I don't know whether that's the right wording, but it seems that it's common in academia for scholars to have a vested interest in their discipline (or a department, or method, or theory) being considered relevant or important. As a consequence, academics might over-emphasize, sometimes blindly, the importance or relevance of their own disciplines, which can lead those disciplines to continue surviving past their relevant value. My question is - does anyone know of any literature that discusses this phenomenon or better yet, uses quantitative methods to show that it may or may not be happening? [more inside]
I'm beginning a project that looks partly at biological classification, primarily in western science. I have no background in this, and so I'm digging around. I'm interested to know more about the current rules for nomenclature, and also to know more about historical, philosophical, sociological, knowledge practice, ethnographic, anthropological, science technology and society (STS), sociotechnical, etc., approaches to the study of biological classification. I'll take monographs, articles, papers, web sites, etc. I have access to a university library. What are some good sources that can introduce me to this? Many thanks!
I am interested in articles that try to analyze and explain the conflict between the hard and soft sciences. In my casual web surfing I have come across e.g. highly-trained scientists who yet express a deep disdain for fields as open-ended and far-ranging as sociology, feminism, queer theory, postmodernism, and so on, sometimes even economics, psychology. I find such attitudes hard to comprehend, and even disturbing since my educational background is in the applied sciences. Which are the important works that have been done to better understand this ongoing social/intellectual gap, and that are presented in a readable manner for a non-expert?
Help me understand Henri Lefebvre's book, The Production of Space [more inside]
I'm looking for some good, meaty non-fiction to read over Christmas break while I'm home from grad school. Something with difficult ideas, yet readable and contemporary, and taking a fairly "big picture" view of a particular field. Any suggestions? Examples below. [more inside]
I sometimes see the phrases 'to go on' and 'going on,' enclosed in quotation marks, mentioned in philosophy, sociology, social science, etc. To 'go on' seems to mean to accomplish everyday activity. But where does the phrase come from? Wittgenstein? Is it so obvious that no-one needs to cite it? Thanks! [more inside]
What are the best academic journals in each field? [more inside]
Can anybody explain Habermas in brief? Or point me to some good resources (other than wikipedia)?
I was thinking today about the idea of choice. The existentialists talked about choice all the time- How every human has the "burden of choice". In other words, we all have the "burden" of free will, the choice to do something or to not do something. I know my philosophy knowledge is rudimentary at best, but I guess my question is: when did this idea of choice emerge? Primitive man had no luxury of choice, everything was about survival- So at what point did humans develop the idea of having a choice?