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The Natural Law Foundations of Modern Social Theory: A Quest for Universalism (Paperback)
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The Natural Law Foundations of Modern Social Theory: A Quest for Universalism (Paperback)

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£31.99
Paperback 258 Pages / Published: 30/10/2014
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After several decades in which it became a prime target for critique, universalism remains one of the most important issues in social and political thought. Daniel Chernilo reassesses social theory's universalistic orientation and explains its origins in natural law theory, using an impressive array of classical and contemporary sources that include, among others, Habermas, Leo Strauss, Weber, Marx, Hegel, Rousseau and Hobbes. The Natural Law Foundations of Modern Social Theory challenges previous accounts of the rise of social theory, recovers a strong idea of humanity, and revisits conventional arguments on sociology's relationship to modernity, the enlightenment and natural law. It reconnects social theory to its scientific and philosophical roots, its descriptive and normative tasks and its historical and systematic planes. Chernilo's defense of universalism for contemporary social theory will surely engage students of sociology, political theory and moral philosophy alike.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107462786
Number of pages: 258
Weight: 350 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'A striking defense of universalism in philosophy and social theory. Daniel Chernilo outlines a compelling narrative on the sublation of natural law by social theory. He demonstrates that natural law is not only overcome by modern social theory but that a hard core survived criticism, and came back with ever better justifications.' Hauke Brunkhorst, University of Flensburg
'This superb book is a major contribution to the history of social theory and to our understanding of natural law theory.' William Outhwaite, Newcastle University
'Against a background of postmodern thought with its emphasis on particularity and relativism, Daniel Chernilo offers a robust defence of the ongoing relevance of natural law and universalism for modern social theory that takes seriously the idea of a common humanity. A brilliant excursus into the continuities of social theory, the intellectual results of his investigation are important and compelling.' Bryan S. Turner, Presidential Professor of Sociology, City University of New York
'Chernilo's work offers valuable insights into the genesis of social theory [and] brims with fascinating insights into the development of social theory ... [I] recommend this readable book for its depth and remarkable clarity.' Niall Bond, University of Lyon
'Chernilo convincingly shows how modern social theory has sublated the natural law tradition, and he does so without falling into the simplification of assuming that social science is merely a continuation of this tradition ... In a world riven by social inequalities, and in which the inalienability of political and economic rights is under serious threat, Chernilo's proposal is a deeply serious and ambitious attempt to strengthen the role of social theory such that it becomes a fundamental discipline for science and society in the twenty-first century.' Jordi Mundo, University of Barcelona
'[This] book offers a disruptive but convincing claim about the interconnectedness between the tradition of natural law and the discourse of social theory ... Chernilo's book is not simply about the past; his reconstruction of the historical and philosophical roots of universalistic arguments about humanity is also about the prospects of sociological thinking.' Csaba Szalo, Masaryk University
'A major virtue of Chernilo's book is to recall to our attention what is at stake when we seek to construct meaningful social theory.' Mark Gould, Haverford College
"A striking defense of universalism in philosophy and social theory. Daniel Chernilo outlines a compelling narrative on the sublation of natural law by social theory. He demonstrates that natural law is not only overcome by modern social theory but that a hard core survived criticism, and came back with ever better justifications." Hauke Brunkhorst, University of Flensburg
"This superb book is a major contribution to the history of social theory and to our understanding of natural law theory." William Outhwaite, Newcastle University
"Against a background of postmodern thought with its emphasis on particularity and relativism, Daniel Chernilo offers a robust defence of the on-going relevance of natural law and universalism for modern social theory that takes seriously the idea of a common humanity. A brilliant excursus into the continuities of social theory, the intellectual results of his investigation are important and compelling." Bryan S. Turner, Presidential Professor of Sociology, City University of New York
"Chernilo's work offers valuable insights into the genesis of social theory [and] brims with fascinating insights into the development of social theory ... [I] recommend this readable book for its depth and remarkable clarity." Niall Bond, University of Lyon
"Chernilo convincingly shows how modern social theory has sublated the natural law tradition, and he does so without falling into the simplification of assuming that social science is merely a continuation of this tradition ... In a world riven by social inequalities, and in which the inalienability of political and economic rights is under serious threat, Chernilo's proposal is a deeply serious and ambitious attempt to strengthen the role of social theory such that it becomes a fundamental discipline for science and society in the twenty-first century." Jordi Mundo, University of Barcelona
"[This] book offers a disruptive but convincing claim about the interconnectedness between the tradition of natural law and the discourse of social theory ... Chernilo's book is not simply about the past; his reconstruction of the historical and philosophical roots of universalistic arguments about humanity is also about the prospects of sociological thinking." Csaba Szalo, Masaryk University
"A major virtue of Chernilo's book is to recall to our attention what is at stake when we seek to construct meaningful social theory." Mark Gould, Haverford College
"Recommended." Choice

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