Alexander, Jeffrey

Jeffrey C. Alexander (b. 1947) is one of America's most prominent social theorists. Throughout his career, Alexander has waged an aggressive campaign in defense of general theory. Steering a middle course between radical relativism (especially in its postmodern form) and traditional positivism, Alexander's postpositivist epistemology, elaborated in the first volume of Theoretical Logic in Sociology (1982–1983) and Fin-de-Siècle Social Theory (1995), presents a nuanced case in support of decentered reason and the universalizing thrust of social theory, while reproving the reduction of theory to fact. The remaining three volumes of Theoretical Logic join postpositivism to an ecumenical impulse that aims at transcending the interminable debates between warring schools. Multi-dimensionality is the most sophisticated expression of this synthesizing ambition. Alexander depicts social science as a continuum ...

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