State University of New York Press

Fernand Braudel Center Studies in Historical Social Science

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Fernand Braudel Center Studies in Historical Social Science

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Longue Duree and World-Systems Analysis, The

Scholars from history, sociology, and geography advocate overcoming disciplinary isolation, using Fernand Braudel’s concept of the longue durée as a rallying point. In his pathbreaking article “History and the Social Sciences: The Longue Durée,” Fernand Braudel raised a call for the social sciences to overcome their disciplinary isolation from one another. Commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the article’s publication, the contributors to this volume do not just acknowledge their debt to the past; they also bear witness to how the crisis Braudel recognized a half century ago is no less of a crisis today. The contributions included here, from scholars in history, sociology, and geography, reflect the spirit and practice of the intellectual agenda espoused by Braudel, coming together around the concept of the longue durée. Indeed, they are evidence of how the groundbreaking research originally championed by Braudel has been carried forward in world-systems analysis for a more socially relevant understanding of the planet and its future possibilities. The book concludes with a new translation of Braudel’s original article by famed sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein.

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Questioning Nineteenth-Century Assumptions about Knowledge, I

Determinism

A provocative survey of interdisciplinary challenges to the concept of determinism. During the last few decades, the fundamental premises of the modern view of knowledge have been increasingly called into question. Questioning Nineteenth-Century Assumptions about Knowledge I: Determinism provides an in-depth look at the debates surrounding the status of “determinism” in the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities in detailed and wide-ranging discussions among experts from across the disciplines. A concern for the future, and how to approach it, is evident throughout. Indeed, the sense that there exists a reciprocal relationship between the structures of knowledge and human systems, including ecosystems, suggests that thinking about the possible rather than the necessary, may be a more winning strategy for our times. Weaving together in-depth articles and invigorating follow up discussions, this volume showcases debates over the status and validity of determinism. Of special interest are the impact of determinism on the perception and writing about the past; the relationship between chance and necessity in philosophy and grand opera; and the affect of determinism in mathematical modeling and economics.

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Questioning Nineteenth-Century Assumptions about Knowledge, II

Reductionism

A provocative survey of interdisciplinary challenges to the concept of reductionism. During the last few decades, the fundamental premises of the modern view of knowledge have been increasingly called into question. Questioning Nineteenth-Century Assumptions about Knowledge II: Reductionism provides an in-depth look at the debates surrounding the status of “reductionism” in the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities in detailed and wide-ranging discussions among experts from across the disciplines. Whether or not there is or should be a basic epistemological stance that is different in the sciences and humanities, and whether or not such a stance as exemplified by the approach to reductionism is changing, has enormous consequences for all aspects of knowledge production. Featured are an overview and subsequent discussion of this pervasive concept in the social sciences that parses reductionism into the categories of strong social constructionism and anti-essentialism, social ontology and the apathetic actor, dualisms, and individualism. Also of interest in chapters and follow up discussions are the relations between essentialism and emergentism in complex systems theory.

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Questioning Nineteenth-Century Assumptions about Knowledge, III

Dualism

A provocative survey of interdisciplinary challenges to the concept of dualism. During the last few decades, the fundamental premises of the modern view of knowledge have been increasingly called into question. Questioning Nineteenth-Century Assumptions about Knowledge III: Dualism provides an in-depth look at the debates surrounding the status of “dualism” in the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities in detailed and wide-ranging discussions among experts from across the disciplines. The extent to which the questionable necessity of a transcendent nomos; individualistic approaches versus systems ontology; rationality—material and formal—and how scholars might overcome the two cultures divide might impinge on the possibility, but not the inevitability, of progress are among the issues explored here. Weaving together in-depth articles and invigorating follow up discussions, this volume showcases debates over the status and validity of dualism. Of special interest are developing alternatives to traditional dualistic categories through an innovative, new approach based on biological naturalism; challenges to the dualism of people and things; the imperfectness and subjectivity of perception; and the overcoming the dualism of philosophy and science.

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