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Lecture 8

Lecture 8

4 Pages

Course Code
Sociology 2240E
Charles Levine

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Wednesday November 7, 2012 Lecture 8 - *don’t have to do chapter 5 for midterm - Comte- - He came into play right after the French Revolution and is concerned with the mess France has got itself into, he wants to stabilize society - He thinks that stability is the key to morality - He has the belief that science is a moral enterprise - Science is going to help him understand how to produce stability which in turn produces moral order - Routine, order and regularity- what humans need according to Comte - Comte’s definition of sociology: - 5 points: 1. Sociology is a science that uses the scientific method in order to observe- implied is something that can be objectively observed (positivist) 2. Sociology, when possible, it is to experiment 3. Sociology is to engage in cross-cultural comparison 4. The purpose of sociology is to reorganize society with the proper ideas in order to predict future states of society- he is saying that the success of sociologies task depends on the proper ideas- he is saying proper ideas will produce a proper society- the reason why France is in a mess because it was influenced by improper ideas (justice, equality, liberty, morality)- he is claiming that as a scientist with the right ideas he can help understand and predict social stability- sounds like he considers himself a actor, he can step outside (atomist) take a look, study and influence- he says he can step outside of the world and look because he is genetically superior 5. Sociology is an integrative and synthetic science. This means that there is something about sociology that integrates information and puts it together in a new way. He is talking about sociologies relationship to other sciences. When Comte says it is a integrative science it integrates the knowledge, techniques and logic of all the sciences that precede it (biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, math) and synthesizes them in the way which enables the proper investigation of society. Law of 3 Stages: - A law that talks about the evolution of knowledge or historical changes in epistemology (the way our species has understood things) - He said our species began by thinking theologically, then metaphysically and we are now ready to think positivistically (science) - Theology- thought about a way that brought them to deity. Logic always back to a first and final cause - The stage of metaphysics: a stage in which the deity disappeared but the logic remained the same. They started to think supernatural forces caused things- magic, a sou. - Positivism (science)- get practical. Sociology is the “Queen” of Science Hierarchy of science- the list represents the order of evolution of the sciences. Math goes through the 3 stages (theology, metaphysics, positivism) before astronomy can. Each science in the hierarchy requires the previous science to go through the 3 stages Math has to be positivistic before astronomy can be. Astronomy has to be positivist before physics can be. Hierarchy: Sociology Biology Chemistry Physics Astronomy----------------------------------------- Math------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------- ------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------- Theology Metaphysics Positivism (science) The only way astronomy can reach positivism is if math is already there Second characteristic of the hierarchy: creates a order of decreasing dependence. Each science is more dependent because there is more sciences before it. Third: it is a hierarchy of increasing specificity and decreasing generality of laws- means that as you move up the laws of each science refer to a smaller domain of facts. Maths being the most general, sociology being the less general It also has a order of increasing complexity. Sociology is more complex than all the sciences below it The hierarchy represents an order of increasing difficulty of scientific measurement In the
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