The Rational And The Social Rle Social Theory

The Rational and the Social  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: James Robert Brown
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 206
View: 5585

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Book Description:
To paraphrase Marx, sociologists have only interpreted science; the point is to improve it. The Rational and the Social attempts both. It begins by sketching recent sociological approaches to science, notably the strong programme – Bloor’s ‘science of science’ and Barnes’s ‘finitism’ – and that of the ‘anthropologists in the lab’, Collins and Latour and Woolgar. The author argues that although sociological accounts are valuable in many respects, when morals are drawn about the structure and epistemology of science, they are badly flawed. In rejecting the sociological theory of science, it is not necessary to conclude that science develops without reference to the social. James Robert Brown argues for an alternative account. He proposes a novel way of viewing the history of science as a source of evidence for how to do good science and argues that the most important aspect of methodology is that it is comparative. Rival theories are evaluated by comparison and the contribution of the social to this process is inevitable and should be acknowledged. This is the challenge to science.


Choice Rationality And Social Theory Rle Social Theory

Choice  Rationality and Social Theory  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Barry Hindess
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 138
View: 7039

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Book Description:
Choice, Rationality and Social Theory is a powerful rebuttal of the remarkably influential theories underlying 'rational choice analysis'. Rational choice analysis maintains that social life is principally to be explained as the outcome of rational choices on the part of individual actors. Adherents of this view include not only philosophers, political scientists and sociologists, but also prominent politicians in Western governments – notably of the United Kingdom and the United States. Rational choice analysis is said to be rigorous, capable of great technical sophistication, and able to generate powerful explanations on the basis of a few, relatively simple theoretical assumptions. Barry Hindess argues that the theory is seriously deficient, first, because there are important actors in the modern world other than human individuals, and second, because it says nothing about those processes of deliberation that play an important part in actors' decisions. The use of highly questionable assumptions about actors and their rationality has the effect of closing off important areas of intellectual inquiry and ignoring the reality of certain forms of thought and the social conditions on which they depend. These points are established through detailed examination of the concepts of the actor and of rationality – providing an overall argument that constitutes a serious challenge to any adherent of rational choice analysis.


Rationality And The Social Sciences Rle Social Theory

Rationality and the Social Sciences  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: S.I. Benn
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 422
View: 4880

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Book Description:
The concepts of rationality that are used by social scientists in the formation of hypotheses, models and explanations are explored in this collection of original papers by a number of distinguished philosophers and social scientists. The aim of the book is to display the variety of the concepts used, to show the different roles they play in theories of very different kinds over a wide range of disciplines, including economics, sociology, psychology, political science and anthropology, and to assess the explanatory and predictive power that a theory can draw from such concepts.


Agency And Structure Rle Social Theory

Agency and Structure  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Piotr Sztompka
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 328
View: 6178

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Book Description:
A striking feature of the human condition is its dual, contradictory, inherently split character; on the one hand, autonomy and freedom; on the other, constraint and dependence on social structure. This volume addresses this central problem of the linkage between human action and social structure in sociological and social science theory. Contributions cover several different approaches to the agency-structure problematic, and represent the work of a number of leading international sociologists. Their efforts point to a reorientation of social theory, both on philosophical and methodological levels.


The Hermeneutic Imagination Rle Social Theory

The Hermeneutic Imagination  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Josef Bleicher
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 180
View: 5427

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Book Description:
In his previous book, Contemporary Hermeneutics, Josef Bleicher offered an introduction to the subject, locating it mainly within the philosophy of social science, and looking at the profound impact it is having on a wide range of intellectual pursuits. This book follows on from this and expounds the author's view that the development of the hermeneutic imagination is an indispensable condition for reflexive sociological work and emancipatory social practice. Dr Bleicher examines the various approaches to sociology – empiricist, functionalist, structuralist, interpretive, critical – by reference to a hermeneutic paradigm, and shows how the hermeneutic imagination leads to a redirection in sociology, away from scientistic presuppositions and towards an awareness of the dialogue which links the subject and object in the study of social phenomena. He argues that by allowing the hermeneutic imagination to develop, it is possible to counter the steering of social processes on the basis of technocratic imperatives, and to provide a rational anticipation of a better future.


Key Thinkers Past And Present Rle Social Theory

Key Thinkers  Past and Present  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Jessica Kuper
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 282
View: 4408

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Book Description:
This volume provides a fascinating perspective on the social sciences through its examination of the leading proponents, their ideas and careers. It includes useful suggestions for further reading. All the great names in the history of the subject are here – Freud, Marx, Weber, Adam Smith and so on – along with many less prominent but nevertheless important thinkers.


