G. Bolacchi, Metodo galileiano e analisi del comportamento: il comportamentismo [Galilean method and behavior analysis: Behaviorism], in P. Moderato, G. Presti (eds.), Cent’anni di comportamentismo. Dal manifesto di Watson alla teoria della mente, dalla BT all’ACT, FrancoAngeli, 2013
1/4«From a methodological perspective, the broad set of behaviors, defined in the context of each specific sciential attempt, can be divided into different subsets depending on whether scholars analyze behavior: (1) through controlled (laboratory) experiments (theoretical-experimental languages with rigorous and strict verification); (2) through only partially controlled experiments (theoretical, experimental languages with partial or stochastic verification); (3) through partially controlled experiential analyzes (theoretical, experiential languages with partial or stochastic verification); (4) based on suppositions or constructs whose semantic interpretation does not derive from control methods (abstract theoretical languages without verification).» IT
2/4«Economics is an example of the intersection between the third and fourth subset; Chomsky linguistics is an example of the fourth. In both cases, we can raise the question of whether and how economic and linguistic invariants can be verified, even if their semantic interpretation does not depend on whatever type of verification. In this regard, we can formulate only two hypotheses: either the invariants result from a biological evolutionary process, or they result from a more or less generalized learning process.» IT
3/4«Defining behavior in scientific terms requires assigning it a precise meaning by identifying specific minimal units of analysis as primitive predicates. At this level, only the Pavlovian and the Skinnerian research methods allow to define behavior, or more precisely, the relations (functions) explicating behavior in univocal terms, compatible with the experiment. The conditions for the validity of scientific language are thus satisfied, namely: (a) the logical-syntactic consistency at the different abstraction levels expressed as partitions and inclusions; (b) the interpretation resulting from the experiment, which must guarantee the semantic homogeneity, in principle; (c) the seamless traceability of theoretical predicates to experimental predicates.» IT
4/4«We must credit Pavlov with a robust use of the experimental method that conforms to the rigorous criteria of the natural sciences and Skinner with an equally well-grounded use of the experiment, even if Skinnerian procedures allow for some gray areas, especially with reference to the interpretation of experimental data and the related theoretical elaboration. It is, therefore, perplexing that the reference point in the current state of psychological disciplines (and corresponding professional careers) is a “normal science” (in Kuhn’s meaning) that considers behaviorism a page to forget or, at best, to temper (or to correct) with strong doses of cognitivism, which distort the meaning of behaviorism. Perhaps we need to rethink Verplanck’s admonition that “A purely descriptive system is never popular,” an admonition that reminds behaviorists of their responsibilities.» IT
G. Bolacchi, A New Paradigm for the Integration of the Social Sciences, in N.K. Innis (ed.), Reflections on Adaptive Behavior, MIT Press, 2008
- 1/17«If the phenomena concerning humans and society are strictly related to each other, it appears difficult to justify the disjointness among economics, psychology and sociology. The disjointness, besides preventing the construction of a unitary theoretical reference paradigm, supports within the different disciplines such extensive “degrees of freedom” in research methods, theoretical schemata, and language tools that their languages often are not in accordance with the criteria for scientific (experimental) explanation (explication).»
- 2/17«The language of science must be logically consistent, in accordance with the more or less advanced processes of knowledge. When the language is totally or partly axiomatized, consistency is quite evident. Seeing that a scientific language necessarily implies a strict and univocal (experimental and/or statistical) semantic interpretation of its syntactic terms, consistency concerns, in the final analysis, semantic interpretation too, since the latter determines those properties to which the syntactic relations refer.»
- 3/17«The reference paradigm is a strong one when the scientific language is constructed using the Galilean method of controlled (laboratory) experiment. In this case, the intersubjectiveness of the scientific language is guaranteed, together with its operativeness, because the scientific language is susceptible to experimental verification.»
- 4/17«The scientific method imposes a clear-cut distinction between repetition time and evolution time, respectively related to reversibility and irreversibility. Every natural (physical), biological or behavioral phenomenon is characterized by evolution time, but the latter has to be considered as a parameter if one wants to explain the phenomenon in strict reversibility terms.»
- 5/17«In spite of this axiomatization (now a basic reference point for which all other social sciences should aim), within economics many problems referable to the uniqueness and global stability of equilibrium remain unsolved. But even more critical problems (perhaps including the first two) exist. They concern the semantic interpretation of the theory and are closely associated with the exclusion of the psychological and social variables by economic analysis.»
- 6/17«All these experiments suggest that the instability of the transitivity of preferences, i.e., the assignment of value by a subject to his own behaviors over time, derives from the processes of learning (reinforcement). Therefore, it should be social variables that determine preference ordering and its reversal, with special reference to the transitivity of the “is not preferred to” relation.»
- 7/17«Although economists tend to undervalue the set of other social behaviors that lie outside the language of economics, it is plain that if the assumption that all behaviors are, in principle, economic behaviors is rejected, then it is necessary to conclude that the set of factors distorting economic equilibrium is by definition exogenous to the economic system. It, therefore, becomes necessary to analyze the specific relations between the two sets and to define the functions between economic and other social operant-behavior sets, so as to enlarge the economic system by inserting specific variables external to the system without them losing their primary characterization (i.e., without making them endogenous according to the schemata currently used by economists.»
- 8/17«This situation will remain muddled until the relations between economic variables (which are endogenous to the system) and other social variables (which are exogenous, since they belong to the external system) are exactly specified. This is pointed out in the theory of interest, which shows that Cartesian products between subsets of social behavior can exist; so specific functions can have both economic variables and variables belonging to the power and/or cooperation subsets.»
- 9/17«I.P. Pavlov and B.F. Skinner operated on the experimental level by totally isolating the system from the outside. However, this fact did not obstruct the finding of the basic laws of behavior; on the contrary, it helped. Nevertheless, modern Aristotelians seem not to follow the lesson of science. They persist in doing experiments that contradict the scientific method, and do not keep under control the stimuli that conditioned the past history (learning as an irreversible process) and that condition the current behaviors (learning as a reversible process) of the experimental subjects. Only “frictions” can emerge from these experiments, i.e., the behaviors clashing with the laws that should be verified.»
- 10/17«From the perspective of science, we can suppose that behavioral laws “exist,” but these latter are only learning laws and must not be confused with the environmental contingencies (i.e., the “contents” of reinforcement schedules) on which also economic behavior depends.»
- 11/17«Perceiving states of consciousness as prime causes of behavior brings about a radical distortion of the knowledge humans have about themselves, as it leads to concentrating attention solely upon internal processes (that cannot be submitted to an intersubjective, quantitative and experimental scientific analysis) and building up a cultural context and a pseudo-explicative language in conformity with this representation.»
- 12/17«All possible types of social interaction have to be explicated in terms of reinforcement, because the reinforcing stimuli for one subject’s social behavior sequences are, by definition, the behaviors of other subjects. As stated above, the set of social stimuli (the social environment) does not replace or remove the set of natural stimuli, but it widens the extent of control on behavior, determining a further constraint on the execution of instrumental sequences: in order that the subject can complete his sequence with the consummatory behavior, it is necessary that the instrumental behavior is compatible not only with the physical environment, but also with the social environment. In short, these are the basic reference points for the experimental analysis of social behavior.»
- 13/17«One of the most important problems in the field of social studies is how to overcome conflict (negative involvement of interests). In fact, negative involvement expresses a situation of perfect social inertia, since neither of the two subjects is able to carry out autonomously his own operant sequence as the other subject, bringing into action the opposite operant sequence, blocks him (bars the reinforcement of the other subject’s instrumental sequence).»
- 14/17«The explication of exchange within the theory of interests proves that the “is not preferred to” relation, which is the only one economists take into consideration, is coupled with the “is instrumental to” relation. As stated above, both the “is instrumental to” and the “is not preferred to” relations derive from the experimental analysis of behavior. Within the theory of interests, they are expressed by the instrumentality degree and the intensity level, respectively. Therefore it can be confirmed that economic behavior is a subset of social behavior.»
- 15/17«This interpretation can be used to explicate the concepts of preference and utility within the more general behavioristic language. Preference expresses the order of intensity levels [of interests], whereas utility, in a general sense, does not express a property of one interest, but rather an instrumentality relation between two interests, one of which is sacrificed in order to gain the satisfaction of the other one. The utility of one interest is determined by the instrumentality of the sacrifice of another interest.»
- 16/17«The organization is explicated in scientific terms by the positive involvement, with specific reference to the essential condition of the reciprocal complementarity of the two distinct instrumental interest sequences carried out by each subject. This reciprocal complementarity among instrumental interests belonging to different fields of interests is such that, in principle, each instrumental interest defines an organizational role and each tole, thus differentiated, is assigned to either subject whose interests are positively involved.»
- 17/17«The free rider’s behavior can be generalized in a more abstract perspective within the theory of interests, as an element of the more general set of behaviors realized by the subjects who profit (without any positive involvement) by positive involvement among other subjects’ interests. With reference to the free rider, no cooperation can exist in the sense of immediate (direct) positive involvement.»
G. Bolacchi, On “Social Sciences” and Science, Behavior and Philosophy, 2004
1/7«In short, research about man and society has to be redefined by overcoming the obstacles and the presuppositions of philosophical ideology and common sense. The so-called world of spirit (mind), which prevents us from building an experimentally based explanatory language of man univocally defined and implies in principle a multiplicity of often mutually contradictory perspectives, must be replaced by the world of behavior.»
2/7«Two kinds of histories of science, therefore, exist: (a) socio-psychological history concerning all the research methods, in whatever manner carried out, and the socio-psychological conditionings to which the researchers have been subjected in the social context where they worked; and (b) history, purified from socio-psychological connotations, concerning the research methods conforming to the constraints and to the cumulative results of science, i.e., the history of the deepening and widening of the domains of application of scientific language only.»
3/7«The history of scientific thought (and the Galilean revolution) shows us that “a shift in attitude that allows us to be more flexible” is by no means sufficient to construct, to widen, and to deepen the language of science, and even more the language of the social science. It is necessary to break the science away from the common sense; that is, to bear in mind the constraints settled first by Galileo and Newton.»
4/7«Controlled experiment entails a real methodological revolution (a revolution in the research methods) compared to the Aristotelian pre-scientific idea that still persists as a philosophical view of science and is seriously detrimental to the development of an actual social science. This revolution is founded on the rise of the Galilean and Newtonian concept of a closed or isolated system.»
5/7«A particular violation of the semantic homogeneity criterion occurs in the field of psychology when behavioral variables and inner variables (expressing cognitive-type or, more specifically, emotional-type states) are related by pseudo-functions. The introduction of so-called intervening variables and hypothetical constructs, despite MacCorquodale’s and Meehl’s (1948) efforts, paves the way for a sort of anomalous functions (pseudo-functions) that do not conform to the semantic homogeneity criterion and are seriously prejudicial to scientific knowledge.»
6/7«Likewise, in economics the set of cognitive variables (upon which the explanation of choice is based) and the set of behavioral variables are mixed up, leading to a duplication of concepts and preventing the translation of all the economic predicates into strictly behavioral predicates, which could have important repercussions on economic analysis as a whole and on so-called experimental economics. Moreover, this situation produces an anomalous dissociation between the logical–syntactic characterization of choice (which is identified with cognitive–rational choice) and the experimental–semantic characterization of choice behavior (behavioral choice), which is not considered at all by economists and cognitivists (with the obvious exclusion of cognitive-type “experiments”).»
7/7«The languages of neuroscience and behaviorism are characterized by completely different semantic interpretations, although they use the same syntactic structures founded on functions. It follows that, because of the lack of semantic homogeneity between the two disjoint languages, no functional relation can be given, by definition, between neuroscience and behaviorism.»
G. Bolacchi, Politiche di sviluppo, innovazione, parchi scientifici e tecnologici [Development policies, innovation, science parks], La programmazione in Sardegna, 2001
1/33«Economics, starting from the mid-nineteenth century, became independent of political philosophy. It constructed a language characterized by the same mathematical syntax of the natural sciences, even if it presents explanatory difficulties in terms of dynamics and the semantic interpretation of its postulates. The social sciences are still moving in a muddle in which ideological positions, poor methodological understanding, in short, manifest or latent prejudices towards science applied or applicable to humans, prevent a systematization that alone could justify a dialogue with economics.» IT
2/33«Unlike economic growth models, so-called development theories contain an amalgam of social and economic variables, negatively affected by the latent assumption of a presumed causal relation between the two types of variables or, more often, of an unspecified, vague interdependence between them.
More properly, economic growth models attempt to make social (cultural) variables endogenous by explaining them in strictly economic terms (as may be done for every behavioral repertoire), i.e., by transforming social variables from social predicates into economic predicates.» IT
3/33«The concept of technical progress within the social “sciences” is entirely different from the concept used within economic models. In the social “sciences” field, it expresses technological innovation, which is a function of given social variables (such as forms of learning and teaching, educational processes, generalized scientific reinforcers in the social context, reference groups, science-oriented mass media) and, in turn, can be an independent variable in relation to other social variables. In economic models, it simply expresses a form of investment in learning by doing, in the production of new knowledge (by sacrificing a share of consumption), or in processes directly oriented to human capital. Making technical progress endogenous to economic language means, in general, turning it into investment.» IT
4/33«Given the postulate of disjunction, it can be stated, using a language to be explained (explicandum) and not a scientific explicative language (explicatum), that the social variables, and social development in general, are a precondition (or a prerequisite) for economic growth. In fact, it follows from the postulate of disjunction that social (cultural) variables are not causes of economic growth, but necessary (even if not sufficient) conditions for economic growth (which depends on economic variables).» IT
5/33«C. Clark (Growthmanship: a study in the mythology of investment) [...] takes into consideration cultural variables (what he names human factors) as exogenous variables with respect to economic variables expressed in a (neoclassical) logic of market competition. However, a restrictive connotation is given to these exogenous variables, given the assumption that that they can progress only at a relatively slow, albeit uniform, pace and that any action aimed at abruptly forcing that pace does risk wasting resources and slowing it down. It means society (like the market) should have its own internal dynamics guaranteeing the equilibrium, and the latter would be reachable spontaneously.
Clark’s notion that it is possible to extend equilibrium dynamics to human factors, i.e., to cultural variables (exogenous with respect to economic variables), is still very popular, even if it rests on a false generalization that does not distinguish between exchange and market interactions (the subject of economic analysis) and other and different types of social interaction.» IT
6/33«Clark’s perspective is proposed again by Hirschman (The strategy of economic development), with closer attention to social variables. However, the limitations of all these analyses remain. As a matter of fact, although a distinction between cultural (socio-psychological) variables from economic variables is made, it is not based on a more abstract unitary paradigm that subsumes the two subsets (one referring to economic behaviors and the other referring to socio-psychological behaviors), but rather on the assumption that everything that cannot be traced back within the domain of economic concepts is residually considered sociological or psychological.»
«In a later work, Hirschman (Exit, Voice, and Loyalty) attempts to formulate a unitary paradigm [...]. However, the framework he proposes (which in this book is broader) remains ambiguous and generic, being social facts defined as forces external to the market, i.e., as a complement to the set of market forces.» IT
7/33«In the classic expression by Rosenberg, technological progress still represents a “black box” not yet fully explored. Nevertheless, the close interconnection between technological dynamics and innovation cannot be denied: technological progress is such as it incorporates and expresses a set of innovative activities.» IT
8/33«N. Rosenberg (Perspectives on technology; Inside the black box: technology and economics) shows how technological research activity and innovation occur at all stages of industrial production, overcoming the Schumpeterian perspective on innovation as a unique and unrepeatable act. The latter reflects a point of view on scientific progress that favors the moment of the great theoretical systematizations or the related great discoveries rather than the subsequent moments of slow and continuous expansion of technology through the progressive widening of its borders to increasingly specific fields of application.
Major innovations have a character of generality that, by definition, overshadow the multiple analytical contents, which must be progressively recovered through a continuous expansion of the more abstract research towards operational-type experimental fields. The progressive analyticity of the fields of application of science and technology identifies the flexible boundary between a more abstract area of research, which could be defined as pure science, and a much more analytical, specific and sectorialized area of research, which could be defined as applied science (or technology) and that is susceptible to operational insertion into the productive combination.» IT
9/33«Characterizing the innovative process as a continuum means considering innovation as an entrepreneurial core activity, a modality typical of physical (technological) capital and human (organizational) capital. In advanced societies, physical and human capital are combined in the enterprise not in purely repetitive terms but with an innovatory approach. There is a difference, indeed, between the routine entrepreneur, whose attitude is not to innovate but only stably manage a combination of factors of production, and the deviant entrepreneur, who shows an innovative attitude towards physical and human capital in every segment of the production chain.
In this respect, the difference between developing and developed areas is that, in the former, the routine is generalized within enterprises and society, whereas, in the latter, the innovative attitude is generalized. A generalized entrepreneurial innovation must replace the generalized entrepreneurial routine to activate a real development process. Development processes and economic growth require innovation to be widespread and not only activated at the level of individual and specific entrepreneurial activities.» IT
10/33«The characteristics of innovation identified by Rosenberg (Perspectives on technology; Inside the black box: technology and economics)–such as the continuous adjustments and progressive changes in each stage of the production process, the close correspondence between innovation and dissemination, the capacity to generate substitute innovations expressed by the social context in which innovation is generalized, the congruity between technological innovation, the capital goods industry and the influence of expectations of future change on the behavior of economic agents–are indeed just as many social factors affecting the processes of development and economic growth. The “social determinants of a society’s ability to generate technical progress in the first place” are social preconditions for economic growth, i.e., specific features that must characterize innovation so that the development process can occur.» IT
11/33«Technological dynamics must be endogenous, i.e., internalized and diffused in the social context, to produce effects within that context. Continuity in innovation, as opposed to discontinuity, is essential for the innovation to manifest itself as a widespread and generalized social attitude (innovation culture); only under this circumstance does innovation become an active factor in socio-economic dynamics. When a given social context does not directly express a set of innovative attitudes and behaviors, i.e., an innovation continuum, single and segmented innovations have limited effects within the system, and the system is unable to produce innovation on innovation internally. On the contrary, if the social context expresses generalized innovative attitudes and behaviors, the innovation processes will have multiplier effects starting from the innovation produced at first.» IT
12/33«The innovation culture and the market culture can both have (each in its domain of application) different degrees of internalization. Assuming a range from 0 to 1, the value for the set of economic (market) behaviors and the set of innovative behaviors can be more or less close to 1; namely, these sets can be more or less large subsets of an individual’s or a group’s set of operant behaviors. Moreover, a correspondence between the subset of economic behaviors and the subset of innovative behaviors may exist, which concerns all elements of the two subsets or a part of these elements.
The preconditions for development indicate the degree of internalization (and generalization) of the market culture (i.e., the rules of the game on which the market is based) and the degree of internalization (and generalization) of the innovation culture that must qualify the socio-economic context so that the market can be characterized as an innovative market.» IT
13/33«When the scientific and technological dynamics is purely repetitive, the market may express a (competitive) equilibrium in the allocation of resources, but it is static in terms of innovation in the contents of processes and products. In short, here, the market achieves its primary objective, which is the Pareto optimum, but it has no cumulative dynamics. The latter is exogenous to the market, by definition, but qualifies it historically as depending on the culture characterizing the society within which the market works. In particular, the cumulative dynamics depends on the more or less extended scientific and technological innovative component characterizing a given culture.» IT
14/33«Ever-expanding scientific and technological dynamics currently characterizes advanced industrial societies. The resulting innovative and competitive market tends to globalization; therefore, all socio-economic systems have to confront and compare to societies with positions of economic leadership. It follows the need to fill the relative-development gap by correctly identifying not only the economic variables but also, and above all, the social variables determining that gap.» IT
15/33«In simple terms, the market workings can be explicated by making innovation an endogenous variable within the economic language. That means expressing innovation in terms of entrepreneurs' R&D investment choices based on the private cost-benefit ratio of those investments; here, innovation spreads mainly through the set of competitive relations between firms based on knowledge-based and imitative learning. Through this process, the effects of innovation go beyond the private benefits deriving from entrepreneurial R&D activities and spill over into the entire economic system (the competing producers and the consumers), resulting in several induced social benefits.
The market, therefore, plays a decisive role in the dynamics of innovation: the greater its enlargement and consolidation and the more articulated and generalized its competitive structure, the greater the possibility that innovation has spillover effects and brings about an innovative continuum extended to all levels of research, production, and marketing.» IT
16/33«More or less pronounced imbalances in the dynamics of innovation can occur within the market, where constraints hinder and prevent its diffusion. [...]
The first type of constraint is the fact that those activities that lead to induced social benefits exceeding private benefits (externalities) are under-dimensioned by the market, in terms of resource allocation, compared to the socially desirable level (corresponding to the maximization of the social rate of return). The extreme case is the production of public goods, whose (social) benefits are so diffused that no firm operating in the market (according to the maximization of the private rate of return) is willing to invest in that production.»
«The second case concerns those systems characterized by discontinuous (discrete), or null, innovative facts (factors) and, correspondingly, by a more or less high degree of inertia of technological accumulation processes. In these systems, the dynamics of innovation is weak or absent. One can speak of either economic lag (referring to socio-economic systems characterized by some degree of internalization of the market culture) or underdevelopment (referring to socio-economic systems that diverge from systems that express a generalized market culture).» IT
17/33«Both the R&D-related positive externalities (even in case of high degrees of internalization of the innovative-market culture) and the low degrees of internalization of the innovative-market culture (and hence the almost total absence of R&D-related positive externalities) do bring about imbalances in the innovation process. On the one end, they result in a reduction in the system competitiveness and gaps in the economic growth processes; on the other, they result in a persistent static situation of the system and the consequent impossibility of starting a development process.
In either case, albeit in different ways, public measures and interventions are necessary to govern and strengthen the dynamics of innovation in relation to development and economic growth. These interventions must be specified in analytical guidelines, corresponding to the types of constraints that limit the dynamics of innovation. These constraints differ between the innovative market of advanced industrialized areas (characterized by both market culture and innovation culture) and the non-innovative market of the underdeveloped or developing areas (lacking both a market culture and an innovation culture).» IT
18/33«The fixed social capital consists of territorial infrastructures, organized into networks, which have a continuous presence throughout the environmental context (transport, communications, pipes), and punctual infrastructure (equipment, facilities). Punctual infrastructures can have multiple objectives, all qualified as service objectives. The latter can be divided into two subsets:
1) one set is characterized by those services satisfying interests related to the current state of the socio-economic context. Here, the service is part of the structural schema of social needs and is not strictly oriented towards socio-economic development;
2) the other set is characterized by those services satisfying interests related to the future state of the socio-economic context and is strictly oriented towards development. Here, the service marks the transition from a current state to a future state and is part of an evolutionary schema of social needs. It also brings about spillovers (positive externalities) directly affecting the development and economic-growth processes, either through the market or by boosting market culture and innovation culture.» IT
19/33«Insofar as it can be defined as a punctual infrastructure characterized by development objectives, a science park activity can focus on two social factors strictly related to the development and economic growth:
1) the technological factor considered as endogenous production of technological innovation (susceptible to transformation into physical capital and corresponding human capital) and consequent dissemination of the innovative technologies implemented;
2) the cultural factor considered as endogenous production of an innovation culture and market culture (susceptible to transformation into organizational and entrepreneurial human capital referring to all possible social roles) and consequent spread of the culture of the innovative market through the generalization (to the whole social group) of socially shared positive attitudes (and behaviors) towards innovation, competitive market, and active entrepreneurship.» IT
20/33«As an expression of the needs typical of highly industrialized societies, science parks presuppose a culture strictly compatible with the competitive market, a dynamic production system, a high innovation potentiality, innovative research centers and high-tech companies, universities actively interacting with the business community, and skilled workforce. Their primary objective is to maximize the social rate of return on innovation related to R&D activities carried out within the business environment and the ensuing spillover. Indeed, even though these activities bring about positive external economies for the whole socio-economic context in which the firms operate, they tend not to adapt to the socially desirable level, as innovative firms measure their R&D investments against their private (market) rate of return, which is generally lower than the social rate of return.» IT
21/33«The effectiveness of public interventions to correct those market anomalies resulting in under-dimensioned R&D activities depends on the type of external economies (spillovers), the relation between private returns and social returns on innovation, and the relation between private resources and public resources in terms of the possible crowding-out effects.
