• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

A unique contribution to discussions of social theory, this book counters the argument that no social theory was ever produced in Britain before the late twentieth century. Reviewing a period of 300 years from the seventeenth century to the mid-twentieth century, it sets out a number of innovative strands in theory that culminated in powerful contributions in the classical period of sociology. The book discusses how these traditions of theory were lost and forgotten and sets out why they are important today.

Social Thought in Mainstream Philosophy: Towards a Science of Social Structure
Social Thought in Mainstream Philosophy: Towards a Science of Social Structure

‘The Enlightenment’ is a useful, if somewhat misleading, term to refer to the ways in which a growing number of religious and secular thinkers in Europe had begun to question the knowledge and beliefs that they had inherited from the medieval past, and had started to develop more open and critical ideas that they saw as casting new light on matters that had formerly been accepted unquestioningly. A proliferation of philosophies, many of which could trace their roots back beyond medievalism and the ‘Dark Ages’ to the all but forgotten ideas of classical Greece, suggested new ways of conceptualising the physical and the ...

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