Human Sciences All books
In the course of development, our way of living is fashioned by the world around us, but it is also shaped by discrete characteristics such as nature and the intensity of emotions like anxiety and egoism. From this point of departure, the author draws analogies about the ways in which we are human individuals and members of a species, and proffers the theory that, in the evolutionary process, there is also a sort of anxiety and egoism at work. Evolution, he suggests, might very well be both sentimental and selective. Yves Alain Fontaine is an honorary professor at the National Museum of Natural History.
Where does the formidable Japanese resistance to unemployment come from? How can their persistence be explained when Japan, like all developed countries, is faced with robotization, technological revolutions and, more recently, competition in the form of young populations in neighboring countries? This should give France pause for thought: as starkly contrasted as these two cultures may seem, France and Japan are sister countries. Thus reflected in the mirror of Japan, France can discover that its decline need not be fatal, and that it is up to France to break with a decrepit conservatism and embrace growth. Christian Sautter is the director of studies at the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales (EHESS).
Beyond the lesson of History, beyond the political essay, this book is the moving testament of a man infused with the destiny of his country, instructed by the wars that wrenched it apart and determined to construct an open and confident Europe, one that would be capable of making History instead of suffering it.
In this book, Delors specifies the educational objectives we should strive for: competence is vital, but it is equally necessary to prepare people to master knowledge, to teach themselves, to live together and, most simply, to be. We must invent and instill an approach to education that truly prepares men and women to take their own futures in hand, and such a feat implies not only economic efficiency, but also an adequate preparation for everyday life. Shouldn't the mastery of education be the next challenge taken up by the global community?
A relative newcomer to the world of science, psychology gives rise to a rivalry between two older siblings, philosophy and biology. This enduring conflict between materialism and spiritualism, which continues today in other forms, without adoubt was the driving force behind its progress. What we know today about the spirit is a result of this history. Biology and psychology have shaped each other in turn. This book represents a riveting study on how two centuries of spiritual quarrelling made possible the modern attempt to establish the inner workings of the mind. A professor of physiology at the Université Claude Bernard, Marc Jeannerod is also the director of an Inserm neurological research team in Lyon.
Inventor of the "right of interference", Mario Bettati, a professor of International Law, explains in this book the precise political circumstances and the legal context under which the right of humanitarian interference came about. This book is divided into four parts which follow both a chronological and a logical order. Beginning with interference as verbal denunciation, following with interference as medical assistance, he speaks of forced interference (Yugoslavia, Somalia and Rwanda) and finishes by dissuasive interference (courts for crimes against humanity and conflicts observatories). A thorough presentation of an important subject.
At what age should we learn a second language? Which are the intellectual faculties which bilinguism helps to develop? What is the compared efficiency of language learning in childhood and in adulthood? In which case does a person forget a language, particularly a mother tongue? Claude Hagège tells us here that anybody can become perfectly bilingual and how Europe, which is not the continent where the most bilingual people are found, can multiply their number. Indeed, the challenge of bilingualism is at the heart of European union. C. Hagège, professor at the Collège de France, has published in particular L'Homme de paroles and Le Souffle de la Langue.
The multiplying cases, the explosion of litigations, the sensational trials which catch the attention of the public : all are evidence of a growth in power of the judicial system, which we expect to be, at the same time, the arbiter of morals, the guarantee of public morality and responsible for the salvation of the people. But why dont we ask what things it cannot provide ? Isnt the idea of a judicial democracy just an illusion, which serves to hide serious problems ? The power of the judicial system is more worrying than exciting. It is an indicator of the discreditation of the State at the same time as a reduction in social cohesion. In the face of the fragility of democratic society, this book is a thorough reflection on the exercise of public power, affirming that the real role of the judge is not to take the place of the politic, but to diffuse the risk of democratic implosion by remaining the guardian of the promises at the very heart of republican laws. Antoine Garapon, a former judge and member of the editorial team of the journal Esprit, is the head of the Institute of Advanced Judicial Studies.
