Avant-propos (p. 13–22)
The Analytical Apparatus and Models (L’appareil analytique et ses modèles) (p. 23–48)
I introduce the constructivist notion of models of a physical theory in such a way as to be applicable to a scientific theory in general, that a theory in the exact sciences as well as in the social sciences. The distinction between an analytical apparatus and an experimental apparatus through the mediation of models allows for the generalization of a notion inspired by the work of David Hilbert and John von Neumann in the foundations of physics. If one inverts the direction of arrows or homomorphisms from the analytical apparatus, i.e. the set of logico-mathematical structures, to the experimental apparatus, i.e. the set of empirical data and experimental procedures, one can climb back from the experimental apparatus to the analytical apparatus via the model-building of data. Such a process insures the consistency of a scientific theory, either in the exact sciences or in the social sciences.
This architecture of scientific enterprises may appear to have a formal character, but it has the advantage of setting the different fields of science into a unified scheme and under the light of a major philosophical debate in contemporary philosophy of science, the confrontation of realism and antirealism which extends to philosophy of physics, philosophy of logic, philosophy of language and philosophy of the social sciences, if one follows Jürgen Habermas or the defenders of constructionism, formerly called social constructivism or socio-constructivism.
I conclude on the distinction between logico-mathematical constructivism and constructionism, as it has been named by Ian Hacking, in order to clearly differentiate between the foundational stances or philosophical options in what can be properly called “the logic of science” after the expression of the great American pragmatist Charles Sanders Peirce, followed in this by the logical empiricist Rudolf Carnap.
Keywords: Model, analytical apparatus, experimental apparatus, exact sciences, social sciences.
The Notion of the Model in Philosophy of Science (La notion de modèle en philosophie des sciences) (p. 49–65)
We want to highlight the central role played by the notion of model in philosophy of science. Having first underlined the intricate tie existing between models and theories in science, we distinguish, in the philosophical literature, the notion of model as general conception from the structural notion of model currently encountered. We present in informal fashion and critically assess the main approaches adopted by epistemological analysis in its intent to characterize models generally associated with scientific theories. Lastly, and with a view to illustrating the centrality of the notion of model, we show how the current debate over scientific realism essentially hinges on contrasting ways to construe of models.
Keywords: Model, theory, semantic view of scientific theories, scientific realism.
The Interactional System: Semantic Connections and Relational Contextique (Le système interactionnel : connexions sémantiques et contextique relationnelle) (p. 67–104)
Systemic models may be useful in order to stress out the complexity of human interactions (Meunier 2003) and also do produce a precise picture of the regulative modalities and systemic elements which permit the emergence and sustaining of these interactions (Varela et al. 1993). Interactional systemics, if coupled with connectionist principles (Becthel et Abrahamsen 1993, Marcus 2001)do emphasize the importance of context for interactions and the way individuals react through the mobilisation of semantic knots, insofar as these knots become activated through identification processes, which remain ultimately necessary for groups and individuals (Burke et Stets 2009). The present theoretical work explores these possibilities, whilst taking into account the complexity of human relations (Lerbet-Séréni 1994, Wagener 2010).
Keywords: Systemics, context, relations, connections, semantic, modelisation, complexity, interactions, communication, fluctuation.
The Game as a Model of Human Activity and as a Model in the Joint Action Theory in Didactics. Some Remarks (Le jeu comme modèle de l’activité humaine et comme modèle en théorie de l’action conjointe en didactique. Quelques remarques) (p. 105–132)
In this essay, I consider the notion of game as a way of providing a structure able to modelize human activity in a broad sense, and didactic activity in particular. I attempt to show some aspects of this scientific relevance, as it is used within the joint action theory in didactics. I thus present the notion of game as a tool for describing practice, that is to say as a constitutive element of a theory of practice. In that way, the main function of model of game consists in explaining and understanding practice. After having presented some background elements on which rely, in my opinion, a fruitful use of the notion, I try to dissipate some ambiguities linked to the notion, in order to clarify the meaning of the expression “using a game model”. I then attempt to give to see some generic interests of the use of the game model, before quickly presenting some features of this use while comparing to those of task and activity. The conclusion focuses on the building of criteria of use of the game model.
Keywords: Game, model, didactics, joint action, theory of practice.
Ideology in Musicology. The Essay on Complexity by Celestin Deliege (L’idéologie en musicologie. L’Essai sur la complexité de Célestin Deliège) (p. 133–171)
This article analyzes the production of certain ideas in musicology, concentrating the focal on the Essay of Célestin Deliège on Complexity. It crosses surrounding areas of the ideology of Edgar Morin and Raymond Boudon. The musical current of New Complexity, at the end of the XXth century, is presented, with its most known composer, Brian Ferneyhough. To understand the thought of Deliège, the other papers allow to encircle the “good reasons” (words of the sociologist Boudon) to define the Modernity, through what Nicolas Darbon calls his dodécalogue. The musical Modernity is a contemporary idéo-myth (words of the sociologist Morin). The underlying philosophic system is the one of Theodor W. Adorno. It is interesting to observe the progress of an original idea towards its interpretation, through the notion of “tour de force” (Adorno, Ästhetische Theorie), which Deliège perceives in the hiatus between virtuosity and aesthetic result. It is interesting to understand the Deliège’s notion of “musicologie critique” – between sociology and politics. The article studies the “effect of position”, “effect of communication”, “epistemologic effect”. Deliège embodies the paradox of the musicologist, between science and doctrine, enters rationnalism and lucidity. Maybe, he realizes the correctness of the criticism according to Baudelaire : partial, fascinated and political?
