About this Item
Quantity Available: 1
Title: The Politics of Social Knowledge
Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park
Publication Date: 1978
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Ex-Library, else Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket
Edition: First Edition
About this title
The proper task of the social sciences, this book argues, is to understand and control the impact of social and political institutions on human life--not to predict and control human behavior. Such a reorientation must start, in the author's view, with a rejection of the assumptions of traditional Western political thought. Whether or not a reader can agree in full with the argument here, he is sure to find it a stimulating challenge to his own resuppositions.Chief among the assumptions of Western political thought is the unevitability of hierarchy, which in turn assumes the inevitability of widespread social ignorance. The latter assumption flows from a view of the human species as wanting in motivation, character, and intelligence. These assumptions, according to Dr. Spence, have attained the power of myth, in the sense that no facts known or imaginable would be permitted to falsify them or even seriously to modify them. Thus a work-loving, responsible, intelligent person is regarded as an exception to human nature, produced by hierarchical institutions; and a group of cooperating procedures without structured positions of domination is treated as a case of hidden hierarchy.Humankind never ceases its struggle for autonomy, but is thwarted by social ignorance--from Plato's allegory of the cave to the latest research in political socialization--compound the ignorance, because such explanations force the investigator to assert his intellectual (and political) superiority. The weight of evidence from modern psychology is that learned is a self-activated seeking process rather than a passive reception and recording of data. That being so, Kuhn's theory of scientific development wrongly emphasizes dogmatism, with individual creativity as the exception; the emphasis should be reversed. Moreover, Trigant Burrow was right--as are Bateson and Laing--in challenging Freud's view that so-called normal behavior constitutes mental health. Social scientists should teach citizens to free themselves from social deception, no matter how pervasive and accepted.Respect for our intellectual heritage, as the author writes in his preface, 'demands more than the study of the so-called masters; it requires our willingness to philosophize and to create theories just as they did.'About the Author:
A former newspaperman, Larry D. Spence does research on the impact of bureaucracy on human behavior and perception. He took his Ph.D. in politcal science at the University of California, Berkeley, and teaches political theory at Penn State.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
INQUIRIES & PHONE ORDERS WELCOME! Scans or more information available upon
request; please state details you'd like to view for scans. Books honestly
described, shipped with care. For exact International shipping charges please
PURCHASE: Checks and money orders in U.S. funds, MC,Visa & Discover directly, or
via ABE; all major cards through PayPal (account = firstname.lastname@example.org).
Access my web site http://bigfootbooks.webs.com/ for searching, browsing and
Orders nearly always ship the same or next day, certainly within 2 business days. Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. Domestic U.S., generally $3.95 MEDIA MAIL, $6.50 PRIORITY MAIL; PLEASE NOTE: INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENTS MAY BE ADJUSTED FOR COST, PLUS OR MINUS, SO PLEASE INQUIRE. International normally US$25.50 Priority or First Class International AIR MAIL default (US$21.25 to Canada and Mexico). HOWEVER, LIGHTWEIGHT ITEMS MAY BE LOWER IN POSTAGE COSTS, PLEASE INQUIRE TO SEE IF A *REDUCTION* IN CHARGES COULD APPLY. Changes in international rates and ABE processing fees have caused us to have to raise our standard rate to cover postage costs at least. Lighter items under a pound final weight may cost less. If your book order is heavy or oversized, or a set of books, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required. Any added shipping charges will be calculated at estimated cost to us only which will include the ABE processing charges on the shipping amount.
Steven Streufert Bookseller
P. O. Box 1167, 40600 Highway 299
Willow Creek, CA 95573-1167 USA
accepted by seller
Check Money Order Cash PayPal