The Sociology of Philosophies
A Global Theory of Intellectual Change
By (author) Randall Collins
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Sociology of Philosophies by Randall Collins
Book DescriptionA 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.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674001879
(235mm x 162mm x 51mm)
Imprint: The Belknap Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 3-Apr-2000
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Randall Collins
Does Capitalism Have a Future?, Paperback (February 2014)
In Does Capitalism Have a Future?, the prominent theorist Georgi Derleugian has gathered together a quintet of eminent macrosociologists to assess whether the capitalist system can survive.
Conflict Sociology, Paperback (May 2010)
An updated edition of Randall Collins's classic work, which represented the most powerful and comprehensive statement of conflict theory in its time.
Violence, Paperback (August 2009)
Argues that violent confrontation goes against human physiological hardwiring. This book challenges standard views about the root causes of violence and offers solutions for confronting it in the future. It guides readers into the disturbing world of human discord - from domestic abuse and schoolyard bullying to muggings, and armed conflicts.
Discovery of Society, Paperback (May 2009)» View all books by Randall Collins
Explores the lives and ideas of the social thinkers who have shaped and continue to forge traditions in sociology. Focusing on the great names in the field, this book weaves biographical and conceptual details into a tapestry of the history of social thought of the 19th and 20th centuries.
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Author Biography - Randall Collins
Randall Collins is Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.
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