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By Philip Walsh

Hannah Arendt is this present day generally seemed this present day as a political theorist, who sought to rescue politics from society, and political thought from the social sciences. yet this view has had the impact of distracting realization from a lot of Arendt's most crucial insights about the structure of society, and the importance of its 'science', sociology. Arendt Contra Sociology re-assesses the connection among Arendt's paintings and the theoretical foundations of sociology, bringing her insights to undergo on a few key issues inside of modern theoretical sociology. Re-reading Arendt's differences among labour, fabrication and motion as a concept of the elemental ontology of human societies, this e-book assesses her feedback of the tendency of many sociological paradigms to conflate the job of fabrication with that of motion. It re-examines Arendt's realizing of relevant parts of study inside of modern theoretical sociology - together with the that means of strength, the trajectory of recent technological know-how, the increase of consumerism and the matter of reflexivity. This quantity deals a accomplished reconstruction of Arendt's suggestion, uncovering its refutation of, or latent contribution to, key sociological techniques. it is going to be of curiosity to sociologists, social and political theorists and philosophers of social technological know-how.

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Indeed, Arendt disagrees with Kant that the categories of experience are fixed and ‘given’ either. Her comments on the origins of modern natural science in chapter V of HC suggest – though without much argument or detail – that our modern conceptions of time and space owe less to Newton’s discovery than they do to the perspective produced by a contingent human artefact, the telescope (HC: 273). Indeed, Arendt fairly consistently divests Kantian notions of their pretensions to necessity, to a priori knowledge and to the need for secure foundations for the sciences, which became central themes of neo-Kantian epistemology.

Concepts like ‘labour’ and ‘the social’ therefore need to be treated with a sensitivity to their position within the tissue of relationships within which they have developed. For Heidegger, this allows a distinction between the appearance of things, the realm of the ontic, and the deep structure underlying them, the ontological. Although Arendt defends this distinction in an early article on Mannheim (discussed in Chapter 3), explicit reference to the ‘ontological difference’ vanishes from Arendt’s later writings (as it did later from Heidegger’s).

This is how she is primarily regarded today, as a theorist whose main contributions feed into contemporary debates about rights, citizenship, the nature of the modern state, and other themes that define the sphere of political theory (see Canovan, 1992; Pitkin, 1998; Villa, 1999). This view is reinforced by the perception that Arendt regarded the modern realms of ‘the political’ and ‘the social’ as fundamentally antagonistic to each other, and that she sought to rescue politics from ‘society’ and political theory from the social sciences.

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Arendt Contra Sociology: Theory, Society and Its Science by Philip Walsh


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