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18 votes
7 answers
2k views

Can we tell whether human groups or societies are behaving as superorganisms?

An anthill can be described as a superorganism, with behaviours and interactions much more complex than those of an individual ant. We could find analogies between the superorganism and other living ...
rraallvv's user avatar
  • 451
15 votes
4 answers
1k views

What is the practical usefulness of post-modernist sociology à la Foucault, e.g. of the insight that "insanity is merely a label applied by society"?

Foucault says what constitutes insanity is a label determined by society. Whether someone is sane or insane is not a clear, objective fact. I do not disagree. He says this labelling can be dangerous. ...
Cerberus's user avatar
  • 1,363
14 votes
11 answers
2k views

If everything is theory laden, how can one argue against climate change deniers?

Per Quine's results from "Two Dogmas of Empiricism", the Duhem-Quine thesis, and later results such as those of Kuhn and Feyerabend, all empirical observations are theory laden. Even widely accepted ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
3k views

What makes moral realism so popular a standpoint?

According to wikipedia page on moral realism: A survey from 2009 involving 3,226 respondents found that 56% of philosophers accept or lean towards moral realism (28%: anti-realism; 16%: other). ...
rus9384's user avatar
  • 2,696
13 votes
8 answers
6k views

Is there a modern, secular argument for the soul?

In modern times it is common to think the soul is a religious belief. Even though the original arguments for the soul were not religious (e.g. Plato and Aristotle, and more recently Descartes, ...
yters's user avatar
  • 1,937
9 votes
8 answers
4k views

Is it true that a technological society has to weaken family ties and local communities if it is to function efficiently?

From The Unabomber Manifesto by Ted Kaczynski: The breakdown of traditional values to some extent implies the breakdown of the bonds that hold together traditional small-scale social groups. The ...
Nitin Sheokand's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
385 views

Has anyone suggested a modern substitute for mythology?

Several authors have mentioned that mythology play a central role in human societies, satisfying various social and psychological needs and giving meaning and a spiritual dimension to people's lives. (...
Alexander S King's user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
27k views

What is the difference between Functionalism and Structural-Functionalism?

I don't know if I should ask this here because the question is more like a sociology one. Anyway, I will give it a try, since most of the sociologists are also philosophers, so maybe I'll be lucky ...
sfrj's user avatar
  • 193
9 votes
1 answer
460 views

Which if any contemporary philosophers have written about the potential negative effects of "reverse" discrimination?

In many cases when I talk about how I think, I find it useful to abstract the messy real sources of inspiration into a pure dialogue with my friend Matt. In this case, Matt and I were talking about ...
davidlowryduda's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
585 views

What explains the observation that grocery store check-out lines are oscillatory? [closed]

I have been spending some time sitting in a shopping center, and I have noticed a weird pattern. There is always one cash register open. When one person arrives at the cash register, many others ...
Oneprime's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
951 views

Gender roles - do they matter?

This may well be too broad (spreading over into psychology too), I'll try to narrow it down as I outline my thinking but any advice is welcome. I began by thinking about how its unfair if you ...
FreeElk's user avatar
  • 554
8 votes
2 answers
804 views

What are "entanglements" in "feminist philosophy"?

I saw this: http://www.hastac.org/blogs/ari-schlesinger/2013/11/26/feminism-and-programming-languages As someone who likes computer programming, I am intrigued by new ideas for computer programming ...
The_Sympathizer's user avatar
7 votes
11 answers
5k views

Can you explain clearly the difference between race and ethnicity?

I have tried to look it up but most definitions usually don't make the difference crystal-clear. Many results on Google give overlapping definitions. What my understanding is is that race is rooted in ...
chanzerre's user avatar
  • 129
7 votes
11 answers
3k views

Can religion be considered obsolete? [closed]

Can religion be considered obsolete and in practice an obstacle to the rise of science and reason? I think that religion is the outdated mode of existence, governance, and education of social ...
John Am's user avatar
  • 1,324
7 votes
3 answers
971 views

Reading material about gender studies/feminism

I took a gender studies course in undergrad, and it left me with a bad taste in my mouth about the whole topic. Maybe it was because I was older than many of the other students, or because the ...
Eric Auld's user avatar
  • 235
6 votes
4 answers
866 views

Is science a social process, rather than a method for finding the truth?

