• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Social theory is a core area in Sociology degrees. This book attempts to lead students through the key thinkers and key ideas. The organizational principle is to focus on theoretical writing which is relevant for understanding the contemporary world. So the book asks what continuing use do theories of the Enligthenment, classical German sociology, Marxism and phenomenology have for making sense of our social world.

Reflexive Turn: Otto Neurath and Empirical Sociology
Reflexive turn: Otto neurath and empirical sociology

A different kind of positivism emerged in the 1920s among a group of eminent philosophers and scientists known collectively as ‘the Vienna Circle’ after their 1929 manifesto of the same name (Neurath, 1973: 299–318). The Vienna Circle shared with Comte and Spencer a deep distrust of metaphysical speculation. They wanted to restrict science to logical statements about empirical observations. Sometimes called ‘logical positivism’ or ‘logical empiricism’, they practised a type of philosophy or meta-theory that aimed to clarify the language used in science and consign anything not couched in empirical or logical terminology to the rubbish heap of nonsensical ‘pseudo-statements’. The group discussed major strands in the philosophy of science and ...

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