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Sociology and Human Ecology

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Table of Contents

Introduction Chapter 1. Ontology from the perspective of complexity theory: auto-eco-organisation Attention and ignorance The dual character of ignorance: the standpoint of irony The dual character of ignorance: pragmatism The plurality of ignorance and `complexity' Prigogine and systems far-from equilibrium Morin: restricted and general complexity Kauffmann and `the next adjacent possible' Per Bak: Self-Organised Criticality Conclusions and implications. Post-script and transition: an informational turn Chapter 2 The strengths and limitations of the concept of social construction Marxism(s) and the Economy Durkheim, organic solidarity and sui generic social phenomena. The Normal & the Pathological Weber, authority and power. Weber and the Protestant Ethic Foucault and post-structuralism Reconciling Critical Realism and Social Construction The Saussurean legacy Conclusions and implications Chapter 3. The ontological status of the living: a renewed foundation for epistemology and representation Hoffmeyer and semiotic causality Deely and biosemiotics UexKull and the concept of the Umwelt Autopoiesis and/or Dissipative Systems Embodied cognition: a basic introduction The Embodied Conceptualisation Hypothesis The Replacement Hypothesis The Constitution Hypothesis J. and E. Gibson: a radical ecology of perceptual learning and development Summary and extensions Dennett: sufficiency, economy, distribution. Conclusion, postscript and transition. Chapter 4 Human cognition and development The Standard Social Science Model (SSSM) Evolutionary psychology The Gibsons revisited: the ecology of perception and human development Affordances reconsidered in the context of human development Konnor et al: structures of human childhood Infancy and altriciality Puberty and adolescence Affect theory: emotion and the realisation of the social Kegan: `evolutionary balances' and `orders of consciousness'. Concluding comments: Stacey on Elias vs Freud Chapter 5 The social, structure and the emotions The sociological heritage Forms of solidarity: Durkheim, Chance, TenHouten Forms of solidarity: Douglas and Thompson Anthropology and social theory (our emphasis) or What do we mean by post-humanism? A brief note on Sewell Concluding remarks Chapter 6 The challenge of ecological economics A question of cycles and worldviews: Thompson, markets and hierarchies `Our' propositions Proposed counter-actions Alternative voices Ecological economics: an evaluation and consequences for critical theory Chapter 7 Philosophy and Method for an Ecological-Political Economy Imperative 1: A General Ontology as/and energy-driven auto-eco-organisation Imperative 2. A general epistemology and/as auto-exo-reference Imperative 3. Revisit the specific question of scale and grain Imperative 3. Revisit the specific question of scale and grain Imperative 3. Revisit the specific question of scale and grain Imperative 4. The identification of actants and boundaries: qualitative aspects of scale and organisation Imperative 5. Reconsider actants, scale and constraints/as interacting subject matter(s) Imperative 6: Reconsider the ethics and politics of complexity. Who acts? Persistence and Darwinism. Ethics for whom? Imperative 7: What are the demands of complexity and human ecology on openness, democracy, exemplars of reflexive inquiry? Bibliography

About the Author

John A. Smith is a Principal Lecturer and Research Lead in the Department of Education & Community Studies at the University of Greenwich, UK Chris Jenks is a Sociologist, and has previously occupied the positions of Vice Chancellor and Principal of Brunel University London; and Pro-Vice Chancellor and Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths College University of London, UK

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