Ideology and the Development of Sociological Theory
Zeitlin: pages 45
• Reason is not merely factual, the data of experience, evidence of relegation,
tradition or authority
• Reason + observation= the acquisition of truth.
• Encyclopedia is there not to just provide knowledge and info but to change the
traditional mode of thinking.
• Reason was applied to psychological and even sociological phenomenon’s
• Reason is a powerful instrument when employed in that special method
• The enlightenment period put forth effort to brining together these distinct
philosophical approached into one unified methodology. (Rational and empirical
• Empirical philosophy had a big impact on the Philosophers (i.e. influenced john
• John Locke believed that ideas are not innate in the human mind, but at birth the
mind is a tabula rasa, which means blank slate, and only through experience do
ideas entre the mind.
• Locke believes the mind is essentially a passive one, with little or no creative or
organizing function (great support to empirical and experimental methods)
• Locke supported the scientists method of focusing on measurable qualities
• Locks primary and secondary: Extension, number and motion could be directly
and immediately experiences, but color and sound had no existence outside of the
• Bishop Berkely argued against lock and said that neither of these qualities had an
existence apart from the perceivers mind, which is like saying that matter doesn’t
• Berkeley insisted that only spirit exists (God) the subject of religion, was
defended by attacking matter, the subject of science.
• Among many French philosophers, in contrast, Lockes ideas were translated into
scientific materialism – a development probably related to the rigid and capricious
absolutism in France and its support of the church.
• Holbach rejected all spiritual causes and reduced consciousness and thought to the
movement of molecules within the material body.
• Condillac now argues that once the power of thought and reasoning is awakened
in man, he is no longer passive, and no longer merely adapts himself to the
• Condillac thus assigned a decisive role to judgment and reason even in the
simplest act perception; that was true whether one was perceiving the natural
world or the social world SOAN 2111*
Ideology and the Development of Sociological Theory
Zeitlin Pages 4647
• Romanticism was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement originated in
Europe toward the end of the 18 century. Partly a reaction to the industrial
revolution, but it was also a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms
of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of
• Romantic movement was in evidence throughout Europe, it form varied from one
country to another.
• In England and (especially Germany) the movement reflected a strong national
reaction to the revolutionary change in government and society and of the
Enlightenment as expressed in the Revolution and against Napoleonic
• The Enlightenment conception of a rational, mechanistic universe was now
• In literature, art, music, philosophy and religion an effort was made to free the
emotions and the imagination from economic rules and conventions.
• Philosophical movement began with the work of Rousseau and Hume and was
further developed in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant.
• Philosophical movement expressed a shift in emphasis form the mechanistic
universe of Newton to the creative character of the personality, having as its
intention the liberation of the mind from purely rationalistic and empirical
• Mechanism belief IS that natural wholes are like complicated machines or
artifacts, composed of parts lacking an intrinsic relationship to each other
• Rousseau was less inclined to counsel the reconstruction of society but that the
inner moral, conscience and convictions are also important if man is to free
• David Hume served to undermine the prevailing faith in the universe as a network
of cause and effect relationships.
• He argues “Causality” is a customary way of thinking
• Because phenomenon B follows phenomenon A, One assumes that B is the effect
• Hume insists that the mechanistic conception is merely a way of thinking whose
relationship to the real world is an open question • Hume accepted the Newtonian conception but saw in it personal, idealistic and
• Locke’s Hypothetical construct tabula rosa (blank empty slate) At birth the mind
contains nothing. The mind begins to acquire knowledge.
• Tabula Rosa is illuminated by means of sensory experience, which conveys
faithful and complete representation of things as they actually exist outside the
• Lockes theory has been called “empiricism” that is, a theory that all knowledge
originates in sensory experience(also called photographic or copy theory of
• Locke conception of what the mind is capable is quiet Mechanical:
1. It combines simple ideas into complex ones
2. It sets ideas side by side without, however uniting them
3. It separates an idea from all the others accompanying it in reality
• Abstraction: how general ideas are made (third process)
• Kant’s argued against the theory of knowledge advocated by John Locke and his
• Kant maintained that the mind is an active and creative entity that always plays
role in sensory experience.
• Kant argued that there do exist certain universal and necessary elements (“a
priories”) in all knowledge, the origin of which is to be found in the nature of
human thinking and not in the objects of experience themselves.
• ‘A priories’ are elements that they inherent in the mind;
• He called his theory of knowledge “transcendental logic” because those elements
are a necessary factor in all experience.
• For Kant, the possibility of experience presupposes that it will occur in relation to
other experiences before, after together and so forth.
• Kant asked this key question: what elements are not objects of perception but are
nevertheless for perception
• His answer was: space and time
Course Reading Package
Kimmel Pages 1920
• Lockes ideas were not original but rather the articulation of centuries of political
experience, the common currency of an enterprising middle class • “Father of the English enlightenment”
• Lockes, Empiricist Philosophy gave expression to the English revolution in 1688,
established the major paradigm of eighteenth century thought (especially in
France) and stimulated the American Revolution in 1776.
• Lockes ideas become reality, shaping actual institutions, above all the law, as well
as the “common se