SOCY 122 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: German Idealism, Dialectic, Socratic Dialogue

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SOCY 122 – Week 4
Themes:
Enlightenment
British Political Economy
German Idealism
Dialectic
“An unfinished, dynamic, unstable ‘ dialectical whole’
Posthumous publications – many “Maxisms”
Marx’s 1859 Preface
Emergence of Sociology
Enlightenment legacy:
Freedom
o1760 England fully industrialized
oBefore this society was ruled by tradition  Roman Catholic Church
oFreedom is a part of mastering the world
Mastery
oBecomes central
oIf we can master natural world can we master social world as well?
Progress
oHumanity is progressing; while mastering it we are able to chart a
course that will free us from limitations of a dominant religious world
view
Political Economy
Smith- propensity to truck/barter/exchange
Pursuit of individual interest would meet interests of all
Class divided society
Political economy explaining the nature and structure of society as a whole
oThose who has green thumb can create an abundance of food and
those who can create great works from wood  the two can both use
their skills and trade and have the best of both
Smith says in a rich society we need to protect the poor because there are an
abundance of human resources there that could contribute to our society
Smith: 1776 Wealth of Nations
oHad a notion that if he wanted to understand the structure of the
social world; start with economy.
German Idealism
.
Dialectic
Hegel and “dialectic thought”
Drawn from Greek dialogues – to and fro of socratic dialogue
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