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Chapter 1--Foucault and the Future
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                                             Foucault and the Future
 
 
                                A  Philosophical Proposal for Social Democracy      
 
 
                                                        Chapter One
 
                                   
 
 
                                                      I.    Problems
 
 
            Let me assume that I may use the word “problem,” or any other word, without entering into a discussion of its meaning, as long as I stay within the range of its ordinary and accepted senses.  Later, with the help of some ideas derived from Michel Foucault, I will elaborate a little bit on what the word “problem” means. 
 
            A list of problems humanity faces now would include:
 
            1. The destruction of the biosphere.
            2. Ethnic violence.
            3. Poverty, including homelessness.
            4. Water shortages.
            5. Air pollution.
            6. Exhaustion of fossil fuels.
            7. Terrorism.
            8. Alienated youth.
            9. Unemployment, precarious employment, and low wages.
            10. War, which at this point in history is often civil war.
            11. Crime.
            12. Drugs.
            13. Sexism, racism, homophobia and other forms of illegitimate discrimination.
            14. Inflation and economic instability generally.
            15. The possibility, and in the long run the probability, of nuclear war.
           
            …. and others.
 
           
 
            I have chosen to start this book in this way somewhat as a chess player chooses an opening gambit, that is to say, with a view to how the first move will frame the game as it develops.   I start by implicitly declaring that my interest is in solving problems, agreeing with Jűrgen Habermas that an intellectual project is fundamentally characterized by naming the interest it serves, but differing from Habermas because I prefer to characterize my interest not as “emancipation” but rather as “problem-solving.”   (See Habermas          )    Naming my interest is a lead and a premise.   It is a lead in the sense in which journalists speak of leads.   It is supposed to hook the reader.  It is supposed to entice the reader to continue to read.   It is a premise in the sense that it is the first step in a series of logical arguments.   In the immediately following paragraphs I will first worry about some ways my list of problems may fail as a lead, and then make some initial remarks concerning the idea of problem-solving as a point of departure for a process of rational persuasion. 
 
           The list runs the risk of boring the reader with sameness.    It is a list of problems anybody else might have made up.   It does not distinguish me from any other writer because I profess to be interested in the same problems everyone else is interested in.   A moment’s reflection, however, will show that my opening gambit is distinctive if indeed it announces as it does, a willingness to reevaluate everything I or anyone else has ever thought in the light of the contributions of thought to problem-solving.  Unlike Michel Foucault, who will be my principal dialogue partner, I am not so much interested in reclaiming subjugated knowledges (e.g. Foucault 1985 p. 81) as in reframing knowledge as a biological process.    I am not a liberal who is going to begin with a concept of rights.  (e.g. Dworkin  1977)  I am not a skeptic who is going to begin by asking what, if anything, can be known.     I will be promoting a viewpoint  rooted in well-known existing philosophical tendencies, namely pragmatism and  critical realism, but which is nonetheless a unique viewpoint.   It is close to the common sense of any reasonable person in this day and age, but nonetheless in its way of balancing and synthesizing human knowledge and aspiration it is unlike anything the reader has previously encountered. 
 
           The list also runs a second risk, the risk of failing to inspire confidence.   I am implicitly promising that this book will contribute something useful to solving each and every one of the fifteen grave problems listed, and more besides.   This may strike the reader as a promise unlikely to be kept.   Somebody who has devoted herself or himself to making a detailed study of just one of the problems listed might be regarded as someone whose written work can legitimately make a claim on a reader’s precious time because she or he is an  authority in a field, while somebody who starts a book by declaring an interest in solving humanity’s principal problems might be regarded as someone whose writings are not likely contribute to actually solving any of them, let alone all of them.   Further, the very idea that the problems listed might be solved, or even substantially mitigated, implies what might well be regarded as unwarranted optimism.      
 
            Optimistic general proposals connote radicalism.    I confess to being optimistic, to thinking it worthwhile to examine and to use general terms (such as “life,”  “rule,” “power” ….), and to not only making proposals for solving problems but also to attempting to construct a philosophy which systematically generates any number of proposals for solving problems.    But I acknowledge the validity of critiques of radicalism which accuse it of being closed-minded and implicitly violent, such as those written by Karl Popper (Popper 1945), Albert Camus (Camus       ) and many others.   I want to justify what I take to be the substance of Marxist, feminist, ecological and other radical critiques, while avoiding imaginary and utopian one-size-fits-all solutions.   With few exceptions, real solutions are like real causes.   They are summations of many efforts to solve the problem contributed by a series of people and institutions, as the problems they solve are the outcomes of complex historical processes overlaying complex physical realities.  
 
            At this point in history the simple solutions have been tried and have not worked.  The centrally-planned Soviet Union has fallen.  Its fall has been followed by a trend toward simplistic free market capitalism whose horrors are not less.   The more sensible among the democracies find themselves in gridlock, alternating between left of center governments unable to inspire the confidence of investors and to generate the fiscal resources they need to fund their social programs, and right of center governments that under the guise of making the welfare state more efficient slowly dismantle it.   A similar but less civilized gridlock characterizes the periphery, where periods of lopsided boom in which an elite gets filthy rich while business rushes in to take advantage of plentiful supplies of cheap labor degenerate inevitably into chronic stagnation as businesses finds even cheaper and even better labor elsewhere.   My wager is that a philosophy is needed which guides making the best of bad situations, fine-tuning the balancing of available cultural and institutional resources to cope with social reality as it is without precipitating disaster for lack of economic realism, and which at the same time provides a radical critique  --or justifies existing radical critiques by showing how to make them operational without crashing into a stone wall--  which does not stop at critique but continues positively to show that viable and desirable systemic transformation is in the medium and long term indeed possible if it is intelligently done.
 
             Radicalism, as its etymology suggests, goes to the root.  I will be finding roots not just in the rise of modernity (capitalism, bureaucracy,  instrumental rationality, the modern world-system, disenchantment,  Gesellschaft replacing Gemeinschaft, disembedding, science, the nation-state)  but also in older processes (Roman Law, religion, patriarchy, commerce in its pre-capitalist forms, warfare, establishment of hierarchy by violence,  kinship,  reason as logos) .  Philosophy will be recommended as a radical cure because it is an intellectual tradition that never stops asking questions, and therefore it is one that in principle lends itself to seeing social constructions past and present as social constructions, and in that light judging all socially constructed realities in the light of natural realities.   Although I will devote myself to some extent to the work of winning over readers who think that if there is a natural reality it could not possibly be known because all thought is through-and-through socially constructed,  for the most part I will refer the readers to the writings of Roy Bhaskar and others who have already done that work.   I will devote more effort to mollifyng  readers who find a realistic ethics not so much impossible as undesirable.   I will be claiming that the alternative to having functioning forms of accepted customary authority is not freedom.  It is collapse.  It is inability to solve problems.  It is inability to communicate.     It is threats of chaos. 
 
            I will be arguing the need for, and the possibility of, deriving authority from natural necessity and convenience.     It will necessarily be a dangerous argument, for the track record of thinkers who have claimed to deduce from the natural sciences what culture and social institutions ought to be is frightening:   Racism, sexism, compulsory heterosexuality, and capitalism have all been justified as decrees of nature. (Butler  1990)        I will be gently insinuating  that taking a cue from natural reality when inventing human relationships can be a relatively safe procedure, which does not necessarily lead to the aberrations of the past;  and that it is a procedure that is on the whole better than ignoring natural reality.
 
            As Foucault acknowledges,  the logic of capital accumulation drives the modern world to an important extent  (e.g. Foucault 1985, p. 125).   Nonetheless Foucault especially in the middle and late 1970s was among the legions who inveighed against Marxism (the most famous of the schools of thought emphasizing capital accumulation as a force driving history) as a totalizing and implicitly totalitarian theory.  (e.g. Id. p. 81)  A part of my task will be to acknowledge and take into account general and pervasive features of the modern world-system --commodity exchange and production organized by regimes of accumulation being among them-- without falling into determinism, reductionism, pessimism, totalitarianism, or any of the other undesirable isms that are sometimes associated with acknowledging the importance of capital accumulation as a major dynamic that drives history and makes society what it is..   Acknowledging its importance, as we should, implies that if we are going to fundamentally change the modern world we are going to have to change that major dynamic; we are going to have to develop norms of reciprocity, of gift-giving, of neighborhood solidarity,  of social accounting,  concepts of social efficiency not limited to financial efficiency,  public sector enterprises that do not act as profit-maximizing private enterprises, recovery of the social practices of non-western peoples who succeeded in producing and distributing goods and services without regimes of accumulation,  private enterprises whose mission statements and whose practice aim at service and not at profit-maximization, recycling of profits with ethical criteria; in short we have to restore from the past and invent for the future certain senses of purposeful human action, certain ways of thinking in terms of final causes, that traditional and non-western peoples understand better than most economists.   Philosophers, who are professionally committed to considering any idea and questioning all ideas, should be open to considering my proposals for a conservative radicalism.    I want to be radical enough (root-oriented enough) to see capitalism,  to see industrial and bureaucratic societies as they are (or were) whether capitalist or (self-named) socialist, to see patriarchy, and to see a human species on a collision course with the physical conditions that make life possible on this planet; while being conservative enough to appreciate Heidegger (and early Foucault) and others when they read the story of modernity as a story of decline and fall; and while at the same time being philosophical enough to keep my concepts always moving and tentative. 
 
        If the fifteen problems listed are analogous to the branches of a tree connected through a trunk to a common central root, a root that radical conservative philosophy can discover, albeit a main root that itself branches under the ground into rootlets that in the end are indistinguishable from deleuzian rhyzomes; then remedies at the level of the taproot, and also remedies at the level of the rhyzomes, will communicate health to the branches.  Such is conversion, the cure of souls, the transforming of minds.  It cures the root.  (See Snow and Machalek 1999)  Similarly, democratic socialism is a taproot remedy, or would be if there were a historical example of its existence.  This book will be at a theoretical level a qualified defense of taproot remedies; of the people Michel Foucault called (pejoratively) general intellectuals (Foucault 1985, pp. 126-28), of religion, and of socialism.  It will try to bring radicalism back into favor at a conceptual level, at the level of paradigm shifts.
 
