The World Explored, the World Suffered Science and tech Issue Nr. 12 November 2018(clone) - Page 3

example, whether it makes any sense to talk about the reasons why individuals gather together in communities independently of their experience or of the aims they are striving toward. One can also question whether aims and experiences are necessarily independent of the causal mechanisms operating in our society. The choice may not be between an experts or observational view of the society and the inhabitant of the society. The question may rather relate to the limitation of the experts causal obsession as much as to the blind concern with aims from the inhabitants point of view. Both causes and aims will be relevant in the philosophical perspective. Meaning may be a more relevant concept than causation in the logic of the human and social sciences. Sutton has this to say on this topic: I have talked about the importance of rule following and in doing so have incorporated the social value of cooperation. According to Wittgenstein’s later conception of Philosophy, the approach to talking about value is by taking the route of meaning which is a broader notion involving truth in a complex relation which philosophers have no agreed upon formula for as yet. Peter Winch in his work “The Idea of a Social Science” which is one of the inspirational sources of today’s lecture, introduces the following thoughts: “The notion of following a rule is logically inseparable from the notion of making a mistake. If it is possible to say of someone that he is following a rule that means that one can ask whether he is doing what he does correctly or not…the concept of a rule is that it should enable us to evaluate what is being done.” The notion of a rule is normative and introduces the idea of value and understanding value(“verstehen”). Combining this notion with that of meaning gives rise to the following reasoning: Wilhelm Dilthey pointed out that the concept of “meaning” is a concept or category of thinking which is only relevant to the life-world and the historical world. The idea of “meaningful behavior” emerges as a non- observational concept, where observation means theoretically determined by scientific concepts and theories. “Meaningful in this context refers to the comprehension of certain concepts and ideas from within a form of life from a first person point of view. Weber, in giving his account of “meaningful behavior” uses two important concepts: “motive” which he defines as “a meaningful configuration of circumstances which appear to the agent or observer as a meaningful reason for their behavior” and “reason” Lecture number 7 of Smiths lecture series on the Cosmonova site discuss Aristotle’s views of the organic nature of a society involved in a process of actualisation towards the distant aims of humanity. The isomorphism of the soul and the city are clearly in play here: