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A Philosophical History of German Sociology presents a systematic reconstruction of critical theory, from the founding fathers of sociology (Marx, Simmel, Weber) via Lukács to the Frankfurt School (Horkheimer, Adorno, Habermas). Through an in depth analysis of the theories of alienation, rationalisation and reification, it investigates the metatheoretical presuppositions of a critical theory of the present that not only highlights the reality of domination, but is also able to highlight the possibilities of emancipation.
Although not written as a textbook, its clear and cogent introduction to some of the main theories of sociology make this book a valuable resource for undergraduates and postgraduates alike. The following in-depth investigation of theories of alienation and reification offer essential material for any critique of the dehumanizing tendencies of today’s global world.
Recently translated into English from the original French for the first time, this text showcases Vandenberghe's mastery of the German, French and English schools of sociology study. The result is an important and challenging text that is essential reading for sociology students of all levels.
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 broad range of sociological topics have been published as books and articles around the world.
"This work by Frederic Vandenberghe presents a rigurous and comprehensive account of the Critical Theory tradition. I have no hesitation in asserting that it is the best contribution to the subject which has been produced so far. The section on Habermas, in particular, gives a detailed and highly original interpretation of the main phases in the development of the thought of a major contemporary philosopher." - Ernesto Laclau
1. Marx, 2. Simmel, 3. Weber, 4. Lukács, 5. Horkheimer, 6. Adorno, 7. Habermas, 8. Habermas II, 9. Habermas III
Critical Realism is a broad movement within philosophy and social science. It is a movement that began in British philosophy and sociology following the founding work of Roy Bhaskar, Margaret Archer and others. Critical Realism emerged from the desire to realise an adequate realist philosophy of science, social science, and of critique. Against empiricism, positivism and various idealisms (interpretivism, radical social constructionism), Critical Realism argues for the necessity of ontology. The pursuit of ontology is the attempt to understand and say something about ‘the things themselves’ and not simply about our beliefs, experiences, or our current knowledge and understanding of those things. Critical Realism also argues against the implicit ontology of the empiricists and idealists of events and regularities, reducing reality to thought, language, belief, custom, or experience. Instead Critical Realism advocates a structural realist and causal powers approach to natural and social ontology, with a focus upon social relations and process of social transformation.
Important movements within Critical Realism include the morphogenetic approach developed by Margaret Archer; Critical Realist economics developed by Tony Lawson; as well as dialectical Critical Realism (embracing being, becoming and absence) and the philosophy of metaReality (emphasising priority of the non-dual) developed by Roy Bhaskar.
For over thirty years, Routledge has been closely associated with Critical Realism and, in particular, the work of Roy Bhaskar, publishing well over fifty works in, or informed by, Critical Realism (in series including Critical Realism: Interventions; Ontological Explorations; New Studies in Critical Realism and Education). These have all now been brought together under one series dedicated to Critical Realism.
The Centre for Critical Realism is the advisory editorial board for the series. If you would like to know more about the Centre for Critical Realism, or to submit a book proposal, please visit www.centreforcriticalrealism.com.