These aspects have been analyzed by A. B. Jaffe (Economic analysis of research spillover: implication for the advanced technology program, ATP’s Economic Assessment Office, 1996).» IT
22/33«The social rate of return on public spending differs from the social rate of return on R&D. The latter is indeed a function of the level of investment in R&D and the type of funded research activity (and the consequent spillover effect), but it does not depend on the crowding-out effect (i.e., on the makeup of the investment in terms of private and public resources). [...]
Therefore, public investment choices about R&D activities (including those carried out as part of the actions implemented by science parks) should be based on the identification of those factors making the social rate of return and the private rate of return diverge and should favor R&D activities with the greatest spillover effect.» IT
23/33«Public intervention in the field of R&D must be characterized by a relation of complementarity with the market (not a relation of substitutability). That is because it should aim at restoring the more basic research activities, i.e., the pre-competitive level of research resulting in higher induced social benefits. [...]
In short, the partnership between public and private investments oriented toward innovative technological research (or whichever relation between research institutions and private companies) finds in the market, and in the positive externalities (spillover) it brings about, an indispensable space for their enlargement and dissemination. Where such effects are not achieved, public investments become welfarist constraints slowing down and obstructing development and growth processes, rather than accelerating and promoting them.» IT
24/33«In developing socio-economic systems, the maximization of the social rate of return on innovation cannot be directly pursued, in principle, because there is no competitive market in these areas that may lead to the dissemination of the benefits from innovation. Therefore, it is not possible to talk about a private rate of return on R&D investments, nor about a spillover effect, and no economic-growth process strictly consistent with the optimal use of the given resources can take place.» IT
25/33«One cannot think of technological research (and, more generally, of technical progress and public R&D investments) as a variable that alone can change attitudes towards the innovative market, turning them from negative to positive. Indeed, research processes, which are perforce localized and sector-based because of the scarcity of public resources, cannot activate the technological continuum underlying development when the preconditions for development are lacking, namely, if the innovative enterprise culture is not internalized and generalized. Only then do the innovation processes occur in every segment, however analytical, of the technological operational chains at all levels, from research to final production, referring to both physical technologies (process and product innovations) and organizational technologies (social innovation).» IT
26/33«In the analyses of economic processes from an evolutionary perspective, the enterprise is considered to be a place where knowledge accumulates, whose development is influenced by the original technological matrix and the set of routines implemented to coordinate the activities. Throughout its evolution, an enterprise produces knowledge and innovative opportunities beyond those workable internally due to the stringency of routines or incompatibility constraints with preexisting activities. It is possible to take advantage of these overabundant innovations only by incorporating them into a new enterprise.» IT
27/33«To pursue the objective of favoring the convergence between innovative technological research (and the public or private institutes carrying out it) and local enterprises, orienting both the former and the latter towards development and economic growth extended to the entire system, it is necessary to consider and make compatible not only the production factors of the innovative physical capital but also the production factors of the innovative human capital. The innovation dynamics, in fact, directly relates both to the dynamics of physical capital and to the dynamics of human capital.
These dynamics, which follow different paths and are rooted in R&D activities as to physical capital and training activities as to human capital, should find in the system of enterprises operating in a particular socio-economic context a congruence point compatible with development and economic growth processes.» IT
28/33«Carrying out innovative processes (which are, moreover, also sector-based and stand-alone) or technology-oriented specialist training does not entail any change in the negative attitudes towards innovation that may be present in the social context. It is one thing to put in place operational intervention to realize innovation; another is to put in place operational measures to change social attitudes towards innovation. Still another thing is to identify the relations between these different types of operations to make their implementation more effective, always considering that innovation-based development logically presupposes a high degree of innovation generalized in the social context.» IT
29/33«Like R&D investments, also investment in training brings about positive externalities, which means the social rate of return on training activity is higher than its private rate of return (that is, the benefits for the direct enjoyers of the training, be they individuals or enterprises, who bear the related costs). Indeed, training activities carried out by enterprises operating in the market benefit not only those enterprises that bear the cost of training; they also benefit both the workers who are trained and the other enterprises as the supply of skilled labor increases. From the enterprise’s viewpoint, investing in training is moreover risky, as trained workers could leave the enterprise; the greater the usability of professional qualifications in the labor market and the smaller the size of the enterprise, the greater the risk.» IT
30/33«An enterprise tends not to carry out training or to carry out only very specialized training (strictly connected to specific products and production processes); it excludes basic training because of its greater generality, from which higher social rates of return directly follow (as with basic and pre-competitive research). The lower (i.e., more specialized) the training level, the lower the social rate of return on training activity and, hence, the positive externalities (spillover) it brings about, namely its induced social benefits.
For this reason, public intervention is necessary to modify the market allocation of resources in training in a way consistent with the socially desirable level. In the absence of public intervention, training activities carried out within the market would bring social benefits far below the socially desirable level in relation to the activation of innovation processes (and to the social benefits of disseminating innovation throughout the market) and, hence, to the activation of processes of development, economic growth and competitiveness within the socio-economic context in which the training takes place.» IT
31/33«Furthermore, should training activities only be managed from a private market perspective, the possibility of accessing training would depend on the spending capacity of individuals and groups. Because of income discrimination, knowledge resources not uniformly distributed would thus be produced, which would alter the principle of increasing marginal returns of new knowledge. Therefore, to allow for a private training market accessible only to certain income classes, it is necessary to have concurrently training activities supported by public intervention policies, which enable merit-based transmission of knowledge to all income classes.» IT
32/33«In developing areas, the need to provide public incentives for training is even more pressing. As a matter of fact, in the absence of an innovative competitive market, there is not even a network of companies expressing a demand for high-level professionals, to which a corresponding private training system could refer. An offer of high-level training services, managed privately on the market and based on income discrimination, cannot be congruent, by definition, with a demand for medium or low-level professionals. In such a case, training activity would produce positive externalities within socio-economic systems exogenous to the system where training occurs; within the latter, only private benefits would be produced. The induced social benefits would all fall back on developed areas, thereby increasing the training gap (human capital endowment) between the two types of socio-economic systems.» IT
33/33«In socio-economic contexts devoid of widespread industrialization, generalized R&D activities among enterprises, a qualified workforce, universities able to interact actively with the business community, and a generalized propensity to innovation and entrepreneurship, the production system is or tends to be static (with no innovation continuum), the research centers operate merely by transferring knowledge (since their propensity to innovation depends on the degree of generalized innovation existing in the system, which in this case is so low as to strengthen repetitious research activities), the culture is ultimately stationary and familistic and the conflict levels prevent collaborative relations (network externalities) functional to innovation processes. Given this kind of socio-economic context, pretending to pursue the maximization of the social rate of return on innovation without considering targets for activating pre-conditions for development would mean relating that objective to a hypothetical reference context (the industrialized market and it innovation dynamics) not existing at all.» IT
G. Bolacchi, Il concetto di organizzazione secondo il paradigma scientifico [The concept of organization in the scientific paradigm], in U. Colombo, G. Lanzavecchia (a cura di), Dalla tribù alla conquista dell’universo. Scienza, tecnologia e società, Scheiwiller, 2000
1/8«The persistent prejudices on the human-nature dualism, and the resulting research tools marked by the inability to extend the method of natural sciences to the study of social phenomena, have severely hindered the development of a unitary explicative language referring to humans and society. Research activity is associated with an attitude that considers the multiplicity of different viewpoints not as a negative indicator of the lack of intersubjectivity (a primary requirement for scientific analysis) but rather as a positive indicator of vitality and development.» IT
2/8«The scientific analysis of behavior is opposed by a widespread type of research on organizations (and on social facts) defined by a commonsense method, devoid of constraints that can guarantee its intersubjectiveness. Here, the scientific explication is replaced by a set of explanations whose predominant reference points are descriptive and evaluative elements. However, merely describing whatever phenomenon in commonsense terms is not equivalent to explicating it. In such cases, the analyses oscillate between social philosophy and hypotheses based on purely experiential (not experimental) premises.» IT
3/8«The organizational functionality, which corresponds to the organization's effectiveness (where the efficiency concerns, instead, the organization complying with the economic paradigm), rests on the reciprocal complementarity of the instrumental sequences carried out by the individuals in their exercise of organizational roles. Such complementarity is guaranteed not by the presence or absence of discretionary roles but solely by the existence of a positive involvement relation.» IT
4/8«Whereas Simon’s hypothesis attempts to make explicit the system of exchanges inside the organization, Williamson’s theory places the problem of the organization within the more general problem of the market exchange and the transaction costs, which would characterize the market exchange on a more abstract theoretical level. Nevertheless, to state that organizations are more efficient than the market when dealing with complex and uncertain transactions, in that the transaction costs would be lower via the organization rather than the market, does not mean defining, much less explaining, the concept of organization. The latter is considered as an indefinite primitive predicate in this case, too.» IT
5/8«When the organization is studied according to the paradigm of maximization of results or minimization of costs (organizational efficiency), the analyses are necessarily circumscribed to the issues of market exchange. However, the attempt to explain the concept of organization only by the predicate of exchange posits that the latter is the sole relation characterizing all social interactions, none excluded. From this perspective, there cannot be any set of social behaviors not susceptible, by definition, to inclusion within the more general set of exchange behaviors.
The scientific analysis of behavior and the theory of interests (on a more abstract level) show that the approach to the organizational issues is much more elaborated and articulate and allow for mistakes, contradictions, and partial viewpoints of current research to be detected and overcome.» IT
6/8«Having said that, and being understood that the founding element of the organization at the most abstract level is the immediate positive involvement of interests, it could be that the access to organizational roles (defined by complementary instrumental behavioral sequences) occurs through the exchange. In this particular case, the exchange works as an implement for the acquisition or assignment of organizational roles; however, it does not qualify those roles, which only find their reference point in the positive involvement mediated by the exchange. The organization is not the exchange but rather the positive involvement; the latter may also result from an exchange as a specific modality to overcome social conflict.» IT
7/8«The power, as explained by the theory of interests, can be used within the organization to give rise to an indirect (mediate) positive involvement. In this context as well, the founding element of the organization is not the choice (exclusive disjunction) presented to the external party (an individual) between sacrificing an interest involved negatively with the organization (being the latter characterized by the social strength given by the immediate positive involvement) and satisfying an interest with an intensity level higher than the first one. The organization's founding element is the indirect (mediate) positive involvement between the second interest of the individual and the organization.» IT
8/8«From a historical perspective, it is evident that either equity and efficiency objectives can be many; their number cannot be pre-defined because of the plurality of cultural factors analytically determining the situations where equity or efficiency occur. Therefore, whatever the specific hypotheses of organizational equity or efficiency (i.e., the specific typologies of organizations conforming to equity or efficiency paradigms), they all express organization's objectives, which translate into as many organizational policies. However, little or nothing they say about the more abstract characteristics of every conceivable typology of organization.» IT
G. Bolacchi, Il sequestro come fatto sociale [The kidnapping as a social fact], Editrice Dattena, 1998
1/40«When social ethics is controlled by an interpersonal sanctioning system, shared in a a direct or indirect (mediate) way, it becomes a legal norm. The latter acquires a generalized compulsory characterization only when adopted by the state, i.e., by a legal order that, in principle, cannot be opposed or denied by another legal order which is itself a state; thereby, the norm is institutionalized.» IT
2/40«The fundamental property of the legal norm is not its institutionalization. It is the legitimation of the norm by an organized structure to which all the individuals belonging to a culturally defined social group delegate (with greater or lesser guarantees, or even with no guarantees) specific duties concerning those interpersonal relations which involve, in principle, all individuals (otherwise called collective interests).» IT
3/40«Non-institutionalized legal norms legitimized within a given social group constitute a non-state legal order. The latter can manifest weaker or stronger autonomy claims (to the point of pretending to be a state), depending on the lesser or greater importance that all individuals attach to the positively involved (collective) interests legitimizing the normative system, i.e., to the lesser or greater importance they attribute to their own culture.
Therefore, there may be different types of non-institutionalized legal norms, which can have diverse characteristics. These norms can be compatible or clashing with the state norms, which means that the social legitimation of a norm may or may not coincide with the state legitimation of that norm (i.e., its institutionalization).» IT
4/40«When a potentially deviant sub-state culture crosses the boundaries of the pre-institutional social space to give rise to an actual deviation, the level of social acceptance is very high. In such a case, the social group expressing the subculture shall not sacrifice the positively involved interests characterizing it (and underpinning its normative system) in favor of the state culture and the corresponding institutionalized norms.
Social facts of this type usually are undervalued by the hegemonic state culture, which tends to minimize the deviation, always considering it as a single deviation, according to a restrictive interpretation in line with the normative-punitive paradigm. It is a mistake that arises from explaining social facts in commonsense terms.» IT
5/40«If the consideration of social facts were based on a scientific explication of social facts, state intervention should be oriented in radically different terms, namely, towards eliminating or changing the causes of the deviation (with appropriate, joint socio-cultural and economic intervention policies) rather than punishing the effects of the deviation.» IT
6/40«Besides emotional situations, a sense of insecurity and lack of confidence, and escape or defensive behaviors, the deviation can also generate or express relations of positive involvement between interests referred to more or less large social groups. In these cases, deviation becomes a social fact.
Any deviant behavior, carried out by individuals or more or less circumscribed groups, becomes a social fact when it generates or expresses collective interests in support of the deviation or, given such support, when it generates or expresses collective interests in conflict with the deviation. A deviation carried out by a more or less large group of subjects is not, for this reason alone, a social fact. It becomes a social fact when a social group, other than the deviant one, does support the deviation; here, there may also be another contrasting group that opposes the social group supporting the deviation.» IT
7/40«Social facts must be defined with reference to the relations between the institutionalized legal order and the social order. That said, the legal order and the social order may be compatible with each other or not.
In both cases, there may be different degrees of compatibility (or incompatibility), which determine the extent of cooperation (positive involvement) or conflict (negative involvement) between the two orders; compatibility and incompatibility must be defined through concepts (terms) belonging to the language of the scientific sociology and not commonsense concepts, of course.» IT
8/40«The deviation is a social fact not because of the number of deviants or the typology that characterizes it. The deviation is a social fact whenever groups of individuals other than the deviants emerge (or exist) in the social context, expressing subcultures in support of deviants. These groups do not realize actual deviations (which are realized by the deviants) but rather carry out forms of deviant power (by using their public roles in favor of deviants) or, in more general terms, potential deviation against the institutionalized context to which they belong (based on an immediate positive involvement).» IT
9/40«When a subculture in support to deviation exists (and the code of silence, where widespread, is an important social indicator of it), institutionalized prevention-oriented regulatory action is unlikely to achieve generalized deterrent effects, and it is equally unlikely that the announced punishment will have deterrent effects.» IT
10/40«The normative schema (static, by definition) unifies and standardizes all types of deviations, differentiating them only in terms of penalty measures (amount of punishment) to inflict. Instead, all deviations are profoundly different from each other (even those belonging to the same typology, as with kidnapping) because they depend on non-comparable social and psychological contexts.
Understanding the social variables of each specific deviation is indispensable to control the deviation not only through criminal and punitive measures and to eliminate the deviation through the elimination of its actual causes. It is indispensable not to delude oneself into eliminating the deviation by operating within simple formalistic homogenizations of a punitive type.» IT
11/40«Social facts involve everyone because each individual is a product of those facts. They involve everyone because attitudes and propensities may persist in each individual's personality, although difficult to perceive, which are residual aspects of an endogenous culture marginalized by the stratification of successive cultures but still present to some extent in the social environment.» IT
12/40«Kidnapping is a type of deviant behavior that, due to its structural characteristics, needs generalized and continuous support during the entire implementation process. That is especially true when the kidnapping takes place in environments and groups where social interactions commonly involve, albeit in different times and spaces, the community at large. [...]
It does not mean that all individuals are accomplices of the kidnappers. It just means that larger social groups tend not to see and not to hear because they have internalized the code of silence (omertà) aimed at safeguarding the endogenous cultural identity, and the principles of its ethics, from behavioral models imposed from outside (from the state). The code of silence is seen not as a harmful fact for the community, but as a behavior due to the community, aimed at preserving its values and image against the exogenous cultures questioning them.» IT
13/40«In its most abstract form, a society founded on the principle of retaliation regulates all relations between individuals in terms of conformity or non-conformity with the static equilibrium, which is identified in the tendency to preserve a traditionally defined social context. Any alteration of this context, either in terms of wealth imbalance between individuals or imbalance in social interactions, must be recomposed by administering to the individual who breaches the norm a penalty equal and contrary (antithetical) to the violation.» IT
14/40«Both the evolutionary social dynamics (i.e., the historical dynamics) and the structural social dynamics develop within the pre-institutional social space through continuous increasing or decreasing of the groups of individuals who recognize their interests within one or the other of the two sets of positively involved interests: institutionalized interests and opposed potentially deviant interests.» IT
15/40«If the positive involvement occurs between high intensity-level deviant interests (e.g., when a social group is quite sensitive to criteria of equity or distributive justice defined according to the cultural paradigms typical of that group), if the institutionalized interests defined by the power élite do not change according to the social needs emerging from the pre-institutional space, and if the deviant interests have a broad (or a very broad) base of acceptance, then maybe that potential deviation transcends the boundaries of the pre-institutional space and turns into actual deviation, which results in behaviors in open conflict with institutionalized interests. Here, the institutionalized sanctioning power is no longer effective against deviant interests.» IT
16/40«The state can satisfy the public interest in the prevention of deviation in four ways, two of which are direct and two indirect:
1. by carrying out operational sequences aimed at modifying the social context within which deviant behavior is learned;
2. by carrying out operational sequences aimed at protecting the subjects against whom deviant behaviors may be directed;
3. by carrying out operational sequences of a purely punitive type;
4. by carrying out operational sequences achieving a generalized deterrent effect via the implementation of punishment as subtraction (or impediment to the acquisition) of an advantage (resource), not as administration of a sanction.» IT
17/40«The elimination of conflict by the power and resultant penal norm is not a real elimination; it cannot be deemed equivalent to a change in culture, but rather to a semblance of change, an illusion deriving from common sense, which considers punishment to be the sole means to change behaviors. The punitive approach does not change the personality of individuals; much less does it change cultures or social behaviors.» IT
18/40«Conflicts between diverse cultures are not and cannot be overcome only through the instruments of power (especially criminal law). Only a conflict between the state and single deviations, at most, could be (badly) resolved through the criminal law. However, when the deviation is deeply rooted in the social context, it would be better to ask why the deviation is such only for the state and not also for the endogenous culture.» IT
19/40«The generalized deterrent effect of punishment can tend to zero if what the state considers deviant behavior is deeply rooted in a culture that expresses a set of interests negatively involved with the institutionalized interests. In this case, the behavior is legitimate for the non-institutionalized (endogenous) culture, albeit deviant for the institutionalized culture. In contrast, the state-protected interest is considered unlawful by the endogenous culture.» IT
20/40«In establishing an abstract norm, the legislature presupposes, by definition, the formal equality of social contexts. Namely, the legislature assumes for reasons of power that the whole (Italian) society is characterized by an indisputable cultural uniformity, imposed as the only reference paradigm in the interpretation and implementation of the norm.
Perhaps this happens in a large number of cases, but the federalist and separatist claims do not seem to confirm that fact.» IT
21/40«Kidnapping for ransom is a crime that puts the consistency of the founding principles of criminal law to the test. Given that every penal norm must rest on some public interest (i.e., an interest recognized and embraced by each individual who belongs to a specific state community), what public interest is sacrificed in the event of a kidnapping?
If the latter did not entail the “kidnapee-against-ransom” negotiation, there would be no problem: kidnapping would be a fully-fledged crime against the person. However, given that the kidnapping entails the release of the kidnapee upon the ransom payment, the crime’s object is not the person but the property; the deprivation of personal liberty to the detriment of the kidnapee (the hostage) is only a means for kidnappers to get an economic advantage.» IT
22/40«The penal norm is of limited usefulness within a culture with no social deviation but only single deviations (given the uncertain relevance of the punishment in case of high intensity-level deviant interests). The penal norm is useless when one tries to enforce it within a culture heterogeneous to it, where the norm is used against social deviation.» IT
23/40«It is difficult to bring about changes in cultures by intervening through exogenous variables which are not of a normative-punitive type, especially when the political order is pluralistic and democratic. Here, the political class tends to adjust to the interests belonging to the basis of consent (consensus basis), excluding any intervention that could change existing social situations from the inventory of public interests.» IT
24/40«In short, both social preconditions and economic preconditions for development were lacking. More to the point, a misrepresented choice was made, expressing a form of deviant power typical of the political class. The latter set its consent maximization, instead of the economic (and social) development, as its goal, thereby subordinating the effectiveness of public interventions to its persistence in exercising power.
In pluralistic systems (given the weak conditioning force of ideologies), many forms of deviant power by the political class tend to resort to public welfarist interventions.» IT
25/40«The crisis that hit the industrial sites in recent decades has worsened an already precarious situation, resulting in a strongly weakened industrial market culture. From the beginning, the severe dysfunctions of the political organization in terms of deviant power have spoiled the latter. Moreover, it could not be expected to superimpose the new industrialism on the endogenous culture, sic et simpliciter, without trying to change the latter contextually.
The result has been the industry crisis on the one hand and the endemic crisis of the agropastoral sector on the other; besides, the endogenous culture has not changed in front of these crises. This situation has led to severe consequences in the social context, which find in the malaise of large regional areas (i.e., in the potential or actual deviation generalized in those areas), one of the most relevant expressions.» IT
26/40«From the naïve but generalized commonsense perspective, all social issues related to deviation are exclusively criminal matters; it necessarily follows the broad role of the judiciary and magistracy. Many are today surprised by the near-total absence of boundaries for such a role. Indeed, it is only the consequence of a premise that almost everyone accepts: behavior can only be good or bad, lawful or unlawful.
As a matter of fact, humans' direct experience contributes to establishing easy-to-understand reference points. Separating good from evil is the most essential and rewarding thing to do because it would make it possible to put order into a world that appears very disordered, and people always perceive deviation as a disorder.» IT
27/40«Alas, it has not yet been understood that it is not that every social phenomenon comes out of nowhere as if it were an extemporaneous manifestation of isolated personalities. It has not yet been understood that every social phenomenon is the effect of causes we must seek in the interaction processes. In short, every human behavior is the direct or indirect effect of social variables that determine it, namely, other coexisting behaviors with which it interacts.
