Embattled Reason constitutes an intellectual profile of one of America's preeminent sociologists. This collection of essays, published over the course of thirty years, embodies a series of intellectual choices in response to current concerns and to debates of the past, affording a coherent and unified view of Bendix's work as a whole.
The articles are grouped under three headings. In "Conditions of Knowledge" the author is concerned with the value assumptions basic to the social sciences. Under "Theoretical Perspectives" the author presents the guiding considerations of his own work in a continuing dialogue with such thinkers as Tocqueville, Marx, Durkheim, and Weber. In the last section, "Studies of Modernization," Bendix takes up problems involved in an analysis of social change though a reexamination of evolutionist assumptions.
Reinhard Bendix is professor of sociology and political science at the University of California, Berkeley.