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Functionalism of Mind and Functionalism of Society

The Concept of Conscience and Durkheim's Division of Social Labour

Susan Stedman Jones

This essay examines Durkheim's functionalism, to argue that it cannot be adequately understood through later movements of structural functionalism, especially Parsonian functionalism. Concretely, for Durkheim, the function of the division of labour is to create solidarity but this runs into the problem of modern pathologies. More abstractly, his functionalism has two essential sets of components, and it is only through the relation between these that it is possible to grasp his argument and its full significance. One involves ideas of correspondence, tendency and action, so that function has to do with a set of 'living movements' and how it corresponds with social needs. The other involves a functionalism of mind, and above all centres round the idea of conscience as a set of epistemological, representative and practical functions. Durkheim's functionalism relates these two components in a concern with the power of critical reflection on existing patterns of society, and with how conscience releases the force of agency, to have a transformative potential on the ills of society.

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Joel W. Krueger

In this essay, I argue that Sartre's notion of pre-reflective consciousness can be summoned to offer a general challenge to contemporary functionalist accounts of mind, broadly construed. In virtue of the challenge Sartre offers these contemporary functionalist accounts and the richness of his phenomenological analysis, I conclude that his voice needs to be included in ongoing debates over the nature of consciousness. First, I look at some of the basic claims motivating functionalist accounts of mind. Next, I look at Sartre's notion of pre-reflective consciousness and discuss how this notion challenges functionalist accounts of mentality. I conclude by suggesting that Sartre's rendering of pre-reflective consciousness remains overly cognitivist. I show how this notion can be deepened to include the sensory-motor capacities of the situated body—resulting in a pre-reflective bodily self-awareness—and how this deepened formulation offers a further challenge to functionalist accounts of mind.

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Jozef Keulartz

There has recently been growing interest in the role of metaphors in environmentalism and nature conservation. Metaphors not only structure how we perceive and think but also how we should act. The metaphor of nature as a book provokes a different attitude and kind of nature management than the metaphor of nature as a machine, an organism, or a network. This article explores four clusters of metaphors that are frequently used in framing ecological restoration: metaphors from the domains of engineering and cybernetics; art and aesthetics; medicine and health care; and geography. The article argues that these metaphors, like all metaphors, are restricted in range and relevance, and that we should adopt a multiple vision on metaphor. The adoption and development of such a multiple vision will facilitate communication and cooperation across the boundaries that separate different kinds of nature management and groups of experts and other stakeholders.

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Shelling from the ivory tower

Project Camelot and the post–World War II operationalization of social science

Philip Y. Kao

how and why certain scientific ideas and values were employed to study social change. It will expand on the connection between positivism and functionalism in Project Camelot’s design, and show how this linkage eventually played out in the early

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Introduction

The Ethnographic Praxis of the Theory of Practice

T. M. S. Evens and Don Handelman

The ethnographic extended-case method, also known as situational analysis, was a diagnostic of the Manchester School of Social Anthropology—and today it remains an ethnographic practice of remarkable relevance and promise. Originated by Max Gluckman, the method was intended to use case material in a highly original way. Instead of citing examples from ethnography in apt illustration of general ethnographic and analytical statements, as was common in the discipline, Gluckman proposed to turn this relationship between case and statement on its head: the idea was to arrive at the general through the dynamic particularity of the case. Rather than a prop, the case became in effect the first step of ethnographic analysis. Underlying this methodological reversal, though, was a theoretical pursuit pertaining to an enveloping, indeed a suffocating, problem endemic to structural functionalism and implicating a social ontology radically different from this dominant paradigm.

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Arpad Szakolczai

Since its birth, but especially since its academic institutionalization, sociology has been plagued by a series of dualisms and dichotomies that seriously diminish the relevance of much of sociological work. To start with, there is the opposition of theoretical and empirical soci- ology; an opposition that should have been stillborn, as it is com- monplace that theoretical work without empirical evidence is arid, while empirical research without theory is spiritless and boring, but continues to survive and even thrive. There is also the division between substantive and methodological issues, creating the impres- sion of two separate realms and the illusion of a ‘free choice’ of method. One can continue with the contrast between methodological individualism and collectivism that in our days culminates in the var- ious debates around rational choice theory, but which is just the old debate between (neo-classical) economics and classical (Durk- heimian) social theory, in new clothes. Still further, there is the dilemma of dynamic versus static approaches, which could be for- mulated in the language of historical versus structural, or of genetic versus genetic. There is furthermore the dichotomy dominating so much of contemporary sociology, between agency and structure, which is just another way of posing the contrast between action and system, dominating the structural-functionalism of the 1950s and 1960s, or the even older opposition between object and subject and their dialectic, central for German idealist philosophy. At an even more general level, there is the question of the link between reality and thought, the extent to which thought and discourses can properly reproduce reality, or, on the contrary, the claims about the autonomy of discourse, or the independence of the text, a theme particular cher- ished by various postmodern approaches.

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Henk Driessen

articles titled Factions, Friends, Feasts . During his studies at the LSE, Jeremy developed a critical stance towards the paradigm of structural-functionalism that had dominated Anglo-Saxon anthropology between 1930 and 1970. Inspired by his teachers Firth

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Jeanne Favret-Saada’s Minimal Ontology

Belief and Disbelief of Mystical Forces, Perilous Conditions, and the Opacity of Being

Theodoros Kyriakides

functionalism, on the other. Belief and Disbelief in Favret-Saada’s Work and Elsewhere At first impression, Favret-Saada’s (1980) Deadly Words is preoccupied with an ethnographic theory of pragmatics. Pragmatics is a branch of linguistics that focuses on the

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Patrick Keating

, 644 ) Sternberg has convinced me that functionalism is the more rewarding approach. For the most part, Berliner's argument seems richly functionalist, as in Chapter Seven, where he explains how Hollywood movies “stimulate a variety of emotions that

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Robert Leroux

thesis, À quoi sert la notion de structure?, published in 1968, Boudon criticizes structural functionalism, but he also make an apology for Le Suicide . ‘If there is a revolution in modern sociology, it must undoubtedly be explained, not by structural-functionalism