That every human is a sort of monad, free in its choices and judgments, able to answer to nobody but itself, its conscience, or some transcendent reality representing its reference point and goal, is a very reassuring and engaging metaphysical notion. However, it is too simplistic and completely lacking in explicative capacity. It explains nothing yet comforts everyone, because it shifts the problem from a search for causes to an alleged elimination of effects.» IT
28/40«The process of national unification that has forcibly superimposed a hegemonic regional culture on a multiplicity of other cultures, also regional but less innovative, has always been set in repressive and punitive terms and has always tried to impose a unification between radically different social contexts, primary through precisely that juridical formalism which can be seen as the arrival point of a unification process, but never as a starting point or a means to achieve any unification.» IT
29/40«Cultural relativism is one of the most typical aspects representing today’s society. Faced with the plurality of attitudes and values that diversify social groups and specify their generalized models of behavior and organization, one should look at the problem of amalgamating or assimilating the various systems of social interaction from a perspective of mutual respect. The latter is, ultimately, the perspective on which the very concept of autonomy rests.
Respect for the various cultures finds an insuperable boundary: the need for amalgamation or assimilation. If the Sardinian endogenous social order were assimilated into the state culture, it would perforce have to be modified. If it were modified, somehow, it would be destroyed. Is it acceptable to destroy an endogenous social order without the generalized awareness of the social groups that internalize and express it? How could this awareness be attained?» IT
30/40«The unspoken dogma underlying the prescriptive paradigm and the very concept of legal norm, in its punitive acceptation, is to consider conflict as an ineliminable characteristic of human interaction, both on the knowledge level and the social level.
The dogma of punishment follows from the dogma of conflict. It finds in (natural and positive) law an ennobling framework, to which one usually refers when dealing with the problem of order. The latter was addressed by Hobbes, who solved it most radically by postulating the Leviathan, and Parsons, who attempted to solve it in functionalist terms.» IT
31/40«Institutionalized power becomes deviant power when it is used to obtain the persistence of a given political class, namely when the latter uses it to make its basis of consent static (on the structural level) and stationary (on the evolutionary level).» IT
32/40«The past history, here considered with reference to the structural dynamics (hence, as a parameter) and not to the evolutionary dynamics, has been characterized not only by the persisting negative involvement between the interests of the endogenous culture and the interests of the exogenous state cultures (grounded on power) but also by the coexisting attitude to total acquiescence towards external domination exhibited by the local élites. The past history has also been characterized by the fact that the endogenous culture has never been able to express innovatively any normative state-type system manifesting an autonomous organizational capacity of the social context; it only expressed primitive forms of organization, which never went beyond the narrow confines of the extended family and clan.
Given such a situation, characterized, among other things, by a tendency toward social and economic stationariness, the endogenous society could only reaffirm in anomalous and hidden forms its egalitarian values and try to realize them.» IT
33/40«The statehood of any culture is expressed not only by its organizational form but also by the principle of legitimacy underlying the organizational form being truly endogenous, namely, by the basis of consent related to the political élite identifying with the endogenous culture the élite expresses. If this does not happen, one can observe a form or semblance of a state, not a state properly speaking, because the reference points of such an organization differ from those compatible with the endogenous culture in terms of both contents and the proposed normative model.» IT
34/40«Indeed, if a system institutionalizes some socializing ethics, it must give (for the sake of consistency) a social and economic role to each individual. That is not usually the case, as the legitimized (or institutionalized) forms of acquiring roles in the social context do not guarantee equal conditions among all individuals, given the inequality in resource distribution determined by the proprietary system and the accumulation dynamics in the market system.
For the purpose of a not strictly punitive control of deviation, usually, the groups that base their institutionalized socializing ethics on social and economic roles (with particular reference to private property and the market) institutionalize the principles of individualizing ethics, too, aimed at attributing an intrinsic value to each individual. This attribution leads to inconsistencies and contradictions, particularly relevant in the kidnapping case.» IT
35/40«The attempt to rewrite history (Sardinian and Italian history) based on a formalistic-juridical notion of state realizes an arbitrary separation, a split between state-form and state-culture. In Sardinia, the state form has never been related to an endogenous state culture but always to exogenous state cultures. For this reason, the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1324 and, more recently, the Kingdom of Italy did not express evolutionary stages of the same state; instead, they connoted radically different state cultures and, therefore, different states.
The evolutionary stages of a state form do not always go along with the corresponding evolutionary stages of the state culture. It may happen, on the contrary, that an original state form becomes related to some different and new state culture. In that event, the state (meant as the contextual expression of a state form and a state culture) changes.» IT
36/40«The modification of interests (and the modification of the relations between interests) expresses the changes legitimated within the social context that make a dynamic equilibrium. When these changes are not allowed, the equilibrium is static (it can be altered by the deviation and recomposed by the punishment). The legal norm and the principle of retaliation, by definition, presuppose a static equilibrium (which the interpretation of the law attempts to adapt to social dynamics).» IT
37/40«Punishment takes on different connotations and produces different effects, depending on the paradigm of reference according to which it is implemented. In principle, it could be instrumental to retaliation, social control, or educational objectives. However, that the punishment is taken into consideration (and administered) without an explicitly determined paradigm of reference does not mean that such a reference paradigm is not logically presupposed, albeit latently; otherwise, one could not even speak of punishment. It means, instead, that retaliation, social control, and education objectives are undifferentiated. The reason is that the principle of retaliation (as transposed into the legal norm, particularly the criminal law) is usually assumed as the sole paradigm of reference for punishment (and the sole objective to which punishment can be instrumental).» IT
38/40«Rehabilitation has very high social costs compared to the benefits it brings. For this reason, deprivation of personal freedom can be accepted, even leaving aside the rehabilitation, not as a punishment but simply as a prevention and social protection measure related to a behavior’s pathology resulting from an anomalous socialization process; but this requires renouncing to interpret punishment through the principle of retaliation.» IT
39/40«If the deviation is associated with rehabilitation, then the punishment must be interpreted and used in a framework of social control and not retaliation. In this regard, the antinomy of punishment suffers from the confusion between retaliation and social control.
It is difficult to change an established situation, although the debates on punishment and punishment-related rehabilitation (despite the conceptual misunderstanding they suffer) show a gradual weakening of the ideology of retaliation on the cultural (historical) level (a weakening that cannot be fully expressed from Kelsen’s formalistic perspective). However, punishment and rehabilitation are mutually exclusive concepts, as they postulate incompatible reference frameworks.» IT
40/40«The lack of a deterrent effect shows that punishment has not worked as an independent variable for interrupting the deviant instrumental behavior and, with a very high probability, will not work in the future under equivalent situations.
From this perspective, given that the behavioristic relevance of the punishment is not the expiation but the interruption of the instrumental operants that realize deviation, the operativeness of punishment in relation to deviation is nil. However, although useless for the deviant, administering the punishment is useful to give real meaning to the announced punishment, namely to prevent future deviations by individuals with potential attitudes towards deviation compared to those of the actual deviant.» IT
G. Bolacchi, Le scatole vuote della sociologia [Empty sociological boxes], in J. Jacobelli (a cura di), Dove va la sociologia italiana?, Laterza, 1988
1/10«The arguments advanced to attempt to justify the sociological Aristotelianism are of two types: arguments finding their origin in epistemology and arguments relating to the image of the human being conveyed by the philosophical tradition. These arguments, which complement each other, are specified in a large set of pseudo-explanatory corollaries.» IT
2/10«Arguments of the first type assume - on an intuitive basis - that every research method necessarily implies some value judgment. Consequently, these arguments deny intersubjectiveness to the scientific discourse, qualified by the functional relation between (independent and dependent) variables and by the experimental verification. Thereby, the problem of applying the Galilean method to the social sciences, considered value-based by definition, becomes meaningless.» IT
3/10«Arguments of the second type assume—still on an intuitive basis—that self-consciousness determines a radical differentiation between “human being” and “nature.” Consequently, these arguments consider human behavior irreducible to any analysis based on the natural science methods, insofar as human behavior is “free,” “voluntary,” and “historicized,” that is, “aleatoric,” given the massive number of unknowable variables that would characterize it.» IT
4/10«Galileo contrasts intuition as the “principle of science” with the experimental method qualified by the functional relation and demonstrates how “principles” can be justified within science. To found science on the “abstractive induction,” namely intuition, means to deny science, as intuition (characterized by subjectiveness) makes different observers’ standpoints not comparable, in principle. Furthermore, the single event is of primary importance for Galileo because the controlled (laboratory) experiment refers to specific phenomena under the assumption of their accordance with the law.» IT
5/10«Aristotle answers the question “what is that event” and conceives of science as knowledge by demonstration based on “causes” as “necessary essences.” Instead, Galileo answers the question “how does that event (dependent variable) work” with respect to other events and conceives of science as knowledge by relation based on causes as independent variables.» IT
6/10«There is a great deal of “essences” in psychology, which are sometimes called “intervening variables” or “cognitive variables.” Psychoanalysis rests on “essences,” and maybe that is why it enjoys considerable success.» IT
7/10«Sociology works on “essences” indiscriminately. Durkheim’s “social fact,” Weber’s “ideal type,” phenomenological conceptualizations, Parsons’s pattern-variables, and Merton’s “latent interest,” to name only some paradigmatic examples, are all essences. Other commonly used “essences” are: “spirit” (whence the “sciences of the spirit”), “will,” “freedom,” “family,” “State,” and “law,” conceived as universals. Formulating universals of this type often leads to considering some historical behaviors (hatred, violence, selfishness, altruism, religious sense) as characteristics of human nature.» IT
8/10«The thesis of the radical separation between natural sciences and human sciences, often endorsed uncritically by methodologically ill-equipped natural scientists, is re-proposed in a seemingly non-philosophical way when it is stated that two types of science exist, both characterized, in principle, by the functional relation: the natural science, which admits experimental verification, and the social science which, not being able to admit experimental verification, should only use the statistical method.» IT
9/10«The concept of statistical law in physics differs from the concept of statistical law in sociological and economic analyses. In relation to social phenomena, unlike physics, it is assumed that the application domain for the correlations between variables and empirical generalizations is limited in time and space.» IT
10/10«It is attributed to the “human phenomenon,” unlike natural phenomena, the “ability” or “possibility” to “create” one’s own culture and therefore to “influence” those same “laws” that statisticians will detect in their investigations. From the commonsense intuition that the human being would “create” its own culture and behavioral models in an aleatoric way, it follows that seeking general laws such as the “laws of nature” would be pointless in the social field, thereby arbitrarily confining the scientific analysis of human being to the study of stochastic functional dependencies concerning historically and culturally determined behavioral repertoires.» IT
G. Bolacchi, G. Sabattini, T. Usai, Oligopolio e crescita economica [Oligopoly and economic growth], Franco Angeli, Milano, 1985
1/24«Development modeling presupposes a “specific development,” characterized by variables and parameters that refer, in principle, to advanced industrial societies, namely to those societies where economic rationality is widespread. What if the socio-economic fact to be explained does not conform to those characteristics, as is the case in most economic systems in the third and semi-industrialized world? Perchance, is it necessary to wait for these economic systems to become explicable on the basis of the current formalized development models? Or should we change the models, focusing on building more abstract theories? Namely, theories that would allow the analysis of underdevelopment to make that explanatory leap necessary to carry out a unifying discourse between economic and socio-psychological variables?» IT
2/24«In summary, the development processes are not clearly distinguished from the transition processes from underdevelopment to development. Furthermore, using methodological tools typical of the economic theory of development to deal with the transition from underdevelopment to development leads to several contradictions at the level of economic policy interventions, negatively affecting the explanatory trustworthiness of the economic approach to underdevelopment, which in the fifties had utmost credit.» IT
3/24«These considerations must be systematized in the context of economic language, which, like all languages, has a logical-syntactical and a semantical aspect. [...] The logical-syntactical matter is expressed in mathematical terms; in the neoclassical hypothesis, it translates into the general equations of economic equilibrium. The semantic matter lies in the specific behavioral meanings associated with these equations, making it possible to operationalize the economic language.
Often economists do not notice this fundamental distinction. They proceed only paying attention to the mathematical-deductive development, without considering that the explicative power of economic language, as well as its scope in terms of economic “technologies” and policies, do depend on the exact semantical characterization of each function, i.e., on the proper association of specific behaviors to each set of values in the equations.» IT
4/24«The extended Keynesian model used by Lewis and substantially embraced by Hirschman, Simon, and Leibenstein expresses a structural equilibrium dynamics referring to a given production factor combination (production function). The transition from underdevelopment to development expresses an entirely different dynamic relation, which does not concern a tendency toward the full employment of factors under a given combination, but the progressive modification of the factor combination, i.e., the cumulative dynamics of the production factor combination.
From this perspective, the problem of the transition from underdevelopment to development consists not so much in the ability, as Leibenstein states, to find and recruit hidden, dispersed, or misused resources and skills, given a factor combination, but in identifying the independent variables that determine the modes of variation of the production factor combination through which the accumulation and development processes occur.» IT
5/24«Even the approach to underdevelopment based on the industrialization-process issues falls within the theoretical schema of neoclassical equilibrium. That is why all attempts to build development models based on the injection of external resources in underdeveloped areas, with the objective of industrialization, do shape stationary situations instead of endogenous development situations. These models entail the productivity of investment to be compatible only with the economic functions of the operators outside the underdeveloped area where investments are made, whether private or public sector operators.» IT
6/24«The external capital inflows cannot be oriented towards the endogenous development of an underdeveloped area when external capital can be used freely in a market context.
The parameters to assess the productivity of external capital could be defined by reference to a growth function of the backward area (whose development is lagging behind) only if: (a) the external capital inflows were “donations,” pure and simple; (b) the backward area was autonomous in developing technological innovations; (c) the backward area had the political strength to negotiate market shares in an oligopolistic context.» IT
7/24«An entrepreneur working in an underdeveloped area can only realize repetitive production factor combinations because no autonomous technological and organizational innovation is available, nor the political strength to negotiate oligopolistic market shares. Therefore, the entrepreneur has two alternatives: (a) renouncing to introduce, in the production factor combination, a technological factor with the same indivisibility degree as that of the combination in developed areas, thereby placing the enterprise in an extra-marginal situation; or (b) introducing in the production factor combination a technological factor with the same indivisibility degree as that of the combination in developed areas, thereby realizing an overdetermined productivity equation in relation to the market the enterprise can reach and, here too, placing the latter in an extra-marginal situation. This tendency to extra-marginality typical of the entrepreneurs working in an underdeveloped area can be defined as the antinomy of the tecnology function.» IT
8/24«Locating a “vertex” (downstream) single-product factor combination in an underdeveloped area would lead to the emergence of an induced economic-technological continuum formed by instrumental enterprises to the downstream (final) factor combination of that continuum. The latter combination would thus be a “driving” force that could end the technology function antinomy. For these reasons, the single-product factor combination can also be defined as an endogenously oriented factor combination.» IT
9/24«The degree of monopoly of enterprises operating in a developed area that belongs, alongside the underdeveloped area, to a market system determines the rise of market barriers to the location of endogenously oriented single-product factor combination in the underdeveloped area. Namely, it determines the rise of barriers that prevent single-product vertical integration processes within the underdeveloped area.
Therefore, the underdeveloped area must have a political negotiation strength suitable for obtaining not only the location of an endogenously oriented single-product factor combination in the area, sized to fit the technological indivisibilities characterizing the economic sector selected as the driving one. It should also obtain those results triggered by the location in the underdeveloped area of all (or otherwise the maximum number of) factor combinations working in the intermediate levels of the vertical continuum.» IT
10/24«In the case of the single-product vertical continuum, the market for intermediate factor combinations depends on the downstream factor combination working at the endpoint of the continuum. In the case of the multi-product vertical continuum, the market for intermediate factor combinations does not depend on the upstream factor combination working at the starting point of the continuum, i.e., it does not depend on the initial multi-product factor combination. It follows that the latter is not a driving combination like the downstream single-product factor combination.» IT
11/24«An upstream multi-product factor combination located in an underdeveloped area is always oriented exogenously, in principle. The exogenous orientation derives from the fact that the factor combinations in the vertical continuum must be compatible with the technological-indivisibility standards typical of the developed areas.» IT
12/24«As mentioned, the neoclassical theory cannot explicate the transition from underdevelopment to development. Assuming the constraint given by the non-correspondence between the technology function and the market as an explicative postulate of the underdevelopment within the neoclassical system means that any hypothesis of modification or elimination of this constraint is devoid of scientific meaning within that system. Such a hypothesis must be placed necessarily within a different system, where the constraint is not a postulate but a dependent variable.
Inserting this dependent variable in a functional relation raises the problem of identifying the independent variable. At this level of analysis, we can hypothesize the political function and the scientific-research function to be those independent variables.» IT
13/24«It is necessary to consider the independent macro-variables relating to the transition from underdevelopment to development outside the restricted economic system within which development models have been formulated to date (be it neoclassical or Keynesian) to eliminate the oligopolistic barriers that prevent endogenous development processes in underdeveloped areas. The macro-variables that make it possible to formulate an extended economic discourse referring to the transition from underdevelopment to development could be designated, briefly, as the prerequisites for development. […]
The macro-variables that can create unfavorable situations for oligopolistic barriers in an underdeveloped area are: (a) technological and organizational innovations related to endogenously oriented single-product factor combinations; (b) external economies related to endogenously oriented downstream single-product factor combinations; (c) the political strength to negotiate the location of endogenously oriented single-product factor combinations in the underdeveloped area.» IT
14/24«Establishing external economies (i.e., direct or indirect incentives to locate industrial enterprises in an underdeveloped area) is not sufficient by itself to bring about conditions for endogenous development in a market context.
When external economies are not associated with a political negotiation strength suitable for orienting induced effects and determining the emergence of a single-product vertical continuum in the underdeveloped area, they have only market-compatible effects, which are the location of exogenously oriented factor combinations in the underdeveloped area.» IT
15/24«The transition from underdevelopment to development entails not so much the absence of external capital inflows to the developed area (a hypothesis that has no relevance in the context of this study). What matters is whether the parameters applied to assess the productivity of the capital employed in the underdeveloped area (external capital, in commonsense terms) relate to an endogenous or an exogenous production function. As we have said, the production function is necessarily exogenous in the neoclassical (restricted or extended) system. In the explicative model proposed in this study, the function is endogenous to the underdeveloped area.» IT
16/24«It is possible to direct the external capital inflows to an underdeveloped area towards an endogenous-accumulation objective function or an objective function incompatible with the endogenous accumulation; in the latter event, a maximum-employment objective function may be pursued. In Sardinia, the economic policy interventions (hence the external capital inflows) have been oriented towards the maximum-employment objective function, and the productivity of investment has been related to exogenous parameters incompatible with the economic-growth function of the regional system.» IT
17/24«The premises differ from the current explanatory hypotheses about the transition from underdevelopment to development; they take into consideration that the effects of the injection of external capital inflows in an underdeveloped area cannot be adequately analyzed if explanatory models typical of developed areas are the reference paradigm. Using these explanatory models (e.g., the more general Harrod-Domar model, which includes variables such as the income growth rate, the accumulation rate, the capital/output ratio, and internal savings) presupposes that the oligopolistic obstacles to development, typical of underdeveloped areas, have already been overcome; namely, these obstacles are considered nonexistent and, as a matter of fact, they find no place in the model.» IT
18/24«The new variable introduced in the model used in this study, which has never been included in any other model developed to date, concerns the specific characterization of external capital inflows as to the production function. Usually, these external capital inflows are considered (public or private) production functions endogenous to the underdeveloped area. [...]
The proposed model differs from the other models on this point. We hypothesize, in fact, that a fundamental constraint characterizes the external capital inflows injected into underdeveloped areas, which results from the fact that the specific allocation of the external capital inflows strictly relates to a production function exogenous to the underdeveloped area; namely, it relates to the production function of those public and private subjects who finance the external capital inflows.» IT
19/24«Despite the injection of considerable external capital inflows, the functional relations between income and investment and between employment and investment do not take place in underdeveloped areas. This fact pertains, in principle, to the oligopolistic constraint. To affirm that some backward regions may exist in which these functional relations occur is to recognize that, with reference to these regions, the oligopolistic barriers related to external capital inflows do not operate or operate to a lesser extent; these are regions that have managed to nullify the impact of the financiers’ exogenous production functions on capital inflows. The transition from underdevelopment to development also occurs by eliminating the oligopolistic barriers. From this perspective, the fact that the functional relations between income and investments and between employment and investments are verified marks the line beyond which the “backward” area accomplishes the conditions for economic growth.» IT
20/24«Activating a development process necessarily implies changing the demand function of developed areas. Therefore, any external capital inflow towards underdeveloped areas must be compatible with the stability of the demand function of developed areas if the latter finance external capital inflows. Where this was not the case, developed areas would act disadvantageously for themselves. This consideration has to be taken into account in the analysis of the transition from underdevelopment to development.
The external capital inflows activate a development process when the demand function of the developed areas financing these flows changes because of the external capital inflows. When the demand function of the developed areas does not change with the external capital inflows, the external capital inflows do not activate any effective development process but only a development process of consumption.» IT
21/24«Introducing the distinction between public and private functions in the proposed model is crucial to make it more specific and suitable for a more detailed explication.
The public function is not compatible with the production, in principle; instead, it is characterized by a redistribution process. Thus, the definition shifts from a legal-formal level to a strictly economic level, concerning not the “public” or “private” subjects who perform the function but the performance mode of that function. Therefore, it can be said that the public function always operates as a redistribution function, whereas the private function always operates as a production function.» IT
22/24«An ongoing external capital inflow, the working of multiplier effects not tied to the underdeveloped area, and the uneven trade balance (trade unbalance) identify what can be defined as a situation of dependence. Under this situation, the income levels within the underdeveloped area are direct dependent variables of external capital inflows rather than investments. In the absence of these inflows, as noted, the income levels decrease accordingly, and the underdeveloped area falls into a complete stagnation.
The situation of dependence constitutes a structural crisis for the regional system because the generalized increase in demand resulting from an increase in income does not correspond to a generalized interdependence between production functions. The system presents severe imbalances resulting from the prevailing presence of exogenously oriented production functions and the limited presence of endogenously oriented production functions characterized by the antinomy of the technology function.» IT
23/24«The analysis of the transition from underdevelopment to development requires distinguishing between the most relevant and generalized external constraints (such as the oligopolistic obstacles to development that are oriented toward an increase of the demand function within the developed areas) and internal constraints, which are typical of specific economic structures characterized by a stationariness in time of the population distribution curves by rank.» IT
24/24«The elimination of internal constraints to development would entail, in the first place, a precise characterization of those constraints within an analytical sub-model. In the second place, it would require the launch of an intervention policy, not only on the economic level but also and primarily on the social level, to change people’s attitudes towards industrial culture and establish generalized, positive social reinforcers, promoting innovation and socio-economic dynamics.» IT
G. Bolacchi, G. Sabattini, Zona di produzione franca: Una proposta per la Sardegna [Production free zone: A proposal for Sardinia], Franco Angeli, Milano, 1984
- 1/12«The model illustrated here makes it possible to identify the elements with a negative impact on investments and endogenous accumulation and a positive impact on employment, income, and consumption. However, the generalized increase in income and consumption are circumstantial positive factors, not structural factors, as dependent variables related not to endogenous accumulation but rather external capital inflow. The external capital inflow must be ongoing for the income and consumption levels not to fall. Without the external capital inflow, the circumstantial positive factors nullify pronto.» IT
- 2/12«As mentioned, the regional economic policy interventions in favor of small and medium-sized enterprises used monetary incentives ultimately as an instrument to promote employment; i.e., they used an economic policy instrument incompatible with the objective function of endogenous accumulation. As a result, the structural anomalies of endogenously oriented production-factor combinations have been accentuated rather than removed, and the regional economic system has become increasingly dependent on the developed economic system steering and managing external capital inflows.» IT
3/12«The transition from underdevelopment to development cannot occur, by definition, in an underdeveloped system where those preconditions for development that should eliminate or reduce the effects of oligopolistic barriers do not exist. [...]
