Month: December 2016

Ontology, Epistemology, and Methodology in Urban and City Planning, and Planning Philosophy

– Bruce Long Methodology is of central importance to any professional discipline: even philosophy. Of course philosophical methodology is rarely the same as scientific methodology. In philosophy we talk about philosophical methodology, and about meta-philosophy (and about such things as metametaphysics). Metaphilosophy is the philosophy of how to do philosophy (or more directly – the philosophy of philosophy). Methodology (scientific and philosophical) is of central importance especially in philosophies of science and mathematics. The philosophy of biology, the philosophy of physics, the philosophy of information, and the philosophy of urban planning are all called upon to address issues of...

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The Character of the City: Agency and Structure

– Bruce Long In the last article in our series, we discussed the character of the city. We asked what the character of a city could be considered to be, and we answered this in terms of primarily continental philosophy, but with interdisciplinary references to, and hybridisation with, analytic and Anglo-American discipline, and with more scientistic approaches to philosophical appraisals of living spaces and lived experience. We focused particularly on existentialism (over postmodernism) and we introduced the concept of reader response and reader reception theory in literary theoretic and information theoretic terms: the idea that lived experience and reception...

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The Character of the City: A Short Foray into Historical Philosophy

– Bruce Long Many of our previous articles have focused upon analytic, renaissance, enlightenment,  and classical philosophical underpinnings of the philosophy of urban and city planning. When it comes to the concept of the character of cities, however, a more broadly continental approach is probably more suitable. We probably need to determine what it is we are after when we ask about the character of a city and how it develops over time. In other words: in philosophical and aesthetic terms – what is the character of a city – and then how does such a character develop? The distinction...

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The Philosophy of Aesthetics, The City, and Esthetic Perception

– Bruce Long One of the most striking relationships between any two bodies of knowledge and human experience is the interaction and interdependence between the city and philosophy. Yes – you read that correctly. Philosophy is the story of the city, and vice versa.  How to defend such a bold (but perhaps unsurprising) claim with substance? Well, any trained philosopher will tell you that philosophy would never have been possible without the polis, and thence the metropolis. Philosophy – and by extension natural philosophy and science – are children of the city. One cannot afford time to think and...

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Rousseau and the City

What impact did Rousseau’s version of the social contract have on planning theory in the 20th century? Compared with Hume and Lock, Rousseau had a view of the social contract as a contact between the people and the government. This is the form of the contract that the USA seems to have considered in the development of their constitution. But has it had an impact on Planning and design theory?

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