          At the same time this book will take its stand in practical politics foursquare with normal liberal businesslike common sense.  It will claim that the ordinary common sense of our modern societies, governed to a large extent by the logic of commodity exchange and by what Friedrich Nietzsche called herd morality, will, if it is not confused by what is loosely called post-modernism and/or repressed by what is loosely called fascism, lead to social democracy.   The prevailing cultural forms are the necessary point of departure for cultural change, and, fortunately, they contain the germs of their own successful transformation.  There will be more than one occasion to invoke the shade of Emile Durkheim, who blurred the distinction between private law and public law by pointing out that all law is social law, and who found in primitive religion the origins of mind, and who proposed to socialize business not by governmentalizing it but by defining a businessperson as like anyone else a person with a social role to play and social functions to perform;  and there will be more than one occasion to revise the eleventh thesis on Feurbach by insisting that reinterpreting society is changing it.  My attempt to show that the existing socially constructed reality contains the seeds of its own constructive transformation will not be a protean conversation with all thinkers past and present, but rather a sustained dialogue with a single corpus of writings, those of Michel Foucault.   (There will also be fairly extensive secondary dialogues with Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Jurgen Habermas, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Friedrich Nietzsche,  Lionel Robbins, Hannah Arendt, Immanuel Kant,  Martin Heidegger and others.)  I will be interpreting Foucault as one of the neo-Nietzscheans who know full well that the institutions and ideals of the modern liberal state either founder in hopeless contradiction or fulfill themselves in  herd morality and creeping socialism, and who reject the modern liberal state because they do not want herd morality and creeping socialism.   I do want herd morality and creeping socialism, and I conceive it to be (naming it less pejoratively as social democracy) equivalent to pragmatic problem-solving.
 
            My opening gambit also runs a third risk, that of being even more insulting, arrogant, and threatening than any logical argument, always and necessarily is.  Making a logical argument is always pushy behavior.   It deprives the hearer or reader of freedom.  Rather than being allowed to believe anything she or he may choose to believe, she or he is to be forced to believe something true.  In this case it is  even worse.   The specters of the destruction of the biosphere, ethnic violence, poverty,  homelessness, water shortages, and air  pollution, among others,  are produced to haunt the reader.     Deweyan naturalistic pragmatism and critical realism are recommended  (not by the way,  as inputs for a positivist demarcation process that would draw a sharp line between science and nonsense; but as a welcoming canopy under which all cultural resources available at a given time and place may be interpreted and employed for problem-solving).   The reader may not welcome this recommendation.   It may feel like a threat.    The reader may feel that he or she is being told that he or she has been thinking in the wrong way, thinking in one of the many wrong ways, not thinking in the one right way, and that if he or she does not submit control of his or her mind to the arrogant and domineering mind of the writer, then he or she will be classified by the latter as part of the problem and not part of the solution; and then  --he or she might think she is being told—he or she will be guilty of not doing his or her part to stop fossil fuels from being exhausted, terrorists  from spreading terror, youths from being alienated, workers from being unemployed, wages from being low, and the earth from being stained by the blood of  wars and civil wars.
 
          Concerning the feelings that may lead a reader to stop reading which I have just sketched -- perhaps caricatured-- for the most part I have no defense.   I just have to accept losing readers who feel those ways.  However, it is not the case that I will be saying that there is only one right way to think.   I take it to be a merit (some would say it is a demerit)  of Deweyan naturalistic pragmatism that there are many right ways to think; many valid ways of talking, seeing, and feeling; many viable cultural forms.  Similarly, I take it to be the point of Piero Sraffa’s Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities that the physical tasks of producing and distributing the goods needed to satisfy human needs can be accomplished in principle with any number of different cultural forms, provided only that the technically required inputs are put in so that the consequent result is that the humanly required outputs  come out.  (Sraffa  1960)   My ultimate criterion of truth is functional rather than logical.   It is possible to construct a happy and sustainable way of life using the brain, the body, language and imagination in many different ways.
 
        Having made a few remarks concerning my opening gambit regarded as a lead, I would now like to make a few concerning it regarded as a premise.
 
        My list of problems is a prelude to a philosophical essay.     I will be asking fundamental questions; I will be revisiting old  belief systems.  I make bold to call to the attention of anyone who may think that contemporary ways of thinking are superior to those of the past,  the fact that with all of our contemporary freedom from traditional illusions we are not solving our problems.  God knows we are not failing to solve our problems for lack of information.   Concerning any given human problem there are hundreds and often thousands of quantitative studies already done, which can be located in a few minutes on the Internet.     It will be a thesis of this book that we cannot solve our problems because of constraints imposed by the basic cultural structures of  the modern world-system, always interpreting this and every other sentence in the light of the anti-totalizing and anti-totalitarian qualifications mentioned above.  “Philosophy” is a name for among other things stubbornly and persistently questioning accepted ideas.   When philosophy is combined with history, as it is in the works of Foucault, it is also about how the ideas that are now the accepted ones began and evolved over time. Both processes –persistent questioning and historical inquiry into origins—tend to make visible basic cultural structures that normally are  invisible,   Once the cultural structures are visible we can think about how to escape from the constraints they now impose on us.  
 
            Thus doing philosophy and questioning the basic structures of the modern world-system go together.
 
            I have been saying I will be making a logical argument. That is true in the sense that my method will be rational persuasion.  Similarly  it is true that a logical argument in mathematics, say a proof that the diagonal of a square is incommensurable with a side, is an exercise in rational persuasion.   But philosophy is harder than mathematics.   It is harder in the sense that mathematicians share fairly clear ideas among themselves regarding what counts as a logical proof.  Philosophy, on the other hand, is forever questioning what counts as proof, what counts as logic (in this respect I have already implied that I agree with those who hold that  there is more than one logic), what counts as rational, what counts as a logical argument.   Indeed when mathematicians disagree about what counts as proof we say they are doing philosophy of mathematics, and in general for every discipline there is a parallel discipline called “philosophy of” the discipline that examines its fundamental questions (and of course what counts as “fundamental,” and whether perhaps nothing at all does, are themselves also philosophical questions).   In making my “logical argument” in this book I will be simultaneously presenting my views concerning what should count as one, and concerning what rational persuasion is.   In general I will be agreeing with Martin Heidegger that being grounds epistemology rather than vice versa.
 
          Among the major assumptions I have already made, there is one I especially hope the reader noticed.  In writing my list I slipped in the phrase “humanity faces.”    I am slipping in already as a presupposition of my argument the idea that there is a moral entity called “humanity” which collectively “faces” each problem on an incomplete open list.  Each problem is a problem for “humanity.”   Hence in some sense item 3, “Poverty” is a problem for the non-poor (regarded as members of humanity) as well as for the poor.  Item 13 “…discrimination” is a problem for those who are not discriminated against.   Item 11, “Crime,” is a problem for criminals as well as for crime victims.   I am writing as though there is always already a linguistic community among whose members meanings are shared; a first person plural for whom a problem is a problem and by whom a solution is desired.  My reason for writing this way is not only that, like Plato and Jurgen Habermas, I regard speech as a cooperative activity expressing common social interests; but also that as a pragmatist I think it advisable to operate in hope.   I emphasize bringing out the best in human nature, hoping that a bias toward the positive will be a self-fulfilling prophecy strengthening the positive; doubting that a dead-center neutral assessment of human nature is empirically attainable or even conceptually meaningful; and fearing that a bias toward the negative would be a self-fulfilling prophecy strengthening the negative.    My approach diverges from Michel Foucault’s recommendation to regard the existence of a “we” not as the presupposition of  questions, but rather as the result –the necessarily tentative result—of asking questions in ways that lead to forming communities of action.  (Foucault 1984 p. 594)  
 
          Let me state a little more systematically why I have chosen writing a list of problems as my first step in a process of rational persuasion in the form of four reasons:   (1)  Following John Dewey, I will develop the idea that philosophy, the sciences, and the brain itself are best conceived as tools for problem solving.  Hence it is logical to begin with a list of problems.    (2) The concept of “problem” will be a starting point for advocating an ethical commitment appropriately called “affirming life” (or, “solidarity,” “love,” or “caring”), building on an analysis of the concept of “life” provided by Michel Foucault (Foucault 1966, p. 241).  What makes a problem a problem is that it obstructs vital processes, i.e. life.  (3) Listing the problems is a prelude to making plans for solving them, and I will be briefly outlining some such plans in the concluding chapters of this book.  Again following Dewey, I will claim that the main human problems can largely be solved, to the extent that they can be solved at all, by cultural transformations appropriately called “social democracy.”   When I use this term, “building social democracy,” I mean to refer to building cultures of solidarity (sometimes called democratic socialism or anarchism or people’s capitalism or something else) where authority is non-authoritarian.  I want to contribute to the renewal and deepening of the social progress made in Sweden and in many other countries throughout the world in the middle years of the twentieth century.  (See Richards and Swanger 2006,  Richards  2007)  (4)  Most people understand the word “problem,” and will recognize as problems each item on my short list.  The list is a way to begin with a familiar idea in order to proceed from there to introduce new ideas, such as “cultural structure,” which I have been mentioning but have not yet explained, although I have explained it elsewhere.  (Richards 1995)
 
           
 
Private Problems and Public Problems
 
            I will now go into some detail concerning a specific misunderstanding of what I am trying to do that  I particularly fear.      I am aware that what I say is not necessarily what my listeners hear.  My fearful hypothesis is that my list might be heard just as an implicit call to conventional political action.  Each item on the list might  be heard as naming an issue.   Concerning issues, political parties take stands and governments have policies.  My Dewey-like intention is to move the discussion to the comprehensive level where culture and biology intersect, and the two jointly shape the patterns of human conduct.   I do not believe at all that problem-solving is mainly a matter of conventional politics and of governments.   It is a matter of  civil society initiatives.  It is a matter for government – market – universities – non-governmental organizations partnerships.      It is a matter for churches, for whatever gatherings the unchurched join in lieu of churches,  for businesses, for families, for neighborhoods, for friends, for couples; for individuals seeking a spiritual path to personal transformation, to gratitude, hopefully to a life of service to others in harmony with nature.    My further fearful hypothesis is that the potential for misunderstanding my list as names of political issues stems from assuming, not necessarily consciously, that there are two kinds of problems: public problems and private problems.  The private problems are the ones ordinary people, who may have no interest in politics, face in daily life.  These, I fear, a reader might think this book is not about.  My list might appear as a list of the kinds of problems that people who are not interested in politics are not interested in.
 
            Now I will list problems I think many people would call private.  Then I will briefly discuss  the public/private distinction.  
 
              Private problems would include:
 
            1.  Relationship or love life problems.
            2.  Money problems.
            3.  Health problems.
 
            As a private individual, I feel that I have no problems when I am on good terms with my family, not in debt, and not sick.  I feel insecure to the extent that I fear that I might be dumped, fired, or diagnosed with cancer.
 
            Additional typical so-called private problems would be:
 
            4.  Depression.
            5. Abusive relationships.
            6. Addiction.
            7. Physical poverty going beyond money problems to the point where one cannot afford something one needs, such as food or a place to live.  (One might call “being homeless” a “private problem” while calling “homelessness” a “public problem.”)
            8. Being a crime victim.  (The “private” side of the “public” issue of “Crime.”)
 
