Essays in the sociology of knowledge

Essay on Sociology of Scientific Knowledge Essay on Sociology of Scientific Knowledge In the early s, the sociology of scientific knowledge SSK started to dynamically emerge from a broad church of sociological, historical and philosophical reflections upon the very nature, direction, content and truth status of scientific knowledge itself, rather than merely upon the social relations between those who happen to be scientists. Hence, even the heartland of rationality, namely logic and mathematics, should systematically be investigated and explained in terms of its social origin and underpinnings. The very notion of an ultra-activistic nature ultimately constituted a radical departure from our taken-for-granted anthropocentric worldviews assigning priority to the human and the social.

Essays in the sociology of knowledge

Auguste Comte Auguste Comte — first described the epistemological perspective of positivism in The Course in Positive Philosophya series of texts published between and The first three volumes of the Course dealt chiefly with the physical sciences already in existence mathematicsastronomyphysicschemistrybiologywhereas the latter two emphasized the inevitable coming of social science.

Observing the circular dependence of theory and observation in science, and classifying the sciences in this way, Comte may be regarded as the first philosopher of science in the modern sense of the term. His View of Positivism therefore set out to define the empirical goals of sociological method.

This Comte accomplished by taking as the criterion of the position of each the degree of what he called "positivity," which is simply the degree to which the phenomena can be exactly determined. This, as may be readily seen, is also a measure of their relative complexity, since the exactness of a science is in inverse proportion to its complexity.

The degree of exactness or positivity is, moreover, that to which it can be subjected to mathematical demonstration, and therefore mathematics, which is not itself a concrete science, is the general gauge by which the position of every science is to be determined.

Generalizing thus, Comte found that there were five great groups of phenomena of equal classificatory value but of successively decreasing positivity. To these he gave the names astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, and sociology. WardThe Outlines of Sociology[29] Comte offered an account of social evolutionproposing that society undergoes three phases in its quest for the truth according to a general " law of three stages ".

The idea bears some similarity to Marx 's belief that human society would progress toward a communist peak see dialectical materialism. Comte intended to develop a secular-scientific ideology in the wake of European secularisation.

Comte's stages were 1 the theological2 the metaphysicaland 3 the positive.

Sociology BA | Undergraduate Study | University of Exeter

God, Comte says, had reigned supreme over human existence pre- Enlightenment. Humanity's place in society was governed by its association with the divine presences and with the church. The theological phase deals with humankind's accepting the doctrines of the church or place of worship rather than relying on its rational powers to explore basic questions about existence.

It dealt with the restrictions put in place by the religious organization at the time and the total acceptance of any "fact" adduced for society to believe. This second phase states that the universal rights of humanity are most important.

The central idea is that humanity is invested with certain rights that must be respected.


In this phase, democracies and dictators rose and fell in attempts to maintain the innate rights of humanity. The central idea of this phase is that individual rights are more important than the rule of any one person.

Comte stated that the idea of humanity's ability to govern itself makes this stage inherently different from the rest. There is no higher power governing the masses and the intrigue of any one person can achieve anything based on that individual's free will.

The third principle is most important in the positive stage. Neither the second nor the third phase can be reached without the completion and understanding of the preceding stage. All stages must be completed in progress.

The idea of progress was central to Comte's new science, sociology. Sociology would "lead to the historical consideration of every science" because "the history of one science, including pure political history, would make no sense unless it was attached to the study of the general progress of all of humanity".

The irony of this series of phases is that though Comte attempted to prove that human development has to go through these three stages, it seems that the positivist stage is far from becoming a realization. This is due to two truths: The positivist phase requires having a complete understanding of the universe and world around us and requires that society should never know if it is in this positivist phase.The picture of the sociology of knowledge which has emerged from my considerations is in some essential points different from that traditionally entertained.

So far, the names which have loomed largest have been those of Marx and Mannheim on the one hand, Nietzsche and Pareto on the other. The nature of sociology. Sociology as a branch of knowledge delves in the study of diversity and commonality in traits among people. Similarly, sociology also deals with factors in a person’s life and how these factors culminate responses.

Essay on Sociology : Purpose & Meaning of Sociology (Easy Words)

Note: Citations are based on reference standards. However, formatting rules can vary widely between applications and fields of interest or study.

The specific requirements or preferences of your reviewing publisher, classroom teacher, institution or organization should be applied.

Essays in the sociology of knowledge

Essays on the Sociology of Knowledge has 9 ratings and 0 reviews: Published by Routledge & Kegan Paul, pages, Hardcover. Essays on the Sociology of Knowledge has 9 ratings and 0 reviews: Published by Routledge & Kegan Paul, pages, Hardcover.

Trivia About Essays on the Soc /5(9). How to Write a Sociology Essay. Despite sociology being a relatively young field of knowledge, there is already a significant bulk of literature on it. And every sociology student is expected to be familiar with all of it. The sheer amount of this literature may look downright scary, and yet you have to read it all.

This is why you have to. Contemporary sociology of knowledge addresses a related but different set of concerns than those posed by its founders, and its subject matter extends beyond the problem of relati-.

The Labor Theory of Value - A FAQ