The preconditions for development consist of technological or organizational know-how within the underdeveloped area, which allows for introducing an innovation factor in the production factor combinations located in that underdeveloped area. In that event, the problem of transferring market shares from developed to underdeveloped areas is solved, as a new market is related to the innovative combination, in principle. The preconditions for development also consist of external monetary or real economies within the underdeveloped area. Furthermore, the preconditions for development consist of the political negotiation strength applied to locate endogenously oriented downstream single-product factor combinations in the underdeveloped area and transfer the related market shares.» IT
- 4/12«In summary, we can distinguish external economies into real and monetary ones; the latter can be distinguished further into direct monetary subsidies and indirect monetary subsidies or tax incentives. Regarding the impact on managing an enterprise, real external economies usually relate to operational deliberations. External monetary economies relate, instead: (a) to locational deliberations, when they consist of direct monetary subsidies, and (b) to locational but sometimes even operational deliberations, when they consist of indirect monetary subsidies or tax incentives.» IT
- 5/12«The distinction between locational and operational aspects referring to the monetary or real external economies derives from the specificity of the single development policies rather than a need for theoretical systematization. Such specificity has often led to a concept of external economies suffering from the shortcomings of development policy designed to increase employment alone. Sardinia is one of the most probative examples of such a policy, which affected Southern Italy. However, this kind of policy should not be considered a development policy but rather an income policy, being the investments directed solely towards expanding employment. In this scenario, the efficiency objective (and, hence, the development objective) is not taken as a parameter of the production factor combination because the latter is considered mainly in relation to employment.» IT
- 6/12«These considerations make evident the incompatibility between policies oriented exclusively to employment and policies oriented to activating an endogenous accumulation process. The employment-oriented policies operate within a model in which the postulate of factor remuneration based on marginal productivity does not appear, or it is subject to constraints deriving from choices incompatible with it by public institutions. A model of this type should not be rejected on the sole ground that the postulate of marginal productivity for the production factors does not appear or appears negligible. Though, when such a model is used to design economic policy interventions, it is necessary to specify its limits and make explicit the elements that differentiate it from models built on the marginal productivity postulate, on which the endogenous-accumulation development policies have to be based.» IT
7/12«In summary, direct monetary external economies have dysfunctional effects on economic growth. First, they can be oriented toward objectives incompatible with economic growth, like when they are designed to pursue the maximum-employment objective (as in Sardinia).
Moreover, the flexibility of use of the direct external monetary economies in relation to the political steering of investments on many occasions allows for their use in terms of deviant power by the political class. When the latter adopts a distorted perspective in exercising power is in a position to impose, through direct external monetary economies, “improper burdens” on enterprises for the benefit of specific political groups.» IT
8/12«Talking about locational effects is not very accurate from an economic perspective. Here, we should refer not so much to geographical location issues but to the possibility for a production factor combination to operate in the underdeveloped area compared to the possibilities existing in a developed area.
The economic variable we can use to explicate these concepts in more rigorous terms is the average aggregate productivity (in the developed area) in the sector to which the driving single-product factor combination located in the underdeveloped area belongs. In this regard, it should be noted that the productivity of the driving single-product factor combination located (or locatable) in the underdeveloped area must be equalized to the average productivity of the relevant sector in the developed area, so that induced locational effects can be achieved. In this case, a situation of indifference occurs.» IT
9/12«The identification of these two macro-variables (i.e., the sector’s average productivity values in the developed area and the average productivity values for the single-product factor combinations in the underdeveloped area associated with the tax exemptions values, keeping the real external economies and the direct external monetary economies fixed) implies an analysis to identify, on the one hand (a) the specific sectors to which the endogenously oriented single-product factor combinations located or locatable in the underdeveloped area belong and, on the other (b) the indirect external monetary economies (i.e., the amount and the incidence of tax exemption) necessary to equalize the average productivity of the single-product factor combination in the underdeveloped area to the average productivity of the single-product factor combination in the developed area.
It means the tax exemption amount and incidence must be equivalent to the difference between the sector average productivity values in the developed area and the average productivity values of the single-product (downstream or midstream) factor combination that should operate in the underdeveloped area.» IT
10/12«The TE-variable (tax exemption) explicates the concept of a production-oriented free zone for endogenous accumulation. This concept presupposes connoting the free zone as an instrument of economic policy, namely as an independent macro-variable for development, as shown by the complex model formalized in this study.
Therefore, the free-zone problem cannot be solved, nor can the free zone be correctly defined, unless a reference model is taken into account in which the free zone appears as a dynamic variable. Defining the free zone means asking how it works, and determining how it works requires defining a set of variables, including the free zone, connected by dynamic functional relations.» IT
11/12«Based on these relations, it becomes clear the radical differentiation between the concept of a free zone as an economic policy macro-variable for the activation of an endogenous accumulation process, identified in this study, and the current concept of a free zone as a generalized tax exemption not bounded to specific endogenous accumulation objectives.
In the latter case, the tax exemption does not work as a precondition for development, no matter how it is implemented; i.e., it fails to remove the oligopolistic barriers that prevent the activation of an endogenous accumulation process. On the contrary, it is compatible with the antinomy of the technology function, hence with the persistence of a situation of dependency in the underdeveloped area. It means the free zone understood merely as a generalized tax exemption with no bound to specific development objectives, has only positive effects on exogenously-oriented production factor combinations located in the underdeveloped area.» IT
12/12«A conclusion of this study to be underlined shows that full employment cannot be achieved in the transition from underdevelopment to development when economic policy instruments apply within an economic system characterized by basically stationary structural dynamics. As said, it is necessary to change the fundamental functional relations characterizing the system. Namely, it is necessary to change the structure of the production functions of the system, orienting them towards development, so that an economic policy of full employment compatible with overcoming economic dependence can be implemented.
Without development, i.e., without the activation of an endogenous accumulation process, every policy of full employment turns into a policy of welfarism under a dependence regime.» IT
G. Bolacchi, Un’autonomia in regime di dipendenza [Autonomy under a dependence regime], in: P. Savona (a cura di), Per un’altra Sardegna, Franco Angeli, Milano, 1984
1/17«In short, being all ideologies exogenous to Sardinian culture as well as to any other local or regional culture in the entire nation, they were characterized in terms of universality, which was historicized throughout the national territory and, hence, presupposed the unitary structure of the State. The latter was ultimately the sole element of the Risorgimento tradition.
In this respect, a nation like Italy, which has been unable or unwilling to mature any culture other than the Risorgimento culture of unification in the course of its history, could not leave room for other types of autochthonous cultures, much less for those autochthonous cultures explicitly or latently opposing (by denying it) the unitary culture of the Risorgimento.» IT
- 2/17«Sardinian nationalism (Sardism) was conceived not as an ideology based on the refusal of domination from an external state nor on “Sardinianness” values different and opposed to the unification values; if these values had existed, they would undoubtedly have emerged well before the end of the World War 1915-1918. Sardism was born as a movement of battlers founded, even in its more mature formulations, on a reparation claim addressed to the Italian nation for the sacrifices of Sardinians during the Great War. Namely, it was born on a revendicatory notion that, as such, did not deny but rather presupposed the national state.» IT
3/17«Sardinian nationalism (Sardism) was always encumbered by cultural and political weaknesses, even when this movement made its own participatory and reformist requests, both on the economic and the state level. Indeed, neither reformism nor participation could have been considered typical of Sardism, as almost all political movements embraced these requests throughout the entire state territory. Autonomism was not abandoned, but it was too narrow an idea to constitute an alternative to the national parties' wide-ranging social and political ideologies; it was too narrow as conceived in terms of reparation, compensation, or revindication, which ultimately presupposed the state unitary structure.
As a result, Sardism was unable or unwilling to provide itself with an ideology; it was unable or unwilling to place itself at the center of stable aggregations of interests based on cultural and social elements alternative to the great European and national ideologies.» IT
- 4/17«The problem of dependence appears primarily as a problem of political dependence. The latter is a complex phenomenon, as it shows ideological-cultural aspects and more directly operational aspects related to the specific functionality of the system. However, even another type of dependence exists, which is manifestly interconnected with political dependence but also presents aspects and issues that can be subject to specific in-depth analysis: economic dependence. Political dependence and economic dependence are the two most relevant and generalized forms of social subordination; they are linked by an instrumentality relation, which usually sets political dependence as an instrument of economic dependence.» IT
5/17«Political dependence has an ideological-cultural aspect and an operational aspect. The ideological-cultural aspect is managed according to the acquisition of consent; therefore, it is instrumental to the operational aspect concerning the specific expression of political will, namely the constraints and compatibilities of political choices. In making these operational choices, large national parties have always referred to political behavior models where the weight of regional interests, particularly Sardinian interest, was commensurate with the poor political and party strength expressed by the Sardinian social context.» IT
6/17«In Sardinia, politics was not carried out as dialectical participation and debate about the prominent national choices, which should have always positively impacted the region. It was carried out as a marginalization, an agreement on local problems without a national scope, anchored only to the geographical and cultural borders of the island.
In this way, Sardinia has not pursued its amalgamation in a national dimension; it has instead become more and more isolated. This isolation has been characterized not by regaining that cultural, economic, and political autonomy always denied but rather by a situation of instrumentality and subordination to the prominent national choices. As a result, Sardinia has been a nonessential and completely irrelevant element in national politics. That is precisely the situation of dependence characterizing not a self-propelled and innovatory isolation but fruitless and ancillary isolation from a national community supinely and uncritically accepted on a cultural and political level.» IT
7/17«Based on these premises, it is not surprising that Sardinian politics always took place through successive and repetitious phases of vain revindication and political begging addressed to the state, leading to a fragmentation carried to the excess of political action at the local level, as displayed by the regional councils that have alternated up to now. Thereby, the exclusive focus on the dynamics of deviant power characterizing the political struggle in Sardinia was strengthened, alongside clientelism at all scales in the distribution of the scarce resources available. It follows the generalized welfarism toward agriculture and industry; and aid and relief policies for the agropastoral class, with no attempt to change the production factor combination for breeding and farming activities. As a result, monetary incentives have been used as the sum of the economic policy intervention by the public sector body and as a fundamental instrument of economic dependence.» IT
8/17«In Sardinia, the difficulties in regional planning and programming must be ascribed to these dysfunctional factors. A shattered political will, focused only on deviant power, could not but accentuate consumption as a dominant usage of monetary transfers that the region managed to obtain from the state. From an institutional standpoint, this favored the territorial subdivision of Sardinia into too many and too small areas and made it difficult to grasp the global dimension of the most relevant problems of the island.» IT
9/17«The anomalous doom of Sardinia was to develop over the centuries, ultimately, a self-governing culture and society devoid of national self-awareness. The myriad of local cultures perfectly balanced in their being all too narrow because stereotypical and repetitive, obviously excluded the emergence of the idea of a nation, which would have entailed the leadership of one culture, with consequent assimilation of all other cultures into the local hegemonic one.» IT
10/17«In Sardinia, there was no bourgeois class understood as a social group characterized by an interest in development and, hence, by an attitude towards entrepreneurship and innovation. The merchant entrepreneur could not find a space in a non-market-oriented subsistence economy in which the production factor combination was not related to an interest in the social division of labor but took place within the family nucleus, depending on self-consumption.
Above all, the nonexistence of a bourgeois class, namely of a social group characterized by a primary interest in the marked-oriented combination of production factors, had a heavy and negative impact on the social and political development of the island. In France, meanwhile, the innovatory bourgeoisie was acquiring awareness of its social strength and, with the Revolution 1989, transformed into tiers état, leading to a radical change in social structures.» IT
11/17«It appears clearly, if we retrace the history of Sardinia from the late 1700s to the abolition of feudalism, that the rare occasions of rebellion have never involved a bourgeois social class. From the uprisings led by Angioi in 1796 to the conspiracy led by the family of the lawyer Salvatore Cadeddu in 1812, passing through the heroic sacrifice of notary Francesco Cilocco and theologian Francesco Sanna Corda who landed on the Aggius coast in 1802 to free Sardinia from the feudal rule, we face attempts that show the total absence of a base of consent (engaging, if not all, at least a part of the population) for the revolutionary instances.
On the one hand, these attempts show a minority of brave people who did not hesitate to sacrifice their lives or endure atrocious tortures to realize a revolutionary ideal in the Enlightenment mold; Angioi was for sure the most mature representative among them, perhaps the only Sardinian who understood the meaning of the French Revolution of 1789. On the other, these attempts show the clergy and nobility closed to any modern cultural instance and unable to understand the sense of history, and the populace with no knowledge, awareness, courage, or intelligence.» IT
12/17«The leadership of brave revolutionaries, although emerging from the social context, was carried out with no social class. All in all, the history of Sardinia can be summed up in the following basic characterizations: a classless cultural leadership who tried desperately and repeatedly to act as if a class existed; a myriad of social groups with no class consciousness, kept together only by the need to create the most favorable conditions for managing their status roles and, hence, with no public political objectives, with no awareness that social structures could have been changed by acting collectively, persuaded that the royal government was an unavoidable fact, almost like an immutable element of the natural environment.
The proneness to revindications as the only expression of group action derives from the inability to conceive collective (class) action and the aptitude to consider society and institutions as effects of the consent management culturally rooted in an exaggerated particularism to which the concept of collective interest was alien.» IT
13/17«If we had to define Sardinian culture in anthropological terms, we should presumably say that the historical constant of this culture is the Sardinians’ acquiescence (persisting passive behavior) towards the environment. [...]
Considering the environment as a datum, not a variable, has led to conceiving the production factor combination in terms of poverty equilibrium. From this standpoint, the shepherding activity, in its historical configuration, is the most rational combination possible for the given environment. This type of activity disregards the ownership structure and is carried out institutionally through the common use of the grazing factor.
The Sardinian society, whose characterizing economic form is the shepherding activity that does not incorporate the ownership structure, is a substantially atomistic society, with no social organization exceeding the boundaries of the extended family, the clan, and the village as the ultimate boundary. In a social context where the people do not respond innovatively to the environment, it is not easy to conceive a state organization as an active response to the environmental condition.» IT
14/17«The historical idea of autonomy without dependence was affirmed in Sardinia by a small revolutionary élite that never had a base of popular legitimacy. The socio-cultural causes of this lack of legitimacy lie in the fact that the shepherding culture does not express any social organization; it is based solely on the exchange between individuals or families within the clan and between clans within the village.
The failure of the social law of exchange entails a revenge action, and the demonstration of the possibility or capacity for revenge (so-called “balentia” in Sardinian language) serves to make the relation of social exchange socially stable through punishment.
On the economic level, this exchange-based society expresses the shepherding activity, which realizes a static combination of production factors where the natural environment is considered a non-modifiable datum and the technological dynamics is rejected, in principle. This means that Sardinian shepherd society is closed to any form of cultural dynamics and, by definition, cannot express any institutionalized common interest. There are no common interests on which a convergence of attitudes and behaviors among subjects could rest; i.e., there is no conjunct interrelation, which is the fundamental social relation underlying the organization of group behavior.» IT
15/17«Autonomy without dependence never crossed the borders of utopia because it was not supported by a social class that laid it at the foundation of its own conjunct interrelation. Indeed, a society based on exchange, not expressing any institutionalized common interest, was unable to generate any social class, meaning, by social class, a more or less vast group of individuals internalizing a common interest and establishing organizational structures instrumental in satisfying that interest. The revolutionary élite who carried forward the idea of autonomy without dependence in Sardinia was a classless élite.» IT
16/17«It was a classless élite, too, the one exercising power in a subordinate position to the various hegemonic powers that took over Sardinia throughout history. This subordinate local élite could not have any popular base of acceptance for the same reason that the revolutionary elite did not: Sardinian culture was contrary to or indifferent to any socially organized culture. That explains the relative ease with which the hegemonic powers were able, from time to time, to assert their supremacy over Sardinia without ever realizing any possibility of encounter or dialogue between their cultures and the Sardinian culture. The subordinate élite relied on this social space of indifference and lack of communication between exogenous and endogenous culture and, hence, on the inability of Sardinian society to express a state organizational model in contrast to the organizational models imposed from the outside.» IT
17/17«This autonomy in a dependence regime was found in the island state (insularity) as the only cultural element capable of tailoring an autonomist model, fully embedded in the social and economic structures of the national state. As one can see, it is an autonomy culturally very poor and very different from the historical idea developed in the eighteenth century. So conceived, it cannot but recognize the nation-state and create economic situations of dependence, widely underlined by the anomalies which characterized Sardinian industrial development in the last thirty years and prevented endogenous accumulation, regional economic growth, and social structure development.» IT
G. Bolacchi, Problemi concernenti una campagna di promozione sociale contro gli incendi [Some issues about a social campaign against fires], Edizioni Sardegna da Scoprire, Cagliari, 1984
- 1/13«The fundamental feature of advertising methodologies applied to industrial-product marketing is that advertising is meant not to raise new interests but to channel general interests into specific products. Indeed, advertising finds its proper target group in those individuals who are, overall, predisposed to the message. The general interest exists in the potential recipients (i.e., the “target group” identified in the design and planning phase) before the message is conveyed through the mass media.» IT
2/13«The basic general predisposition (the interest in a class of products or behaviors) defines the group to which the advertisement should be direct; it also pinpoints the cogency of the message, namely its ability to direct the targeted-audience behavior towards previously identified objectives. It follows that an advertising message always belongs to a class of messages among which to choose alternatively. In fact, given that the message presupposes a basic general predisposition, it is susceptible to various orientations; namely, there are diverse ways to make that predisposition specific as to a determined behavior resulting from an advertising message compatible with that predisposition.» IT
3/13«Assessing the appropriateness of an advertising message referring to a group of individuals who have not the related basic general predisposition is pointless. When a given basic predisposition pertains to a set of upper-middle-income individuals, for instance, or to a set of individuals with a certain social status or practicing specific values, the advertising message must be oriented according to the standardized behavioral repertoires typical of those groups of individuals.» IT
4/13«Social-cultural stereotypes cannot be changed through an advertisement ordinarily designed. It is necessary to identify different types of “ad hoc” messages, i.e., to implement interventions aimed not at specifying but rather at giving rise to a basic general predisposition.
The basic general predisposition is the strategic variable that enables the individuals’ selective perception of the message. Thereby, the message becomes an independent variable in relation to an individual’s field of interest and can lead, when appropriately designed, to an individual’s behavior consistent with the objectives of the promotional campaign.» IT
5/13«The concept of basic general predisposition corresponds to the concept of propensity or attitude in social psychology. From this perspective, what has previously been said can be expressed by stating that advertising works by trying to change the individual’s interests (specific behaviors) and presupposes the existence of some attitudes (usually positively oriented towards a particular type of situation or product).» IT
6/13«Attitudes develop during the socialization process, mainly in childhood and adolescence. When the personality stabilizes, the individual’s psychological field tends to become rigid, and the attitudes acquired during the socialization process become crystallized as cultural stereotypes. These latter are nothing but attitudes stabilized in the individual’s psychological field; they influence the selective perception of messages. It means that individuals only accept communications compatible with their cultural stereotypes, which are typically characterized also as biases or positive or negative propensities towards the environment.» IT
7/13«Attitudes are fundamental in directing an individual’s behavior by establishing modes and courses (guidelines) along which behavior develops. The judgments and perceptions about others, the values to which the behavior conforms, the conflictual or non-conflictual character of inter-subject relations, and aggression and frustration depend on attitudes; in short, the individual’s approach to the surrounding world depends on attitudes. In this respect, attitudes (i.e., the cultural stereotypes characterizing the individual’s personality) influence every behavior. Attitudes express an individual’s standardized way of responding to the stimuli of the external environment; they are the “modes” characterizing how behavior occurs.» IT
8/13«It is necessary to identify the weight of each social institution (formal or informal), which conditions attitudes by presenting stimuli, and to analyze to what extent the various stimuli are compatible or incompatible with each other. Determining the consequent resultant makes it possible to detect the most relevant stimulation in relation to those attitudes to be positively or negatively reinforced.» IT
9/13«Each child is at the center of a complex stimulation process from the groups with which the child interacts. The stimulation flows from the various groups can be continual or segmental and have greater or lesser impact force, depending on whether or not the group is regarded as a reference group. The time element and the stimulus strength are the two variables that make it possible to identify the persuasion capacity of each group towards the child, that is, the potential for an influence of single groups on the development of attitudes.» IT
10/13«The school is the only institution that the public authority can use with some flexibility to change or guide the development of childhood attitudes. However, the school presents the disadvantage of implementing a segmental stimulation flow with a low impact force, as it is not typically a reference group for the child and hence does not reinforce imitative behaviors. That happens mostly when the school seems to be an institution somehow alien to the child’s environment.» IT
11/13«Two are the aspects peculiar to the type of culture (i.e., the institutionalized lifestyle) of the agricultural and shepherding areas where, as seen, the phenomenon of fires is most prevalent.
The first aspect is that social interactions usually are circumscribed to the primary group, such as the extended family and the clan, which includes relations between relatives and some unrelated individuals (conditionally admitted) who share long traditions of friendship or exchange relations embodying, above all, a demand or offer of silence (code of silence).» IT
12/13«The second aspect, strictly related to the first one, is that the conflict characterizing the relations between small groups (regarded as elementary units of the social body) has a decisive impact on the individual’s personality during the socialization process. In agricultural and shepherding societies (and, usually, in almost all underdeveloped societies), the acquisition of values is a process based on punishment, namely, in a technical sense, on the administration of negative reinforcers or the removal of positive reinforcers to control the individual’s behavior and ensure its conformity to the group values. Conditioned eliciting stimuli couple with those resulting from punitive operant behaviors, which are designed to provoke strong emotional reactions whenever some stranger individual questions or alters the extended family or clan structure. Therefore, from the early stages of their life, individuals undergo a continuing stream of frustrations emerging from exclusive punitive-type socialization.» IT
13/13«It is interesting to note that the strict social control within the primary group, together with the scarce opportunities offered by the environment, determine an extremely rigid aspiration level in the individual, namely the inability to react to environmental and social adversities by modifying one’s field of interests (the inability to foresee alternative courses of action). This situation, coupled with the frustrations accumulated during the socialization process and subsequently reinforced by the social context, results in frustration followed by some open form of aggression.» IT
G. Bolacchi, Concorrenza, collettivismo, pianificazione [Competition, collectivism and planning], in: Studi di Economia, vol. V, n. 3, dicembre 1974, pp. 3-49
1/20«The principle of maximum collective ophelimity does not refer to a hypothetical resource distribution as an optimum compared to all possible distributions. Instead, it establishes the conditions under which individuals can maximize their ophelimities, given a particular resource distribution (whatever it may be). Hence, the form of the resource distribution could reflect either a marked inequality or equality of conditions among individuals. That is not relevant from the perspective of economic theory, as the latter assumes the distribution problem as settled. As a matter of fact, the resource distribution is determined by the social structures, which establish the limits and methods of appropriation of the production factors and capital on the part of individuals.» IT
2/20«In the collectivist system, neither a demand nor a supply exists because all individuals jointly establish how much shall be consumed and, thereby, how much shall be produced for consumption; therefore, it makes no sense to speak of reciprocal adjustments in supply and demand. The fact that the demand quantity (consumption) is equal to the supply quantity (production) results from the fact that one choice (made by the community) determines both quantities.
