A Philosophical History of German Sociology (Routledge by Frédéric Vandenberghe

By Frédéric Vandenberghe

A Philosophical historical past of German Sociology offers a scientific reconstruction of severe conception, from the founding fathers of sociology (Marx, Simmel, Weber) through Lukács to the Frankfurt institution (Horkheimer, Adorno, Habermas). via a detailed research of the theories of alienation, rationalisation and reification, it investigates the metatheoretical presuppositions of a serious concept of the current that not just highlights the truth of domination, yet can be capable of spotlight the chances of emancipation.

Although no longer written as a textbook, its transparent and cogent creation to a few of the most theories of sociology make this ebook a beneficial source for undergraduates and postgraduates alike. the subsequent in-depth research of theories of alienation and reification provide crucial fabric for any critique of the dehumanizing traits of today’s worldwide world.

Recently translated into English from the unique French for the 1st time, this article showcases Vandenberghe's mastery of the German, French and English faculties of sociology examine. the result's an enormous and hard textual content that's crucial examining for sociology scholars of all degrees.

Frédéric Vandenberghe is a Sociology professor and researcher at Iuperj (Instituto Universitário de Pesquisas do Rio de Janeiro), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His writings on a vast diversity of sociological issues were released as books and articles around the globe.

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Extra resources for A Philosophical History of German Sociology (Routledge Studies in Critical Realism)

Example text

The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it” (V, 5). Normative philosophical anthropology The young Marx’s theory of alienation presupposes a normative philosophical anthropology, in other words, a view of man as a species being (Gattungswesen), as the accomplished being that he ought to be, and that he will be, once he fully realizes his essential powers in communist society. Marx says that man is spontaneously a “natural being” (III 336). As a natural being, who lives in and from nature, man cannot be distinguished from animals by his needs and specifically human abilities.

He discovered the Proletariat, turned towards practical activism, and became revolutionary, claiming now that “Ideas cannot carry out anything at all” (IV, 119). It takes critical activity to change the world, but he now understood that “The weapon of criticism cannot, of course, replace criticism by weapons” (III, 182). The opposition between real and ideal is the essence of philosophical alienation, which can, and must, be overcome, not theoretically, by philosophically crossing one’s arms, but practically, through the critical revolutionary praxis of men who transform reality and bring out its truth.

Although the concept of alienation cannot serve as a criterion for establishing an epistemological break between the young and the mature Marx, between Marx the philosopher and Marx the scientist, it does however aid in identifying an ideological break between the two interpretative schools of Marx, that is, between those who defend a critical, humanist, voluntaristic Marxism of Hegelian inspiration, and those who favor a scientific, structuralist, and determinist Marxism inspired by Spinoza (Gouldner, 1973: ch.

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