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Experience. New Foundations for the Human Sciences. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 5224643
  • Book
  • May 2018
  • 200 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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This book is a radical plea for the centrality of experience in the social and human sciences. Lash argues that a large part of the output of the social sciences today is still shaped by assumptions stemming from positivism, in contrast to the tradition of interpretative social enquiry pioneered by Max Weber. These assumptions are particularly central to economics, with its emphasis on homo economicus, the utility-maximizing actor, but they have infiltrated the other social sciences too.

Lash argues for a social sciences based not in positivism’s utilitarian a priori but instead in the a posteriori of grounded and embedded subjective experience. His wide-ranging account starts from considerations of ancient experience via Aristotle’s technics, continues through a politics of Hannah Arendt’s ‘a posteriori’ public sphere and concludes with the contemporary – with technological experience, on the one hand, and with Chinese post-ontological thought, in which the ‘ten thousand things’ themselves are doing the experiencing, on the other.

This original book by a leading social and cultural theorist will be of great interest to students and scholars in sociology, cultural studies and throughout the social sciences.
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- Contents - Introduction: Three Types of Experience - Chapter One - Have We Forgotten Experience? - 1.1 In Praise of the A Posteriori - 1.2 Substance - 1.3 New Totalitarianisms and Technological Phenomenology: The Chapters - Chapter Two - Experience in Antiquity: Aristotle’s A Posteriori Technics - 2.1 Technics and Praxis: Aristotle - 2.2 Against Theoretical Reason: Praxis, Technics, Contingency - 2.3 Form and Substance: Ancients, Christians and Moderns - Chapter Three - Subjective Experience: William James’s Radical Empiricism - 3.1 James’s Radical Empiricism - 3.1.1 James and Hume: Radical Empiricism and Classical Empiricism - 3.1.2 Experience and its Functions - 3.2 Pragmatism: Activities - 3.3 Dewey or Formal Pragmatics - 3.4 Some Conclusions - Chapter Four - Objective Experience: Methodenstreit and Homo Economicus - 4.1 Methodenstreit: Formalists and Substantivists - 4.1.1 Historical School: Subjective Experience and Institutions - 4.1.2 Max Weber: Subjective Experience as Method, Objective Experience as Outcome - 4.2 Classicals and Neoclassicals - 4.2.1 Physics and Economics: From Conservation of Substance to Field of Utilities - 4.2.2 Scottish Enlightenment - 4.3 Conclusions: The Economic and the Political - Chapter Five - Hannah Arendt’s A Posteriori Politics: Free Will, Judgment, and Constitutional Fragility - 5.1 Ancients and Moderns - 5.2 Pax Romana - 5.3 After the Polis: Augustine and Free Will - 5.4 Politics as Aesthetic Judgment - 5.5 Conclusions: From Politics to the Technological System - Chapter Six - Forms of Life: Technological Phenomenology - 6.1 Forms of Life: Transformations of Performative Language - 6.1.1 Forms of Life and Exclusion: Homo sacer’s experience - 6.1.2 Language and Forms of life - 6.2 Technological Forms of Life - 6.2.1 Communicational Forms of Life - 6.2.2 Entropy against Negentropy - 6.2.3 Incompleteness: From Predications (Science) to Algorithms (Engineering) - 6.2.4 System Encounter: War Games or Sex Games? - 6.3 Conclusions - Chapter Seven - Aesthetic Multiplicity: The View and the Ten Thousand Things - 7.1 Fuzzy Singularities - 7.1.1 Views - 7.1.2 Art and Singularities - 7.2 The Gaze as Multiplicity - 7.2.1 Beauty: China against Metaphysics - 7.2.2 Mountains that Breathe (and Perceive) - Chapter Eight - Conclusions - 8.1 Technology - 8.2 Institutions - 8.3 Metaphysics or Empirical Multiplicity
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Scott Lash Goldsmiths College, University of London.
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