1st Edition

Humanist Realism for Sociologists

By Terry Leahy Copyright 2017
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    Recent critiques treat humanism as a mistaken value framework. Indeed, the concept of human nature is in fact essential for sociology, but is often being denied at the same time as it appears without acknowledgement.

    While classic authors can show us how to connect an ethics with a concept of human nature, current humanists must tackle the sociobiological view of human nature and interrogate humanism in the light of the ecological crisis. Humanist Realism for Sociologists both explains and explores some of the main arguments surrounding humanism put forward by classic social theorists such as Aristotle, Marx and Weber, as well as more contemporary authors, such as Braidotti, Oakley, Weedon, Firestone, Connell, Flyvjberg, Foucault and Bourdieu.

    A must-have tool for understanding how value perspectives cannot be eliminated from the social sciences, this book is essential for undergraduates, postgraduates and postdoctoral researchers interested in the fields of sociology, anthropology, women’s studies, social work, human geography, political philosophy and ecology.

    Preface: Meta-Theory for the Social Sciences Chapter One: Humanism and its Critics Chapter Two: Knowledge in the Social Sciences Chapter Three: Debates about Epistemology in Recent Social Science Chapter Four: Explanation in the Social Sciences Chapter Five: What Do Social Scientist Do in Their Accounts? Chapter Six: Values, Ethics and the Social Sciences Chapter Seven: Two Examples of Humanist Ethics Chapter Eight: Ethics for Social Scientists Today Chapter Nine: Inequality, Exploitation and Gender Chapter Ten: Social Class Chapter Eleven: Bourdieu and Humanist Realism


    Dr Terry Leahy is a sociologist from the University of Newcastle, Australia.