Survival and Sociology: Vindicating the Human Subject

1st Edition

Kurt H. Wolff

Published January 31, 1991
Reference - 130 Pages
ISBN 9780887383571 - CAT# Y342833


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Kurt Wolff seeks to answer a large ques­tion: what are the justifications and tasks of sociology at a time when hu­mankind and its planet are in jeop­ardy? Since his youth in Germany, where he was a student ofthelate, great Karl Mannheim, the author has ori­ented much of his work to the sociology of sociology.Survival and Sociology takes into ac­count that this age, for the first time in history, extends to society what was only in the province of nature and god - the ability to destroy as well as create life. That being the case, the concern of so­ciology must shift from everyday issues to ideas and policies aimed at averting human extinction.The act of "surrendering" to our novel condition may give us a clue. In any case, it re-establishes our continuity with such founding figures as Max We­ber. Max Scheler. Alfred Schutz, Emile Durkheim. Georg Simmel, and Mann­heim himself.As a result. Wolffs work can be seen as both innovative and continuing a grand tradition of analysis. The an­swers given are very much in terms of specific American conditions, but also provide the sort of theoretical scaffold­ing that underwrites current East-West negotiations on practical issues relat­ing to arms negotiations and peace set­tlements. It is thus a work that should have wide appeal to students of the his­tory of ideas, sociologists of knowledge, and people interested in the philosoph­ical foundations of war and peace.

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