By Philip Walsh
Hannah Arendt is this day broadly appeared this present day as a political theorist, who sought to rescue politics from society, and political thought from the social sciences. yet this view has had the influence of distracting recognition from lots of Arendt's most vital insights in regards to the structure of society, and the importance of its 'science', sociology. Arendt Contra Sociology re-assesses the connection among Arendt's paintings and the theoretical foundations of sociology, bringing her insights to undergo on a few key issues inside of modern theoretical sociology. Re-reading Arendt's differences among labour, fabrication and motion as a idea of the elemental ontology of human societies, this e-book assesses her feedback of the tendency of many sociological paradigms to conflate the task of fabrication with that of motion. It re-examines Arendt's realizing of crucial components of analysis inside of modern theoretical sociology - together with the which means of energy, the trajectory of recent technology, the increase of consumerism and the matter of reflexivity. This quantity deals a accomplished reconstruction of Arendt's inspiration, uncovering its refutation of, or latent contribution to, key sociological techniques. it is going to be of curiosity to sociologists, social and political theorists and philosophers of social technological know-how.
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Additional resources for Arendt Contra Sociology: Theory, Society and Its Science
Arendt did not explicitly weigh into this debate, but her sympathies and her own position lay clearly with those who saw the realm of human activity as distinct from and irreducible to description or explanation in terms of laws and causal relations (although there is an interesting caveat to it, which will be encountered below). More importantly, Arendt agreed with Kant that types of human activities and the judgments we make of them must be sharply differentiated, although she disagreed with the actual divisions that Kant proposed.
This is how she is primarily regarded today, as a theorist whose main contributions feed into contemporary debates about rights, citizenship, the nature of the modern state, and other themes that define the sphere of political theory (see Canovan, 1992; Pitkin, 1998; Villa, 1999). This view is reinforced by the perception that Arendt regarded the modern realms of ‘the political’ and ‘the social’ as fundamentally antagonistic to each other, and that she sought to rescue politics from ‘society’ and political theory from the social sciences.
Yet, as I argue, Arendt’s style of thinking has strong resonance with many fundamental sociological tenets. Epistemologically, her work is anti-essentialist and suspicious of universals. In ethics and politics – deeply affected as she was by the phenomenon of totalitarianism – she is skeptical of morality and of the power of moral reasoning. Conflict and power are key elements in her conception of human relations, and she is scornful of ‘rational action’ models in explaining human behaviour. All this makes her a difficult bedfellow for many mainstream political theorists and philosophers.