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Theory Sept14, 2012 .docx

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David Young

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Sociology 2S06 German Sociology A] The ideas of Georg Friedrich Hegel -his philosophy was based on two key concepts [1] the dialectic - a way of thinking about -- a view of the world that stresses the importance of conflicts and contradictions -there are always two sides of conflicts and contradictions -- out of that something always emerges [2] Idealism - emphasizes the importance of the mind and mental products [i.e. ideas] rather than the material physical world - only dealing with ideas rather than something that physically exists ^^^ two key concepts regarding Hegel [mentoned above] B] The ideas of Ludwig Feuerbach -philospohy of Feuerbach focused on materialism - did not agree w/ Hegel -thought it was important to address the real material conditions of human existence C] introduction to the work of Karl Marx 1] reaction to Hegel -he accepted/agreed with Hegels focus with the dialectic -however Marx did not agree with the approach Hegel took to the dialietic -WHY ? -because Hegel tended to apply the dialectic only to ideas -Marx had a different view-- Marx thought that the dialectic could apply to material aspects of life 2] Reaction to Feuerbach -agreed with F-bachs focus on materialism -however Marx did not agree with F-bachs approach to materialism - did not like the way f-bach dealt w/ materialism -WHY? because f-bach tended to focus on the material aspects of life in a one sided fashion -- -marx though that a dialectical orientation was needed -- we have to look for the conflicts and contradictions in material life 3] Dialectical Materialism -marx borrowed what he saw as their new most important elements -he borrowed Hegels [DIALECTIC] and borrowed F-bachs [MATERIALS] = and he put them together to create his own concept of dialectical materialism -dialectical materialism - focuses on dialectical relationships within the material world -marx argued that problems in society stemmed from real material conditions [ existence of capitalism - a material condition = source of many problems in society] -marx also argued that solutions to these societal problems must be found in dialectical relationships -dialectical relationships would include : -conflict that exists between capitalists and workers -the workers would eventually lead a revolution which would eliminate capitalism 4] Influence of Political Economy -political economy meaning - study of the relationship between the political and the economic aspects of society -marx was influenced by Adam Smith -- he accepted the idea from smith and others that labour is the source of all wealth -marx very strongly disagreed with adam smith and other political economists -he was critical of their general acceptance of general capitalism • he was also critical of their failure to see the inherent conflict between capitalists and workers • capital ; a critique of political economy - in this work marx challenged conservative political economy -- marx put forth his own alternative political economic analysis of capitalism 5] Early rejection of Marx -up until 1960s - marx was kind of ignored in americna sociology -he was rejected for two reasons -those being : • the early sociologists did not like marx's ideology • marx had a radical ideology • early sociologists did not like marx's interests • many early sociology's were concerned with social disorder • marx had a very different set of interests • he was interested in generating social disorder - didn't want to get rid of it because he called for a revolution to over - throw capitalism D] Introduction to the Work of Max Weber -[1] Influence of Marx -weber reacted negatively to marx - some say -weber enganged in a debate with the ghost of marx - -other scholars have argued that weber acted positively to marx -webers conceptions of capitalism, class, and other issues were very much inspired by marxs 2] Early Acceptance of Weber -quite influential in the US by the 1930s • three main reasons why early sociologist accepted weber ▪ weber was ideologically acceptable - was liberal on some issues, conservative on other issues but was certainly not radical as marx was ▪ weber focused on academic analysis - scholary in the way he did some ▪ marx was often polemical [ he was engaged in political attacks on capitalism] ▪ weber had diverse interests -- marx of course was mainly interested in the analysis of capitalism ▪ weber was interested in doing extensive analysis in religion -- he also engaged in extensive
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