Testament For Social Science Rle Social Theory

Testament for Social Science  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Barbara Wootton
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 204
View: 5645

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Book Description:
The contrast between man’s amazing ability to manipulate his world and his pitiful incompetence in managing his own affairs is now as commonplace as it is tragic. It is by rigorous devotion to scientific method that we have made our conquests over the material environment; it is obvious that this method is not normally applied to the field of relations of human beings, individual and collective. These are conducted in a quite different way, governed by a medley of primitive impulses set in a framework of a traditional morality that varies from place to place and age to age. In these matters science plays little part; yet more than a century has passed since Auguste Comte said that the rational reform of society must be brought about by the application of scientific method to social problems. It is, therefore, the first purpose of this essay to ask how far social problems might be tackled by the methods of science.


Sociological Theory In Transition Rle Social Theory

Sociological Theory in Transition  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Mark L. Wardell
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 188
View: 6351

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Book Description:
Current sociological theories appear to have lost their general persuasiveness in part because, unlike the theories of the ‘classical era’, they fail to maintain an integrated stance toward society, and the practical role that sociology plays in society. The authors explore various facets of this failure and possibilities for reconstructing sociological theories as integrated wholes capable of conveying a moral and political immediacy. They discuss the evolution of several concepts (for example, the social, structure, and self) and address the significant disputes (for example, structuralism versus humanism, and individual versus society) that have dominated twentieth-century sociological thought. Their ideas and analyses are directed towards an audience of students and theorists who are coming to terms with the project of sociological theory, and its relationship with moral discourses and political practice. The authors of these essays are sociological theorists from the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. They are all established, but not ‘establishment’ authors. The book contains no orthodoxies, and no answers. However, the essays do contribute to identifying the range of issues that will constitute the agenda for the next generation of sociological theorists.


Reason And Freedom In Sociological Thought Rle Social Theory

Reason and Freedom in Sociological Thought  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Frank Hearn
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 228
View: 1880

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Book Description:
How has reason, believed since the Enlightenment to be the ally of freedom in the search for a better, more humanly satisfying world, been reduced to a technical rationality that has actually impoverished the bases of human freedom? What might be the options and obligations for sociologists who wish to restore reason to its proper status? Working within the tradition of C. Wright Mills and Jurgen Habermas, Frank Hearn sets out to answer these questions. He surveys the treatment of the relation between reason and freedom in both the classical tradition (especially the writings of Saint-Simon, Comte, Durkheim, Marx, Weber, and Freud) and an increasingly significant segment of social thought and criticism (and, for example, in the contrasting visions of Daniel Bell and Christopher Lasch.) He then analyses both the concrete social and historical forms of expression taken by what Mills calls 'rationality without reason' and their impact on individual autonomy and the freedoms associated with democratic politics. Finally, he develops Mills's and Habermas's claims that the cultivation of democratic publics and a critical social theory committed to a vibrant public life are indispensable to the protection and revitalization of the values of reason and freedom and of the practices they entail. This book updates and enriches Mills's influential argument by demonstrating its affinity with critical theory, by showing its contributions to a critical understanding of the classical tradition, and by showing its implications for contemporary social, political, and economic developments.


Rationality Education And The Social Organization Of Knowledege Rle Edu L

Rationality  Education and the Social Organization of Knowledege  RLE Edu L  PDF
Author: Chris Jenks
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Education
Languages : en
Pages : 4
View: 5067

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Book Description:
The manner in which we variously come to an understanding of our world presents problems for us all, but the unified method by which we ought best to acquire such knowledge represents the particular problem of contemporary education. This important book seeks to explore some of the underlying practises and assumptions that go to produce and sustain both such sets of activities. As a result of its concerns with the social organization of knowledge at all levels, the sociology of education has become a central form of much contemporary sociological theory. All the papers in this collection are formulations of a ‘reflexive’ method of theorizing within sociology of education. This is a mode of address, deriving partly from social phenomenology, which seeks to display the grounds of the theorists’ speech as itself an essential feature of any informative dialogue. Major themes in education and in sociology are considered in this way, including the social form of rationality, the constitution of curricula, normative beliefs about Learning, the nature of literary study as liberal education and the character of scientific knowledge in the social world.