In the competition system, the equivalence between demand and supply quantity is an equation whose solution identifies the equilibrium price; in the collectivist system, instead, this equivalence is a mere identity.» IT
3/20«Pareto and Barone posit, in formal terms within the economic theory, an identification between the competition and the collectivist systems, but this identification is imprecise.
In the competition system, individuals maximize their ophelimity functions by modifying their subjective distribution of consumer goods through the exchange. In the collectivist system, instead, the needs to be satisfied are common to all individuals, and the extent to which these needs are satisfied (compatibly with the resources available) is established by unanimous agreement among all subjects. In the collectivist system, the quantities to be produced and to be consumed are determined a priori and, hence, are a datum. Therefore, the problem of consumer equilibrium does not exist for single individuals in a collectivist system. This problem only becomes meaningful when referred to one individual in relation to a set of other individuals with different ophelimity functions who maximize these functions through exchange transactions.» IT
4/20«From the sociological perspective, referring to an isolated individual is meaningless even if, as shown, the isolated individual and the pure collectivist system are equivalent from an economic perspective. The analysis of the differences between the two systems from a sociological perspective brings us back to the distinction between conjunct interrelation and disjunct interrelation between interests.» IT
5/20«From the sociological perspective, we can characterize the competition and the collectivist systems by considering two different types of relations between the individuals’ interests. The first type is the conjunct interrelation, such that each individual has not only an interest in satisfying its scale of needs but also an interest in all other individuals satisfying their scales of needs (which implies identity in the scales of needs). The second type is the disjunct interrelation, such that individuals have scales of needs different from each other, and each individual tries to satisfy its needs regardless of whether the other individuals can satisfy theirs.» IT
6/20«In investigating the social bases of the exchange system, we considered the type of relation between the interests of two individuals engaged in exchanging goods or services. A second facet should be analyzed, which is equally important to provide a sociological characterization of the exchange system. This second facet is the competition. Exchange refers to the activity carried out by the individuals who give goods (services) and receive other goods (services), so that the individual ophelimities are maximized. Competition refers instead to the activity carried out by producers, each of whom considers the other producers’ behavior. [...] The analysis of the latter relation will show the second social foundation of the exchange system.» IT
7/20«We have seen that in the collectivist system, the activity of the producer state rests on a set of conjunctly interrelated interests. It means that in such a system, every possible interaction between individuals always implies a conjunct interrelation of interests. We have seen that, on the contrary, in the exchange system, all possible interactions always entail interests disjunctly interrelated. The collectivist system and the exchange system, so defined, are two extreme cases.» IT
8/20«It is possible to define a third type of system by assuming the existence of a set of conjunctly interrelated interests (identical for all subjects) and the existence of further interests, identical or different among subjects, which may be disjunctly or conjunctly interrelated but do never involve all subjects (if this were the case, then these interests would belong to the first set). We call this third type a mixed system.» IT
9/20«In the mixed system, the public administration performs the same function, limited to the sphere of conjunctly interrelated interests, as the central planning office in the collectivist system with reference to all the individuals’ interests (which are the same for all individuals and are all conjunctly interrelated). Some examples of activities by the public administration are so-called public services production and the organization of justice.
The activity by the public administration should not be confused with the activity by the producer state, oriented towards exchanging goods or services.» IT
10/20«The existence of a common and interrelated interest in the state producing a given good or service does not imply the existence of a conjunct interrelation as to the need satisfiable through that good. Conversely, if the latter interrelation exists, the former interrelation must also exist.
When both interrelations exist, the state activity takes the form of public-administration activity aimed at producing goods and services which are not subject to exchange. Here, all individuals have a particular need, and a conjunct interrelation related to that need takes place, such that the need is satisfied directly by all individuals through the state activity, with no exchange between the single individuals and the state.» IT
11/20«In summary, we can distinguish:
(a) a private sector, characterized by the production of goods and services object of exchange, carried out by individuals; (b) a public sector, characterized by the production of goods and services object of exchange, carried out by the state (be it monopolist or not); (c) a public administration sector, characterized by the production of goods and services carried out by the state, which is not an object of exchange, as it satisfies those needs common to all individuals and in relation to which a conjunct interrelation exists.» IT
12/20«Once the economic and sociological differences between the exchange and the collectivist systems have been clarified, it is necessary to analyze the concept of planning, the meaning of which is commonly identified with the collectivist system. This identification originates many pseudo-problems, which led some economists to think that economic theory, in Walras's formulation, has insurmountable contradictions which (according to those economists) could only be eliminated by reformulating the whole theory in completely new terms.
The difficulties of the Walrasian theory can all be related to the impossibility of coherently explaining capital accumulation.» IT
13/20«Let us consider a collectivist system. The individuals can, by mutual agreement, either delay the satisfaction of their needs and allocate part of the resources to the manufacture of new means of production or allocate all the resources to satisfy their needs. In the first case, the collectivist system does planning; in the second, it reintegrates (replenishes) itself sine die. It follows that planning is not an inherent feature of the collectivist system (even if planning occurs historically in collectivist systems). The fundamental feature of the collectivist system is not the planning activity but, as we have highlighted, the complete conjunct interrelation between the individuals’ interests.» IT
14/20«Walras-Pareto’s theory cannot provide any planning schema applicable in practice, as it only defines efficiency for the production activity, regardless of whether or not there is accumulation. When Pareto and Barone maintain that, in the collectivist system, the production is organized according to efficiency principles identical to those valid for private enterprises in the exchange system, they prescind from the fact that there is accumulation in the collectivist system or not. They do not explain accumulation because the accumulation problem is not relevant to economics, given that it pertains to cumulative dynamics.» IT
15/20«Based on these elucidations, the failure of classical theory to provide a satisfactory explanation of economic phenomena is understandable. This failure is due to the fact that the classical theory is an attempt to explicate cumulative dynamics; therefore, the real scientific problem of economics, which is the explication of economic action, is a problem unknown to classical economists. Economics as a science was born only when the problem of cumulative dynamics of capital was abandoned and the problem of defining economic behavior was approached.» IT
16/20«What economics cares about is establishing the laws that guide human action when, given certain resources, an individual tries to satisfy a given set of needs. Only by posing the problem in these terms, and regardless of the fact that the content and the number of those needs change continuously, is it possible to attain “scientific” economic laws, even if not operational ones. [...]
The choice criterion for shifting from an indefinite development process of needs to a determined structure of needs is given by an individual action, which postulates a structure of needs. It means that the scientific explication of the economic action must always assume a structure of needs as a datum and a set of limited resources through which it is possible to satisfy these needs.» IT
17/20«As previously noted, apart from the differences in the way consumption and production are determined in the collectivist system versus the exchange system, the efficiency conditions for production are the same in both systems. It is the first concept of efficiency, which can be summed up in the principle of minimum cost. It is worth clarifying that the definition of efficiency in the first sense can only be given within the Walrasian theory and not the Leontief model.» IT
18/20«The construction of models like the Leontief’s relates to the need, which emerged historically, to give an interpretation of the collectivist system. Hence, the Leontief model does not leave behind the Walrasian theory, but it is simply a schema that interprets a reality other than the competition one. The common element between the two schemata is the efficiency principle for production, which takes the same form in both. However, the different approach to consumption expresses the difference in the social structures to which the two systems can be referred. Only seemingly, the Leontief model contains no hypotheses about social structures. In point of fact, if one wants to use it as an explanatory schema, then the assumption that consumption is given shows, from the sociological perspective, the existence of a complete conjunct interrelation between the individuals’ interests.» IT
19/20«In the exchange system (given the disjunct interrelation), consumption is a function of prices (the demand is distinct from the supply). In the collectivist system (given the conjunct interrelation), consumption is an a priori datum determined by a unanimous decision of all individuals. In the latter case, it is also possible to consider a deferral of consumption and, therefore, an accumulation pertaining to the system. [...]
However, it should be understood that the Leontief model in no way explains capital accumulation. It takes into consideration a time distribution for accumulation and formulates compatibility conditions for the whole system, but it does not explain why and how capital accumulates.» IT
20/20«In conclusion, the Walrasian system and the Leontief model have in common an efficiency principle, but they differ in the assumptions about consumption. The Walrasian theory implicitly assumes a disjunct interrelation and, hence, a separation between the consumption and production aspects. The Leontief model implicitly refers to a system characterized by a conjunct interrelation, where consumption is determined a priori, and no separation exists between the consumption and the production aspects. Thus, within the Leontief model is possible to take into account capital formation, that is, an accumulation pertaining to the system.
Therefore, the two models presuppose a precise reference to the institutional framework, as each implicitly contains a hypothesis about the interrelation between interests.» IT
G. Bolacchi, Processo d’apprendimento e strutture ideologiche [Learning process and ideological structures], in: Studi di Economia, vol. V, n. 1, aprile 1974, pp. 3-54
1/21«The asymmetry of the teacher-student relation is inherent in the instructional-educational situation; one can change the content of the learning process but cannot eliminate the difference in roles (functions) between teachers and students. We will see, delving into the psychological analysis of the instructional-educational relation, that the teacher’s role is to program the learning phases and reinforce the student’s specific behaviors with appropriate stimuli.» IT
2/21«It should be noted that the distinction between the psychological-structural aspect of the instructional-educational interaction and the learning contents is of crucial importance: on the one hand, it highlights the contradictoriness of the student protest aimed at eliminating an interaction whose psychological basis can be analyzed from a scientific perspective; on the other, it allows us to figure out the real core of the problem of present educational institutions, which is the deviant power of teachers and the fact that teachers play within the school political status-roles which cumulate with educational status-roles and are usually confused with the latter.» IT
3/21«As seen, the punitive relation always entails a situation of frustration. Several factors characterize the concept of frustration: (a) the individual’s aspiration level, i.e., the degree of fungibility between the individual’s final interests; (b) the intensity level of the individual’s final interest corresponding to the frustrated or impeded instrumental behavior; (c) the frustrating stimulus.
When the individual’s aspiration level is rigid (i.e., the degree of fungibility between the individual’s final interests is low), the state of deprivation (the final interest) being frustrated does not disappear, despite the impediment barring the instrumental behavior. In the case of high intensity-level interests, the frustrating stimulus barring the instrumental behavior acts as an eliciting stimulus in relation to a corresponding emotional (elicited) behavior realized by the individual. This elicited behavior can be anxious or even aggressive. Therefore, the presence of an obstacle can determine emotional responses, which are manifested at the level of operant behavior.» IT
4/21«In current educational institutions, besides the frustration caused by exam checks, individuals may undergo permanent, or not easy to overcome, frustrations: this happens when they are socialized according to schemes dissimilar to the institutionalized ones expressed by the school. Here, the educational institution becomes an obstacle to the satisfaction of interests acquired by the individual in the environment where socialization took place, rather than a means to satisfy them. The result is a situation that, given its steadiness, can lead to openly deviant aggressive behaviors (actual deviation) against institutional structures.» IT
5/21«Apart from the case of the exchange, it is possible to identify a fundamental interrelation between the teacher’s and the student’s interests, particularly a conjunct interrelation. The teacher operates in a learning process by transmitting appropriate discriminative (verbal) stimuli to the student who has what we may call an interest “in learning” (I1); correspondingly, the teacher has what we may call an interest “in enabling the student to satisfy I1.” We denote with I’ the teacher’s interest. The teacher satisfies that interest if the student satisfies I1: that is, the satisfaction of I’ implies the satisfaction of I1 (and vice versa, because if the student satisfies I1, it means that the teacher has satisfied I’). Simplifying, we can say that while the exchange relation can give rise to a learning process, the latter entails a collaborative relation between teacher and student. Instead, when the relation between teacher and student is of a punitive type, their interests are disjunctly interrelated.» IT
6/21«To explain the learning process unambiguously, it is necessary to specify the student’s final interest to which “studying” is instrumental. In the above hypothesis, the student’s behavior is instrumental to a consummatory behavior related to the acquisition of the primary positive reinforcer provided by the teacher; namely, it is instrumental in obtaining a positive reinforcer extrinsic to studying. In this event, the primary reinforcement related to problem-solving is lacking in the learning process.
At first glance, we can say that the student memorizes information without assimilating its content because the only final interest of the student is to obtain a given reward (which is commonly a social reward: for example, a degree conferring prestige).» IT
7/21«The school learning process involves three fundamental factors:
(a) the interest in knowledge (interest in problem-solving) acquired during the socialization process;
(b) a set of instrumental behaviors, corresponding to the satisfaction of the interest in knowledge, which are related to a set of information to be learned operating as secondary reinforcers;
(c) a set of primary positive reinforcers, germane to the interest in knowledge, operating through the programming of teaching (consisting of a sequence of primary reinforcers).
Point (a) is about the deprivation state, point (b) is about the operant behavior, and point (c) is about the reinforcer.» IT
8/21«A fundamental mistake typical of the current educational institutions is to assume that it is possible to arouse an interest in knowledge through punitive techniques, either used singly or associated with extrinsic rewards of an individual or social type. However, as we have seen, these techniques strengthen only an interest in memorizing.
The modification of educational institutions implies, as a fundamental element, replacing the interest in memorization with an interest in knowledge. This replacement entails changes in social structures that go far beyond a change in the educational structures alone. As a matter of fact, an interest in knowledge must be acquired through the socialization process.» IT
9/21«In a pluralistic society, social structures are characterized in ideological terms; that implies that the consent on which institutionalized status-roles rest, resulting from conjunctly interrelated interests, is ideological. However, institutionalized interests can conflict with likewise ideological interests of groups of individuals acting in the pre-institutional social space. The prevalence of one ideology over the others derives from the greater social strength (consent), which legitimates the exercise of power against deviants. It is the only possible method of conflict resolution, the ideologies being subjective standpoints that cannot be rationalized and are unsuitable for empirical verification.» IT
10/21«In a pluralistic society, individuals are influenced by as many types of socialization as there are conflicting ideological interests. The conflict between institutionalized interests, on the one hand, and the interests of groups acting in the pre-institutional social space, on the other, is also found within educational institutions, as the school is the foremost apparatus tasked with carrying out the institutionalized socialization process. [...] Indeed, a conflict can occur within the school, as there may be students socialized outside, or contrary to, institutionalized ideological interests and teachers socialized in conformity with institutionalized interests. This conflict results in a disjunct interrelation between students who have no interest in acquiring institutionalized cultural contents of an ideological type and teachers who have an interest in transmitting information conforming to institutionalized interests.» IT
11/21«One could argue that, within educational institutions, conflict can only concern the transmission of institutionalized values (ideological interests) and not scientific knowledge. In the latter case, even though a student may not have an interest in scientific knowledge, it would be pointless to speak of an ideological conflict between institutionalized interests in transmitting scientific knowledge and the student’s deviant interests. Nonetheless, it is important to point out that there may be a conflict between those who ask for a given scientific discourse (a specific science) to be included in the institutionalized learning process and those who have an interest in excluding that science from teaching. This conflict not only occurred with reference to the natural sciences, which were long opposed within societies founded on ideological interests until the definitive success and acceptance of the Galilean revolution; it still occurs today with reference to the social science. Within strongly ideologized cultural contexts, the opposition against social science derives from a disjunct interrelation between (institutionalized) interests in the ideological analysis of social phenomena and (non-institutionalized) interests in the scientific analysis of social phenomena.» IT
12/21«A severe consequence of education institutions based on punitive methods is that, by reinforcing only the memorization behavior, they tend to lead to the extinction of the interest in knowledge even in those individuals who acquired this interest during the socialization process.» IT
13/21«Information transmission and problem-solving are inseparable in the learning process. However, as seen, the way this process takes place in current educational institutions is anomalous. Indeed, learning here is not related to an interest in knowledge (as it should be if the school functions were knowledge-oriented, i.e., oriented to the assimilation of cultural contents by students). Instead, it is related to an interest in acquiring social gratifications that allow individuals to occupy, based on their educational degree, status-roles to which they would not otherwise have access.
What happens is that the students assimilate a kind of information and learn to solve a kind of problems, which are related to the acquisition of social reinforcers (the student learns, for example, to pass exams with less effort, to curry favor with the teacher, to memorize the cultural contents transmitted).» IT
14/21«In a punishment-based education system, which reinforces memorization behaviors, checking the adequacy of the information transmission with respect to the student’s abilities is senseless. Thereby the teacher activity becomes a routine activity, and even the exam becomes a routine check on memorization.
So, the social function of the education system no longer consists in satisfying an interest in knowledge but an interest in acquiring social prestige. The student takes part in the instructional-educational interaction not to learn but to have the capacity to acquire social prestige. Obtaining an educational degree becomes the students’ final interest because the culture of our societies associates that document with a certain level of social prestige.» IT
15/21«Such a modification of social functions of the education system corresponds to a diversion of the instructional-educational relation, which tends to become a control relation for a formal requirement (memorization) that enables access to status-roles associated with social prestige. [...] From this perspective, the so-called “right to education” does not express an interest in that everyone can learn the cultural contents transmitted by the school. Instead, it expresses an ideological interest in acquiring the social prestige that the education system confers on students when they pass memorization checks (exams). The mass schooling system thus realizes the ideology of the equal right, for all individuals, to social prestige conferred by the educational system; it does not satisfy an interest in knowledge.» IT
16/21«The existence of ideological interests presupposes, in principle, the possibility that these interests will be challenged, still on the ideological level. This possibility is excluded, in principle, when scientific predicates characterize social structures. In the first case, the social dynamics occur through an ideology-based class conflict. In the second case, the social dynamics occur without conflict, as the change in interests results from the possibility of empirically verifying whether interests are compatible with the body of scientific knowledge.» IT
17/21«The phenomenon of power characterizes the ideology-based social structures (whether pluralistic or collectivist), namely the social structures based on a conflict of values (disjunct interrelation between interests not comparable with the scientific discourse). Power is, in fact, the means through which one ideology prevails over another, as the only way to solve a conflict of values is to measure the social strength of the conflicting ideologies, not being possible to use objective (intersubjective) criteria.» IT
18/21«In today’s societies founded on ideological interests, be they pluralistic or collectivist, the definition of the status-roles is based on values, and individuals must conform to a particular ideological culture (i.e., to a set of institutionalized conjunctly-interrelated ideological interests) to acquire these roles. That reverberates in the educational institutions, too. They are affected by the ideological characterization of the social context, not only with regard to the memorization phenomenon but also the transmitted cultural contents. Within an ideology-based society, educational programs must conform to institutionalized ideological interests.» IT
19/21«When the power related to a given status-role is not exercised in accordance with the institutionalized interests on the part of a group of individuals who hold identical status-roles, a conjunct interrelation between deviant interests takes place among these individuals; here, the group action is aimed at preventing the access to the status-roles based on any interest other than the ones common to the group. The fundamental conjunctly-interrelated interest of the deviant group is to preserve the discretionary scope of their status-roles; this can be achieved by ensuring that the status-roles are held by individuals who guarantee to exercise discretion in a deviant way, not in accordance with the institutionalized interests.» IT
20/21«The distinction between the educational function concerning the transmission of cultural contents (learning process) and the political function concerning the determination of cultural contents allows us to work out the meaning of the student protest. This protest seems baseless insofar as it tends to question the non-eliminable asymmetry of the instructional-educational interaction. However, it appears to be perfectly justifiable (within pluralistic societies with corporatist structures) when it claims participation in a political function within a system that would like to see itself as a democratic (i.e., pluralistic) one.» IT
21/21«The elimination of corporatist relations makes it possible to obtain the maximum functionality of the educational structures in terms of the possibility for individuals who have undergone diverse socialization processes to satisfy their interests within a pluralistic ideological system. However, it remains the fundamental limitation of the plurality of ideologies; this limitation entails the existence of societies based on conflict and competition and, hence, the renunciation of using social science to solve human problems.» IT
G. Bolacchi, L’analisi scientifica del comportamento di scelta [The scientific analysis of choice behavior], in: Studi di Economia, vol. III, n.2/3, dicembre 1972, pp. 137-160 (parte I); vol. IV, n.1, aprile 1973, pp. 5-33 (parte II); vol. IV, n.2, agosto 1973, pp. 149-168 (parte III)
1/13«From a methodological perspective, behaviorism states that the difference between human and animal organisms is not qualitative; it is a matter of degrees of complexity. Indeed, considering human organisms qualitatively different entails resorting to metaphysical judgment factors, whereas the latter must be detected and eliminated from scientific analysis. Once acknowledged that the difference is a matter of degree, animals appear to be the most suited organisms for the experimental study of the structure of psychological processes. That allows psychology to turn from a metaphysical analysis of mental processes into the scientific analysis of behavior; it becomes an experimental science, as well as physics and biology.» IT
2/13«We introduce the term “interest” as a nominal definition for the final element of an operation sequence and not as a concept explicating operant behavior. If one stated that a subject engages in a particular behavior because it has a particular interest in carrying out that behavior, then the concept of behavior would be explained in mentalistic terms. Namely, a hypothetical internal variable (interest) would be assumed to be the cause of behaviors.
Therefore, when we talk about a subject’s interests, we refer only to the final elements of given operation sequences, followed by particular reinforcers.» IT
3/13«Based on the above observations, the concept of drive can be expressed in operational terms as the result of certain operations on an organism, notably deprivation operations through which a given stimulus S becomes a reinforcer S+. It is possible to find the appropriate operations for each primary reinforcer.
The term drive is defined thereby as a relation between a deprivation state and some reinforced behavior. This definition excludes that the drive can be considered as the cause of behaviors.» IT
4/13«We note, again, that the analysis of reinforcement laws always presupposes a deprivation operation. Therefore, the relation between the behavior modifications and the reinforcement contingencies (given a particular deprivation state) is only one aspect of the complex reinforcement process. The second aspect is the relation between the behavior modifications and the changes in the deprivation state (given the reinforcement contingencies, which are kept constant). Hence, the reinforcement process must be explicated in terms of changes in reinforcement contingencies, but it must also be explicated considering the variations in the deprivation state.» IT
5/13«We have defined the intensity of an interest based on the compactness of the operation sequences. The latter can, in turn, be considered a function of the deprivation state. We may expect that a subject with a high deprivation always carries out an operation sequence (leading to a particular reinforcer) while excluding any interference related to other operation sequences.» IT
6/13«Suppose that the intensity of the interest I1 is much higher than any others. In this event, it will take much longer for interest I1 to decrease to a level lower than some other interests. Therefore, while the alternation of operation sequences occurs straightaway in the previous case, here, where the difference in intensity between I1 and any other interests is very high, there is no alternation of operation sequences but repetition of identical operation sequences. In this event, the subject behaves as if it had virtually only one interest, and its behavior is predictable with certainty.
