Reason and Freedom in Sociological Thought (RLE Social Theory)

1st Edition

Frank Hearn

Routledge
Published May 20, 2016
Reference - 228 Pages
ISBN 9781138984660 - CAT# Y209645
Series: Routledge Library Editions: Social Theory

For Instructors Request Inspection Copy

USD$49.95

Add to Wish List
FREE Standard Shipping!

Summary

How has reason, believed since the Enlightenment to be the ally of freedom in the search for a better, more humanly satisfying world, been reduced to a technical rationality that has actually impoverished the bases of human freedom? What might be the options and obligations for sociologists who wish to restore reason to its proper status?

Working within the tradition of C. Wright Mills and Jurgen Habermas, Frank Hearn sets out to answer these questions. He surveys the treatment of the relation between reason and freedom in both the classical tradition (especially the writings of Saint-Simon, Comte, Durkheim, Marx, Weber, and Freud) and an increasingly significant segment of social thought and criticism (and, for example, in the contrasting visions of Daniel Bell and Christopher Lasch.) He then analyses both the concrete social and historical forms of expression taken by what Mills calls 'rationality without reason' and their impact on individual autonomy and the freedoms associated with democratic politics. Finally, he develops Mills's and Habermas's claims that the cultivation of democratic publics and a critical social theory committed to a vibrant public life are indispensable to the protection and revitalization of the values of reason and freedom and of the practices they entail.

This book updates and enriches Mills's influential argument by demonstrating its affinity with critical theory, by showing its contributions to a critical understanding of the classical tradition, and by showing its implications for contemporary social, political, and economic developments.

Instructors

We provide complimentary e-inspection copies of primary textbooks to instructors considering our books for course adoption.

Request an
e-inspection copy

Share this Title