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The Sociology of Knowledge: An Essay in Aid of a Deeper Understanding of the History of Ideas

Stark, W.

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ISBN 10: 071006554X / ISBN 13: 9780710065544
Published by Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1971
Condition: UsedVeryGood Hardcover
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Hardcover; International Library of Sociology and Social Reconstruction; light fading, light shelf wear to exterior; otherwise in very good condition with clean text, firm binding. Dust jacket, fading, light soiling, and edge wear. Bookseller Inventory # 64694

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Sociology of Knowledge: An Essay in Aid ...

Publisher: Routledge & Kegan Paul

Publication Date: 1971

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:UsedVeryGood

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

About this title


This volume serves as both an introduction to the field of the sociology of knowledge and an interpretation of the thought of the major figures associated with its development More than a compendium of ideas, Stark seeks here to put order into what he regarded as a diffuse tradition of diverse bodies of thought, in particular the seemingly irreconcilable conflict between the study of the political element in thought identified here with Karl Mannheim and the investigation of the social element in thinking associated with the work of Max Scheler.

The sociology of knowledge is primarily directed toward the study of the precise ways that human experience, through the mediation of knowledge, takes on a conscious and communicable shape. While both schools dealt with by Stark assume that the pursuit of truth is not purposeful apart from socially and historically determined structures of meaning, the tradition extending from Marx to Mannheim seeks to expose hidden factors that turn us away from the truth while that of Weber and Scheler attempts to identify social forces that impart a definite direction to our search for it

In order to reconcile opposing theoretical positions, Stark seeks to lay the foundations for a theory of the social determination of thought by directing his inquiry to the philosophical problem of truth in a manner compatible with cultural sociology. Stark's theoretical legacy to the sociology of knowledge is that social influences operate everywhere through a group's ethos. From this, many systems of ideas and social categories emanate, revealing partial glimpses of a synthetic whole.

The outcome of Stark's work is a general theory of social determination remarkably consistent with contemporary interests in the broad range of cultural studies, whose focus is best described as the use of philosophical, literary, and historical approaches to study the social construction of meaning. The Sociology of Knowledge will be of great interest to social scientists, philosophers, and intellectual historians.

About the Author:

Werner Stark (1909-1985) was a sociologist and economic historian. Among his other books are The Sociology of Knowledge; The History of Economics in Its Relation to Social Development; Montesquieu: Pioneer of the Sociology of Knowledge; and The Fundamental Forms of Social Thought, and The Social Bond.

E. Doyle McCarthy is a sociologist at Fordham University in New York who is currently writing a book on the sociology of knowledge. She was a student and colleague of Werner Stark.

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