The globalisation of critical theories: an essay on the sociology of ideas

Catégorie : Chapitre d'ouvrage

Auteur(s) : Razmig Keucheyan

Éditeur : Routledge

pp. 119-129

Année de publication : 2018

Résumé :

Introduction The sociology of ideas is an emerging field in contemporary sociology. Randall Collins’ monumental The Sociology of Philosophies is one of the best-known contributions to this field (Collins, 2000). Collins’ book is subtitled A Global Theory of Intellectual Change. His methodology is macrosociological, and it favours the historical longue durée. Other, more microsociological, approaches exist in the sociology of ideas, for instance, the one chosen by Neil Gross in his book Richard Rorty: The Making of an American Philosopher (Gross, 2008). When one chooses a global approach, like Collins, the question of the viewpoint immediately arises. Without being carefully controlled, a “global” perspective always risks unintentionally becoming a “Western” perspective. There is no “view from nowhere”, of course. Knowledge is always rooted in geography and history. However, an effort to reflect upon the spatial and temporal coordinates in which one speaks is especially required when one analyses “large processes” and makes “huge comparisons”, to quote Charles Tilly’s book on macrosociological methodology (Tilly, 1989).

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