            I think it seems natural enough, at least at first sight, to make a separate list, as I have just done, of private problems.     This separation reflects common usage of the terms “public” and “private.”   It reflects the currently ubiquitous question whether the “state” should “intervene” in the “private sphere.”   It reflects contemporary mainstream common sense in western and westernized societies.  It reflects modern institutions, which are built (I claim) on a distinction between public law and private law.  It reflects Roman institutions which are (I claim) the historical predecessors from which modern institutions evolved.  It reflects a state/society distinction which leads to frustration when the state is expected to solve social problems but is in fact powerless to do so because the state is itself subordinate to the principal cultural structures that constitute society.
 
            But of course our current way of talking only seems natural.  There is nothing in nature which requires us to use the terms “public” and “private” as we do.  Our common sense and our institutions are products of history.  In this book I will be agreeing with Jacques Derrida that today a reflection on “hospitality” (a derridean and lévinasian term I gloss as “agape”) requires more than anything else questioning the distinction between private and public, between private law and public law. (Derrida  and Dufourmantelle 2006, p. 51)
 
Gestalt Shifts
 
            One might begin to question whether a separate list of private problems is  justified by observing that separating the two lists with a clear bright line is hard to do.  It is difficult, for example, to draw a clear line separating “being homeless” as a private problem from “homelessness,” as a public problem.  The difficulty is not about numbers.  The difficulty is not about deciding how many people have to be homeless before a private problem becomes a public problem.  
 
              The difficulty is, I think, about  gestalts.  It is about different ways of seeing, and talking about, the same facts.  We can look at homelessness through the lenses of a responsibility gestalt  or through the lenses of a caring gestalt.  
 
             I will spell out a bit why I think the availability of a choice between a responsibility gestalt and  a caring  gestalt makes it both possible and problematic to draw a line between public and private  homelessness.    I mean this as an example.   I think I could take any item on the private list, and show that it would be put on the public list if it were looked at in a different way.
 
         When we do responsibility-talk we are likely to see someone else being homeless as their private problem.  It is not our problem.  The rabbit is a duck.  The way we talk fits the way we see.   When we do care talk we are likely to see homelessness as a public problem.   Now it is our problem.  The duck is a rabbit.  Again, the way we talk fits the way we see.  A person who has no bed indoors to sleep in at night can be seen as having a private problem or as  a walking example of a public problem
 
            We can do responsibility-talk and thus apply responsibility norms because our culture supplies us with language for declaring that each person is responsible for the choices she or he makes in life.   Such talk goes together with seeing  being homeless as  the private result of wrong personal choices, especially if being homeless is accompanied by alcoholism and drug dependency.       But, as Robert Bellah et al show in their book Habits of the Heart  (1985) in the United States (and it seems likely that something similar is true elsewhere) we have a repertory of linguistic resources that allows us to frame the same facts in different ways.     Although we can speak the language of personal responsibility, we also know how to speak the language of care.  We can do care-talk.  When we do care-talk we are inclined to say that it is wrong when somebody suffers and nobody cares.   We are inclined to see  homeless persons as  abandoned.  Then even one person being homeless counts as a public problem.  People in general ought to care.  Therefore, the politically organized state ought to care.  
 
           Some readers will notice that my homelessness example suggests a view of the private/public distinction nearly the opposite of Hannah Arendt’s.  (Arendt 1977)   If the homeless person has the misfortune to be framed as having a private problem, then she or he is left to suffer alone in the cold cruel private world.    The public world is the caring world where  more fortunate homeless people participate in relationships characterized by reciprocity, solidarity, and mutual obligations.   For Arendt it is the public world that is the cold cruel world, while the private sphere is the warm caring one.  The private sphere is where the family is.   Children need to be brought up in the warm caring private sphere because they are too young to face the harsh cold cruel public world.  I do not dispute the merits of Arendt’s view.   She uses language in a perfectly valid way to provide a perspective that throws important facts into relief.
 
            My reservations about excluding “private problems”  spring from the fear described above.  They do not spring  from a desire to efface the public/private distinction when it is useful either to describe existing practice as it happens to be, or to recommend one or another practice as desirable, or to criticize one or another practice as undesirable.   Nor do my reservations stem from a desire to avoid facing confusing questions about whether a particular problem should be called private, given the prevailing meanings of words.    My desire is to solve the problems.   To this end I think it is helpful to bring what are called private problems into the fold, as problems we are indeed concerned with; and also to bring the public\private distinction into the fold, as a concept that, like any concept, is not self-justifying, but only justified to the extent that it is useful.
 
              To some extent I am not confident that we can completely solve our main problems at all.    (Notice that by freely using the first person plural, as in “…we can solve our main problems…,” I am continuing to suggest that there is and should be a fraternal sense of mutual good will, as I did earlier by slipping in the phrase “humanity faces.”)    Our main problems are to some (unknown) extent unchangeable facts of nature.     But to the extent that I believe they can be solved, I do not believe they can be solved without bringing into view the assumptions we take for granted when we distinguish public from private.    They cannot be solved without reconsidering the relationships between the private world, where every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way and some families are not unhappy at all; and the public world, where economists pore over reports of macroeconomic indicators; between, to use  Erving Goffman’s term, the “underlife” of  asylums,  prisons, schools, city streets, businesses,  and military bases; and the formal structures of institutions.  (Goffman  1959, 1961, 1974)   If, as Hannah Arendt fears, we succumb to totalitarian solutions to our problems partly because we are insufficiently aware of the social functions of the private sphere, that is not a reason for leaving the distinction invisible and unquestioned.   On the contrary, it is another reason for bringing it into view.
 
              Being unaware of the consequences of assumptions taken for granted can be a cause of our inability to solve problems.
 
            Philosophy, conceived as conscientiously deciding how to talk, can be the reverse.  It can be a cause of empowerment to solve problems.   Instead of leaving the conceptual frameworks that organize our institutions unexamined, and instead of responding to the crises that dysfunctional institutions inevitably engender with blind violence, with the help of  philosophy we can construct institutions that work.
 
           
 
Philosophy and Problem Solving
 
            Suppose it is true, as I claim, that the principal problems humanity faces cannot be solved without modifying the ways we talk --and with them practices and institutions inseparable from the ways we talk  (inseparable from the public/private distinction among others).    It would follow from this supposition that philosophy as I conceive it is an indispensable part of the mix of disciplines needed to solve problems.  It would follow that we need it to make informed choices of conceptual frameworks.
 
            Now I will  move on to propose a general view of the relationship of philosophy to the sciences and of both to solving problems.  
 
            Let us look again at the items on my lists, starting with the first item on the first list.   Looking at the first item, one might call it an environmental problem.  One might suppose that to learn how to solve it one should study biology and other natural sciences. One might suppose there to be no need to study philosophy to solve it.  The second item, ethnic violence, might be regarded as a political problem, whose solutions, if there are any, are to be learned by studying politics.  The third item, poverty, might be called an economic problem. 
 
            One might continue down the list and identify a science most relevant to solving each problem.  If, then, following Kant, one defined philosophy as the pursuit of pure knowledge not derived from experience; and if, one then acknowledged that there is no  pure knowledge, not derived from experience (neither in philosophy, nor in mathematics, nor anywhere else); one would then conclude that philosophy is not about anything at all. 
 
            I mention only as an abstract possibility assigning each problem to a discipline, but then assigning no problem to philosophy, because its only subject matter is one that does not exist.   I do not think anybody would actually do that today.  The purpose of mentioning this abstract possibility is to state succinctly a view that contrasts with mine, in order to make certain features of my own views clearer.
 
               My view is that the center of efforts to apply intelligence to the solving of human problems is necessarily in interdisciplinary social science.   The efforts have to be interdisciplinary, or cross-disciplinary, or trans-disciplinary, or done by people like Amartya Sen or Nancy Hartsock (many others could be mentioned) who feel free to utilize contributions from many disciplines, because the boundaries between the disciplines are due to their histories and not due to the nature of the problems to be solved.   Natural science and philosophy are complementary to  the social science center in different ways.   Natural science tells us a great deal about what must be done.   It tells us what must be done to preserve the biosphere –albeit not with complete certainty, and not in a unanimous chorus in which the voices of all experts harmonize.  Natural science and engineering also tell us what must be done in the sense of determining what physical inputs are needed to get what physical outputs, as in Piero Sraffa’s approach to economics in The Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities where they supply “technical coefficients.”  (Sraffa  1960)  But the bottleneck questions are not about what must be done. They are about whether human beings will actually do what must be done.  Necessarily social science (including psychology) is at the center of answering the bottleneck questions.   But good answers are not likely to come from mainstream social science as it exists today.  I agree with Immanuel Wallerstein that social science needs to be “unthought.”  (Wallerstein 2001)  I would rather say rethought.    
 
              
             While I will develop my views on philosophy and social science mainly by relating them to those of Michel Foucault, and while I will make some comments on those of Jurgen Habermas and others,  my premises and approach grow mainly out of certain strands of Anglo-American philosophy .  My thesis –or at least one way to put my thesis-- is that solving humanity’s main problems calls for rethought social science and rethought philosophy to collaborate.   I said a few words above about how natural science complements social science.  With respect to how philosophy complements social science I will say more now.
 
 
 
Rules
 
            Some readers will recognize that my proposal is similar to that made a half century ago by Peter Winch in The Idea of a Social Science, and its Relation to Philosophy.  (Winch 1958).  Since I intend to build upon foundations laid in it (not in the sense of “foundations” that Richard Rorty made unpopular, but in the sense that one philosophical choice leads to and prepares for another)  I will make Winch’s book my first example showing how philosophy and social science can work together.   What I have to say about Winch (and subsequently about other writers) will not be what Michel Foucault would call commentary; I am not composing a second text to explain the meaning of the first text.   I am step by step building, with Winch’s help and later with help from others, a proposal to the reader concerning how we can work together to solve our problems.
 
            Winch’s proposal for the collaboration of social science and philosophy can be viewed as centering on the concept of “rules.”   
 
