Positivism And Sociology Rle Social Theory

Positivism and Sociology  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Peter Halfpenny
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 138
View: 3019

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Book Description:
Any serious attempt to explain social life has to come to terms with sociology's positivist legacy. It is a heritage on the one hand from the seventeenth-century political arithmeticians and the later moral statisticians who believed that quantification would provide the basis for a dispassionate analysis of social affairs; and on the other hand from the nineteenth-century post-Enlightenment social philosophers who were eager to develop an empirical science of society that would enable them to control social conduct – just as the physical sciences had provided the knowledge to tame nature. Yet every debate about the relation between positivism and sociology is clouded by the diversity of uses of the term 'positivism' – uses that are so varied that some can pronounce positivism dead while others find it still the vital force that dominates sociology. The particular merit of Peter Halfpenny's book is that it makes this diversity of uses its central theme. In order to provide a clear basis from which to assess controversial questions about the contribution of the positivist traditions to sociology, the book reviews twelve different important uses of the term 'positivism' that have emerged at different times since the mid-nineteenth century, when Auguste Comte coined both 'positivism' and 'sociology'. This review is conducted by examining the historical development of the two independent roots of modern sociological positivism – positivist philosophy and statistics – and by analysing logical positivist philosophy, which in many ways defined the course of twentieth century philosophy of the social (as well as the natural) sciences.


Positivism And Sociology

Positivism and Sociology PDF
Author: Peter Halfpenny
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Philosophy
Languages : en
Pages : 138
View: 3410

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Book Description:
Any serious attempt to explain social life has to come to terms with sociology's positivist legacy. It is a heritage on the one hand from the seventeenth-century political arithmeticians and the later moral statisticians who believed that quantification would provide the basis for a dispassionate analysis of social affairs; and on the other hand from the nineteenth-century post-Enlightenment social philosophers who were eager to develop an empirical science of society that would enable them to control social conduct - just as the physical sciences had provided the knowledge to tame nature. Yet every debate about the relation between positivism and sociology is clouded by the diversity of uses of the term 'positivism' - uses that are so varied that some can pronounce positivism dead while others find it still the vital force that dominates sociology. The particular merit of Peter Halfpenny's book is that it makes this diversity of uses its central theme. In order to provide a clear basis from which to assess controversial questions about the contribution of the positivist traditions to sociology, the book reviews twelve different important uses of the term 'positivism' that have emerged at different times since the mid-nineteenth century, when Auguste Comte coined both 'positivism' and 'sociology'. This review is conducted by examining the historical development of the two independent roots of modern sociological positivism - positivist philosophy and statistics - and by analysing logical positivist philosophy, which in many ways defined the course of twentieth century philosophy of the social (as well as the natural) sciences.


Approaches To Sociology Rle Social Theory

Approaches to Sociology  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: John Rex
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 306
View: 4783

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Book Description:
These essays, commissioned by John Rex, reflect the state of sociology in Britain today. Leading representatives of the diverse ‘schools’ provide lucid accounts of their own particular approaches to this complex discipline and in doing so demonstrate the techniques described. Topics covered include the empirical study of stratification, social evolution, survey techniques, mathematical sociology, systems theory, phenomenological approaches, Weberian sociology, structuralism, contemporary Marxism, and the development of theory after Talcott Parsons.


Philosophical Foundations Of The Three Sociologies Rle Social Theory

Philosophical Foundations of the Three Sociologies  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Ted Benton
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 236
View: 1000

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Book Description:
An extended historical and philosophical argument, this book will be a valuable text for all students of the philosophy of the social sciences. It discusses the serious alternatives to positivist and empiricist accounts of the physical sciences, and poses the debate between naturalism and anti-naturalism in the social sciences in new terms. Recent materialist and realist philosophies of science make possible a defence of naturalism which does not make concessions to positivism and which recognizes the force of several of the anti-positivist arguments from the main anti-naturalist (neo-Kantian) tradition. The author presents a critical evaluation of empiricist and positivist theories of knowledge, and investigates some classic attempts at using them to provide the philosophical foundation for a scientific sociology. He takes the Kantian critique of empiricism as the starting point for the main anti-positivist and anti-naturalist philosophical approaches to the social studies. He goes on to investigate the inadequacy of post-Kantian arguments from Rickert, Weber, Winch and others, both against non-positivist forms of naturalism and as the possible source of a distinctive philosophical foundation for the social studies. The book concludes with a critical investigation of the Marxian tradition and an attempt to establish the possibility of a materialist and realist defence of the project of a natural science of history, which escapes the fundamental flaws of both positivist and neo-Kantian attempts at philosophical foundation.


