Epistemology and Practice

Author: Anne Warfield Rawls
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139441322
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In this original and controversial book Professor Rawls argues that Durkheim's The Elementary Forms of Religious Life is the crowning achievement of his sociological endeavour and that since its publication in English in 1915 it has been consistently misunderstood. Rather than a work on primitive religion or the sociology of knowledge, Rawls asserts that it is an attempt by Durkheim to establish a unique epistemological basis for the study of sociology and moral relations. By privileging social practice over beliefs and ideas, it avoids the dilemmas inherent in philosophical approaches to knowledge and morality that are based on individualism and the tendency to privilege beliefs and ideas over practices, both tendencies that dominate western thought. Based on detailed textual analysis of the primary text, this book will be an important and original contribution to contemporary debates on social theory and philosophy.

Why Concepts Matter

Author: Martin Burke
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9004194266
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The volume explores distinctive issues involved in translating political and social thought. Thirteen contributors consider problems arising from the study of translation and cultural transfers of texts, in particular in terms of translation studies, and the history of concepts (Begriffsgeschichte).

The Elementary Forms of Religious Life

Author: Emile Durkheim
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780192832559
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In this title, Emile Durkheim set himself the task of discovering the enduring source of human social identity. He investigated what he considered to be the simplest form of documented religion - totemism among the Aborigines of Australia. Aboriginal religion was an avenue "to yield an understanding of the religious nature of man, by showing us an essential and permanent aspect of humanity". The need and capacity of men and women to relate socially lies at the heart of Durkheim's exploration, in which religion embodies the beliefs that shape our moral universe. This edition provides an introduction to Durkheim's ideas. This book is intended for students and teachers of religious studies, sociology of religion, sociology, anthropology; general readers of philosophy and religion.

Epistemologies of the South

Author: Boaventura de Sousa Santos
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317260341
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This book explores the concept of 'cognitive injustice': the failure to recognise the different ways of knowing by which people across the globe run their lives and provide meaning to their existence. Boaventura de Sousa Santos shows why global social justice is not possible without global cognitive justice. Santos argues that Western domination has profoundly marginalised knowledge and wisdom that had been in existence in the global South. She contends that today it is imperative to recover and valorize the epistemological diversity of the world. Epistemologies of the South outlines a new kind of bottom-up cosmopolitanism, in which conviviality, solidarity and life triumph against the logic of market-ridden greed and individualism.

Sociological Objects

Author: Geoff Cooper
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317053117
Format: PDF
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What are the aims of sociology? What are its objects of study? How relevant is the classical tradition to the practice of sociology today? This volume brings together internationally renowned and new scholars to consider the changing relationship between contemporary and classical sociology. Arguing that recent historical and theoretical developments make reconsideration timely, it suggests that whilst the classical tradition has a continuing pertinence, it is inevitably subject to ongoing reconfiguration. Assessing the explanatory value of classical and contemporary forms of sociology, interrogating social theory as both a form of explanation and a mode of practice, and considering the possible consequences for the discipline of questions about its subject matter, Sociological Objects steers a course between assertions about radical epistemological breaks on the one hand, and reverence for the classical tradition on the other. Rather, it emphasizes the value of reworking, reconsidering and reconfiguring sociological thought.

Durkheim s Philosophy of Science and the Sociology of Knowledge

Author: Warren Schmaus
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226742519
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In this demonstration of the link between philosophy of science and scientific practice, Warren Schmaus argues that Durkheim's philosophy is crucial to his sociology. Through a reinterpretation of the relation between Durkheim's major philosophical and sociological works, Schmaus argues that Durkheim's sociology is more than a collection of general observations about society—it reflects a richly constructed theory of the meanings and causes of social life. Schmaus shows how Durkheim sought to make sociology more rigorous by introducing scientific methods of analysis and explanation into the study of society. Durkheim tried to reveal how implicit, commonly held beliefs actually govern people's lives. Through an original interpretation of Durkheim's landmark writings, Schmaus argues that Durkheim, in his empirical studies, refined both the methods of sociology and a theory about society's shared knowledge and practices. This book opens a new window on the development of Durkheim's thought and demonstrates how a philosophy of science can inspire the rise of a new science.

On Durkheim s Elementary Forms of Religious Life

Author: N.J. Allen
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134715021
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This is the first collection of essays to be published on Durkheim's masterpiece The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. It represents the work of the most important international Durkheim scholars from the fields of anthropology, philosophy and sociology. The essays focus on key topics including: * the method Durkheim adopted in his study * the role of ritual and belief in society * the nature of contemporary religion The contributors also explore cutting-edge debates about the notion of the soul and collective rituals.

Rethinking Durkheim and his Tradition

Author: Warren Schmaus
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139454629
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This book offers a reassessment of the work of Emile Durkheim in the context of a French philosophical tradition that had seriously misinterpreted Kant by interpreting his theory of the categories as psychological faculties. Durkheim's sociological theory of the categories, as revealed by Warren Schmaus, is an attempt to provide an alternative way of understanding Kant. For Durkheim the categories are necessary conditions for human society. The concepts of causality, space and time underpin the moral rules and obligations that make society possible. A particularly interesting feature of this book is its transcendence of the distinction between intellectual and social history by placing Durkheim's work in the context of the French educational establishment of the Third Republic. It does this by subjecting student notes and philosophy textbooks to the same sort of critical analysis typically applied only to the classics of philosophy.

Toward A Sociological Theory of Information

Author: Harold Garfinkel
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317250257
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In 1952 at Princeton University, Harold Garfinkel developed a sociological theory of information. Other prominent theories then being worked out at Princeton, including game theory, neglected the social elements of "information," modeling a rational individual whose success depends on completeness of both reason and information. In real life these conditions are not possible and these approaches therefore have always had limited and problematic practical application. Garfinkel's sociological theory treats information as a thoroughly organized social phenomenon in a way that addresses these shortcomings comprehensively. Although famous as a sociologist of everyday life, Garfinkel focuses in this new book-never before published-on the concerns of large-scale organization and decisionmaking. In the fifty years since Garfinkel wrote this treatise, there has been no systematic treatment of the problems and issues he raises. Nor has anyone proposed a theory of information like the one he proposed. Many of the same problems that troubled theorists of information and predictable order in 1952 are still problematic today.