             Winch writes, “…what the sociologist is studying, as well as his study of it, is a human activity, and is therefore carried on according to rules.   And it is these rules, rather than those that govern the sociologist’s investigation, which specify what is to count as ‘doing the same kind of thing’ in relation to that kind of activity.   An example may make this clearer:  Consider the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (Luke 18:9) Was the Pharisee who said, ‘God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are’ doing the same kind of thing as the Publican who prayed ‘God be merciful unto me a sinner?’  To answer this question one would have to start by asking what is involved in the idea of prayer; and that is a religious question.  In other words, the appropriate criteria for deciding whether the actions of these two men were of the same kind or not belong to religion itself.   Thus the sociologist of religion will be confronted with an answer to the question:  Do these two acts belong to the same kind of activity?; and this answer is given according to criteria which are not taken from sociology, but from religion itself.”   (Winch 1958, p. 87)
 
            Let me now restate the same point (the point that Winch’s proposal for collaboration between social science and philosophy centers on “rules”) in a way that provides a little more context for it.   There are (says Winch) conceptual and empirical questions.   Philosophy is about the former.  Science is about the latter.  But the two cannot be separated because empirical research is inseparable from its guiding concepts.   In social science some of those concepts are:  society, social, social relationship (the Verhältnisse of Weber and Marx) meaning, person, institution, human action, understanding (Max Weber’s Verstehen), explanation, cause, effect.  Such key concepts for social science (the list is not complete) all relate to each other, and they all relate to the concept of rules.  The viewpoint one assumes regarding one –say a Marxist, Durkheimian,  Foucauldian, Parsonian, or Weberian viewpoint—is not independent of the view one takes of the others.  The following discussion of rules is intended to have the character of a catalytic crystal, whose function will be to transform not just the use of  one word, but to generate a way of seeing (remember the duck and the rabbit), in other words a viewpoint,  from which it will seem natural to say, as Winch says, that, “…all meaningful behavior must be social, since it can be meaningful only if governed by rules, and rules presuppose a social setting.”  (Winch 1958, p. 116)
 
            Before I get into technical details, I would like to say a few words more about why I care.   I have already implied that I care about solving vital problems, so presumably discussing Winch’s concept of rules will lead –by some path this book will eventually trace—to light on how to achieve health, friendship, security, and beauty.     Briefly, with a promise to elaborate later:   I think the social sciences, particularly economics, psychology, politics, and international relations (anthropology, history, and sociology less so) tend to operate within a limited framework provided by modern (sometimes, mistakenly in my opinion,  called “capitalist”) social relations.  (Wallerstein 2001)   But, to quote Winch,  the “social relations” (Verhältnisse ) cannot be separated from the “ideas” which “actions embody; ideas such as those of ‘money,’ ‘property,’ ‘police,’ ‘buying and selling,’ and so on.  Their [i.e. people’s] relations to each other exist only through those ideas and similarly those ideas exist only in their relations to each other.”  (Winch 1958, p. 118)   A social science that fails to focus on the rules that constitute social relationships (Taylor  1964)  makes this limited framework invisible.    Social science needs philosophy to help it  to see and to reconsider the rules it tends to take as given, as unmovable parameters, such as, for example, a set of modern institutions structured by the trichotomy, “state,” “market,” and “civil society.”   It needs to reconsider them because society itself  needs to be changed in intelligent ways illumined by an illuminative social science.
 
            Winch talks about “rules.”  However, I everything he says might  be said without using the word “rule” at all.  He could have followed Durkheimian practice and spoken instead of “norms”  and of the lack of them as anomie.   He could have followed Margaret Mead and some other anthropologists and spoken of “customs,” or followed the institutionalist economists by choosing “institution” as the flagship concept for social science; or like Lawrence Kohlberg and other students of moral development he could have described the conduct of normal adults as “conventional.”  Although I think “rules” is an excellent, useful word, and I favor continuing to employ it, none of Winch’s substantive points really requires the choice of that particular word rather than another.  
 
            Further, if I may add one more complication to this already moderately complicated exposition, Winch need not always disagree with people who  apparently  contradict him.   He need not disagree, for example, with someone who says, “what the sociologist is studying, as well as his study of it, is a human activity, and is therefore not carried on according to rules, but rather performed with that capacity for improvisation and innovation that characterizes the human species.”  (See e.g. Geertz  1983)   Winch can reply  (as he does, in effect, reply to Michael Oakeshott in Winch 1958 pp. 51-65), “Oh yes, I see what you mean, but when I  use the term “rules” I use it in a way that expresses, rather than suppresses,  the very points you make.  My concept of  `rules’ is a perspicuous, multi-tasking, grounded-in-close-down-to-earth-observation concept, like the one developed by Ludwig Wittgenstein in his Philosophical Investigations. (Wittgenstein 1953)   You may, if you wish, set up a crude concept of ‘rules’ as a straw man to refute, in order to make the points you want to make, but please let me use my concept of ‘rules’ to make the points I want to make.”
 
            One might begin to make a case for “rules” by saying that social science needs to do more  than just report observed statistical regularities of behavior as if humans were planets or rocks.   Rule-talk might be said to be needed because, as H.L.A. Hart says in his analysis of “rules” in The Concept of Law, humans do not just  (1) behave in a regular manner, as planets and rocks do.   They also (2) guide their own behavior by deliberately following rules (Hart calls this the “internal aspect of rules”); and (3) they criticize one another for getting out of line.  (Hart says one can detect the existence of a rule by the fact that violation of it gives others a license to criticize.)  (Hart 1956)
 
            In fact, Winch does not begin his case for “rules” in the way I just suggested.  Instead of arguing that rule-talk is needed because social science must do more  than merely document statistical regularities in human behavior, Winch argues that without rule-talk, social science cannot even document statistical regularities.   A pre-existing pattern of rule-guided social life is presupposed by any effort to count how many of the same kind of event happened.  (Statisticians call doing this the “nominal level of measurement” –the indispensable foundation of higher levels of measurement, and of all statistics, non-parametric or parametric, descriptive or inferential.)
 
            Not only that.   A pre-existing pattern of rule-guided social life (a Lebensform, a form of life, in Wittgenstein’s terminology) is presupposed not just by any scientific or nonscientific generalization.  It is also presupposed by identifying just one case.   Rules are needed to give meaning to a word, to a number, or to any sign or symbol.
 
            Hence authority is presupposed by knowledge.   At its very root.  Before it can get off the ground.
 
            This result should not be surprising, although it may take a while for the duck to turn into a rabbit for those who have been socialized to see science otherwise.   It is simply a more realistic way of bringing ordinary experience into focus, one that sees human activities in general, and those activities called knowing in particular, as organized by rules.   Anybody who has ever done titrations for a chemistry class, for example, knows that the immediate concern of the student is not nature or reality, whatever that may be, but understanding the teacher’s instructions.   Nature and reality must be out there somewhere, but between them and the student stand several centuries of the development of a social institution called the science of chemistry.  The science, represented by the teacher, prescribes the rules that tell the student what to do.
 
             Winch begins his case showing that any science, natural or social, is rule-governed.   But in completing his case he shows that social science is rule-governed in a double sense.   To repeat:  “…what the sociologist is studying, as well as his study of it, is a human activity,  and is therefore carried on according to rules.   And it is these rules, rather than those that govern the sociologist’s investigation, which specify what is to count as ‘doing the same kind of thing’ in relation to that kind of activity.”
 
            It is the rules of the Lebensform under study that make it possible to achieve a nominal level of measurement, that is to say, to count items regarded as in a relevant sense belonging in the same category.  Therefore, Winch is led to privilege the language of the actors, the idées-forces that function in social life, the words that do things in the social world being studied; over the operational definitions created by social scientists for the purpose of communicating with each other, and for the purpose of standardizing measurements.  Whatever validity the latter may have derives from the latter’s grounding in the former.  (Glaser and Strauss  use terminology Winch would approve of when they speak of “grounded theory” in social science) 
 
            In other ways also, including ways related to  points (2) and (3) of H.L.A. Hart mentioned above, social science benefits from a philosophical analysis of rules.     I want to mention specially a benefit which Winch does not mention,  which flows from choosing “rules,” instead of choosing some alternative term like “norms” to do the same work in social science.  (I acknowledge that I myself sometimes employ “norms,” “institutions,” and other terms).   The additional  benefit is that “rules” connects social science with jurisprudence by way of H.L.A. Hart’s definition of law.   Hart defines law as a union of primary and secondary rules.   The primary legal rules govern conduct.  They tell people certain things about what they should, should not, and may do. The secondary rules determine what the primary rules are.  For example, a secondary rule might be, “whatever the legislature approves by majority vote is a law.” That secondary rule might identify  “no tobacco sales to minors under 18 years of age”  as a primary rule, because it is a rule enacted by the legislature.   “Rules” connects jurisprudence with the rest of social science, which is as it should be. (Hart 1956)
 
The Contributions of Philosophy
 
            If one grants that social science is improved by reflecting on rules philosophically, then it remains to inquire in what respect such improvements –granting that they are improvements—illustrate the need for a partnership of philosophy and social science.
 
             I agree with Winch, of course, that such a partnership is needed, but my concept of what is needed is not exactly the same as his.    Let me next try to parse what Winch means by “philosophy,” and to extract from his  account of philosophy’s nature his  reasons for attributing to it a salutary influence on social science.
 
            Philosophy, Winch tells us, “…is concerned with the nature of reality as such and in general.” (p. 8)   “…the philosopher’s interest in language lies not so much in the solution of particular linguistic confusions for their own sakes, as in the solution of confusions about the nature of language in general.”  (p.12)    Social science needs philosophy because “…many of the more important theoretical issues which have been raised in those studies belong to philosophy rather than science and are, therefore to be settled by a priori conceptual analysis rather than by empirical research.” (p. 17)   He adds, “…what is really fundamental to philosophy is the question regarding the nature and intelligibility of reality.”  (p. 18)   The philosopher’s question is, “How is such an understanding (or indeed any understanding) possible?” (p. 21) 
 
            So far Winch is echoing themes that have often typified what over the centuries has been called philosophy.  It is concerned with issues that people often call fundamental, or basic, or in some social sciences “structural.”    As if to show the ancient linage of his conception of philosophy he quotes from the Introduction to J. Burnet’s book Greek Philosophy:  “We have to ask whether the mind of man can have any contact with reality at all, and, if it can, what difference will it make to his life?” (p. 9) 
 
            But then Winch’s account of philosophy takes a surprising turn, or, rather, a turn that would be surprising to somebody who was not familiar with the later philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein.   Winch writes, “…the philosophical elucidation of human intelligence, and the notions associated with this, requires that these notions be placed in the context of the relations between men in society.   In so far as there has been a genuine revolution in philosophy in recent years, perhaps it lies in the emphasis on that fact, and in the profound working out of its consequences, which we find in Wittgenstein’s work.” (p. 40)   Winch then quotes Wittgenstein: “What has to be accepted, the given,  is --as one could say—forms of life.”  (p.40, quoting Wittgenstein 1953, p. 226)
 
            Suddenly saying philosophy is about a priori  knowledge does not mean what Kant took it to mean.   Nor does “conceptual analysis” mean a priori analysis in a Kantian sense.   Instead of meaning analyzing concepts not derived from experience, it means paying close attention to the details of the uses of  language in life.  It means seeing what people do with words.
 
