This is a running list of stuff that I’ve come across, but haven’t taken the time to unpack yet (and if I’m honest with myself, it’s stuff that I’ll probably never really get around to doing anything about).

Summary of Social Contract Theory by Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau

Manzoor Laskar
April 4, 2013

This paper provides a small summary of Social Contract Theory by Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau. It discusses what is the social contract theory and the reason. Then the paper points out the State of Nature according to Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau. It also put forth the differences of opinion of these jurists of the State of Nature with regard to social contract and lastly the critical apprehension of the theory of social contract given by Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau.

Challenging ‘Resistance to Change’

Eric Dent, Susan Goldberg
September 16, 2013

This article examines the origins of one of the most widely accepted mental models that drives organizational behavior: The idea that there is resistance to change and that managers must overcome it. This mental model, held by employees at all levels, interferes with successful change implementation. The authors trace the emergence of the term resistance to change and show how it became received truth. Kurt Lewin introduced the term as a systems concept, as a force affecting managers and employees equally. Because the terminology, but not the context, was carried forward, later uses increasingly cast the problem as a psychological concept, personalizing the issue as employees versus managers. Acceptance of this model confuses an understanding of change dynamics. Letting go of the term — and the model it has come to embody — will make way for more useful models of change dynamics. The authors conclude with a discussion of alternatives to resistance to change.

Social Innovation, Democracy and Makerspaces

Adrian Smith
June 14, 2017

Social innovation requires a transformation in innovation practices. These transformations should be democratic. At least that is the hypothesis in this paper. Makerspaces are studied as potential sites for democratising innovation activity. Makerspaces are community-based workshops where people access the tools, skills and collaborators to design and make almost anything they wish. Makerspaces are also networked spaces for reflection and debate over design and making in society. But they are many other things too, including a place for personal recreation, entrepreneurship, and education - features of increasing interest to institutions. Makerspaces are pulled and pushed in different directions. An open innovation agenda seeks to insert makerspace creativity into global manufacturing circuits under business as usual. Others see in makerspaces an inchoate infrastructure for a commons-based, sustainable and redistributed manufacturing economy. Activists anticipate new relations in material culture and political economy. Makerspaces are thus socially innovative and not socially innovative at the same time: a site of struggle over issues of profound social significance, and hence an example of innovation democracy in action.

What is Technology? Six Definitions and Two Pathologies

Paul Nightingale
October 10, 2014

This paper aims to integrate recent philosophy, history, sociology and economics of technology (Vincenti, 1990; Searle, 1995, 2001; Dupre, 1993; Houkes, 2009; 2006; de Vries, 2003; Nye, 2006; Rosenberg, 1976, 1990; Pavitt, 1987, 1999; Meijers, 2009) to explore six definitions of technology and two pathologies. It aims to clarify the relationship between different ways of understanding technology, and provide a preliminary overview of their relative strengths and weaknesses.

Why Fallacies Appear to Be Better Arguments than They Are

Douglas Walton
13 Feb 2011

This paper explains how a fallacious argument can be deceptive by appearing to be a better argument of its kind than it really is. The explanation combines heuristics and argumentation schemes. Heuristics are fast and frugal shortcuts to a solution to a problem. They are reasonable to use, but sometimes jump to a conclusion that is not justified. In fallacious instances, according to the theory proposed, such a jump overlooks prerequisites of the defeasible argumentation scheme for the type of argument in question. Three informal fallacies, argumentum ad verecundiam, argumentum ad ignorantiam and fear appeal argument, are used to illustrate and explain the theory.

Subjective Well-Being

Ed Diener

The literature on subjective well-being (SWB), including happiness, life satisfaction, and positive affect, is reviewed in three areas: measurement, causal factors, and theory. Psychometric data on single-item and multi-item subjective well-being scales are presented, and the measures are compared. Measuring various components of subjective well-being is discussed. In terms of causal influences, research findings on the demographic correlates of SWB are evaluated, as well as the findings on other influences such as health, social contact, activity, and personality. A number of theoretical approaches to happiness are presented and discussed: telic theories, associationistic models, activity theories, judgment approaches, and top-down versus bottom-up conceptions.