Презентация на тему: " Using Theories in Social Theory (Part II) Nigel Horner (based upon slides developed by Don Blackburn)" — Транскрипт:
Using Theories in Social Theory (Part II) Nigel Horner (based upon slides developed by Don Blackburn)
It is difficult to understand modern debates without knowing how they developed; This lecture will focus on two world views – Modernism and Postmodernism; We will try to link ethical questions into the debates about knowledge
17 th and 18 th Centuries Scientific revolution Technical revolution Economic revolution Political revolutions The power of Science and Reason (as a way of thinking OR a way of knowing) preferred to superstition and traditional ways of thinking.
Why was Rationality so attractive? Science and technology appeared to deliver The Good Life (i.e. Progress) - We may have problems - but rational science and technology can resolve them. Rational political systems are democratic and progressive. Rational economic systems deliver economic progress – through capitalism. KEY POINT The Enlightenment saw science as a route to truth - banishing superstition. Science as the source of true knowledge, neutral and value free. Reason in the form of Rational Practice is the way of thinking that supports all of these.
Science and Technology delivered progress - Disease conquered; Food production increased; Good quality housing; Energy available for all; Transport
Steamships Trains Flight Mechanisation of travel Increased speed Moving large numbers of people around Shrinking world
For some writers, science was not simply applied to objects and things The whole system of civilised life may be … symbolised by a foot rule, a set of weights and a clock
A mediaeval invention regulated the religious day represents a human purpose involved in a change in sense of self before the clock - by the rhythms of nature; after the clock - by an artificial process, an abstract, quantified process.
Was ist Erklärung? (What is Enlightenment?) Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self- incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's own understanding without the guidance of another. Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own understanding! (Dare to know!) This is an argument for individuals making up their own minds, being independent, autonomous, free.
The reasonable individual making rational choices for her/himself in the world; Citizen NOT subject; Politically and economically FREE to make their own choices;
Extension of franchise New political states New political parties
Dominance of science, technology; Mass production, mass administration; linked to calculating economic system (capitalism); Development of the professions Professional technique involved in solving social problems; Regular, repeatable practice; Uniform application of expertise;
The application of rational thinking to social problems Social problems and issues can be dealt with technically think about housing, planning, population control; efficiency became the criterion for resolving problems.
Against priests and vicars; Reason against Superstition; God is Dead; The secular state;
The Enlightenment focus on rationality and the end of superstition and religion created a key problem - How do we resolve ethical issues if we no longer have religious authority to tell us what to do?
Recognised the problem; Wanted to approach ethical questions rationally; You should always act in such a way that you can turn your decision into a general rule that should apply to other people
Ethics are based upon the nature of human beings; Because humans are rational beings - they have a duty to behave rationally when it comes to ethical decisions; When we act for reasons we commit ourselves to beliefs about what any person would have a reason to do; i.e., we commit ourselves to universal norms or principles applying to all rational persons.
Rational beings have a duty to be rational ethical beings; "Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only.
The Enlightenment appeared to promise much from being rational and following scientific principles, but a few minutes reflection on 20 th and 21 st Century Nazi Germany? Mechanisation of war? Motor car? BSE and food supply? Nuclear power? Genetics? Surveillance of the population?
Democratic deficit? Consumer Culture; Commodification of all aspects of our lives; Standardisation and rational planning of all aspects of our lives
Inequality, social exclusion; International inequality; Pollution and global warming? Reaction to modern society In other words people are more sceptical nowadays about the benefits of science and rational thinking
Rational decision making may have helped develop science and technology, commerce, industry. But does it help with the old question from Socrates: How ought we to live? In other words is it helpful with ethical questions about our lives as human beings? This is a key question for the unit and the essay.