            Later, Winch’s account of philosophy takes an even more surprising turn:  “I noted in the first chapter how philosophy is concerned with elucidating and comparing the ways in which the world is made intelligible in different intellectual disciplines; and how this leads on to the elucidation and comparison of different forms of life.  … In performing this task the philosopher will in particular be alert to deflate the pretensions of any form of enquiry to enshrine the essence of intelligibility as such , to possess the key to reality.  For connected with the realization that intelligibility takes many and varied forms is the realization that reality has no key.”  (p. 102)
 
            So it turns out that the philosopher’s perennial concern with “the nature of reality as such and in general” (p 8) leads him or her to realize that the nature of reality will never be found.     Asking philosophy’s fundamental question about “the nature and intelligibility of reality” (p. 18) leads to the conclusion that there are many ways to make reality intelligible. 
 
            The idea that philosophy’s quest ends up not with discovering the general nature of intelligible reality, but with many takes on it, contributes to seeing that the way things are is not the way things have to be.   Much of what is conventionally taken as fact is collective social choice.  “Look on the language-game as the primary thing,” writes Wittgenstein (Wittgenstein 1953, p. 167).   That is where the bedrock is, that is where one’s spade is turned.   That is the point where one must say, when asked why one knows the right way to follow a rule,  `This is simply what I do.’”  (Wittgenstein 1953, p. 85) 
 
            A conventional way to make behavior intelligible is usually compulsory from the point of view of the individual in real time.   It is simply what one does.   But it is (I claim) an historically conditioned social choice from the point of view of the collectivity.   The practical necessity of   accepting the conventional practices associated with a Lebensform, (form of life), is connected with the indispensable role of authority in organizing the Lebensform.   Authority organizes the Lebensform in general, as well as organizing the pursuit of knowledge.   “Knowing” and “producing knowledge” name particular practices (language-games) within the Lebensform.   The central role of historically constituted authority can be further brought out by a comparison Wittgenstein makes between following a rule and obeying an order.
 
            Wittgenstein writes:  “Following a rule is analogous to obeying an order.   We are trained to do so; we react to an order in a particular way.”   (Wittgenstein 1953, p. 82)
 
            In Wittgenstein’s original German the term translated as “trained” is  abgerichtetThe term makes a play on words.    Abgerichtet begins with the common German prefix ab which figures in many German expressions with diverse meanings.    I would gloss it here as conveying the sense that something was done to the person when that person was gerichtet, i.e. was “trained.”  The rest of the word is a form of the verb richten , which means to “set right.”   Wittgenstein’s use of the word abgerichtet  plays on his use of many other words with the root Recht (right or straight), including Richtung (direction) and one of Wittgenstein’s favorites, Rechtfertigung (justification), which he uses to say that often when we want to know whether we are following a rule correctly what we need is not so much an explanation as a justification.  We need authority.
 
            In the perfectly good English translation that renders abgerichtet  as “trained,” in which the translators make Wittgenstein say that people are trained to react to an order or to a rule in a particular way, the echo of abgerichtet in the background suggests that when people are “trained” they are “set straight” and “pointed in the right direction.”  
 
            Wittgenstein’s comparison of rules with orders seems to me to be a good catalyst to facilitate the shift Winch wants his readers to make from the Durkheimian duck (“treat social facts as facts”) to the Wittgensteinian rabbit (“what must be accepted is a form of life”).    Social reality is not so much a pattern of facts as it is a pattern of authority.   This outcome shows how philosophy can usefully collaborate not just with the social scientist, but with all the citizens of the society that the social scientist is trying to understand and to improve.   It helps us to see that another world is possible,  and not only that it is possible, but how it is possible.  It is possible by changing patterns of authority, by changing rules; by deliberately cultivating non-authoritarian patterns of authority.
 
            I will say more about rules later, but I do not expect ever to exhaust the subject, and I certainly do not claim, nor do Winch or Wittgenstein claim, that some concept of rules is or could be the unchanging key to understanding changing social reality.  My point here is that  his discussions of rules illumine Winch’s view of the relation of social science to philosophy.   The traditional quest of the philosopher (as Winch views the philosopher) for answers to very general questions about reality may be a quest that will never arrive at its goal.   It may be a meaningless quest.  But on her way the philosopher meets the economist who talks about “prices,” and even distinguishes “real prices” from other prices that are said to be not real.  She meets the political scientist who talks about “power” and “actors.”   She meets the lawyer who talks about “rules.”   Her passion for examining generalities makes her a helpful partner of the specialist who uses them.  (The “philosopher” does not have to be a separate person.  It can be the specialist herself when she “does philosophy.”)
 
 
 
 
Connecting Dewey with Winch
 
            Like Michel Foucault a half century later, John Dewey saw no point in drawing a sharp line between the conceptual inquiries of philosophy and the empirical inquiries of science.   “But a philosophy that humbles its pretensions to the work of projecting hypotheses for the education and conduct of mind, individual and social, is thereby subjected to test by the way in which the ideas it propounds work out in practice.”  (Dewey 1910 p. 18).   For Dewey the results of following a philosophical precept are to be empirically evaluated.   If he had lived later, Dewey would have agreed with Winch that ideas and social relations are inseparable from each other, and  with Wittgenstein that human understanding relies on very general facts that change little or not at all from time to time and place to place, such as the fact that common objects do not suddenly and unexpectedly change their relative sizes.   In Wittgenstein’s language-games he would have found confirmation of his own view that “…the primary facts of social psychology center about collective habit, custom.” (Dewey 1922 p. 63)    The “formal rationality” Max Weber attributes to the legal machinery of capitalism is a particular kind of custom. Dewey insists (implicitly criticizing Weber’s (Gebrauch/ Rationalität distinction) that society today is governed by custom as much as it ever was.  (Id. 75-77 and passim)   (Winch and I usually, but not always,  employ “rules” to assert the same fact –that social reality is made up of conventional institutions—that Dewey usually, but not always, asserts using “collective habit” or  “custom.”)
 
             (Here Wittgenstein supports Dewey, since he shows, without mentioning Weber, that Weber’s modern rationality (Zweckrationalität) is as much a matter of matter of playing language-games according to rules as is chess or ring-around-the-roses.)
 
            (I do not mean to say that Dewey, or Wittgenstein, or anybody, underestimates the importance of biology  --or physical facts generally-- in shaping social reality.)
 
             But the emphasis in Dewey is on the reform of collective habits to make them work better.   The principles that govern social life are, “…not fixed rules for deciding doubtful cases, but instrumentalities for their investigation, methods by which the net value of past experience is rendered available for present scrutiny of new perplexities.   Then it will also follow that they are hypotheses to be tested and revised by their further workings.”  (Dewey 1922, pp. 240-41)  “…inquiry and insight are not so much a higher system as a perennial source of higher systems, so that human being has its basic task in reflecting on systems and judging them, deliberating on their implementation and choosing between possibilities.”  (Lonergan 1957, p. 291)
 
             Notice that my Deweyan proposition here is not that some particular set of institutions is natural.   It is that there are realistic ways to evaluate institutions.  
 
            The emphasis in Wittgenstein is on the detailed examination of the forms of life that we are participating in here and now.  (Winch draws the logical conclusion for anthropology that if one had been in the Trobriand Islands in 1916 then one could have –and should have—used the methods of Wittgenstein there and then.)
 
            The emphasis in Dewey, in contrast, is on the historical evolution of the collective habits characteristic of western civilization.  What for Wittgenstein is traveling round and round by criss-crossing  paths so that we come back again to see the same place in a new light, for Dewey is time travel, so that we see the place as the outcome of its past and the beginning of its future.  The two would agree that  social reality is  more patterns of authority than patterns of facts.   Their perspectives on it are complementary.
 
            Seen in the light of Dewey’s philosophy, Wittgenstein’s language-games are consequences of past activity and causes of future activity.   Philosophy, conceived as conscientiously deciding how to talk, is cultural action.   The phrase “cultural action” refers to action to change culture.
 
             I am among those who press the word “culture” into service to describe all the guides of human action that are not biologically inherited (noting, with Jean Piaget, that most of human action is produced by neither of the two grand categories thus marked, but rather by the interaction of the two in an environment, including their later interaction with the products of their prior interactions).  I make “culture”the comprehensive umbrella term covering as less comprehensive terms politics, language, law, economics, mind, and society; making anthropology and not economics, politics, or linguistics the fundamental social science; making “education” in all its forms the fundamental institution producing the others;  making “ethics” a near-synonym of “culture,” regarding norms guiding action to be while not all of culture a central part of it to which the other parts necessarily relate.  Although I despair of ever finding or creating a completely satisfactory definition of “culture,” I have found this one helpful:  A culture is a common way of life –a particular adjustment of people to their natural surroundings and their economic needs; in it use and modification it resembles the development of a biological species.  (See Dawson 1933, pp. xii-xvi)
 
            Dewey takes large notice of the historical role of philosophy in legitimating authority in western culture.  Like Martin Heidegger in Sein und Zeit (written at about the same time, in 1926),  Dewey takes large notice of the traditional conception that it is the part of the eternal to command and the part of the changing to obey.  Unchanging reason ought to command.   Ephemeral flesh ought to obey.  (Marilyn French and others identify the former with the male and the latter with the female.) (French 1985)
 
            As the spatial matrix of social authority (heaven above and hell below) crumbled under the impact of heliocentric astronomy, so the temporal matrix of social authority crumbled under the impact of Darwin’s Origin of Species.  (Dewey 1910, pp. 1-19)  The very title named a revolution.   Intellectual life had been organized for two thousand years around the centerpiece concept that the species  --eidos in Greek -- did not change.  The unchanging forms of plants and animals –built from the unchanging patterns carried by their seeds--  had been since Aristotle a pillar of human self-understanding and of social order.   In 1859 it came crashing down.   The very idea that each species had an origin in time meant that the centerpiece was not what it had been taken to be.
 