I have encountered an argument that I find interesting, but cannot understand the principles behind. It is simply as the title states: Science is not a method for finding the truth, it is a method ...
shieldfoss's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
705 views

Weber and Marx - Modern Culture and Dominant Culture

Not sure if this is the right forum, but this seems to be the best fit. IF there is a better forum, please direct me. Marx and Weber are both concerned with the role of "culture" or "idea/ideology" ...
Bob the Builds's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
268 views

Is there still any philosopher who supports the incompatibility thesis in the social sciences?

The incompatibility thesis asserts that quantitative and qualitative research paradigms are inherently different from each other. Their irreconcilable differences prevent the possibility of a mixed-...
Sab's user avatar
  • 91
6 votes
3 answers
528 views

If there is progress in philosophy, Why is there no philosophers or thinkers as important today as in the past? [closed]

Why don't we have thinkers in the present time (or recent times) that have the same caliber as Albert Einstein, Archimedes, Socrates, Shakespeare, Freud, Aristotle, Plato, Darwin, Popper and all the ...
Jason's user avatar
  • 85
5 votes
2 answers
624 views

Which writers might offer critical readings of Luhmann?

Niklas Luhmann introduces the so called Binary Code in his Systems Theory. Any system has its own binary code. For example, in science the code is "the truth vs. not the truth". Which writers might ...
Bob's user avatar
  • 1,082
5 votes
3 answers
472 views

Is it moral to lie to the populace for their own good?

There is a discussion in the History arm of StackExchange that got sidetracked into the merit of brainwashing society for their own good, as advocated in Plato's Republic. IMO that side track deserves ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 2,095
4 votes
3 answers
331 views

How do we know we are all not 'crazy'? Is number and context the only thing that defines our indication/sense of 'normalcy'?

I stumble upon this question after reading this Wikipedia article, which I find very intriguing: The laughter epidemic began on days averaging around 7 days. After reading that article I went through ...
How why e's user avatar
  • 1,417
4 votes
3 answers
341 views

Does the requirement to use preferred gender pronous preclude the participation of people whose faith teaches that gender cannot be changed?

There are numerous cases where the views held by different people clash. Homosexual intercourses are one such obvious example: many religious denominations (for example Catholicism) consider them ...
gaazkam's user avatar
  • 1,371
4 votes
3 answers
396 views

What is the intrinsic difference between freedom of speech and freedom of deeds?

What are philosophical reasons for approving of freedom of speech but not of freedom of deeds? If teasing the others by speech is allowed, why not by deeds? If freedom of deeds is wrong, then why ...
owari's user avatar
  • 375
4 votes
2 answers
171 views

Is philosophy considered mainly as ethics in modern society (mainly in the public perception)?

I might be very wrong in my judgment here, so correct me if I'm wrong, that's just what I'm getting from reading and hearing the every-day talk about philosophy (news, small talks, etc). It seems as ...
Yechiam Weiss's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
618 views

What are the philosophical roots of the current American parenting style?

A light hearted question: As a parent of two young children, I struggle with the current mainstream American parenting and educational style which is typically parodied (rightfully so) as the "...
Alexander S King's user avatar
4 votes
7 answers
12k views

Can society exist without hierarchy?

If we consider "a society" to be a group of individuals within the same species who cooperate for the benefit of the group as a whole, then it is reasonable to say that all human societies are ...
Jonno Bourne's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
210 views

How did Bourdieu interpret the word 'class'?

If I were to ask Pierre Bourdieu: "What is class to you?", what would he answer? I've read some research on Bourdieu's work, but I have yet to encounter a clear answer on his interpretation of class. ...
hamburger's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
323 views

Are your actions for every type of determinism determined before your birth?

We had this little discussion in class. Are your actions for every type of determinism determined before your birth? We're discussing traditional theories, so Quantum Mechanics aren't relevant (yet). ...
user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
72 views

How can Weber's approach be compatible with evolutionism?

Weber's epistemology is synthesized in one paragraph in Economy and Society (1921): Sociology (in the sense in which this-highly ambiguous word is used here) is a science concerning itself with the ...
Starckman's user avatar
  • 1,714
3 votes
7 answers
2k views

Is Fatherhood among humans really natural? [closed]

I read in a book and have heard this argument by many social scientists that Fatherhood was an invention by humans during the time when we first started living as societies. This was presumably in ...
Abdur Rahman's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
143 views

Name for phenomenon where individual members disagree with their own collective action

I was thinking about a phenomenon related to groupthink lately that I often observe. Frequently, social groups seem to collectively act or trend in ways the individual members consciously disagree ...
Joshua Schroijen's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
416 views

Must people be employed to have dignity and self-worth?

