Analogy, Scientific Evolution and Complex Networks (Analogie, évolution scientifique et réseaux complexes) (p. 9–61)
The use of analogy and metaphor in sciences raises differentiated judgments. Some authors are opposed to constructivist philosophy in sciences and argue that any use of analogy is unworthy, because language has only literal signification. This paper attempts to illustrate that a constructivist philosophy of language is possible, and that the use of analogy and metaphor are key elements in thoughts. Both of these figures of style, by referring to similarity between objects, allow for mental operations that create new psychological categories, thus adding to new scientific discovery. Even if analogical and metaphorical images need to be validated before being perceived as knowledge, they are of utmost importance in scientific evolution. The author underlines the irony which claims that production of new categories by analogy or metaphor relies on the affirmation that consequence can only be drawn in a Barbara form syllogism. This mistake explains why Popper rejected their use and promoted falsificationnism as being the only possibility. If that was so, one might say that had Popper been right, he would not exist.
Keywords: Analogy, Scientific Evolution, Complex Networks.
Between Hierarchal Representations and Complex Practices: Paradoxes of French Decentralization (Entre représentations hiérarchiques et pratiques complexes : les paradoxes de la décentralisation française) (p. 63–94)
Globalization and individualization, homogeneity and distinction are changing eastern institutions. In this process of change, attempts by French institutions to adapt are of interest for they have been, for a long time, the emblem of Aufklarung institutional incarnation while facing enormous sociopolitical and cultural difficulties, both in their operation and in their attempts to decentralize.
This paper demonstrates, through exemples of French communes and their relation with the State over the past two centuries, that these institutions are rooted in cognitive and ideological images which have contributed to create the crisis of the French political model and which also explains the strong oppositions for decentralization.
The study from which the paper is drawn calls on knowledge of judicial texts and of political practices, to infer images in an attempt to open new social images from which originate and are created political and administrative institutions. Traditional hierarchal imagery, which takes root in the Lumières and in classical science, explains why conflicts arose out of decentralization in France and the complexity of this process.
Keywords: Hierarchical representations, complex practices, decentralization, France.
Religious Evolution (De l’évolution dans les religions) (p. 95–108)
Observation of changes within the symbolic systems that represent religions is of great interest for authors. To some, like Danièle Hervieu-Léger, the believer is rooted in tradition, whereas, for others, such as Mircéa Eliade, religious tradition is founded on an event. The capacity of a religion to evolve relies therefore on how this founding event is transmitted through tradition. Sacred texts play a decisive role in this transmission, depending on the status conferred to them. This paper illustrates evolution of religious differences through islamic and christian texts.
Keywords: Evolution, religions.
Simon Laflamme and Alain Taché
Training in Industrial Adaptation Strategies: Globalization and/or Territories (La place de la formation dans les stratégies d’adaptation industrielle : entre mondialisation et territoire) (p. 109–160)
This paper calls upon a systematic approach to explain the paradoxal articulation of hypotheses on globalization and post-modernity in an attempt to understand strategies used by businesses to adapt to global and local changes, as well as to organizational and interorganizational changes. The analysis is based on the evaluation of 183 strategies deployed in a social program in Midi-Pyrénées, France. Numerous variables are put to contribution to better demonstrate the strategies used by businesses in their attempt to adapt to change.
Keywords: Training, strategy, adaptation, industry.