The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change (Paperback)
  • The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change (Paperback)

The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change (Paperback)

Paperback Published: 03/04/2000
  • Can be ordered from our supplier

Delivered within 5 working days

  • This item has been added to your basket

Check Marketplace availability

A comprehensive history of world philosophy, this book is also a social history of global intellectual life. Eschewing polemics, it presents a sophisticated view of the multiple cultures of world history, disintegrates stereotypes of regional cultures, and reveals how creativity is driven by a range of conflicting positions in each community. We see what is sociologically universal about Western, Indian, and Asian intellectual life, as well as what combinations of social ingredients have produced their divergent pathways. Through network diagrams and sustained narrative, Randall Collins traces the development of philosophical thought in China, Japan, India, ancient Greece, the medieval Islamic and Jewish world, medieval Christendom, and modern Europe. What emerges from this history is a general theory of intellectual life, one that avoids both the reduction of ideas to the influences of society at large and the purely contingent local construction of meanings. Instead, Collins focuses on the social locations where sophisticated ideas are formed: the patterns of intellectual networks and their inner divisions and conflicts. His theory describes how, when the material bases of intellectual life shift with the rise and fall of religions, educational systems, and publishing markets, opportunities open for some networks to expand while others shrink and close down. It locates individuals - among them celebrated thinkers like Socrates, Aristotle, Chu Hsi, Shankara, Wittgenstein, and Heidegger - within these networks and explains the emotional and symbolic processes that, by forming coalitions within the mind, ultimately bring about original and historically successful ideas. A self-reflexive sociological philosophy of intellectual life, Collins's work aims to open a path beyond relativsm and realism.

Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674001879

You may also be interested in...

Your review has been submitted successfully.

We would love to hear what you think of Waterstones. Why not review Waterstones on Trustpilot?

Review us on Trustpilot