Where do our ideas come from ? Some, just from ourselves, or at least we believe so, but the majority come from others which we then pass on in our turn. The age-old philosophical question on the origins of ideas is analysed here in relation to their mode of dissemination. In his search for the natural element of culture, Dan Sperber presents in this book an epidemiology of ideas which describes how they spread by passing from one person to another, undergoing transformations which are in the same category as mutations. He also investigates how these ideas establish themselves in the long-term by occupying our mental world without our conscious knowledge, which allows us to participate in our culture. Dan Sperber, an anthropologist, is the research director of CNRS.
Why is the obsessive horrified by a tiny stain ? Why does the depressive relentlessly search for a redemptive punishment ? When human behaviour translates the suffering and helplessness of an individual confronted with anguish and solitude to the collapse of that being, to a retreat inside a strange inner world, to the loss of all that which anchors him to life, it is not enough, in order to understand him, to connect up the events of his life. It is also necessary to situate that individual in the wider scale of cultural indictations, which play a determining role in the formation of the personality. In this way, Évelyne Pewzner undertakes to show in what sense, Western Christianity, which is intrinsically linked to the problem of evil, leaves in each of us an imprint of distress. Évelyne Pewzner is a psychiatrist, and a professor of psychopathology at the University of Picardie.
If myths tell the story of civilizations without writing, the myth of the golden age corresponds to a very precise period in the story of mankind: the superior paleololithic (between 35,000 and 9,000 B.C.). Even though different species of hominides coexisted in the same territories of Africa, there were no wars. Human groups were rare, they lived in an environment of abundance. They had time. Without art or religion, their life was carefree. All their knowledge was concentrated on the making of tools and in the mastering of fire. This is the everyday life of men from the Paleolithic which Jean Chavaillon describes in this fascinating book, illustrated by black and white reproductions. Jean Chavaillon, is a research director at the CNRS, a specialist in prehistory and a field worker.
French public services need to be modernised. In their present position, they incarnate the Welfare State and its grand projects. They are now being challenged by the opening up of the market, the fall of the controlled economy, deregulation, and privatisations. An open economy now rules the network industries, such as energy, transport, telecommunications, and collective services. Can we really just leave isolated and without a future this cornerstone of our society which represents all at once the infrastructure of the competitive economy, great technical achievements, the republican conception of social equality and the cohesion of the country ? A result of the reflections of the Network Plan 2010 group, led by Christian Stoffaës, the director of the company Elecricité de France, this work identifies the currents of change, assesses the situation in other countries, and traces an outline of a significant project to reform the State. In co-edition with La Documentation française.
The 20th century has been marked by the growing awareness of the unbearable gap between developed and under-developed countries. And the most outstanding fact of the next century will probably be the worsening in this imbalance. In order to find a solution to the under-development scandal, Alain Peyrefitte attempts to understand the miracle of development. He examines the successive miracles which have allowed a part of humanity to pull through the turns of dictatorship or anarchism, violence and destitution.
What is there in common between all my designs ? What meaning can I give today to my architecture ? Without doubt, that of a desire to organise space. Due to an apprenticeship in perception, observation, and geometrisation of nature, in addition to a historical journey, I have learnt that in order to go past the initial momentum, I have to acquire the mastery of a whole new language." Ricardo Bofill Ricardo Bofill is probably one of the most famous, yet most controversial architects of his time. In this book illustrated with pictures and plans, he delivers an analysis of his art which amounts to an invitation to read the city.
What kind of education shaped Charles de Gaulle, Georges Pompidou, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and François Mitterand? Who were their mentors? What was their opinion of school? What role is played in educational politics by a nationalist "Saint-Cyrien", a conservative "Normalien," a liberal from Polytechnique or ENA, or a socialist from Sciences-Po? How did their different educational experiences affect their actions and their views? A story of four great men who were once just schoolboys like everyone else.