Hermeneutics and Social Science (Routledge Revivals): Approaches to Understanding, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Hermeneutics and Social Science (Routledge Revivals)

Approaches to Understanding, 1st Edition

By Zygmunt Bauman


264 pages

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Paperback: 9780415582728
pub: 2010-07-28
Hardback: 9780415581097
pub: 2010-03-25
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pub: 2010-03-23
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Originally published in 1978, this important work, by one of the leading European social theorists, is arguably the best introduction to the hermeneutic tradition as a whole. It is designed to help students of sociology and philosophy place the problems of "understanding social science" in their historical and philosophical context. It does so by presenting the major current in sociological thought as responses to the challenge of hermeneutics. The idea that true knowledge of social life can be attained only if human conduct is seen as meaningful action whose meaning is accordingly grasped has been presented as a discovery of recent sociology.

In fact its history is long and its connections plentiful, reaching beyond the boundaries of sociology itself. Yet it is in sociology that the hermeneutic tradition has attracted most interest but most misinterpretation. The debate is in full swing and there is no attempt to offer "correct" solutions - the emphasis instead is upon revealing the strengths and weaknesses of each of the main approaches. However it is Bauman's view that the theory of understanding may achieve valid results only if it treats the problem of understanding as an aspect of the ongoing process of social life.

Table of Contents

1. The rise of hermeneutics 2. Understanding as the Work of History: Karl Marx 3. Understanding as the Work of History: Max Weber 4. Understanding as the Work of History: Karl Mannheim 5. Understanding as the Work of Reason: Edmund Husserl 6. Understanding as the Work of Reason: Talcott Parsons 7. Understanding as the Work of Life: Martin Heidegger 8. Understanding as the Work of Life: From Schutz to Ethnomethodology 9. Understanding as Expansion of the Form of Life 10. Consensus and Truth

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Routledge Revivals

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The programme draws upon the illustrious backlists of Kegan Paul, Trench & Trubner, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Methuen, Allen & Unwin and Routledge itself.

Routledge Revivals spans the whole of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and includes works by some of the world’s greatest thinkers including Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Simone Weil, Martin Buber, Karl Jaspers and Max Beloff.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General