Download e-book for kindle: Aspects Of Enlightenment: Social Theory And The Ethics Of by Thomas Osbourne

By Thomas Osbourne

ISBN-10: 185728853X

ISBN-13: 9781857288537

This is often an introductory account of social thought and the principal position of enlightenment inside it. Tom Osborne argues that: modern social idea can in basic terms fail while considered as a ''science of society'', and instead of focusing upon the query of society or maybe ''modernity'' may still specialize in the query of human nature. the main fast and significant subject of one of these social thought may be the query of enlightenment.; even though, the ebook departs from conventional debts finding the vocation of social thought within the method of values proven within the unique Enlightenment through the French philosophers and others.; quite it makes a powerful argument for the moral prestige of enlightenment, happening to investigate specific ''regimes of enlightenment'' in modernity, particularly these linked to the social ethics of technology, services, mind and artwork.

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Sample text

For what else is the famous method of doubt? Certainly not an attempt at the definitive founding of all knowledge, but more like an ethical attempt to bring about self-conviction (Gaukroger 1995:321). —or an account, as Descartes’ most recent biographer puts it, “of a spiritual journey in which the truth is only to be discovered by a purging, followed by a kind of rebirth” (ibid: 336; cf. Blumenberg 1983:183). This begs the question as to why we need to defer to the truth at all, and this is where a minimal sociology might indeed be required.

In that sense, Kant’s anthropology may be pragmatic but it is also philosophical, metaphysical, theoretical. But if we start from a position that has it that we do not actually know what “man” is; that one of the features of human nature, indeed of human freedom, is that we cannot know what “man” is, then this might be a pragmatic anthropology but it might also be, if in a peculiar way, an anthropology tied to an active utopia. This active utopia would consist of a dream of freedom that would have it that human nature has an infinite capacity to invent new forms of freedom for itself; a utopia of our capacities rather than of our society—in short, an ethical rather than a sociological picture of utopia.

Many people would say not. Scientists themselves apply for grants to further “public understanding” of their activities, young people blow up laboratories in protest at animal experiments, sociologists write tracts about the limits of science and the waning of the public’s faith in scientists, and the majority of the US population appear to believe that they have been abducted by flying saucers. The social sciences, in particular, have tended to take a rather vexed view of science. The trends towards relativism, anti-foundationalism and postmodernism that have characterized the social study of science in the past few decades appear to make of natural science either just another language game, or an enterprise that is more or less fraudulent in its exaggerated claims for itself.

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Aspects Of Enlightenment: Social Theory And The Ethics Of Truth by Thomas Osbourne


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