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By Frédéric Vandenberghe

A Philosophical historical past of German Sociology offers a scientific reconstruction of severe idea, from the founding fathers of sociology (Marx, Simmel, Weber) through Lukács to the Frankfurt college (Horkheimer, Adorno, Habermas). via a close research of the theories of alienation, rationalisation and reification, it investigates the metatheoretical presuppositions of a serious thought of the current that not just highlights the truth of domination, yet can also be in a position to spotlight the chances of emancipation.

Although no longer written as a textbook, its transparent and cogent creation to a couple of the most theories of sociology make this ebook a worthwhile source for undergraduates and postgraduates alike. the next in-depth research of theories of alienation and reification supply crucial fabric for any critique of the dehumanizing traits of today’s worldwide world.

Recently translated into English from the unique French for the 1st time, this article showcases Vandenberghe's mastery of the German, French and English faculties of sociology learn. the result's an immense and difficult textual content that's crucial studying for sociology scholars of all degrees.

Frédéric Vandenberghe is a Sociology professor and researcher at Iuperj (Instituto Universitário de Pesquisas do Rio de Janeiro), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His writings on a vast diversity of sociological issues were released as books and articles all over the world.

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Example text

From this point of view, the double slippage does not endorse a break between a young, humanist Marx and a mature, supposedly anti-humanist Marx: Marx did stay forever young. The break is more a question of phraseology than epistemology. From start to finish, from analysis of the worker’s alienation to analysis of the reification of social relations, his motto – which I have adopted as my own – remained unchanged: “To be radical is to grasp the root of the matter. But for man the root is man himself” (III, 182).

But by guaranteeing formal equality, the state also ensures the conditions of economic competition, thereby perpetuating the conditions of material inequality between individuals. By positing the state as the artificial resolution of the opposition between general interests and private interests, Hegel added his idealism to the real contradiction of bourgeois society. For Marx, the schism between the private sphere (civil society) and the public sphere (the state) that characterizes bourgeois society continues to grow even within individuals, in the schism between the citizen and the bourgeois.

Qxp 8/29/2008 40 4:20 PM Page 40 A Philosophical History of German Sociology are naturally social activities, in both content and form. Even the most isolated scientist, spending his life behind a desk, labors socially since the material of his activity, his consciousness, and the language in which he expresses himself, are social products. As such, they presuppose the “co-operation of several individuals, no matter under what conditions, in what manner and to what end” (V, 43). In his outline of communist society, Marx emphasizes the communal (or communicative) basis of inter-human cooperation, the conscious and willing coordination of activities and the rational distribution of the products of individual activities.

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