            Good riddance, as Dewey sees it.   There was one less metaphysical illusion available to paint couleur de rose the oppression of the masses by violence and by fraud.  But there remained the Kantian illusion – the illusion that the unchanging forms of modern scientific reason might themselves supply the pillars of social authority.   Dewey wrote, “Strange as it may sound, the question formulated by Kant as that of the possibility of knowledge, is the fundamental political problem of modern life.”  (Dewey 1910, p. 287)
 
            The Kantian illusion was a specific form of a general modern tendency to legitimate authority scientifically.   As Richard Rorty has shown (Rorty 1979), Kant’s work was part of the larger project of the early modern philosophers to generate a comprehensive secular discourse as an alternative to theology.   As Michel Foucault has shown, not just in philosophy, but especially in psychiatry, and in the human sciences generally, there has been a steady growth over the past several centuries toward claiming social authority in the name of truth.  (Foucault 1972)
 
            One could say that all Kantian sorts of projects crashed in 1953 when Wittgenstein’s Investigations were published.    One could say: for Wittgenstein reason does not justify authority.   It is the other way around.   Authority justifies reason.  “’How am I able to obey a rule?’ – if this is not a question about causes (Ursachen), then it is a question about the justification (Rechtfertigung) for my following the rule in the way I do.    If I have exhausted the justifications (Begründungen) I have reached bedrock, and my spade is turned.   Then I am inclined to say: ‘This is simply what I do.’”  (Wittgenstein 1953, p. 85)    (Remember that Wittgenstein took up questions about  “rules” as part of an investigation of  presuppositions of the broadly “positivist” philosophies of science of Bertrand Russell, Gottlob Frege, and his own earlier self.)  One could say the foregoing, and it would have a point.  The point would be that the practices associated with any word, including “truth,” “science, “reason,” “knowledge,” “intelligence” (the term Dewey prefers), and “rationality” are social conventions.   At some point rightly guiding the use of the words comes down to saying, “This is the way it is done,” or, as Wittgenstein sometimes says, “This language-game is played.”
 
            Without being a Kantian, Dewey had a Kantian sort of project, or, if you will, a Socratic sort of project, because he advocated using intelligence to improve customs.  It was a project that did not crash with acknowledgment of the conventional nature of social reality.  It proclaimed it.  It gloried in it.  It regarded it as an opportunity.   Given that human conduct is largely driven by (in Dewey’s terms) impulse and habit, and given that the normal justification for any given piece of conduct is that it is “appropriate” in the light of the collective habits prevailing at a given time and place, the results of systematic and experimental inquiry can show how to make collective habits (institutions) work better.   Intelligence is a human function that can be developed.  It can be applied to improve practice.
 
            Thinking of himself as a participant in a civilization which for two thousand years had taken terms like “work better” and “improve” to require reference to eternal ideal standards, which alone could distinguish better from worse; and writing barely half a century after the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species, which, in his mind, had finally decisively discredited eternal standards, Dewey took great pains to argue that empirical evidence could justify changing institutions.   There could be authority which authorized changes in patterns of authority.  Intelligence could be the agent of that secular higher authority.      It was not an authority external to culture, but rather culture’s presupposition.   It was what culture was for.  Dewey called that immanent higher authority --which intelligence could learn enough about to say with reasonable certainty that for its sake the folkways ought to be amended--:  “life.”   “The authority is that of life.  Why employ language, cultivate literature, acquire and develop science, sustain industry, and submit to the refinements of art?  To ask these questions is equivalent to asking:  Why live?  And the only answer is that if one is going to live one must live a life of which these things form the substance.  The only question having sense which can be asked is how we are going to use and be used by these things, not whether we are going to use them.  Reason, moral principles, cannot in any case be shoved behind these affairs, for reason and morality grow out of them.  But they have grown into them as well as out of them.  They are there as part of them.  No one can escape them if he wants to.  He cannot escape the problem of how to engage in life, since in any case he must engage in it in some way or other – or else quit and get out.  In short the choice is not between a moral authority outside custom and one within it.   It is between adopting more or less intelligent and significant customs.”  (Dewey 1922 p. 81)
 
            In following Dewey I do not interpret him in a fully Jamesian way.  I do not say with William James that pragmatism implies that the locus of authority moves from heaven to earth.   (James 1907, p. 123).   I will be sympathizing with contemporary employment of old-fashioned words like “soul” (chapter 13),  and with aspects of the critical realist theology of Bernard Lonergan.     I take naturalistic pragmatism to validate culture as a life·serving biological process.   A naturalistic and realistic pragmatism validates (as part and parcel of culture) all that intelligence, myth, play, dream, rhythm, and imagination have contributed to the successful functioning of institutions.  It takes humans to be not just products of their environments, but also agents who transform their environments as part of their own self-development.  (Lonergan 1957, p. 252)    Heaven and earth are not different places where authority might be located.  They are words in different language games, and sometimes (as in Heidegger’s essay on “the thing”) words in the same language game.  (Heidegger  1987) 
 
          I agree with Richard Rorty, another follower of Dewey, that ethics is and should be the center of philosophy, rather than epistemology, the history and methodology of science, logic, or metaphysics (Rorty  1989), but as a critical realist I am less skeptical than Rorty.  And I do not see myself as breaking with philosophy’s past.   Ethics, the question of authority, who (if anybody) commands whom for what reasons and with what results, has always been at the center of philosophy.  (Richards, 1995) .  
 
Solving Problems
 
            I would like the reader to take another look at the lists of problems at the beginning of this chapter, starting with:
 
            1. The destruction of the biosphere.
            2. Ethnic violence.
            3. Poverty, including homelessness.
            4. Water shortages.
            5. Air pollution.
            6. Exhaustion of fossil fuels.
            7. State terrorism.
            8. Alienated youth.
            ….
 
            One thing I would like the reader to notice about the problems on this list is that they are pervasive and persistent.   The problems recur over and over again. They seem to have no permanent solutions.  Their stubbornness leads us to suspect that their causes lie deep in the nature of things.
 
            Take, for example, the problem of alienated youth.   Suppose that I encourage one alienated young man, Jeff.  I help Jeff to feel good about himself.  I persuade him to join a marching band.  Jeff now has higher self-esteem.  He has self-discipline because he regularly practices on his tuba.  He is integrated into a social group, the Rountree School Marching Band.   He has a leader and a role model, Mr. Smith the music teacher; somebody to admire, maybe more than one.   He gets social confirmation of the value of his efforts when the band marches in parades and performs at half time at football and basketball games.
 
            Meanwhile, while Mr. Smith and I are working on de-alienating Jeff –and, perhaps more importantly, while some young woman is working on being a caring girlfriend (Noddings 1992)—the system is throwing up thousands of alienated young people in Sao Paulo, in Moscow, in Johannesburg, in Glasgow, and wherever modern institutions prevail.    It seems unlikely that turning Jeff around is going to solve the pervasive and persistent problem of alienated youth.   On the other hand, it seems unlikely that the problem will be solved by legislation, or by the analysis of the concept of “alienation.” 
 
            “Alienated youth” and each other name of a problem on the list, seems to be a general name for many specifics, many Jeffs.  While certain aspects of the solutions may lend themselves to mass production, as tubas might be mass produced in a large musical instrument factory, others do not.  As Mother Teresa said, what people want, more than they want anything else, is for somebody to be there with them.  People do not feel loved just because they have food, clothing, good housing, and adequate medical attention.  (On the other hand, in my opinion they are more likely to feel unloved if they do not have food, clothing, good housing, and adequate medical attention.) 
 
            Worrying about the relationship of the general to the specific is not a new worry.  It is philosophy.
 
            Further, saying that the causes of alienated youth, or of any of the other problems on the lists, lie deep in the nature of things, is calling for philosophical inquiry.  It is also to employ a locution which invites skeptics to raise the question whether philosophy has any point.  It suggests a role for philosophy, but it leads with the chin.  I have twice mentioned the opinion that philosophy is about nothing because there is no nature of things; there is no general reality.  This opinion is less popular than it once was, but the opinion that it is positively harmful to have a general theory of reality is today more popular.   Michel Foucault advocated being a specific intellectual, never a general intellectual.    The prominent thinkers who have argued against “totalizing,” “holism,” “foundationalism,” “patterned theories of justice,” and/or “essentializing” are now too many to count.   If philosophy is indeed, as Winch said it was, about the forms of intelligibility, about the nature of language and of culture;  about whether there is a reality and what difference it makes if there is one; and if the philosopher’s contribution to the social sciences comes from her passion for examining general concepts; and if interdisciplinary social science partnering with philosophy is to be the source of feedback and prototypes for solving humanity’s principal problems; then something must be done to answer the skeptics who hold that this chain of reasoning is –whenever it passes the stage of being flaky fluff that can safely be ignored— dangerous.
 
            Perhaps at this point the general outline of my answer to the skeptic is already becoming apparent.  Perhaps a reader can already sense that these introductory discussions of fundamental issues are suggesting the shape of a political philosophy, or at least moving in the direction of beginning to suggest the shape of a political philosophy.  It would be a philosophy that would find non-authoritarian authority in working together to solve problems.  It would be a philosophy that would empower the multiple voices of all peoples, for the sake of human dignity, and not just for the sake of human dignity, but  also for the very practical reason that durable and effective change can only happen through the agency of communicative processes that privilege the language of the actors, the idées-forces that function in social life, the words that do things in the social world being studied over the operational definitions created by social scientists for the purpose of communicating with each other, and for the purpose of standardizing measurements.  Because whatever validity the latter may have derives from the latter’s grounding in the former.  It would be an ecological philosophy.  In a neo-Deweyan spirit of critical realism it would have to question the procedures employed by Michel Foucault in Les Mots et les Choses (1966)  to determine the conditions of possibility of a discourse by a history of systems of thought, as if there could be culture without ecology.  It would provide theoretical tools to help activists set priorities, to help distinguish what is merely doable from what is worth doing.
 
            As Betty Reardon reminds her audiences, we are often tempted to choose the doable over the worth doing.   They are not the same.  A project can be doable because it is meaningful to the public.   There is no danger of our wasting our breath talking to ourselves.    It can attract funding.   It can attract volunteers.  It can be exciting.  We could hold one hundred seminars in one hundred cities with standing room only audiences, and every one of the attendees could write a rave evaluation lauding our seminar as  a life-changing experience.  We could demonstrate impact, not only with numbers but also with qualitative research.   We could produce an ethnographic study showing that the collective habits, the norms, had changed; and we could back up the ethnographic study with a convincing experimental design leading to a demonstration that the conventional rules of life had changed because of our project.   Such a project would be doable because it would start with the existing culture, connecting with the mind of the people where it is, and it would mobilize energies and resources that would change the culture.  It would be transformative.
 
            But it might not be worth doing. 
 
            If it could be shown (and of course I have not shown it yet) that the causes of humanity’s principal  problems  lie deep in the nature of things, then it would follow that the effective ways to solve them  --assuming that at least to some extent they can be solved—are the ways that treat the deep causes, the basic social realities and the basic ecological realities.  The first step is to try to understand them.  Understanding probably will not lead to a hugely doable project, like the one imagined above.  But it need not lead to depression either.  It can lead to cheerfully supporting those social movements and cultural trends that are already going in constructive directions.   It can lead, so to speak,  to intelligently choosing which sand pile to put one’s grain of sand on.  
 