In the first case, we deal with operation sequences that intersect, as the differences between the intensities of interests are tiny. In the second case, there is no intersection between different operation sequences but a single operation sequence, as the difference in intensities between one interest and any others is very large.» IT
7/13«Saying that an organism “focuses and filters at once the potential stimuli from the external environment” is to formulate a pseudo-explanation about the fact that some interests of the subject have a higher intensity than others.
This pseudo-explanation results from the fact that starting from an analysis of phenomena showing that a subject may engage in alternating behaviors (and, hence, may have interests with different intensity levels), one wonders why organisms engage in these alternating behaviors. Thus, the problem is no longer to explicate alternating behaviors but to identify the (internal) causes that would determine the onset of such alternating behaviors. In the hypothesis under consideration, alternating behavior would be attributable to an internal process named choice. The rules of the scientific method are violated thereby: a factor that cannot be controlled is introduced in the explanation, based on a pre-scientific concept of causality according to which, given two factors, one factor should determine or give rise to the other factor (causality as a genetic relation).» IT
8/13«Even though one wanted to assume the relation between an alternate behavior and a subject’s choice process as a functional relation, namely a relation between two variables, one dependent and one independent (causality as functional dependence), this would not be possible. The reason why it is impossible to establish such a relation between the two factors in question is that the choice is hypothesized as an internal variable and, hence, methodologically different from the variable represented by the behavior. In short, it is a useless duplication that leads us to conclude that the terms “choice” and “alternate behavior” have the same meaning.» IT
9/13«The analysis of choice behavior is usually deepened by referring to the concept of expectation. In short, it is stated that choosing is based on learned prospects, that is, expectations.
Even expectation, meant as anticipation of the satisfaction of a given interest, represents a pseudo-explanation. […] To state that forecasting an event is based on how often that event occurred in the past (its frequency) is to refer to the past reinforcements received by the subject. In this hypothesis, the concept of expectation is tantamount to saying that a subject has an interest related to a reinforcement process that took place throughout a sequence of past experiences. Therefore, the statement that the subject engages in a given behavior because it expects the satisfaction of a given interest from that behavior is mentalistic and pre-scientific. It is an expression referring to the fact that the subject carries out a given behavior because, based on its past history, that behavior will be reinforced with a certain probability.» IT
10/13«The approach to scientific problems in structural terms eliminates the metaphysical issue of the conventionality of postulates. The methodological meaning that can be attributed to the concept of conventionality of postulates is the possibility of always inserting new postulates within the scientific discourse. However, this fact does not question the validity of the preexisting postulates within the scientific discourse; it only requires that the latter are characterized according to higher or lower abstraction levels than the new ones.
It follows that the scientific discourse is an open discourse, meaning that the postulates and, in broader terms, the predicates that constitute it do not exclude the possibility of expanding it; such enlargement never alters the validity of preexisting structures but places these structures in broader explanatory contexts.» IT
11/13«The metaphysical problem of the transition from sensory data to theoretical terms, typical of Hempel’s position, must therefore be replaced by the methodological problem of identifying different levels of generalization (which entail, syntactically, the insertion of restrictive predicates) and different abstraction levels of the predicates belonging to scientific language.
This argument can be repeated about the correspondence rules, which many scholars of the scientific method have introduced to explain the alleged odd property of the theoretical language, which would make no reference to observables and, at the same time, would explicate observable phenomena. Namely, to explain the problem of the empirical nature of theoretical terms.» IT
12/13«In psychology, the explanatory usefulness of intervening variables is denied by Skinner, who claims that inner conditions are useless to control behavior unless they can be manipulated. [...]
If the intervening variables have no explanatory role, then the question remains whether the same can be said of all theoretical concepts, even those of physics. On the other hand, if theoretical concepts have to be considered essential for the explication of phenomena, then it is necessary to explain why intervening variables cannot be considered theoretical concepts.» IT
13/13«The statement that experimental laws would have a life of their own derives from the assumption about their observability. If experimental laws differ from theoretical laws in terms of observability, then the fact that an experimental law can be incorporated into one theory or another may appear as a confirmation of the difference between the two types of laws. However, once the metaphysical presupposition of observability has been eliminated, that an experimental law can be incorporated into more than one theoretical schema does not allow for concluding that the experimental law is autonomous from the theory. It is just a matter of a change in postulates of the theory within which the experimental law is included. However, the sole effect of such a change in postulates is a reformulation of the law in terms of the new theory.
Therefore, it cannot be maintained that an experimental law has a life of its own compared to the theory because an experimental law is always expressed in theoretical terms. That is true even though, at a given stage of scientific knowledge, these theoretical terms can have a very low abstraction level compared to the higher abstraction level of a theoretical schema with a broader domain of application.» IT
G. Bolacchi, Il problema del metodo nella sociologia [The problem of method in sociology], in: Studi di Economia, vol. V, 1972, pp. 3-53
1/20«The Weberian argument founding the value-freedom of historical-social sciences can be interpreted just in the opposite way due to its intrinsic contradiction; in fact, it strengthened all metaphysical theories which deny the possibility of a scientific, hence intersubjective, analysis of human behavior. This denial also extended to the scientific discourse at large, which accordingly would be characterized by the evaluative attitude of the researcher, whose choice among the infinite perspectives of analysis would be arbitrary, although justified by the cultural values at that given historical time.» IT
2/20«The causal relation, in science, entails that the analysis concerns a specified but not an individualized phenomenon, given that repeatability characterizes the causal relation. Repeatability excludes the possibility of speaking of the researcher’s choice, referring to the determination of the experimental predicates of scientific discourse, in the sense as Weber spoke of the selection of some of the infinite multiplicity of causes to establish a causal relation. The researcher’s activity is not a matter of choice, as identifying variables and (hypotheses of) relations between variables cannot be arbitrary. On the contrary, it is constrained by the hypothesized relations explicating the phenomena, namely, systematizing the phenomena within increasingly comprehensive schemata (which explain increasingly large classes of phenomena) with an increasingly high abstraction level and allowing for the verification of these schemes at the operational level.» IT
3/20«The historicalness of the motives and social values that guided and pushed the researcher to undertake specific research does not imply the subjectivity of the scientific discourse. On the contrary, the scientific discourse is intersubjective in that it can be operationalized and expresses properties typical of classes of phenomena rather than individualized phenomena. Scientific intersubjectiveness survives (so to speak) the cultural context within which the scientific discourse is formulated. Subsequent enlargements of the scientific discourse are not the product of new choices in a new historical context, which involve the rejection of the previous choices; instead, these enlargements represent a widening of the applicability of scientific discourse to phenomena not explained by the previous narrower formulation.» IT
4/20«When the scientific discourse is considered in its intersubjectiveness, the discourse predicates are taken into account without reference to any concrete set of historically determined behaviors, such as those carried out by researchers in their research activity. The successive stages that mark the historical diversification of the scientific discourse are analyzed with reference to the abstraction levels of the fundamental postulates and of the new postulates whose insertion, replacing the previous ones, results in the widening of the domain of application of the discourse. The new postulates have a higher level of abstraction than the previous ones, which always belong to scientific discourse as special cases of a more comprehensive system; this is the case, in physics, of Newton’s theory compared to Einstein’s.» IT
5/20«According to Weber, the difference should consist in the orientation of the historical-social sciences to singularity (individuality), whereas the natural sciences would be oriented to generality. Therefore, there would be two types of causal schemata: an individualizing causal schema and a generalizing causal schema; that is, causality pertaining to non-repeatable and individualized phenomena (i.e., phenomena inserted in irreversible evolutionary dynamics) and causality pertaining to classes of phenomena (i.e., a repeatable and generalized relation between phenomena expressing reversible dynamics). It goes without saying that the concept of causality is completely misrepresented compared to its explicandum within the methodological language of science.» IT
6/20«Weber’s thought is vitiated by a methodological confusion between the historical perspective, regarded as an orientation to singularity (individuality), and the scientific (structural) perspective, oriented to determining a system of laws. From a commonsense perspective, social phenomena appear in their continuous flux, undergoing an irreversible change. However, this does not entail the impossibility of constructing a structural perspective comparable (at the methodological level) to the perspective of natural sciences, based on which it is possible to find out relations between social phenomena not reducing to the mere chronological order defined in terms of irreversibility. Within commonsense language (i.e., in everyday experience), the two aspects are not always consciously distinguished; however, this should not lead one to believe that it is impossible to distinguish precisely the two perspectives on the level of social theory. The sciential interest can orient the research activity towards either a structural perspective or a historical perspective (i.e., an analysis circumscribed in evolutionary terms). Therefore, albeit the two phenomena may appear indistinct to common sense, the scientific methodology allows us to identify two specific viewpoints which characterize two different types of knowledge.» IT
7/20«Thinking about the causal explanation as identification of the total number of causes that determine a given phenomenon means considering causality in metaphysical terms. Weber did not realize this fact and, hence, did not understand that the schema of the functional explanation is valid in both social and natural sciences. It is evident, in fact, that the two concepts of causality -the metaphysical one relating to the classical model of causal explanation and the functional one- are radically different. On the one hand, the classic concept of causality is meant as a necessary relation between phenomena, namely, as an explanation intended to trace the endless number of causal relations reflecting an ontological structure of reality, which would implicate a system of general laws; it expresses a necessary determinism that translates into a system of principles which are unconditionally valid. On the other hand, the concept of functional schema presupposes the impossibility of tracing the totality of factors determining a given phenomenon; therefore, it turns out to be incompatible with a concept of causality understood as a necessary relation between phenomena.» IT
8/20«The metaphysical concept of causality as a relation between phenomena characterized in terms of universal order and necessity (i.e., a relation between countless factors and a given phenomenon) is an erroneous characterization of the scientific discourse (be it natural or social sciences). The structure of scientific discourse consists, in fact, of functional relations. It means methodological determinism is valid in the scientific discourse, not metaphysical determinism. Methodological determinism does not entail the attribution of a truth-value to the alternative between determinism and indeterminism as to real processes, which is a metaphysical perspective; it only expresses an adequacy condition for scientific discourse, such that the latter must be characterized by functional relations and serial order to be considered scientific. It is thereby excluded from the domain of scientific methodology any metaphysical characterization about the existence or non-existence of a necessary order among phenomena.» IT
9/20«A radical difference exists on the level of scientific methodology between the evolutionary perspective, which considers phenomena in terms of irreversibility, and the structural perspective, which considers phenomena in terms of an indeterminate serial order as to the change in the content of states (reversibility). Not seeing this difference led Weber to several contradictions, which are ultimately reflected in the ideal-type theory and the definition of the object of sociology.» IT
10/20«Overcoming the perspective of historicist metaphysics and analyzing the behavior in structural terms make it possible to explicate human phenomena regardless of history. The latter ceases to be what Weber presumably believed it to be: the great laboratory in which the social scientist should work a posteriori. The irrelevance of the historical viewpoint for the construction of social science does not imply that events that have already occurred cannot be scientifically explicated. However, the explication is based on laws verified in the laboratory and expressed in functional terms, which is why the fact to be explicated is no longer characterized in terms of individuality (singularity) but of repeatability or reproducibility.» IT
11/20«The scientific explanation of phenomena consists in identifying a set of variables and the relations between these variables. The reason why some variables are assumed as typical variables is not a problem within the language of science, as the field is always open to the identification of new variables with a lower abstraction level (restrictive predicates) or with a higher abstraction level than the abstraction level of the fundamental predicates characterizing the scientific discourse at any given time.
The only condition for introducing new predicates is that these predicates must always be related to each other according to the rules characterizing the structure of the language of science. This structure is given by the functional relation between three types of variables (dependent and independent variable, parameters) at the level of both experimental predicates and more abstract predicates: Rf (x, y; p1, p2, …, pn).» IT
12/20«Whether designed from the perspective of statics or dynamics, scientific analyses are always based on the fundamental relation Rf (x, y; p1, p2, …, pn). In one case, the relation is seen as an asymmetric relation expressing an interdependence between the factors taken into consideration, pure and simple; no (temporal) order of states can be derived from it. In the other case, the relation contains time as an independent implicit variable; hence, it is also seen as an order relation from which a (temporal) sequence of states can be derived.» IT
13/20«We can observe that an explanatory schema of history, i.e., cumulative (evolutionary) dynamics, cannot be constructed by considering the order of time. Cumulative (evolutionary) dynamics consists of a sequence of serially ordered states, where time is considered not as an order but as a direction. Here, the states of the system are ordered by referring to the change in the content of states; namely, change is characterized in terms of evolution (cumulative process).» IT
14/20«An inverse description of the process is conceivable in both the reversibility and irreversibility cases. In the reversibility case, however, the two descriptions are structurally identical because the meaning of the relation remains unchanged in the two descriptions (it is possible to describe the process in reverse order). In the irreversibility case, on the contrary, the inverse description (description in negative time, -t) is structurally different from the original one (description in positive time, +t); i.e., the meaning of the relation differs in the two descriptions because the process can only be described in the original order (direction).» IT
15/20«In the field of social sciences, the relation Rf (x, y; p1, p2, …, pn) can refer to time as an implicit independent variable, but this does not entail that the social laws can be expressed in terms analogous to dynamics in physics.
In this regard, it should be pointed out the methodological character of our analyses on the structure of scientific discourse: they concern the identification, at the semantic level, of the most abstract relations that characterize any domain of scientific discourse; hence, not only the social-sciences discourse but also the natural-sciences discourse. However, this consideration should not lead to the erroneous conclusion that it is possible to construct the discourse of the social sciences based on naïve analogies with the discourse of physics.» IT
16/20«The above allows us to point out that it is possible to speak of dynamics analysis in the social sciences when the relation Rf (x, y; p1, p2, …, pn) contains time as an implicit independent variable; but one should be aware that such a dynamics analysis has nothing to do with mechanics. Even if, on a methodological level, the functional relation is used (as in physics), it acquires a radically different meaning and relates radically different predicates (variables).
Conceiving the social dynamics in terms of equilibria and forces is sterile from the scientific perspective because these concepts have no explanatory capacity for social phenomena.» IT
17/20«The search for abstract predicates that unify different experimental predicates forces us to abandon the empirical meanings of ordinary language and to look for concepts that, in most cases, can seem incompatible with the concepts drawn from everyday experience. How does this happen? Let us dwell on an example of great methodological importance, that of mechanics, and analyze the first step (taken by Galileo) to unify the motion of celestial bodies and the motion of bodies on earth using more abstract predicates.
Galileo made this unification possible by formulating the law of inertia, which states that an object preserves its state of rest or keeps moving in a straight line at a constant speed when no forces act upon it. We can observe that this hypothesis is surprisingly distant from the commonsense experience because it postulates that uniform motion in a right line does not require any force. Galileo’s hypothesis, which allowed Newton to find out even more abstract predicates on which to establish laws valid for every type of motion, is an example of the insertion in the scientific language of a theoretical predicate whose abstraction level is such as to enable the unification of several experimental predicates.» IT
18/20«The cultural obstacles that interfere with the development of social sciences are of the same type as those that even Galileo had to overcome. Even back then, a prescientific kind of physics (i.e., Aristotelian physics) was institutionalized and characterized social structures. Namely, the domain of social interests was so vast that it also included the acceptance of some philosophical presuppositions about physical phenomena.» IT
19/20«This crucial point has not been detected even by the most acute critics of Parsons, such as Homans. Although he is right when he states that Parsons’s theory is a purely taxonomic and non-explicative theory, he is wrong when he states that identifying categories is the first step in building a scientific discourse and that this step should be completed later by identifying the propositions (the relations between categories). The distinction between these two aspects (identifying categories and identifying relations between categories) does not conform to the scientific method. The aspect of the identification of categories is metaphysical, as it is not possible to identify functional relations between essences but only to connect essences through radically different relations.» IT
20/20«The classification mentioned above of motions in pre-Galilean physics resembles Parsons’s classification. It is notable that physical science, as already observed, did not develop as long as it continued to establish relations between the metaphysical categories of Aristotelian physics for the very reason that the functional relation had not yet been identified. The functional relation marks the transition from the question of why to the question of how and disregards any prior definition of categories or essences, scientific predicates being defined within the functional relation.» IT
G. Bolacchi, La struttura del potere [The structure of power], Edizioni Ricerche, Roma, 1964
1/14«The consideration of power in terms of legitimacy proposed by Ferrero, which summarizes the arguments of legal science and political science, is based on a fundamental misunderstanding common to all theories of power. The misunderstanding consists in postulating the accepting of power by those subjects towards whom it is exerted.» IT
2/14«Ferrero’s perspective can be formulated in the following terms: accepting the group’s rules and principles determines a legitimate regime, and non-accepting them determines an illegitimate one. However, what is the basis of an illegitimate-regime organization? According to Ferrero, it is the force. So it is that failure to unanimous agreement results in resort to force. Nevertheless, in this case, a non-sociological variable is introduced: physical strength. When one considers social rather than physical strength, no distinction can be made between legitimate and illegitimate regimes because, in both regime types, the organization must rely on social strength, necessarily.» IT
3/14«Power is always seen as a relation qualified by a disposition to obey on the part of subordinates. Even when power is exerted through a group of people that constitutes an administrative apparatus, Weber considers that group as bound by obedience to the power-holder and not as a group of people organized in relation to a common interest. The concept of common interest as the basis of legitimacy of the power exerted by the group lies outside Weber’s thought. According to Weber, the legitimacy of power is based solely on the subordinates’ disposition to obey.» IT
4/14«The explanation of power must be based on the consideration of (a) the accepting relation as an inherent element of the group organization and (b) the power relation as an element external to the group organization. Power becomes thereby dissociated from acceptingness in that: the accepting relation (being inherent to the organization) can be based only on a set of common interests, and the power relation (being external to the organization, i.e., non-qualifiable within organizational structures) cannot be characterized by a disposition to obey on the part of subordinates (acceptingness of power).» IT
5/14«Triepel’s theorization shows how the dissociation between domination (potency according to Weber) and authority (power according to Weber) is inconsistent when taken to the extreme. In point of fact, it does not explain what the exterior force and the unconditional adaptation (on which domination, meant as commandment and compulsion, is based) consist.» IT
6/14«The most engaging element of Lasswell and Kaplan’s investigation is the sociological concept of base of influence (and base of power), which can be taken as the foundation of the legitimacy of power. That seems not entirely clear to the two authors, as they speak of the legitimacy of power referring to authority and not to the base of influence (and of power).» IT
7/14«A basic error vitiates Oppenheim’s analysis: the fact that it is developed through a taxonomic method by classifying the different uses that terms such as control, influence, hindrance, non-freedom, preclusion, punishability, power, and freedom have in the ordinary language, without even trying to explain these terms within a unitary theoretical schema. Therefore, the analysis presents the same inconsistencies and ambiguities of ordinary language and can only be considered as a collection of meanings and examples of a pre-scientific nature (explicanda).» IT
8/14«The second example of hindrance, which is altering the environment of the reacting individual, also lies outside the domain of sociology, as it can be equated to physical violence. In this regard, Oppenheim gives the example of an owner erecting a fence to prevent anyone from crossing its property. The environment alteration through the fence is not the social facet of the owner’s action of erecting a fence, as Oppenheim believed. The social facet of the owner’s action is the conjunct interrelation between the owner’s interests and the interests of the other group members who put in place an accepting action towards the owner, based on a common interest in ensuring that everyone can enjoy the assets attributed to it in an exclusive mode.» IT
9/14«Coercion is usually seen as a hindrance or duress via punishment administration. On this point, Dahl departs from the other authors by stating that coercion can be either negative or positive: the first is based on the threat of severe punishment, and the second on the prospect of notably large advantages. Dahl considers both positive and negative coercion as facets of power.
Dahl’s characterization of positive and negative sanctions indicates the vagueness of the definitions of power adopted by the authors cited. Indeed, they merely give a concept of coercion with regard to the application of sanctions and try to formulate a typology of sanctions.» IT
10/14«The explication of power as a conditioning action eliminates the contradiction inherent in considering power in terms of acceptingness and allows us to solve the problem of the base (or justification) of power, namely the problem of power legitimacy.
The possibility for subject S1 to impose an exclusive disjunction between courses of action comes not from physical strength but from the social strength that supports it. Social strength identifies the scope of possibility for subject S1 to impose exclusive disjunctions to subject S2, namely the set of power status-roles that S1 exerts in the system, of which correspondingly S2 is destitute.» IT
11/14«The social strength of a group that carries out a conditioning action is given by the degree of conjunct interrelation between the group members’ interests; it depends on the mediation degree of those interests involved in the accepting actions on which the social group is founded. If the mediation degree of these interests is high (i.e., the interrelated interests range from the interests at the beginning of the sequence to the final interest), then the degree of social cohesion, and hence the organization degree, is high. It is worth noting that the organization degree manifests itself inside the group in terms of accepting actions (i.e., interests in guaranteeing the satisfaction of common interests) and outside the group in terms of conditioning actions carried out by the group.
Therefore, the fundamental element characterizing the social strength of the group’s power is not so much the number of individuals belonging to the group as the mediation degree of the interrelated common interests, hence the organization degree of the group.» IT
12/14«Characterizing the social interactions in terms of conditioning action by a group towards one or more subjects taken individually posits a deviant behavior, namely a maladaptation of some subject’s behavior to the values in force within the social group which wields power. The deviation occurs when a subject does not embrace some or all of the behaviors in which the interests underlying the organization of a particular group are expressed; namely, when a subject has no interest in guaranteeing the satisfaction of some or all of the underlying interests of the organization of the group that wields power.» IT
13/14«When, in a social context, there seems to be a dissociation between the subjects’ abilities and the roles (functions) they perform, what occurs (or is occurring actually) is a change in the content of roles (functions). The entire range of problems related to the concept of élite, that is, how subjects acquire the status-roles within a social organization, must be developed from this perspective. This issue must be distinguished from the question about change in the organizational structures of a social group.» IT
14/14«The presence of (potential or actual) deviation within a social group results in all organizational status-roles being qualified as power status-roles in relation to deviant subjects. We can express this concept also by stating that the structure of the social group consists of (a) a set of organizational status-roles in relation to subjects who carry out accepting actions based on a conjunct interrelation and, instead, (b) a set of power role statuses in relation to subjects who carry out deviant actions based on a disjunct interrelation.» IT
G. Bolacchi, Strutture teoriche e scienze sociali [Theoretical structures and the social sciences], in AA.VV., Sviluppo economico e tecnica della pianificazione, Giuffrè Editore, 1963
1/8«From the foregoing premise about the overwhelming complexity of social and economic data compared to physical data, it is not possible to draw the conclusion that the social sciences are stochastic sciences and that economic and social knowledge is, in general, mere statistical or probabilistic knowledge. The point is not so much to admit or deny such methods or even to discuss or specify their application in the field of social sciences. Instead, the point is to deny that the social context is inherently not susceptible to definite and constant identifications due to the lack of invariability and uniformity of the conditions that contribute to determining individual phenomena.» IT
2/8«It is true that, in the concrete social reality, the various types of behaviors reveal themselves simultaneously to the observer, almost as if they were elements of a very dense and extremely difficult texture to unravel. However, this must not and cannot prevent a methodological perspective that attempts to identify in theoretical terms the constant features and schemata that characterize the different types of social behavior–except that we want to confine ourselves to an in vain descriptive atomism which is theoretically inconsistent and pragmatically useless.» IT
3/8«When a theoretical structure is considered and isolated, it is necessary to determine in univocal terms the validity conditions for that structure in relation to the phenomena to which it refers. Namely, for a phenomenon characterized by a lower degree of abstraction to conform to the theoretical structure, it is necessary to establish the conformableness conditions in univocal terms. That requires the theoretical structure to be throughout explained, i.e., the relations between the terms of the theoretical structure to be made explicit in the most comprehensive way. As noticed, this result can be achieved by formalizing the theory; here, the latter is translated into a semantic system or, at a more advanced stage, a calculus (axiomatized system).» IT
4/8«The need for a general theory of social behavior [...] and the need for an integration between the various behavioral sciences, which is becoming ever more pressing, derive in principle from the need to coordinate the different formal schemata that such sciences have gradually elaborated. Thus, the claims of exclusive explanations of behavior through single theoretical structures collapse, and it becomes clear that none of these can alone clarify the many facets of the action in its individual and social dimensions.» IT
5/8«The discrepancy sometimes observed between economic theory (theorems, economic laws) and the behavior of subjects within a given social group can depend, as we have seen, solely on two sets of considerations: either (a) the economic postulates underlying the theoretical system are false, or at least incomplete and inadequate to explain empirical phenomena as they are structurally different from the latter, or (b) the economic postulates do not operate within that concrete social group and, thence, cannot be detected. It means that all or large segments of the subjects belonging to the group carry out social behaviors that are not economic behaviors in the strict sense; therefore, there will be no economic structures within the group, but the organization of relations between members will be based on interactions of different types.» IT
6/8«Furthermore, the above accurately accounts for the distinction between underdevelopment and economic development. The latter, which differs in its degrees or stages, obviously cannot be considered except in relation to a specific system: one cannot talk about development if one does not presuppose given economic structures whose progress and, hence, dynamics have to be identified. Nevertheless, when one questions the very existence of those structures and refers to their non-existence (hence, to the non-existence of economic behavior), it no longer makes sense to talk about economic development.