Studies In Social And Political Theory Rle Social Theory

Studies in Social and Political Theory  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Anthony Giddens
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 414
View: 3798

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Book Description:
The studies which comprise this book are essentially organized around a critical encounter with European social theory in its 'classical period' – i.e. from the middle years of the nineteenth century until the First World War – and have the aim of working out some of the implications of that encounter for the position and prospects of the social sciences today. The issues involved relate to the following series of problems: method and epistemology; social development and transformation; the origins of 'sociology' in nineteenth-century social theory; and the status of social science as critique. In each of these areas, Giddens develops views that challenge existing orthodoxies, and connects these ideas to a reconstruction of social theory in the contemporary era.


The Essential Comte Rle Social Theory

The Essential Comte  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Stanislav Andreski
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 250
View: 1666

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Book Description:
Auguste Comte proclaimed himself the founder of sociology and, on the whole, this claim is accepted. His most important work is the six-volume Cours de Philosophie Positive of which this present book is a selective abridgement. Comte, as this selection shows, was a methodological visionary. He was an eminently successful terminological innovator and to him we owe not only 'sociology' and 'positivism' but also 'biology' and 'altruism'. Professor Andreski, in his lucid introduction, assesses Comte's place under six headings, as scientist, philosopher, sociological theorist, sociological historian, reformer and methodologist. But this selection from Comte's works will be most welcomed because it provides a modern English translation of the main body of his thought.


The Scope Of Understanding In Sociology Rle Social Theory

The Scope of Understanding in Sociology  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Werner Pelz
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 294
View: 5791

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Book Description:
In their efforts to emulate the methodology which had proved so successful in the natural sciences, the social sciences – including sociology – have not yet faced the question as to what constitutes understanding in their area with sufficient seriousness. This book asks again: what does understanding denote in an area where man tries to understand man, where self-understanding is involved, where new understanding immediately becomes part of that which is to be understood? What can we know and what is the use and limitation of knowledge in sociology? When are we conscious that we know and understand? Werner Pelz argues for a thorough reorientation in our approach to sociological thinking, and suggests that scientistic preconceptions have often precluded possibly fruitful approaches to humane understanding. He investigates the relations between various kinds of knowing, and examines the new possibilities of understanding made available, for example, by psychoanalytical and phenomenological insights, as well as by those of poets, artists, mystics. He shows that in the social and humanistic sciences, creative or constitutive contributions illuminate rather than demonstrate, and that, for this reason, sociology has not yet found an appropriate method for conveying them without serious distortions.


Sociology And Social Research Rle Social Theory

Sociology and Social Research  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Geoff Payne
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 332
View: 1865

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Book Description:
A social science which has become so remote from the society which pays for its upkeep is ultimately doomed, threatened less by repression than by intellectual contempt and financial neglect. This is the message of the authors of this book in this reassessment of the evolution and present state of British sociology. Their investigation analyses the discipline as a social institution, whose product is inexorably shaped by the everyday circumstances of its producers; it is the concrete outcome of people’s work, rather than a body of abstract ideas. Drawing upon their varied experience as teachers and researchers, they identify three major trends in contemporary sociology. First, that the discipline’s rapid expansion has led to a retreat from rigorous research into Utopian and introspective theorising. Second, that the concept of sociological research is being taught in a totally false way because of this, and encourages ‘research’ within a wholly academic environment. Third, that the current unpopularity of sociology with academics, prospective students and politicians is no coincidence, but a reflection of the conditions under which sociology is now produced and practised. In Sociology and Social Research the authors suggest substantial changes in sociological research, the way in which it is carried out and the conditions under which it is undertaken. Their book is a timely warning to fellow sociologists when the profession is under attack as a result of public expenditure cuts.


Discovering Sociology Rle Social Theory

Discovering Sociology  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: John Rex
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 294
View: 7634

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Book Description:
Professor John Rex was one of Britain’s most eminent sociologists, and a teacher of a whole generation of sociology students. In this book he presents a stimulating introduction to the major issues of sociological theory and gives an account of the perspective which has informed his thinking and writing. He deals with the objectives of sociological investigation, the methods it uses and how in these respects it resembles or differs from natural science and history. He goes on to discuss the work of Weber, Durkheim, Marx, Engels, Mills and other important theorists, and concludes with a convincing demonstration of the continuing relevance of the Weberian tradition to the study of sociology.


Social Theory And Political Practice Rle Social Theory

Social Theory and Political Practice  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Brian Fay
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 120
View: 1237

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Book Description:
This book examines the question of how our knowledge of social life affects, and ought to affect, our way of living it. In so doing, it critically discusses two epistemological models of social science – the positivist and the interpretive – from the viewpoint of the political theories which, it is argued, are implicit in these models; moreover, it proposes a third model – the critical – which is organised around an explicit account of the relation between social theory and practical life. The book has the special merit of being a good overview of the principal current ideas about the relation between social theory and political practice, as well as an attempt at providing a new and more satisfactory account of this relationship. To accomplish this task, it synthesises work from the analytic philosophy of social science with that of the neo-Marxism of the Frankfurt school.