a word which rather readily excites passions. During at least two centuries it remains a permanent matter of a great number of economic, sociological, and in some cases even political works. The phenomenon of inequality is perceived often almost as a synonym of ”injustice”. That is unjust, however, because since Adam Smith it is clear that inequality plays really the dual role. On the one hand, inequality is a mechanism of development, and on the other a standing source of poverty and social tensions. An ever-growing degree of inequality that accompanies rapid development of contemporary economy excites both the general public and experts in sociology and economy. Inequality in society has indeed two aspects: social and economic one. The former manifests itself in the difference of living standards of various social strata of society: the real disparity in housing conditions, in the accessibility of education, adequate medical care, legal protection, and the like. On the economic plane, inequality is expressed in the disparity of incomes.

Continue Reading

john holden, Cultural Value and the Crisis of Legitimacy (image via johnholden.info)

John Holden – Cultural Value and the Crisis of Legitimacy

“The ‘cultural system’ faces a crisis of legitimacy. At local government level culture is suffering extreme funding cuts, the recent Arts Council England (ACE) Peer Review uncovers a rift between ACE and its Whitehall department, and individual organisations continue to stagger from one damning headline to the next. These are the current symptoms of a deeper problem that has dogged culture for the last 30 years.

Continue Reading

SchumpeterJoseph methological individualism (image via studentthinktank.eu)

Joseph Schumpeter – Methodological Individualism

Having disposed of the queries associated with the hypothesis of value and with the problem of human motivation, all we still need to prove is that our assumptions are based on the possession of wealth by the individual. This is bound to evoke some criticism because, in this day and age, tha validity of the individualistic concept is strongly queried.

Continue Reading

max weber The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

Max Weber – The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

“German philosophy, political theory and economics in the nineteenth century were very different from their counterparts in Britain. The dominant position of utilitarianism and classical political economy in the latter country was not reproduced in Germany, where these were held at arm’s length by the influence of Idealism and, in the closing decades of the nineteenth century, by the growing impact of Marxism. In Britain, J. S. Mill’s System of Logic (1843) unified the natural and social sciences in a framework that fitted comfortably within existing traditions in that country. Mill was Comte’s most distinguished British disciple, if sharply critical of some of his excesses. 

Continue Reading

No more posts.