Therefore, the concept of “development” identifies the dynamics aspect of economic structures, whereas the concept of “underdevelopment” identifies the absence of such structures.» IT
7/8«This theoretical distinction [between stagnation or lag in development and underdevelopment] is crucial because it makes it possible to identify precisely the complex phenomenon. Given that models of economic and non-economic behavior can coexist within a social group, three distinct elements should not be confused with one another: first, the negative factors that determine a stagnation of economic behavior; second, the non-economic factors that characterize underdevelopment; third, the relation between existing economic factors and economic factors that should exist if the group’s behavior had a univocally economic character.» IT
8/8«The multiplicity of concrete factors, and their complexity, is presupposed necessarily on the methodological level. In fact, a transition from abstract levels to concrete levels means precisely an enrichment of the field of investigation (both in the social sciences and the physical sciences), namely, domains of application increasingly narrow alongside a multiplicity of factors to be observed [...] increasingly vast. Therefore, the multiplicity of concrete factors, and their complexity, cannot provide evidence against the theoretical explication, in that it is precisely a premise of the latter.» IT
G. Bolacchi, Teoria delle classi sociali [Theory of social classes], Edizioni Ricerche, Roma, 1963
1/60«The reasons for the methodological backwardness of the social sciences could be a subject matter of research, which would allow us to address every problem with much greater awareness and critical discernment. Perhaps, it would be of no help in explaining social structures in scientific terms, given that if it is true that science is methodological awareness, it is also unquestionable that the discourse about science must be distinguished from science. However, this should not lead to confining the studies of method and theory to a philosophical or meta-scientific dimension of the research. Indeed, this distinction does not entail a dissociation between problems; on the contrary, it is an element of clarity, as it highlights their mutual implications. Only by distinguishing between science and methodology of science does one realize that there cannot be science without methodology and methodology without science. Only by distinguishing between science and methodology of science does one realize that before proposing (to itself and others) a discourse on subject matters, a scientist must engage in a discourse on the first object of its activity, that is, science: a discourse on method. This discourse must necessarily start from the very concept of “theory,” with which the concept of “scientific systematization” is identified, in principle.» IT
2/60«The need for a theoretical perspective in the social sciences appears indisputable. It shows the inconsistency of all attacks that, from time to time, have been made against it, especially in the name of an excessive and one-sided tendency toward statistical methods. However, here too lies a misunderstanding that would be good to dispel. It is necessary, once again, to distinguish between the pragmatic procedures for verification or empirical research and the logical and methodological analyses of language structures. Statistical methods or otherwise empirical research methods refer to the first perspective, while theoretical investigations belong to the second. The two aspects are strictly interconnected and cannot be separated nor considered in alternative terms, on the ground that the observation language -especially when it belongs to science- always presupposes a theoretical context, without which the observables could not even be isolated or discerned. Conversely, the theoretical language has the more breadth and penetration, the more it can be specified and enriched by inserting additional postulates which limit its scope, allowing for the introduction of language structures with a lower degree of abstraction.» IT
3/60«These considerations presuppose overcoming a fictitious dilemma between abstract structures and concrete generalizations. According to the concept of “theory” as a structural schema emerging from a continuum of abstraction levels, this dilemma cannot even be posed. There is no incompatibility or disjunction between theoretical methods and statistical methods, no incompatibility or disjunction between abstract structures and concrete generalizations. Concrete generalizations cannot be posed aside from a theoretical schema; on the other hand, it cannot be said that abstract schema and concrete phenomenon constitute the two terms of a relation between complementary situations. The reason is that the abstract schema must be found precisely within the concrete phenomenon; indeed, those postulates allowing for its applicability limit and specify the abstract schema; they neither eliminate nor modify it.» IT
4/60«Many theories have been formulated to explain the phenomenon of social classes, but only a very small number of studies have made an effective contribution to clarifying the concept of “class.” In addition, the divergence in opinions and perspectives and the prevalence of the explication of the concept of “class” in terms of stratification (although not always clear) make it difficult to enucleate from the thought of each scholar what can actually serve to build a general and consistent theory, based on the perspectives of interest and power.» IT
5/60«Marx identifies that particular aspect of social dynamics which results in the class struggle, but he does not explain the structure of class struggle in scientific terms, as he does not isolate the category of power. Weber, on the contrary, establishes his theory of social stratification on the explanation of “power” as a sociological category, but he fails to see the power key issue in dynamics terms and considers it a derivation of status rather than an autonomous phenomenon. In this regard, Weber’s theory of classes is indeed a theory of social stratification, and status is considered the fundamental category on which the concept of “class” rests. This perspective, as said, is very similar to Marx’s, where the dynamics of class struggle is related to a conflict rooted in social statuses qualified by the system of private property.» IT
6/60«Weber’s investigations anticipate the explication of the concept of “class” later provided by the prevailing sociological doctrine. The latter delves into those aspects that most closely concern the phenomenon of social stratification, dropping Weber’s insights (however too vague) about the consideration of class in relation to power. These insights suffer from a lack of theoretical systematization, which leads to qualifying much of Weber’s work as a descriptive explanation of social phenomena. Moreover, Weber’s insights cannot provide a comprehensive explanation of the concept of “class” that may disregard the consideration of classes in terms of social stratification or economic order.» IT
7/60«Parsons conceives stratification in close relation to the functional integration of the whole system; therefore, the sole interests that may be taken into account within the system are those pertaining to the exercise of institutionalized roles.
Within such a system, neither the interest in acquiring or maintaining a role nor the interest in modifying or preserving the role structures of the system can be formalized; as said, only functional interests pertaining to the exercise of roles (here, necessarily, institutionalized roles) can be formalized. It follows that even within Parsons’s perspective, the concept of “social class” must be resolved in that of a set of individuals who have and fulfill the same status-roles; namely, “social class” becomes synonymous with “social stratum.”» IT
8/60«Parsons’s theory is a notable example of a theoretical system applied in the social sciences and is susceptible to formalization in axiomatic terms. Although Parsons did not attempt it, such a formalization would possibly eliminate at the root the contradictions that can be noticed in his theory and contribute to its complete clarification. Therefore, in considering Parsons’s theory, it is necessary to separate two distinct viewpoints: a viewpoint relating to the inconsistencies one may find in Parsons’s theory; a viewpoint relating to the detection of some typical social phenomena not compatible with the premises which are the initial postulates of Parsons’s theory and, hence, not susceptible to formalization within that theory.
In light of the above, we can say that three fundamental social phenomena cannot be explicated within the theory under consideration: institutional power, deviant power, and deviant action.» IT
9/60«Dahrendorf’s analysis of the concept of “class” has aspects of undeniable concern related to two problems on which he has been focusing attention most insistently. These problems can be presented as follows: (1) the alternative between cohesiveness and coercion, that is, between the structural-functional aspect and the coercive aspect of society; (2) the utilization and advancement of the contribution of Marxian analysis to arrive at identifying the general laws of the social-structure dynamics. The scope of these issues, which Dahrendorf examines to arrive at qualifying his concept of “social class,” is such that we can bring into focus, throughout the critical presentation we are going to do, some of the main problems in contemporary sociology. Therefore, it is of great concern to analyze the logical process through which Dahrendorf arrives at constructing his theoretical model.» IT
10/60«Authority is, for Dahrendorf, a universal element of the social structures, more general than property or status. For the purposes of sociological analysis of group conflicts, in close relation to the positions of domination and subjection, Dahrendorf hypothesizes role interests. These latter are defined as the orientations of the individuals who are invested with domination or subjection roles toward the maintenance of the status-role that gives them authority or the acquisition of a social situation that legitimizes them to exercise authority, respectively. Given the role dichotomy always existing in every imperatively coordinated association, these are interests in continuous conflict.» IT
11/60«It is necessary, at this point, to underline another characteristic aspect of the concept of “authority,” namely that authority is expressed exclusively in the form of a pendulum-type movement, as already observed. Therefore, in the event of a violation, the workings of this type of social structure shall restore the injured interest or, more generally, reinstate the conditions pre-existing to the injurious fact. By that, we mean the concept of “authority” belongs to that level of the analysis of structure that only studies those changes occurring within it and resulting in auto-re-equilibration processes. These processes consist of pendulum-type movements, such that whenever the structural equilibrium breaks, forces internal to the structure intervene to re-equilibrate the system and reinstate it to the initial condition.» IT
12/60«Given this complex theoretical situation, it is little use to say that one grouping of theories takes into consideration the class in terms of commonality of status or social situations, and the other grouping of theories formulates the concept of “class” in terms of conflict of interest between social groups. Here, as it is, attention should be paid to the semantic aspect of the complex problem. In point of fact, if it is true that the term “class” has two distinct and radically different meanings in the two groupings, then it denotes or is used to denote two equally different phenomena. However, apart from this terminological confusion, which also has its primary importance, the other fact remains: the two different meanings of the term “class” are each established within a radically different theoretical context and are by no means attributable to the theoretical context of the other. It is yet another sign that we are dealing with two distinct types of phenomena, which are not susceptible to implication.» IT
13/60«That said, it is clear that to acknowledge such difficulties without trying to overcome them is not enough: the problem would be eluded, plain and simple. Indeed, either one ignores the dilemma outlined above [the alternative between cohesion and coercion theories], in which case the scholar cannot be charged with any theoretical inconsistency but only a narrow perspective and hence an insufficient level of generality of the theory; or one becomes aware of the above dualism, in which case only two paths remain open to investigation, on the methodological level: analyzing whether or not implication relations exist between the two theories, which are assumed to formalize, from different perspectives, the same aspects of the phenomenon in question; if this is the case, formulating a theory whose abstraction level is so much higher as to encompass the two phenomena (which are formalized separately and autonomously, at a lower level of abstraction) as two complementary aspects obtainable from that theory through the use of restrictive predicates.» IT
14/60«Both sociology as the science of inter-individual relations and economics as the science of (individual and social) choices need a broader context or more comprehensive background to be thoroughly explicated, as well as all the other sciences that study the single aspects of behavior. This context is given by a general theory of action based on the concept of interest, regarded as a fundamental pragmatic dimension: the interest or disposition to respond underlies the action and qualifies it formally, attributing the character and meaning peculiar to it.
The disposition to respond is considered, here, as a behavioristic factor in the strict sense, devoid of any psychological characterization. Such a consideration establishes the content of the concept under examination and the level of analysis of the investigation.» IT
15/60«Behavioral sciences are often considered from a psychological viewpoint, and accordingly, a psychological explanation of concepts like “interest,” “disposition to respond,” and “behavior” is attempted. Therefore, it is worth clarifying that when the phenomena denoted by these concepts are seen from the psychological viewpoint, they take on an entirely different characterization, utterly extraneous to their consideration in terms of behavior (meaningful conduct).
Here, the concept of “interest” rests directly on that of “operation” qualified in terms of means-end relation. From this perspective, we can accurately isolate the formal schemata of a theory of action and separate radically different research fields.» IT
16/60«Given that the individual’s dispositional field is characterized in terms of structural regularity between the various interests that constitute it, and assuming that an equal structural regularity exists as to the external factors acting as stimuli for the individual, it follows that the relation between stimulus and response-disposition cannot but be considered as a logical bijective correspondence between two structures qualified by a different abstraction level. Characterizing a phenomenon as a stimulus entails considering it according to a bijective correspondence with some response-disposition.» IT
17/60«In the present analysis, the concept of “interest” does not have a psychological character. Given the degree of abstraction attributed to it, it must be considered per se as a primary datum; it must be considered a unit that cannot be further unitized, not in the same way as the various factors that contribute to forming it psychologically. [...]
In this respect, the concept of “disposition to respond” or “interest” provides a very general characterization of behavior applicable to all types of action. It allows us to explicate and understand not only the concept of “class” but also the concept of “social action,” which cannot prescind from the interest as a fundamental pragmatic dimension. Without an accurate characterization of the interest as the focal attribute of human behavior, understanding individual and social phenomena would be precluded to us.» IT
18/60«Another elucidation concerns what may be defined as the functional structure of an individual’s interests (dispositional structure): all the individual’s interests (which concur to constitute the dispositional structure) are interdependent and connected according to a unitary schema, where the initial short-term interests (i.e., the class of interests that mediate all others interests, but in turn are not mediated by any other interest) are at the lower margin, and interposed interests increasingly general up to the final interests (i.e., the class of interests that are mediated by all others interests, but in turn do not mediate any other interests) are at the upper margin.» IT
19/60«The dispositional field entails a unitary view of all the factors working at the level of the individual’s dynamics. It is denominated dispositional as it is assumed to comprise the set of dispositions to respond (interests) of the individual. Utilizing the “field” as a theoretical schema to characterize the set of an individual’s interests is justified by the consideration that interest variations (hence, the disappearance or the appearance of new patterns of action) determine and implicate a change in the content and relations between all other interests. Therefore, it is not a matter of mere quantitative characterization; it is about the emergence of an overall situation each time new compared to the previous situations in terms of both contents and relations between the various factors.» IT
20/60«The order of dispositions emerging from the field is not realized directly within the latter, where all interests are instantaneously and simultaneously present. The interests arrange in order throughout an individual’s experience, depending on a set of factors that influence their relative priority and, hence, the intermediary relations. These factors are (a) the supporting circumstances and stimuli (factual situations) that allow a response-disposition to result in a concrete and actual response; (b) the technological situation (or technological status) of an individual, i.e., the set of natural regularities and techniques that guide the individual’s behavior; (c) the social situation (status) in which an individual operates, i.e., the set of social norms (in a broad sense) that an individual must take into account in orienting its behavior; (d) the rules of action dictated by economic calculation, which operates to maximize the results of the individual’s choices not in terms of single behaviors but of the overall dispositional field.» IT
21/60«The operational perspective underlying the individual’s response-dispositions is structured according to the means-end relation, which enables the translatability of facts into operations and, thus, justifies the study of facts in terms of significance. Studying facts always translates into a universe of meanings; the latter always pairs up with a dispositional dimension, which allows for their operationalizability. In this regard, the hypothesis of the structural identity between means-end schemata and cause-effect schemata must be assumed. If this structural identity were not supposed, the translatability of factual schemata into operational schemata would fail.» IT
22/60«All interests are personal, in principle, in that they are always attributable to some individual. Even so, there may also be social interests, namely an individual’s interests whose object is another individual’s interest or interests. It is precisely this element, for Perry, that characterizes the interaction beyond the mere intercognition [...]. Accordingly, social facts are analyzed in terms of integration of interests, and society (i.e., any social group) is regarded as a set of individuals conditioned by their interactions.» IT
23/60«The integration, which qualifies the social groups structurally, results from two complex and interdependent factors: the community of interests (such that individual interests can have common objects) and the interrelation of interests (such that the interests can be the object of each other). Therefore, it constitutes the fundamental element of the cohesion of social groups. It follows that social groups can only be differentiated according to the greater or lesser extent of those factors, i.e., to the wider or narrower sphere of common and interrelated interests accepted by the members of the groups, whose socio-political organization will be all the more comprehensive and complete, the wider the sphere of common and interrelated interests (as with state organizations), and vice versa (as with social classes, which seldom need a specific organization).» IT
24/60«The concept of “social class” denotes [...] not a social situation of the individual involved in a group order or organization, but an individual situation common to a set of individuals: in particular, a common interest of which all individuals are aware and whose satisfaction requires necessarily their joint contribution. Therefore, this individual situation common to the members of a class is a phenomenon profoundly different from that referred to when talking about the social situation: that the latter may give rise to a community of interests (i.e., that the similarity of social situations in which the individuals find themselves may result in common response-dispositions, or common interests) is reflected in the opposite phenomenon, such that the individuals may not be influenced by those situations and may tend to modify them or, in specific situations, to acquire interests typical of individuals who find themselves in different situations.» IT
25/60«Therefore, it is true that the more or less complex structure of a society strictly depends on the types of social situations that can be found in it; when these situations are common to a given set of individuals, they qualify that set as a social category. It is also true that individuals belonging to different categories usually consider life and its entailments differently, precisely because the social situations influence the personality on account of the intermediation of interests, such that every interest (also those originated by social situations) is reflected, to a greater or lesser extent, in the dispositional field, i.e., in all the individual’s interests.» IT
26/60«The fact that the two phenomena are closely connected and usually occur jointly must not distort a clear-cut understanding of them and prevent a proper and clear distinction: the concept of “social category,” as a set of individuals who are in similar social situations, should not be confused with the concept of “social class,” as a set of individuals who have common and interrelated interests.» IT
27/60«To conclude, whereas social classes and social values rest on common interests, organized social groups and the corresponding institutions (i.e., the systems of relations and rules that determine the structure of the group) rest mainly on interrelated interests. However, the existence of a class postulates something more than a mere community of interests: all individuals must be aware of that community, and, more importantly, it is fundamental that they all together contribute to satisfying those interests. The intercognition finds its raison d’être in the latter element: it should not be considered as awareness of other people’s interests, pure and simple, but as awareness that the common interest cannot be satisfied without the contribution of all those who individually hold it.» IT
28/60«The impossibility of satisfying an interest without the concurrence of all the group members (i.e., the need for immediate behavior by every individual to reestablish the individual situation of satisfaction) determines in each individual an additional interest: an interest in all other individuals behaving in such a way as to satisfy the interest they have in common. Therefore, broadly speaking, each individual has an interest in the others’ interests (which they all have in common) being satisfied as a condition for the satisfaction of one’s own; that is, each individual has an interest in all the others behaving in such a way that their common interest is satisfied. A mere community of interest would not be a social phenomenon without some interrelation between interests (apart from pure and simple intercognition), in that it would entail no social actions by the individuals who hold the interest and hence no response-dispositions in relation to the behavior of the other individuals.» IT
29/60«A very important concept underlies two fundamental relations in which social action is specified (the accepting action and the conditioning action, which we are going to deal with), and we will clarify what seems to us its fundamental aspects. We refer to the concept of “freedom,” which can be interpreted according to two meanings to be kept strictly distinct. In a first sense, “freedom” means the possibility of satisfying one’s interests directly; in this acceptation, it can be opposed to the concept of “organization,” to mean that a maximum of interdependence between individuals at the organizational level corresponds to a minimum of individuals’ freedom in satisfying their interests, and vice versa. In the other sense, the concept of “freedom” can be interpreted as a set of possible actions open to the individual within the social order in which the individual operates, that is, as a set of social actions recognized as reliable or licit to the individual within the institutional system.» IT
30/60«Exercising these social actions allows an individual to carry out a corresponding number of social interactions and, hence, to become a part or an element of a set of social relations where the interacting individuals are in complementary situations. These situations are defined by the accepting relation or by the conditioning relation. In the case of the accepting relation, an individual accepts another individual's actions and conforms the behavior to these actions. In the case of the conditioning relation, an individual presents to another individual some choices between actions to which the latter is socially bound and hence cannot shirk; that is because a possible negative reaction of the conditioning individual is socially recognized by the other individuals belonging to the group, who are also available to conform their behavior to that negative reaction towards the conditioned subject.» IT
31/60«Whereas the accepting relation can exist, also in logical terms, between two individuals alone, this is not the case with the conditioning relation. The latter always postulates a social group (or a third individual) that recognizes the behavior options presented by the conditioning individual as its expression; a social group whose members accept the conditioning behavior carried out by the conditioning individual and conform their actions to that behavior. Thus, the conditioning action draws its strength (not physical but social strength) from the acceptingness on the part of a group (or a third individual), establishing its reliability even within the same group.» IT
32/60«The concepts of “community” and “interrelation” of interests differ from, and in a way are more general than, the concepts of “accepting action” and “conditioning action.” In fact, both in mutual conditioning and in mutual accepting, the interests underlying the corresponding relations must be interrelated, although disjunctly in the first case and conjunctly in the second. The social strength of conditioning is determined by an accepting action characterized by an interaction based on common and interrelated interests; namely, the conditioning legitimacy (social strength) rests on some immediate accepting action. Thus defined, conditioning can be an adequately precise formalization of the concepts of “power” and “authority” customarily used in doctrine. The formal schemata for “institutional power” and “deviant power” are characterized, in fact, in terms of conditioning, given that we have identified the formalization of the concept of “power” precisely in the conditioning action.» IT
33/60«That said, the concept of “conditioning power” can be specified in two distinct forms, depending on whether it is exerted to implement social values whose scope (in terms of community and interrelation) extends to all the individuals belonging to the group within which the power operates (which means that the conditioning power can be considered institutionalized within the group in which it works when it has a maximum of social strength ), or an individual or social value extraneous to the system (i.e., a non-institutionalized value). In the first case, we can speak of institutional power; in the second case, instead, we have the typical form of deviant power. The latter can be directed to satisfy any type of interest […]. However, given the three types of interests (a) in the acquisition or maintenance of a role, (b) in the exercise of a role, or (c) in the change or preservation of social structures (hence in the slowing down or acceleration of the dynamic processes characterizing those structures), only the latter should be taken into consideration when dealing with the precise explication of that typical deviant power appropriate for characterizing the concept of “class.”» IT
34/60«Whether or not the system of values is static is attributable neither to the organization or integration nor to institutional power. If it makes sense to talk about it within the scientific language, then it can only be characterized in terms of freedom, as a set of possible actions allowed to the individual; and, among these actions, as the deviant power exercised by the individual either to change or to preserve the system structures. When this type of power is brought into being by a set of individuals and qualified by a conjunct or common interest underlying the interrelation between them, the phenomenon can be denominated as social “class.”» IT
35/60«Some points about characterizing the conditioning action and the accepting action deserve further consideration. Let us begin by considering a social system that is completely integrated in terms of acceptingness and positing a deviant action emerging within this system. According to the schema of the accepting action, it is possible to suppose a relation between the deviant action and the system only by taking into account two alternatives: (a) a change of the whole system towards its adjustment to the deviant action or (b) the exclusion of the deviant action from the system, pure and simple. It means that, as there is no power structure within the system and, hence, no pendular dynamics, the only possibility that the deviant action is relevant consists precisely in a system change. Under this assumption, the social dynamics can occur as an adjustment of the system or the mere irrelevance of deviant action to the system.» IT
36/60«The case of a social system integrated through conditioning power is radically different. Here, with reference to deviant actions, no longer works an adjustment-irrelevance dynamics, but only a reintegration pendular dynamics. Accordingly, no deviant action can ever be irrelevant, but it must necessarily fit into the schema of pendular reintegration.» IT
37/60«Given that deviant power works in a social space that lies outside the scope of the reintegration dynamics of the system, it cannot be related to any situation qualifiable within that pendular dynamic. In this regard, deviant power is not related to institutional power [...]. In short, it is not institutional power used for objectives other than those legitimating it within the system (misused or perverted power, excess or abuse of power). If it were characterizable in these terms, it would fit into the schema of reintegration; it would no longer be deviant power working to change the institutional system outside of pendular dynamics. It is, therefore, a specific phenomenon belonging to a social space that lies outside the relations institutionalized within the social system.» IT
38/60«When we reformulate these problems in terms of social groups, we can observe that, where the boundaries of the group which holds power are not wide enough to encompass the whole community (in which case deviant power would not exist), that group is forced necessarily to balance and oppose the deviant power put in place by antagonistic groups to change the system structures. That happens unless the group which holds power uses institutional power not to counterpose the latter to the deviant power but to limit the social sphere that lies outside the scope of institutional power, thereby abolishing or restricting the pre-institutional social space that deviant power needs to operate. In this regard, it should be noted that expanding the scope of institutional power cannot find its genesis and justification within the latter; instead, it must be achieved within the pre-institutional social space, necessarily through a conditioning power not institutional but, again, deviant.» IT
39/60«On a concrete level, the deviant power against the system can never be canceled. De facto, it is possible to range from a maximum of deviant power against the institutional system, counterbalanced by a maximum of deviant power in favor of the system (this is the case with democratic regimes), to a minimum of deviant power against and in favor of the system, restricted by a maximum scope of institutional power (as with absolute and dictatorial regimes). In this regard, the democratic regime appears to us as a means to restrain the institutional power and facilitate the dynamics by expanding the working of deviant power.» IT
40/60«Therefore, there are phenomena to be considered separately. First is institutionalization, which refers to an organized power or an accepting structure encompassing all members of a given collectivity. Second is the internalization of a values system; this internalization underlies the social strength of power, be it power aimed at implementing common interests or power aimed at creating common interests. Therefore, internalization should not be confused with institutionalization, in that the former can exist without the latter, as with internalized class values; nor should these two phenomena be confused with power at large. Again, in the present analysis, internalization and power are considered in a functional sense; it is precisely according to a functional consideration that power differs in terms of implementation or creation of common interests.» IT
41/60«We can state, further explicating this point, that given two individuals, their interests can be common (or conjunct) or disjunct, in principle. However, at this level, the dimension of sociality is still excluded, as social interaction posits some form of interrelation between interests besides a mere community or disjunction of interests. […] Whereas common and interrelated interests establish that social interaction explicable in terms of acceptingness, disjunct and interrelated interests establish that type of interaction in which power operates: in the former case, the element of conditioning is excluded; in the latter case, the community of interests is obtained through conditioning. In both cases, the interrelation is the typical characterization of social interaction.» IT
42/60«Therefore, if it is true that there can be a social relation in terms of either community of interests or conflict, it is also true that there can be no social organization, i.e., stable interaction between subjects (and thence social situations and social roles), without a community of interests, whether it derives immediately from a subjective internalization process or mediately from an inter-subjective conditioning process. The most general formal element on which stably-organized social interactions rest is the interrelation based on a set of common interests (either internalized or conditioned through power).» IT
43/60«The dualism between “society as conflict” and “society as integration” vanishes. Perhaps, it originated from a wrong characterization of the concepts of “internalization” and “community through coercion” and from the inadequate consideration of the typical element of these two situations, namely, the community of interests in terms of interrelation. The two aspects of society into which all social phenomena should alternatively result are thereby systematized within a unitary perspective, in that the community of interests can be obtained through internalization or through power; accordingly, all social phenomena have to be explicated ultimately in terms of interrelated common interests. As to the social class [...], it rests on a non-institutionalized community based on internalization and tends to create an institutionalized community based on (institutional) power through a non-institutionalized community based on (deviant) power.» IT
44/60«If it is true that the interest in changing structures postulates an opposite interest in their permanence, then it must be concluded that social classes are antagonistic, in principle. What is the nature, and what are the limits of this antagonism? Furthermore, if it cannot usefully unfold in the context of the pendular dynamics, due to the reintegrating function of the system structures inherent in the latter, in what context could such antagonism unfold? [...]
