By Philip Walsh

Hannah Arendt is this present day greatly appeared at the present time as a political theorist, who sought to rescue politics from society, and political concept from the social sciences. yet this view has had the impact of distracting recognition from a lot of Arendt's most vital insights about 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 topics inside modern theoretical sociology. Re-reading Arendt's differences among labour, fabrication and motion as a thought of the basic ontology of human societies, this ebook assesses her feedback of the tendency of many sociological paradigms to conflate the job of fabrication with that of motion. It re-examines Arendt's knowing of relevant components of study inside of modern theoretical sociology - together with the which means of energy, the trajectory of contemporary technology, the increase of consumerism and the matter of reflexivity. This quantity bargains a finished reconstruction of Arendt's inspiration, uncovering its refutation of, or latent contribution to, key sociological methods. will probably be of curiosity to sociologists, social and political theorists and philosophers of social technology.

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Extra resources for Arendt Contra Sociology: Theory, Society and Its Science

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A Note on the Texts Arendt composed three major books for publication in her lifetime: The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), The Human Condition (1958) and The Life of the Mind (1971) (which was unfinished at the time of her death in 1975). I discuss HC extensively throughout this book, while the argument in Chapter 4 focuses on LM. The other writings that Arendt published may be taken as offshoots from the main trunk of her thought presented in these works. The essays collected in Between Past and Future (1961) mostly develop themes first introduced in HC.

Latin and Ancient Greek provide especially valuable portals into these more fundamental meanings, not because of any intrinsic superiority, but because they are less overgrown with historical connotations and the burden of historical usage. However, Arendt does not revert to the Ancient Latin or Greek terms for work and labour. Rather, she speaks, throughout HC, of two Latin personae, homo faber and animal laborans. These personae denote a range of features that together define the two distinct spheres of labour and work, and there is an extensive secondary literature dealing with what exactly Arendt has in mind in using the two terms.

But in this it has had, at best, mixed success; it has too often lost sight of the meaning that activities do possess in their own terms, however these are understood. The principal argument of this book is that Arendt should be read as an antidote to reductionism. This is a central concern of her overtly political interventions – and has been subjected to much secondary commentary – but it is as true of her reflections on the other themes identified above. The chapters in Part II are intended to explore some of the ways in which reductionism has entered sociology, and how Arendt’s work enables us to identify this, and potentially correct it.

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Arendt Contra Sociology: Theory, Society and Its Science by Philip Walsh

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