             I will be arguing –or, rather,  I will be agreeing with those already existing schools of thought that already argue-- that there are deep structural causes of, for example,  the trend toward the destruction of the biosphere.  If this is true, then it follows that now on this planet, if our social projects are not working for structural change, they are misconceived.  Can this be doubted ?  To choose a different example, on the morning after a major nuclear war, the truth of the  proposition that  prior to the nuclear war the  social projects most worth doing were the ones that that would have helped to prevent it will be obvious.   It should be obvious now. This conclusion –that a criterion for identifying a project worth doing is whether it contributes to solving the major problems -- seems perfectly logical and straightforward to me.   I often wonder why everybody does not draw it. 
 
             Less obvious, I admit, is my thesis that without a philosophical persistence in raising basic questions about intelligibility and reality,  and without the use of characteristically philosophical methods for helping people to refocus so that the same facts are seen differently, the sciences will not be able to produce the knowledge needed to solve the major problems.  I am trying in this introductory chapter to show that this thesis is at least worth considering.    I am suggesting  that philosophy can be regarded as cultural action.   It has been  a vital part of the historical processes through which existing social relations have been constructed.   It can contribute to the methodologies with which they will be reconstructed.
 
The Explanation of Social Behavior
 
            Fourteen years after the publication of The Idea of a Social Science and its Relation to Philosophy there appeared The Explanation of Social Behavior. (Harre and Secord 1972)    It offers detailed proposals for a rule-centered approach to the social sciences.  The authors are a philosopher, Rom Harre, and a psychologist, Paul Secord.   The focus of the book is on social psychology.
 
            Harre’s aim was to contribute to rethinking the social sciences generally.  (Harre 1971)   He chose social psychology as a focus because in it the natural sciences and the social sciences intersect.  Psychology is a crossroads science.  It is about neurons, synapses, and hormones.   It is also about persons playing roles in language-games.  Social psychology is at the crossroads of the crossroads, where individual behavior meets social institutions.  It is often indistinguishable from the work of microsociologists like Erving Goffman and Harold Garfinkel, both of whom The Explanation of Social Behavior draws on extensively.  What I am calling a rule-centered approach Harre and Secord call an anthropomorphic approach.  That amounts to the same thing if one believes that humans are rule-organized creatures.
 
 Harre and Secord do not claim to be saying anything new.  Their key ideas are implicit in the social science classics, for example in Max Weber’s definition of social relations as meaningful relations.  They had been explicitly stated not only by Winch but also by other contemporary writers.   What Harre and Secord offer is, “…a general theoretical study of social psychology and its methodology in the light of which the various things which have been said can be shown to hang together in a coherent point of view.” (Harre and Secord 1972 p. 2)
 
             From their rich and extended discussion of rules  I will extract one representative  sentence: “Rules guide action through the actor being aware of the rule and of what it prescribes, so that he can be said to know what to do in the appropriate circumstances by virtue of his knowledge of the rule, and the explanation of his knowing what to do lies in his knowing the rule and being able to recognize the occasions for its application.”  (Harre and Secord 1972 p. 181)
 
            Concerning the long sentence I just quoted, I do not believe that anybody would say it is false.   Many would be unhappy with it.   I propose to divide the unhappy into two hypothetical groups.   A first unhappy group –I have in mind E.O. Wilson-- would suspect the authors of giving too much weight to culture and too little weight to biology.  A second unhappy group –I have in mind Pierre Bourdieu-- would suspect that Harre and Secord are trying to force the varied phenomena of social life into an explanatory matrix of purposive formal rule-following.  While acknowledging that purposive formal rule-following does happen, the members of this hypothetical group would say that it can reasonably be said to characterize and to explain only a small part of actual human behavior.   They would prefer some other focus, or some other series of foci.  (Richards, 2006b)  
 
            There really is, of course, no way I could summarize all the things that have been written by people who view matters differently from the way Harre and Secord view them, nor is there any way  I could ascertain what all the social scientists in the world would say if asked to comment on the sentence I have quoted.  I have defined the views of two hypothetical unhappy groups as a way to organize my exposition of Harre and Secord, without any hope of faithfully interpreting all the views that differ from theirs.
 
                        With respect to the first of my two hypothetical unhappinesses, the authors hold, pace Wilson, that there is indeed a difference of principle between animal behavior and human behavior.   There is therefore a level of cultural explanation above and beyond the level of biological explanation.  The difference of principle is that humans are self-monitoring.   Kant was on the right track when he wrote that everything in nature works according to laws, but that only rational beings can act according to the conception of law (Vorstellung des Gesetzes).    Humans can stellt the law vor, i.e. stand back and look at it, i.e. monitor their own behavior in the light of a rule.  Kant was thus on the right track to conceive of humans as agents who perform actions; social life should be conceived as humans doing things.  (Harre and Secord 1972 pp. 37-38)
 
              Contrary to what the term “self” might at first seem to imply,  Harre and Secord do not really mean to slight H.L.A. Hart’s third criterion for a rule (that violating it gives others a license to criticize) and rely only on the second (that people look to rules to guide their own behavior).   They are quite aware that other-monitoring and mutual monitoring by members of groups is at least as important as self-monitoring, and that indeed the possibility of the latter is probably parasitic on the former. 
 
            That humans self-monitor (socially understood as I just tried to make clear) is an empirical fact.   It is also an empirical fact that some other species do also to some extent.  Sometimes humans do not.   Nor is self-monitoring, although crucial, the only feature that makes humans social.  To the extent that, for example, chimpanzees, have the capacities that make them able to act like humans,  students of animal behavior are  justified in using methodologies similar to those of social psychologists and microsociologists.    Harre and Secord are not concerned to make the moral, legal, and linguistic criteria for what counts as “human” coincide exactly with the presence of the biological capacities that make humans cultural.  (See Tanner  1971)   There is a difference in principle in the sense that it is appropriate to study behavior governed by social conventions with methods additional to those of behavioral biology and ethology, but not in the sense that Harre and Secord postulate the existence of sharp breaks and gaps in nature.
 
            Given that humans are as they are, Harre and Secord propose what they call two “principles of the analytic scheme.”   They are:
 
            “1. Social behaviour is mostly consciously self-monitored rule-following.
 
            2. In social situations people present themselves under what they take to be suitable personas.”   (Harre and Secord 1972 p. 147)
 
            They admit, indeed they declare, that episodes of social behavior are usually enigmatic.   We often do not know exactly what to make of them.   In particular, we usually cannot sort out the respective contributions of biology and culture, nor indeed whether or to what extent it even makes sense to try to disentangle them. 
 
            The “analytic scheme” is meant as a helpful approach to understanding even behavior that is not conscious.   Much, perhaps most, behavior is habitual.  But: “..habits are often the ingrained products of one-time explicit following of rules and self-monitoring of sequences of actions.  The explanation of habitual sequences must  in many cases include references to the rules which had been followed in their ingraining.  Thus in the concept of `habit’ we are presented with a paradigm for dealing with those cases which show regularity of sequence, but which are not, when fully formed, carried through by rule-following or any of its related ways of acting.”  (Harre and Secord 1972 p. 140)  Habits originally based on rule-following can be distinguished from patterns of behavior whose causes lie in the unthinking operation of biological mechanisms.  (Id.)
 
            Harre and Secord do not deny the importance of what Dewey calls “impulse.”   Far from it.   But they hold that typically human social behavior is more like what Dewey called “collective habit.”  In its formation, and in its performance, rules count.  Consciously following and consciously deviating from norms counts.  Ceremonies count.  Rituals count.    Harre and Secord propose to seek explanations of social behavior in its rule-governed ceremonial forms, which they call “Act-Action Structures,” in line with their Kantian principle that human behavior should be understood as agents performing actions.   Biological causal explanations are also important, but they are not always most important.
 
            In one of his later works, Rules of Disorder Harre studied the interaction of impulse and collective habit, biology and ceremony, among England’s notoriously disorderly soccer fans.  He showed, as Goffman showed in his studies of “underlife,” that conduct that is officially disorderly according to the law and according to the government, and portrayed as disorderly by the press,  has its own rules, which are obeyed, (and disobeyed) by people who engage in such conduct.  ( Marsh, Rossner and Harre 1976)               
 
            To repeat,  human conduct tends to be enigmatic.   There have been  strong but unfortunate trends in social science to try to make it less enigmatic by treating it as it were a matter of independent variables impacting dependent variables.   That is to say, by treating it as if were not human conduct.  Some of the motivations behind this unfortunate trend have been the false beliefs that:  “(a) only a mechanistic model of man will satisfy the requirements for being a science, (b) that the most scientific conception of cause is one that focuses on external stimulation and which excludes from consideration any treatment of the mode of connection between cause and effect, and  (c) that a methodology based on logical positivism is the best possible approach to behavioural science.”   (Harre and Secord 1972 p. 5)
 
            Harre and Secord propose, and work out in much more detail than I have provided in this brief summary, alternative ways to make human conduct less enigmatic.  Treat it as drama.   Ask people what they are doing and take seriously their own  explanations of their behavior.  Do empirical checking and cross-checking using a variety of methods which do not invariably presuppose that writing a differential equation relating some variables to others is what science is about.  
 
