Tag Archives: Peirce

What can social research learn from the savage detectives’ mode of inquiry?

[El nombre de esta sección es “artículos en cuotas”. La idea es, como en una novela por entregas, ir subiendo partes de papers a medida que vayan saliendo. El texto abajo es el segundo post de este tipo. Es un (muy) borrador de la primera parte de un capítulo para el libro Organization 2666 editado por Christian de Cock, Sine Nørholm Just, y Damian O’Doherty. Como el título lo indica el libro reunirá contribuciones que conectan la literatura de Roberto Bolaño y los estudios de las organizaciones]

What can social research learn from the savage detectives’ mode of inquiry? José Ossandón

Image result for Los Detectives salvajes “Soñé que era un detective viejo y enfermo que buscaba gente perdida hace tiempo. A veces me miraba casualmente en un espejo y reconocía a Roberto Bolaño” (Bolaño quoted in Trelles 2008: 271)

“Los detectives de Bolaño, pues, como en sus poemas, como en sus sueños y como en la mayoría de sus ficciones, son poetas en búsqueda permanente de otros poetas pero que, a su vez, serán objeto de búsquedas posteriores que repiten las circunstancias  y las carencias singulares de las suyas” (Trelles 2008: 287)


Crime fiction has been read as a mirror of social research.

In The Arcades Project, Benjamin (1999) notes that Allan Poe’s Dupin is like a physiognomist. Like the ‘Man of the Crowd’, who reads the signs hidden in the masses, Dupin deciphers the traces left in the bourgeois domestic space. The detective’s inquiry works at a level of abstraction that Benjamin recognizes as the key to 19th century society. Like financial commodities and collections, the detective’s mode of knowledge production works by assembling series out of previously unconnected events. Carlo Ginzburg (1983, 2004) has developed the comparison further. In his view, it is in the 19th century that the case study, represented in figures such as Peirce, Morelli and Freud, reaches its consolidation as a scientific method. It is this type of ‘abductive’ research that is represented in Conan Doyle’s Holmes. Sherlock is a sharp reader of signs, a non-stopping abductive machine that can connect a unique trace with massive amount of updated scientific knowledge in order to come up with the hypothesis that will solve the case. Continue reading

Economies in search of a theorist: an interview with Richard Swedberg

I met Richard Swedberg on March 18th in the lobby of his hotel in Copenhagen (therefore the music that accompanies this recording). The interview was carried out the day before the beginning of his activities at Copenhagen Business School, where he gave a public lecture and conducted a smaller seminar. I was lucky to sneak into both of them, which helped me to better grasp some of the topics discussed in this interview. Particularly, Swedberg’s recent attempt to conceptualize the role played by confidence in financial markets, and, perhaps more fundamentally, his passionate defense of theorizing (not in the sense of automatically recycling the classics, but as an active research practice). In these events, I got the impression that this latter project is motivated by a deep dissatisfaction (that I don’t know if I share) with the state of sociological theory today. There were certainly many other things discussed during these two days that are not registered in this conversation (for instance, a story about Swedberg interviewing Parsons and a recorder that didn’t work as well as an analogy between doing theory and dancing tango). What you do get here are answers to nine questions about key challenges of current economic sociology from one of the most important actors in the institutionalization of this influential sub-discipline.

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