An antagonism between two completely separate groups, not subject to any integrating relation, cannot be qualified in terms of social class or antagonistic relations between social classes. At least when, according to the characterizations given above, the phenomenon of conflict in the strict sense is circumscribed to a social action out of an organized system, whose dynamics is based on mere physical strength. Therefore, antagonism must necessarily rest on a structural matrix that reflects a set of coordinated and integrated relations between the members of a social system.» IT
45/60«An integration or community of interrelated interests achieved through the pendular dynamics must always be postulated within the institutionalized structures based on power. This fact makes it clear that the antagonism between social groups operating within the same system under no circumstances can be explicated in terms of conflict or legitimate authority; and refers to the deviant power as the fundamental element on which the dynamics of class action rests.» IT
46/60«The conditioning and the accepting schemata, namely the pendular dynamics (inherent in conditioning power), the adjustment-irrelevance dynamics (typical of acceptingness), and the dynamics of acceleration or slowing down of social processes (typical of deviant power), cannot be explicated in terms of flux or direction, i.e., in terms of cumulative dynamics (dynamics in the strict sense). They appear instead as instances or aspects relating to a different perspective (and, in this regard, belonging to a theory of class action). That does not mean, as said, that a cumulative dynamics of social phenomena (and hence of classes, too) resulting from the interaction between individuals cannot be hypothesized. It only means that the attempts at explaining cumulative dynamics that have been proposed [...] turn out to be inadequate, so much so that it would seem more appropriate, on a scientific level, to consider this problem as not susceptible to a solution, at the current state of knowledge.» IT
47/60«Let us formulate, now, some further considerations on the two aspects of social action previously isolated: acceptingness and conditioning. We have seen that, at a level of maximum generality, both aspects can be characterized structurally in terms of a community of interests based on interrelation. From a perspective that could be defined as functional, instead, they appear to be related in a way that the acceptingness (or interrelation) must be considered as the social strength on which the conditioning power rests. Indeed, if it is true that power legitimizes itself by its implementation, it is also true that it draws its strength (which is not a mere physical or material strength but a social strength) from a set of common interests of which it is a manifestation.» IT
48/60«The definition of “social class” in terms of antagonism between groups, which act within an institutionalized structure to change the latter through deviant power, suggests extending the present investigation to the phenomenon of democracy. In fact, democracy could be considered a political method to enable a constant adjustment of public interests to private interests and hence allow for institutional structures to align with the existing social dynamics.» IT
49/60«The theory of people’s will is susceptible to criticisms, which mainly hit the metaphysical aspect inherent in almost all of its formulations. Nevertheless, this fact does not mean this theory does not contain an element of truth. Indeed, the analysis of the presumed phenomenon of people’s will from a sociological perspective has shown that it exists within every politically-organized social group which focuses on one or more interests common to the individuals that constitute it, of which the political class is the bearer.» IT
50/60«Not only does the overturn of perspective by Schumpeter fail to overcome the doctrine of the people’s will, in its narrowest and more strictly sociological formulation; it also fails to explain how the electoral procedure may be susceptible to exclusive consideration, leaving out any decision about the problems by the electorate, however general it may be. In point of fact, the election of the individuals belonging to the government, or to the intermediate body which in turn will generate the executive, can take place as long as these individuals formulate a plan or programmatic basis to be proposed to the electorate to gather consensus on it. Actually, the election is but a means by which the electorate can arrange mediately the satisfaction of those public interests of which the candidates running in the election are the bearers.» IT
51/60«In the light of the above, it appears that the institution of political representation is a complex phenomenon to which three distinct and autonomous factors contribute. These factors, which could also exist separately within a social organization and which only the historical development of that institution, and the various circumstances that determined it, kept together thereby making their identification difficult, are: (1) the recognition of common interests carried out directly; (2) the assessment of abilities and aptitudes of the representative-body members as to the functions they will have to perform, and the actual choice of representatives by the electorate; (3) the representative-body political qualification through the representation, by the latter, of the interests belonging to the social classes making up the community.» IT
52/60«As seen, the main explanations of political representation have been formulated in terms of people’s will or competitive struggle for political leadership. Their fundamental flaw is that of autonomously characterizing the phenomenon under consideration, regardless of its systematization within a general theory of social phenomena. The application of the theoretical schemata proposed in this study to precisely explicate the institution of political representation shows that the explicatum of the latter (i.e., “democracy”) must be understood as an institutional commensuration (in terms of social strength) between the various manifestations of conditioning power (be it institutional or deviant power) put in place by the antagonistic classes within a given social order.» IT
53/60«To conclude, the fundamental element characterizing the social strength of a group that holds power is not the number of individuals who share the group's common values; it is, instead, the degree of mediation of the common interests and hence the degree of group organization. In the context of democracy, the numerical element thus appears exclusively as a historically-determined expedient or symptomatic indicator, which allows a more straightforward detection of the social strength of power. Here, it is assumed that a greater social strength corresponds to a greater capability to condition the individuals outside the group. It means that the majority expressed by the political representation is made by those individuals who have internalized the values of the group who exert the deviant power, plus those individuals whom the afore-mentioned individuals condition through the exercise of deviant power.» IT
54/60«Let us reconsider, in the light of the above formalizations, the concepts of “freedom” the classical doctrine on democracy refers to, namely the “negative freedom” (freedom from the state or rather civil-liberties defense) and the “positive freedom” (freedom through the state). We can see, at once, how the first can be translated into the concept of freedom as a sphere of possible conditioning actions, whereas the second can be translated into the concept of freedom as an adjustment of common interests to individuals’ interests. It can be said that the civil liberties defense, or freedom from the state, is all the greater the less the incidence of institutional power on deviant power, i.e., the wider the space for deviant power within the social context. The individual’s sphere of possible deviant conditioning actions measures the degree of freedom from the state, that is, the degree of interference by the state on individuals’ behavior in terms of institutional power.» IT
55/60«While it is true that deviant power operates within the pre-institutional social space, we should not forget that it always operates in relation to an institutional structure, in that deviant power operates not against the system but to accelerate or slow down the dynamics of the system itself. However, does the discontinuous change of structures, seen as the object of the deviant power put in place by a social class, represent a circumstance inherently related to power dynamics? A negative answer to this question implies taking the democratic method as a means to institutionalize some processes or aspects of social-class antagonism.» IT
56/60«The importance of democracy for social dynamics lies in the fact that democracy makes it possible to institutionalize some space for exercising deviant power, not in the sense of translating deviant power into institutional power, but in the sense of commensurating or comparing, at specific deadlines, the social strength of deviant power (aimed at accelerating the dynamics of the system) with the social strength of the opposite deviant power (aimed at maintaining the system). In the final analysis, democracy makes it possible to commensurate or compare the institutional power underlying the system structures with the deviant power aimed at changing these structures.» IT
57/60«If it is true that the bourgeoisie has been a social fact, it is no less true that no social class can be said to exist unless a set of claims, demands, and values, on which concurrence of every member’s will is expressed, can be recognized. There are no values that have left a trace in the history of humanity and have influenced the creative force of social groups, which have not necessarily been taken as common values by those same groups. These values have been socialized, as it were, thereby qualifying not the single individual and the élite who have become bearers and advocates of those values, but the entire social group which, by trusting in that élite, has shown that it wants to make own those common claims.» IT
58/60«It should be taken into account that an analysis of the bourgeoisie in terms of deviant power has never been attempted. As highlighted in this study, all major contributions to the characterization of the “bourgeois class” have to be brought back, directly or indirectly, to the internalized community of interests. Such a circumstance, if it justifies the preeminence attributed to the analysis of the latter perspective, cannot justify the exclusion of any attempt to identify, at least in broad terms, the relevance of deviant power in the action of the bourgeois class.» IT
59/60«It is worth referring to the considerations of the bourgeoisie by Sieyès. Using the concept of “privilege,” he included those bourgeois classes for which privilege was a newly acquired social situation in the privileged caste, generically considered.
However, when the consideration of the privileged bourgeois does not stop at the observation that they could also have opposed the Revolution of 1789, the question arises whether their action should be considered a typical expression of the exercise of deviant power. What was the acquisition of a privilege outside the institutionalized modalities for granting it, if not the action carried out in terms of deviant power to modify, ultimately, the system structures in the direction of the enlargement of sources and reasons for the privilege?» IT
60/60«What could the deviant power exerted by the bourgeoisie aim at, in the context of the institutionalized order of the ancien régime (i.e., the acquisition of a privilege against the amount due), if not at a change of the institutional structures, without opposing the latter and undergo their inherent pendular dynamics? Far from being regarded as totally foreign to the bourgeois class's action, the privileged bourgeois should be seen as individuals who concretely put in place the deviant power of the class to which they belonged.
Examining the historical phenomenon of the bourgeoisie confirms that the dynamics of class action never postulates a mere change of personnel in power roles; instead, it unfolds in the sense of a change in the base of power legitimacy and, hence, is oriented towards a structural change in institutionalized social relations.» IT
G. Bolacchi, Metodologia delle scienze sociali [Methodology of the social sciences], Edizioni Ricerche, Roma, 1963
1/64«We have previously made a fundamental distinction between two different methodological perspectives: the perspective of meaning and the perspective of fact. The difficulty in approaching and characterizing the aspect of the meaning, typical of the individual's experience, derives mainly from the non-observational character of the meaning on an intersubjective basis. That confines the scientific consideration of the meaning to two factors, namely the dispositional factor and the psychological factor, constituting aspects or explanations of the meaning and presupposing it as a fundamental methodological dimension. The disposition to respond and the meaning, thus, are not identical but imply one another in that the meaning constitutes the fundamental methodological dimension or the basis on which the disposition to respond rests.» IT
2/64«The consideration of the pragmatic, or operational, dimension as a semantic aspect of meaning is extensively developed by Morris. Here, it is only necessary to reiterate that his studies concern not the semantics of meaning in strict terms but, more appropriately, the operational or dispositional aspect of meaning. Accordingly, the concept of “disposition to respond,” taken by Morris as a fundamental postulate of semantics, is an explication of the concept of “interest;” as such, it belongs to the field of action (operation) and, hence, to the logic of behavior. In this respect, therefore, Morris’s investigations should be systematized within a general theory of behavior.» IT
3/64«A final observation about Morris’s concept of “significatum” as indicating “the conditions such that whatever meets these conditions is a denotatum of a given sign” has to be advanced. In light of the above distinctions, a more in-depth analysis shows how Morris’s concept must also be considered to belong to the science of behavior and not to the science of signs. The concept of “significatum,” in fact, refers to the concept of “denotatum.” However, the latter is a behavioral concept and, as such, is used by Morris, who relates it to the concepts of “truth,” “belief,” and “adequacy.”» IT
4/64«Unlike the case of the relation between operational and factual schemata, a relation between several operational schemata does not always entail the operationalizability of behaviors. Indeed, it is possible to characterize behaviors in terms of social regularities, in which case the interaction rests on a normative structure that enables their operationalizability. However, behaviors may also not be susceptible to systematization within normative schemata; in this event, the operationalizability is excluded because of the structural diversity (in the identity, order, or degree of mediation of interests) of individuals’ dispositional fields.» IT
5/64«When referring to the social systems, the distinction between pendular dynamics and cumulative dynamics stands basically on identifying the pendular dynamics with the structural aspect. This identification derives from two methodological criteria that underlie the structural characterization of science (hence, social sciences, too): invariance and reversibility. It means assuming that all interacting factors typifying a given theoretical schema are characterized in terms of invariants, and the only change admitted in the relations between these factors is characterized in terms of reversibility. The difference between pendular dynamics and cumulative dynamics is thus defined by the concepts of “reversibility” and “irreversibility.”» IT
6/64«The study of social sciences cannot ignore an analysis of the semantic relation. Such analysis is justified not only by the fact that, as seen, the semantical perspective is one of the three fundamental facets of the meaning, considered in methodological terms; it is also justified by the necessity to provide adequate conceptual tools for explicating the concept of “theoretical structure.”» IT
7/64«The analysis of the semantic process in its empirical dimension takes the sign as a significant fact in relation to the individuals who use it and the phenomena denoted. Therefore, such analysis entails a unitary consideration of the semantic process from a scientific viewpoint and does not have to be connected to philosophical questions, especially about the non-observability of the sign. However, another aspect of signs can be taken into consideration, based only on the semantical rules existing within the linguistic systems, be they factual or conventional languages, either axiomatic or not. Here, the empirical circumstances contingent upon the emergence and existence of the semantic process are taken into no account; hence, the analysis appears to be internal to the semantic process, as no extra-linguistic context (i.e., elements other than the system rules) is admitted.» IT
8/64«The principle of conventionality, which establishes that the construction of a language and the choice of its particular features are a matter of convention, was first applied to axiomatic systems. However, every formalized axiomatic system, not to be meaningless, must rest directly on a corresponding semantical system from which an adequate logical interpretation of the terms (in particular, of the rules of formation, the rules of designation, and the rules of deduction or transformation) can be derived. It follows that the conventionality of a calculus, or axiomatic system, is strictly related to the semantical system interpreting its formal rules.» IT
9/64«The distinction between semantical and axiomatic systems is based on a structural characterization. In fact, within the axiomatic systems, the assertions can be deduced from a set of propositions admitted without proof, not meaningless, whereby the whole system can be proved using appropriate rules. Apropos of the distinction between logical and descriptive systems, it should be noted instead that both have rules of formation which establish, in the form of definitions, what types of signs belong to a given system and how to construct sentences using the signs belonging to the system.» IT
10/64«Finally, it should be noted that the rules of truth also belong to semantic systems; these rules aim to establish a necessary and sufficient truth condition for each sentence or class of sentences in a given system: direct rules of truth apply to simple sentences (semantic concept of truth); indirect rules referring to the truth-value of components apply to compound sentences (truth-tables connectives) and classes of sentences. It means that, with reference to a semantic system, it is necessary to formulate the semantic definition of truth, the related concept of “adequacy,” the indirect rules of truth for compound sentences concerning the characterization of propositional connectives, and the classes of sentences belonging to the object language.» IT
11/64«The statement that the meaning of a term is determined by the rules establishing how it can be used within a given linguistic system refers to the rules of formation, designation, truth, and range, as well as, in axiomatic systems (syntactical systems or calculi), to the rules of deduction or transformation. This perspective must not be confused with operationalism in a proper sense, according to which the meaning of a term is given by a set of operations (i.e., the term signifies and denotes a set of operations). Operationalism is admissible as long as it is not made exclusive; in fact, denying the possibility of languages where the intensions and extensions of terms cannot be traced back to operations would be meaningless.» IT
12/64«By confining the analysis to a particular type of significatum of the signs given by an operation or a set of operations, methodological operationalism excludes the abstract terms, which have no such significatum, from the domain of scientific language; nevertheless, these terms are an integral part of it. Indeed, there is no doubt that scientific language must use high abstraction-level expressions, which do not express operational meaning. It means that the semantical rules of designation for the symbols that symbolize such expressions do not establish a relation between symbols and some operational meaning corresponding to concrete operations.
Reducing the language of science to operational schemata entails the impossibility of inserting, within a pre-existing language, abstract semantical structures of a higher degree; therefore, it results in doing without the advantages deriving from the construction and insertion of abstract linguistic forms in the context of scientific investigations.» IT
13/64«One of the main problems that Carnap aims to address concerns the criterion of significance for theoretic language, which is identifying those conditions that the terms and sentences belonging to a theoretic language must meet to explain and predict observable events and, hence, guarantee its empirical meaning. Of course, the problem of theoretic language is complex, especially for the uncertainties about the borderline between its significance and non-significance. However, there is a general agreement among empiricists nowadays in rejecting some criteria previously proposed as being too narrow; e.g., the requirement that all theoretical terms are definable based on terms of the observation language and all theoretic sentences are translatable within the latter. The reason is that rules establishing a relation between theoretic language and observation languages (correspondence rules) can only give a partial interpretation of the former.» IT
14/64«Carnap addresses the [...] problem of adequately characterizing the borderline between significance and non-significance. If it were too narrow, it could exclude from the scientific language some terms or phrases ordinarily included in it. If it were too broad, it could include some terms or sentences with no scientific meaning, whence justifying the possibility of hypothesizing a linguistic continuum from the observational domain to the domain of metaphysics. He solves the dilemma by envisioning an explicatum of the concept of “empirical significance” of theoretical terms, proposing criteria of signification for terms and sentences of the theoretic language, and establishing the adequacy conditions for these criteria.» IT
15/64«Carnap conceives what he calls the total language of science in relation to the two fundamental constitutive parts: the observation language LO and the theoretical language LT. This distinction reflects, in more rigorous terms, the distinction between the two levels of scientific systematization to which Hempel refers: the level of empirical generalization and the level of theory formation. Given that the observation language is used to describe observable events, it must be completely interpreted, and its requirements must comply with this characterization.» IT
16/64«It does not mean, inter alia, that axiomatization cannot operate at all language levels, nor should the concepts of “axiomatization” and “theoretical language” be confused. This point is crucial because it also refers to the fundamental distinction between syntactical and semantical systems. In fact, if it is true that a given calculus is characterized not so much by the formalization (as an abstraction from meanings) as by the classification of signs, the rules of formation, the rules of deduction or transformation (which constitute its centerpiece) and the definitions, then a (formal) syntactical system not explicitly translated into calculus (i.e., not axiomatic) is possible.» IT
17/64«What characterizes theoretical terms is not the element of axiomatization, which may also be missing, but the fact that these terms have a definite level of abstraction. The abstraction level should not be confused with the concept of “logical generality,” according to which a term is singular when its intension is such that the term can only signify a single element univocally determined, and a term is general when, on the contrary, it signifies a range (or a more or less vast set) of elements.» IT
18/64«“Abstraction” is a methodological concept concerning the insertion of predicates of different levels into pre-existing languages; the latter can also be individualized concrete languages, i.e., languages including descriptive predicates relating to objects extended in space and time. It reflects the distinction between a phenomenon individualized in all its many aspects and a phenomenon considered in relation to one or more specific features (selected and isolated from the context of the total experience); this leads to considering observable predicates or operational series as theoretical interpretations.
With this, the distinction between theoretical and observation languages is not eliminated but restated in methodological rather than factual terms.» IT
19/64«The abstraction level and the abstraction-level identity are elements that must necessarily be conventionally established through the rules of designation of the language system of reference, those rules interpreting the individual constants and the primitive predicates of the system. It is precisely this interpret