Keywords: Célestin Deliège, Boudon, Morin, Ricoeur, Adorno, Ferneyhough, sociology, epistemology, historiography, musicology, criticism, ideology, common-place, topic, doxa, system, paradigm, science, theory, complexity, contemporary, serial music, tour de force, modernity, postmodernity.
Building Urban Renewal: New Land for Social Science Research (Chantiers de rénovation urbaine : nouveaux terrains pour la recherche en sciences sociales) (p. 173–205)
The data serving as a basis for this paper was gathered through one of the psychosociological interventions we realized in the context of urban renovation in Martinique during the years 2006-2008. Our argument rests on the hypothesis that a risk exists that public action may be threatened by a possible technocratic drift since it does not associate the groups and individuals concerned in the definition of its aims. We have thus shown how the assumptions underlying the organization of public action in such postcolonial societies may illustrate the violence exerted against certain groups of the population of Martinique.
Keywords: Postcolonial societies, social unequalitie, depolitization process, social change, intervention within a urban environment.
Léna Diamé Ndiaye and Myreille St-Onge
The Relational Ecosystemic: A Paradigm to Rebuild in the Field of the Mental Health of the Child. The Traffickers of Sense and the Traffickers of Fields (L’écosystémique relationnel : un paradigme à reconstruire dans le champ de la santé mentale de l’enfant. Des passeurs de sens et des passeurs de champs) (p. 207–240)
While falling into the epistemological debate occurring in the systemic current between the functionalist school and the phenomenological supporters, this article does not intend to expand on the ideological biases of these two currents. This article presents the ecosystemic perspective as a magnifying glass to observe the relations between the actors involved in the field of a child’s mental health, beyond these contexts. In the first part, we present some general considerations regarding the ecosystemic perspective through its seizure as an in-between of an epistemology that evolved from constructivist relativism to a behavioural determinism. The second part of this article focuses on the relevance of the use of the ecosystemic perspective in the study of relationships between the actors involved, by providing support to the children’s mental health services. In the third part, we will attempt to define the notion of relationship from an ecosystemic perspective. The fourth part will be a review of the meeting places within the field of a child’s mental health, taking the ecosystemic as an institutional and non-institutional issue. Finally, the fifth and final part will afford us the opportunity to de-compartmentalize the field of child mental health by illustrating the rational process of the relational ecosystem.
Keywords: Ecosystemic perspective, relations, child, mental health.
Societal Disintegration and Affiliations (Délitement sociétal et appartenances) (p. 241–260)
To evoke the societal disintegration refers to the concept of organizational structures, which are part of affiliations in which subject’s identity is build up. We have to note that the first entry in human society takes its source in the anthroponymy. In addition, there is the nationality and the language, among others. If the affiliations federate the groups, what happens when several groups belong to a common territory (real or symbolic), but build up their identity within the context of antinomical values? Can we then speak of a common societal project? In this present article, it will be put into perspective the organizational structures and the construction of the identity of the group and of the individual and, through some examples, it will be questioned how the support to an affiliation system can make to evolve a social structure either to the negentropy or, even, or to the entropy.
Keywords: Disintegration, organization, affiliation, identity, individual, group, territory, values, entropy, negentropy.
Is It Good, Is It Bad? The Role of Numbers in the Government of the Neoliberal City (Est-il bon, est-il méchant? Le rôle du nombre dans le gouvernement de la cité néolibérale) (p. 261–295)
How do you solve the contradiction between the statistician’s ethos and his taking into account of feedback even when this feedback appears to him only as regrettable obstacles to his mission, which he sees as an unbiased reflection of reality delivery? It is impossible to isolate one moment of the measurement, which would be independent from its uses, and particularly from the conventions which constitute the first step of quantification. It would be necessary to open up the statisticians’ training by complementing it with elements from history, politics, and sociology of statistics, econometrics, probabilities, accounting, and management. This program, inspired by sciences studies results (Pestre, 2006), could make it easier to take into consideration quantitative tools in social debates, without falling in an a priori rejection, nor in an unconditional and naïve respect in front of “indisputable, because quantified, facts”.
Key-words: Statistics, accounting, neoliberalism, indicators, new public management.
Mediatization. Concepts, Changes, Consequences, Knut Lundby (dir.), New York, Peter Lang Publishing, 2009, 317 p. (p. 297–306)