First published in 1980, this book presents a study of knowledge and the patterns of social and scientific thought. Keith Dixon argues that traditional and contemporary formulations of the sociology of knowledge involve a series of fallacies, and the claim to reduce knowledge to ideology devalues the role of reasoned inquiry. Chapters discuss such areas as the theories of Marx and Mannheim, the sociology of science, and religious belief. With a detailed conclusion analysing the foundations and limits of the sociology of knowledge, this reissue will provide an interesting and useful analysis to students of Sociology.
Introduction; Part I: Reductionism and dual residentialism: Marx and Mannheim 1. Marxism: ‘science’ or critique? 2. Dispensing with dialectic; Part II: The reaction to reductionism and the fallacies of negative re-endorsement and cognitive realism 1. The reaction to reductionism 2. The fallacy of negative re-endorsement 3. Cultural and cognitive relativism and the concept of rationality; The sociology of science 1. Cognitive realism and the sociology of science 2. The curious case of Immanuel Velikovsky 3. Knowledge and the empirical basis of science; Part IV: Ethics and religion: claims to autonomy 1. Moral discourse and moral practice 2. Religious belief – the crucial case; Part V: Conclusion: the foundation and limits of the sociology of knowledge; Notes; Index
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