I have heard all my life about how people would not have self-worth without being employed, and they would become depressed or just do unhealthy things. I read a Sci-fi story about AI where ultimately,...
Scott Rowe's user avatar
  • 1,520
3 votes
2 answers
207 views

Sociological-philosophical theories of society’s tendencies to react against itself, inescapably biased in some way

Basically, in case it comes up, I mean something more than Hegelian (?) “dialectic”, an idea of society or knowledge moving forward through refutation, synthesis, progress. I am thinking about how ...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
366 views

What's the importance that Marx gives to the Class Struggle for the devolopment of societies?

I've reading The Communist Manifesto and I could understand that all changes in the human history societies have been because the struggle of class. but what is his argument? I can't understands his ...
Richard Kingston's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
263 views

Does collectivism actually exist?

Does collectivism actually exist? Wikipedia defines: Collectivism is a cultural value that is characterized by emphasis on cohesiveness among individuals and prioritization of the group over ...
mavavilj's user avatar
  • 3,036
3 votes
1 answer
340 views

Can a society with an arbitrary social rule be moral?

Suppose there existed an isolated society somewhere with a central ruling (church-like) committee that dictates how people should live. If that committee came up with a set of social rules that no ...
Blake Angelo's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
221 views

Is Baudrillard's "Simulacra and Simulation" just the "Allegory of the Cave"?

Am I missing something or is Baudrillard's "Simulacra and Simulation" just a wordy "Allegory of the Cave"? To expand, reality is "crowdsourced", patterns occur, and we ...
Coldblackice's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
479 views

If I say that a stereotype conditions people to act in a certain way, isn't that an stereotype in itself?

I am arguing with a friend. She hates the use of stereotypes because she thinks that they condition the society in a bad way, but isn't that also a stereotype? I might know about a stereotype but not ...
Martin's user avatar
  • 133
3 votes
2 answers
172 views

Why do so many people persist on using classifications with no bases in reality whatsoever?

E.g. the borders of countries: They are formed by arbitrary "rules": Sometimes rivers and coasts, but mostly due wars and other weird, historical stuff that doesn't really exist in a reality outside ...
Perik Onti's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
230 views

Durkheim's stance on socialism

I am aware that Émile Durkheim was by no means unaware of socialist thought, nor unwilling to comment on it, throughout his varied works. Plainly, topics of central concern to Durkheim appear to be ...
brainchild's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
105 views

Is there a fundamental difference between hypothetical explanations in sociology and natural sciences?

According to Explanandum and Explanans on Wikipedia: An explanandum (a Latin term) is a sentence describing a phenomenon that is to be explained, and the explanans are the sentences adduced as ...
user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
94 views

is there a civic and/or moral duty or obligation for one to be an 'active citizen in a democracy'? [closed]

reading a post on daily nous the other day, i saw the comment by columbia college chicago professor s. asma that students cannot just learn about game design and digital editing, and not learn about ...
ac15's user avatar
  • 1,789
3 votes
0 answers
41 views

The Nature and Durability of Bonds Formed in Constrained Environments: A Philosophical Inquiry

I've been reflecting on the nature of friendships that form in environments where individuals are brought together by circumstances beyond their usual choosing, such as addiction rehabilitation ...
Paul A's user avatar
  • 131
2 votes
4 answers
465 views

Would we choose to become psychopaths if we could?

Deep Brain Stimulation to stop major depression is a reality in its infancy hence let’s make a thought experiment: Presume a much more advanced version was created and everybody could inhibit any ...
user avatar
2 votes
5 answers
6k views

Who owns the means of production?

Labour is Marxs term for those who do not own the means of production and thus rely on their own labour - ie they are wage earners. What is his term for those who do own the means of production? Its ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
843 views

Hegel's Master Slave dialectic

Can someone briefly explain to me how self consciousness 'Ich bin Ich' becomes the master/slave dialectic and then how this transforms into a self consciousness in general?
PDT's user avatar
  • 456
2 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is virginity from a philosophical perspective? [closed]

What is virginity in philosophers perspective? How do philosophers see virginity while its being a value and as part of a practicing religious belief? How do philosophers see this from their ...
Neocortex's user avatar
  • 147
2 votes
3 answers
349 views

Studies exploring the rationale of gender equality

I've been trying to find books&other scientific material that mentions why the gender equality is important and should be achieved. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Albertthephilosopher's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the philosophy of terrorism? [closed]

We are seeing things being done in the world by some organized group of people. And I am trying to understand something. Certainly, as a group, they act on a defined agenda. This must imply a ...
noncom's user avatar
  • 155