            It can be said in partial reply to the second hypothetical group of people unhappy about Harre and Secord’s proclivity for rule-talk, that they do not really intend to force the varied phenomena of social life into an explanatory matrix of  purposive formal rule-following.  They know as well as anyone that consciously following formal rules is not the only thing people do. As students of Wittgenstein, they are quite aware that in the last analysis there is no rule prescribing how to follow the rules.   They propose methods for research that correct an excessive tendency to think in terms of the impacts of variables on other variables.    They take the human capacity for engaging in purposive formal conduct as a point of departure for understanding not only it, but also less formal and less purposive conduct.   An empirical scientist not familiar with philosophical methods may complain  “..that there are other sorts of human actions, such as unintentional actions, habitual actions and expressive actions.”  But the philosopher “has no intention of making the generalization that all human action is to an end.  Indeed he talks about other forms of action in his book.”  (Harre and Secord 1972 p. 4) 
 
 An anthropomorphic approach treats human actions of all sorts in the light of the powers and capabilities of members of the human species.   Like the positivists, with whom in many respects they disagree,  Harre and Secord discuss at length the methods of the natural sciences and draw from them morals for social scientists.   They note that  “...modern physics is increasingly based on power and potentiality conceptions.”    “The concepts of powers and potentialities can be applied to humans….”   Somewhat similarly,  Chomsky characterizes knowing a language as  “a capacity or ability to do something,” or, alternatively, as having a mental structure “consisting of a system of rules and principles.”  (Chomsky 1980, p. 48)  Thinking of humans as having the sorts of powers exhibited in rule-following leads to a better understanding  of many of the varied phenomena of social life, not just to better understanding purposive formal rule-following.  (Harre and Secord 1972 p. 6, pp. 66-83)
 
            In any case, many objections to rule-talk  coming from anti-positivist social scientists are not objections to the substance of what Harre and Secord have to say.  The anti-rule anti-positivists make points similar to people like Winch who use rule-talk to point out the need to use methodologies in the social sciences distinct from those of the natural sciences.    They also want to say that humans are not passive bystanders in social life, while all the actions are performed by operationally defined variables like “gross domestic product,” “socioeconomic status,” or “intelligence quotient.”   They choose to couch their views in anti-rule terms instead of pro-rule terms.   I do not think anything I am committed to disagreeing with results from their choices.    Geertz’s interpretation of a Balinese cock-fight, or Michael Taussig’s studies of devils,  or Alasdair MacIntyre´s account of virtue could be rewritten using Harre and Secord’s terminology if one really wanted to.   Harre’s study of English soccer fans could be rewritten without the word “rule”.    Bourdieu’s argument for habitus and against rules helps him to sort out the legacies of Jean-Paul Sartre and Claude Levi-Strauss in French social science, and it serves as a framework for proposing solutions to some vexing problems, such as the relationship between human agency and social structure, but when Bourdieu and his colleagues subsequently wrote La Misère du Monde, they used methods Harre and Secord could have used as practical examples to illustrate their theoretical points.   
 
            Do I have to disagree with Thomas Kuhn when he says that science could get by without rules, but not without paradigms?   Kuhn writes, “Rules…derive from paradigms, but paradigms can guide research even in the absence of rules.”  (Kuhn 1970)  I do not think I need to disagree.  One can imagine a scientist who organizes her work not by asking whether she is following the norms of her scientific community; but rather whether her work is following the example set by Margaret Mead, or that of some other scientist, whom her scientific community regards as paradigmatic.   One could say, to extend this Kuhnian idea to a whole society,  that the ancient Greeks had heroes but no rules.   They learned how to act from Homer.  Similarly, one can say that Christians relate to a Person, Christ, without saying explicitly that they follow the rules prescribed by Christ.  I think the main reason why it makes some sense to say a rule approach is different from a paradigm approach is that “paradigm,” as Kuhn came to use the term, refers to a single scientific achievement, as one might relate morally to a hero or to a deity,  not to a generalization which identifies a class of cases in which science was done right.  Somewhat similarly, anthropologists who prefer not to talk about rules, or not to talk about them much, want to give humans credit for responding to unique situations with creative and often unpredictable performances; or want to regard myths as inspiring by evoking a single personality, not by giving examples of virtues.
 
            I think I can go on using rule-talk, and building on the work of others who also use rule-talk and norm-talk, while acknowledging the good reasons people sometimes have for not using it.   I think I can show that person-talk and rule-talk go together, implying rather than excluding each other.   In a subsequent chapter, the Unavoidable Immanuel Kant, I will claim that Kant is still unavoidable just because he classically articulated the way the culture we still live in synthesizes person-talk and rule-talk.
 
            Harre and Secord’s methodological proposals take large notice of the fact that    the human species is a species capable of creating institutions.   It can organize groups.  People play roles and follow rules.  They criticize others when others fail to live up to the social expectations that go with roles, and when others violate  rules.    Harre and Secord’s methodological proposals work out in detail some consequences of Dewey’s principle that rational action and rules prescribing right conduct are part and parcel of the manifold and often enigmatic processes of life, “… for reason and morality grow out of them.  But they have grown into them as well as out of them.  They are there as part of them.”  (Dewey 1922 p. 81)
 
            I will be claiming that they (reason and morality) have legitimate non-authoritarian authority to the extent that they help culture to solve the problems posed by physical reality.  (By “physical reality” I mean not only reality outside the human body. I also mean the human body itself, and I mean to count so-called psychological problems as physical problems.  I note, for example,  that the body tends to rebel when a person gets depressed.  The person cannot sleep, or cannot wake up, or cannot concentrate, or becomes obsessed.   Pills for the body may be prescribed to calm people down or cheer people up.)
 
                                                 References
 
Note: I have adopted the convention of capitalizing nouns in the titles of books, even though it seems a little strange to capitalize when the title is in French, since the French convention is to capitalize only the first word of the title.
 
Hannah Arendt, Between Past and Future.  Harmondsworh: Penguin, 1977
 
Roy Bhaskar, A Realist Theory of Science. London: Verso, 1975.
 
Roy Bhaskar, The Possibility of Naturalism: a Philosophical Critique of the Human Sciences.  New York: Humanities Press, 1979.
 
 
Robert Bellah et al, Habits of the Heart  Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.   I take from Bellah  et al the general idea that a culture can include several mutually inconsistent ways of talking, or “languages.”  The two I discuss, responsibility-talk and care-talk are not two that they discuss, or at least they do not discuss them in the same terms.
 
Pierre Bourdieu, Le Sens Pratique.  Paris: Editions de Minuit, 1980.  Similarly, although Maurice Merleau-Ponty in Phenomenologie de la Perception can be read as saying it is too intellectualistic to speak of rules as organizing human behavior, he really does not deny my Wittgensteinian, Winchian, and Hartian points about the centrality of rules (broadly understood) in social life.
 
 
Pierre Bourdieu,  La Misère du Monde. Paris:  Seuill, 1993.
 
Judith Butler, Gender Trouble.  New York : Routledge, 1990.
 
Jacques Derrida and Anne Dufourmantelle, La Hospitalidad.  Buenos Aires : Ediciones de la Flor, 2006.
 
Noam Chomsky, Rules and Representations.  New York: Columbia University Press, 1980.
 
Christopher Dawson, The Age of the Gods.  London: Sheed and Ward, 1933; cited by William Mathews in Lonergan’s Quest, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005, at page 50.
 
John Dewey, The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy and Other Essays.  New York: Henry Holt, 1910.
 
John Dewey, Human Nature and Conduct.   New York:  Henry Holt, 1922.
 
John Dewey, Reconstruction in Philosophy.  New York:  Henry Holt, 1920.
 
Ronald Dworkin, Taking Rights Seriously.  Cambridge : Harvard University Press, 1977.
 
Michel Foucault, Les Mots et les Choses.  Paris: Gallimard, 1966.
 
Michel Foucault, L’Ordre du Discours.  Paris: Gallimard, 1972.
 
Michel Foucault,  Interview with Paul Rabinow in May of 1984,  translated and published in English in Paul Rabinow (ed.) The Foucault Reader . New York: Pantheon, 1984. Reprinted in Michel Foucault, Dits et Ēcrits.  Paris: Gallimard, 1994.  Volume IV.    pp. 591-98. (1984)
 
Michel Foucault, Power/Knowledge: selected interviews and other writings.  Edited by Colin Gordon.  New York: Pantheon Books, 1985.
 
Paulo Freire, Cultural Action for Freedom.  Cambridge MA: Harvard Educational Review Press, 1970.
 
Marilyn French, Beyond Power. New York: Vintage Books, 1985.
 
Clifford Geertz, Local Knowledge.  New York: Basic Books, 1983.
 
Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss, The Discovery of Grounded Theory   Chicago: Aldine, 1967.
 
Erving Goffman,  Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates . Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor, 1961
 
Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life     Garden City NY: Doubleday Anchor, 1959.
 
Erving Goffman, Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience.  Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1974.
 
Rom Harre 1971 refers to a preliminary version of The Explanation of Social Behavior given as lectures at Oxford University in the academic year 1970-71.
 
Rom Harre and Paul Secord, The Explanation of Social Behavior.   Totowa, New Jersey:  Rowman and Littlefield, 1972.
 
Martin Heidegger, Die Frage nach dem Ding.   Tubingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag,  1987. 
 
Jűrgen Habermas, Knowledge and Human Interests.
 
Peter Marsh, Elizabeth Rosser, and Rom Harre,  Rules of Disorder.  London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1976.
 
H.L.A.  Hart, The Concept of Law.   Oxford:  Clarendon Press, 1956.
 
Nancy Hartsock, Money Sex and Power.  New York: Longman, 1983.
 
Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit.  Halle: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1927.
 
William James, Pragmatism.   New York  Longmans Green, 1907.
 
Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions  2d edition.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970.
 
Gilles Lipotevsky, Le Crépuscule du Devoir.  Paris:  Gallimard, 1992.
 
Bernard Lonergan, Insight.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992. (1957)  In sympathizing to a greater or lesser degree with Bhaskar, Harre, Lonergan, Patomaki and others who find good reasons for calling themselves critical realists, I do not mean to imply that they all mean the same thing by the phrase.
 
Nel Noddings, Caring.  Stanford:  Stanford University Press, 1992.
 
Howard Richards, The Evaluation of Cultural Action.   London: Macmillan, 1985.
 
Howard Richards, Letters from Quebec.  San Francisco and London: International Scholars Press (a Catholic Scholars book), 1995.
 
Howard Richards and Joanna Swanger, The Dilemmas of Social Democracies.  Lanham MD: Lexington Books, 2006.
 
Howard Richards, “Pierre Bourdieu and the Crisis of Modernity,” available online at the website of Transcend Peace University,  www.transcend.org.   2006b.
 
Howard Richards, Solidarity, Participation, Transparency: Conversations on Socialism in Rosario, Argentina (forthcoming), already published in Spanish: Solidaridad, Participación, Transparencia.  Rosario: Tinta Roja, 2007.
 
Richard Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979.
 
Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony and Solidarity.  Cambridge:Cambridge University Press, 1989.
 
John Ruskin, Modern Painters.  New York:  John Wiley & Sons, 1873.
 
Amartya Sen,  Development as Freedom.  New York: Random House, 2000.
 
David Snow and Richard Machalek, “The Sociology of Conversion,” Annual Review of Sociology  volume 10 (1984) pp. 167-190.
 
Piero Sraffa, The Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities: Prelude to a Critique of Economic Theory.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1960.
 
Nancy Tanner, On Becoming Human.   Princeton NJ:  Princeton University Press, 1971.    Tanner is one of several authors who have shown how the human body has evolved to be the body of a cultural animal.
 
Charles Taylor, The Explanation of Behaviour.  London:  Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1964.
 
Immanuel Wallerstein, Unthinking Social Science.   Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001.
 
Max Weber, Wirtschaft and Gesellschaft.  Tubingen: Mohr Verlag, 1922.
 
Peter Winch, The Idea of a Social Science, and its Relation to Philosophy.  London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1958.
 
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1953.
 
 
 
 
           
 
           
           

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