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Author: Evandro Agazzi


A sociological study of science is not very recent and has never been seen as particularly problematic since science, and especially modern science, constitutes an impressive and extremely ramified “social system” of activities, institutions, relations and interferences with other social systems. Less favourable, however, has been the consideration of a more recent trend in the philosophy of science known as the “sociological” philosophy of science, whose most debatable point consists in directly challenging the traditional epistemology of science and, in particular, in stripping scientific knowledge of its most appreciated characteristics of objectivity and rigour. A vicious circle seems to lie at the root of this sociological epistemology because, on the one hand, criticism of the traditional concept of scientific knowledge is developed by relying upon sociology, but this, on the other hand is reasonable only if sociology is credited with the status of a reliable instrument, that is, because it has been recognized as a science through an epistemological debate. In this paper it is shown that not all circles are vicious: in particular, feedback loops, positive and negative, are normally considered in cybernetic models of various processes. Negative feedback loops are fundamental in self-regulating processes and have already occurred from time to time in readjusting the concept of science itself. Therefore, a sociological epistemology of science can contribute to a more careful analysis of the real meaning and purport of the cognitive aspect of science, provided that it is not pushed to the self-defeating extreme of challenging the legitimacy of considering objectivity and rigour as the characteristic features of scientific knowledge.

In: Epistemology and the Social

transformation has a non-linear trajectory that does not proceed in linear life cycles but in feedback loops; the outcome for global order and the underlying rules of the game is open-ended. Normative contestation is the rule rather than the exception. In this context, Japan provides one of the most powerful

In: Global Responsibility to Protect

-linear trajectory that does not proceed in linear life cycles but in feedback loops; the outcome for global order and the underlying rules of the game is open-ended. Normative contestation is the rule rather than the exception. In this context, Japan provides one of the most powerful examples of norm contestation

In: Children and the Responsibility to Protect
Author: Herbert Burhenn

with feedback loops. An examination of some of the representative practitioners of each approach will be elucidating. 1. Mono-directional theories The most prolific advocate of an ecological approach to the study of religi- on has been the Swedish anthropologist Ake Hultkrantz, whose own field- work

In: Method & Theory in the Study of Religion
To naturalists, there is no such thing as complete justification for any claim, and so requiring complete warrant for naturalist proposals is an unreasonable request. The proper guideline for naturalist proposals seems thus clear: develop it using the methods of science; if this leads to a fruitful stance, then explicate and reassess. The resulting offer will exhibit virtuous circularity if its explanatory feedback loop involves critical reassessment as the explanations it encompasses play out. So viewed, naturalism is a philosophical perspective that seeks to unite in a virtuous circle the natural sciences and non-foundationalist, broadly-based empiricism.
Other common lines of antinaturalist complaint are that naturalization efforts seem fruitful only in some areas, also that several endeavors outside the sciences serve as sources of knowledge into human life and the human condition, especially in areas where science does not reach terribly far as yet. It seems hard not to grant some truth to many allegories from literature, art and some religions. Naturalism has room for knowledge gathered outside science, provided the imported claims satisfy also by naturalistic methods.
Naturalism and the debate about its scope and limits thrive on discrepancy. We hope that, collectively, the selected essays that follow will give a fair view of the vitality and tribulations of naturalism as a variegated contemporary philosophical perspective.
Essays in Honor of Dr. John F. Guilmartin, Jr.
This volume explores the importance of technology in war, and to the study of warfare. Dr. Guilmartin’s former students explore how technology from the medieval to the modern era, and across several continents, was integral to warfare and to the outcomes of wars. Authors discuss the interactions between politics, grand strategy, war, technology, and the socio-cultural implementation of new technologies in different contexts. They explore how and why belligerents chose to employ new technologies, the intended and unintended consequences of doing so, the feedback loops driving these consequences, and how the warring powers came to grips with the new technologies they unleashed. This work is particularly useful for military historians, military professionals, and policymakers who study and face analogous situations.
Contributors are Alan Beyerchen, Robert H. Clemm, Edward Coss, Sebastian Cox, Daniel P. M. Curzon, Sarah K. Douglas, Robert S. Ehlers, Jr., Andrew de la Garza, John F. Guilmartin, Jr., Matthew Hurley, Peter Mansoor, Edward B. McCaul, Jr., Michael Pavelec, William Roberts, Robyn Rodriguez, Clifford J. Rogers, William Waddell, and Corbin Williamson.
Author: Robert Poulin

allow us to close the feedback loop: are social networks not only driving parasite transmission, but also reciprocally being shaped by parasites? Acknowledgements I am grateful to Stephanie Godfrey for inviting me to contribute to this special issue, and to Ryan Herbison, Christian Selbach and two

In: Behaviour
In: Key Concepts in Theatre/Drama Education

reader and what is her role in a communication framework that requires a constant non-trivial feedback loop in order for the work to proceed? Is she really replacing the author, as advocates of electronic textuality claimed in the early 1990s? This was the first question, which – when answers arrived

In: On the Fringes of Literature and Digital Media Culture
Author: Alex Hunt

of forces and flows within a larger matrix of many other participants that make up a planet. Novels are one medium that helps us understand and participate in this relation. 2 Ecophrasis In Bacigalupi’s and Watkins’s novels, we see a rich web of reference, feedback loops of allusion and

In: Green Matters