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Lecture 6

Lecture 6

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Department
Sociology
Course
Sociology 2240E
Professor
Charles Levine
Semester
Fall

Description
Wednesday October 24, 2012 Lecture 6 Rousseau: - Critical thing about Rousseau: he’s the first social philosopher to actually construct a method to critic: man in a state of nature- he attempts to tell us what our nature is (indifferent) not only is he attacking Hobbes (by nature we are evil), he is doing it in order to try to point out to us why it is we’ve become whatever it is we’ve become - Since we are indifferent, everything we are, we are taught. He agrees with Hobbes that we are evil, but not by nature- we are evil by our first mistake- the invention of private property - Hobbes gives us a justification of the people in charge - If we are indifferent by nature we don’t have to fear a nature of evil, but can manipulate the system to make us better than we are - Main Themes of Enlightenment: - 1. The potential for human perfectibility- they don’t assume it, they assume there it a potential for it. - 2. Critiquing tradition- which should be accepted which should be rejected - 3. Our perfectibility is in the domains of rationality and reason (moral judgement)- must always differentiate between reason and rationality - 4. An emphasis on science- the best way to implement what you want to be done is through science. Science is an important tool of reason - 5. Degrees of freedom- idea that we can make mistakes - 6. Methodologically the Enlightenment people are atomists- if you critique in everything else you step outside psychologically and judge something - The Enlightenment created a lot of interest as a social-physiological movement and was a cause of the French Revolution - French Revolution in 1759- Reign of terror - Other half of social theory: the Romantic Conservative reaction - It was reaction to the Enlightenment - Two sources of concern: one is- the Enlightenment image of man - Second: the Enlightenment image of society - Have to attack the Enlightenment- idea of man and what society is - The Enlightenment conception of man: this is why we call the conservative reaction Romantic- an image of human nature- they didn’t deny rationality or reason. They said reason and rationality are limited- there isn’t a potential for perfectibility because we have something else in us- emotion that can produce irrationality - Argue we cannot get rid of emotion but can only struggle with it - Emotion is always there which brings irrationality, which makes reason and rationality limited - They said the Enlightenment was naive about how we are (didn’t think about emotion) - David Hume and Emanuel Kant- attack the Enlightenment - Kant did said that we could develop our reason, but wasn’t optimistic that many of us could. He wasn’t optimistic about science or rationality - For both of them the world outside our eyes and ears are a collage of colour etc. – for rationality and science - People project the idea of cause, the actual image is there. We project onto the world, cause, time and space - There not denying that we know that things work, but that we don’t know why because we can’t differentiate our mind from the actual working things independent of how we construct it with our minds - They say that we are limited beings - It relates to our attack on society (second notion) Edmund Burke - Edmund Burke- 1729-1797: - In the early, middle and late 17 Hundreds the British were interested in what was going on in France - All of the other countries were aristocratic and were afraid of what was going on in France would go on within their countries - Reflections on the Revolution in France- Edmund Burke: - The thing that binds us together independent of how we configure our social world is sentiment - What Burke has in mind is: he is the first person to articulate an organic logic for our social - It has to do with sentiment - We are bound together by our willingness to trust one another and be with the other - Willingness to trust, exchange, desire the other - Burke says this does not work by itself because the reality of nature is the disposition to be with another, and wishes and desires get mediated
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