Knowledge and Social Structure: An Introduction to the by Peter Hamilton

By Peter Hamilton

The fundamental quandary of this examine is to provide, elucidate and examine the advancements that have characterised the sociology of information, and that have set for it the outlines of its significant problematics. Peter Hamilton examines the main distinct techniques to the determinate courting among wisdom and social constitution. He considers the 3 major ‘pre-paradigms’ of the sociology of information in response to the paintings of Marx, Durkheim and Weber, and appears on the contribution of Scheler, Mannheim and phenomenological stories to this advanced box. He explores the highbrow context, really that of Enlightenment philosophy, within which the issues desirous about generating a sociology of information first got here to gentle. In end, the writer indicates an inclusive point of view for coming near near the problems posed in any try and describe and clarify relatives among wisdom and social structure.

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Extra info for Knowledge and Social Structure: An Introduction to the Classical Argument in the Sociology of Knowledge

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It follows that since all existence is material, social, there can be no such thing as pure consciousness. At its simplest level, thought is connected with language, itself a material interaction, only 'agitated layers of air' in Marx's famous phrase. Both language and thought can only arise 26 MARXISM I: HEGEL AND MARX through social intercourse; 'consciousness is a ... social product, and remains so as long as men exist at all'. 29 The historical development of consciousness is then linked closely to the evolution of social relationships, locked in a causal chain with this process.

The operation of the various mechanisms of capitalist society illustrates how the abstract concepts of political economy are related to the social relationships of 'civil society', a thesis Marx demonstrates by his treatment of the 'Fetishism of Commodities' in Volume One of Capital. 37 Basically the first section of Capital, of which the 'Fetishism of Commodities' forms a part, is devoted to an analysis of commodities and their values, commodities being defined as objects which are external to the individual and which satisfy human needs.

19 This development is tied up with Marx's break with Young Hegelian critical criticism as much as it is with his brief espousal of Feuerbachian materialism. By taking from Feuerbach the materialist conception of reality, that what man had previously sought in religion and pure thought could now be realized in fact, Marx accepted the viewpoint that nature is the 'primary' and thought the 'secondary' reality. Feuerbach himself expressed this point in his Theses on the Reform of Philosophy: 'The true relation of thought to Being is this; Being is subject, thought is predicate.

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