A New Science: The Breakdown of Connections and the Birth of by Bruce Mazlish

By Bruce Mazlish

During this booklet Mazlish examines the ancient origins of sociology, taking a look heavily at how what he phrases the "cash nexus"--the omnipresent substitution of cash for private relations--was perceived as altering the character of human kin within the nineteenth century and ended in the advance of sociology as a method of facing this . Mazlish additionally considers the breakdown of connections in sleek society: how the orderly 18th century global during which God, humanity, and nature have been heavily attached to each other got here to get replaced with certainly one of felt disconnection, and the way individualism then got here to be obvious as changing a feeling of neighborhood in sleek society. He investigates the paintings of a few 19th-century English writers who have been fascinated by this breakdown of connections, together with Adam Smith, William Wordsworth, Edmund Burke, Thomas Carlyle, and especially novelists similar to Benjamin Disraeli, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Eliot. He additionally explores the impact of Darwin, offers Engels and Marx as precursors of the technology of sociology and discusses at size the foremost founding figures of recent classical sociology: Ferdinand T?nnies, George Simmel, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber.

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Extra info for A New Science: The Breakdown of Connections and the Birth of Sociology

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It did not matter that he also believed in spontaneous generation and in acquired characteristics—a theory to which he came because he believed that living things, faced with changed circumstances, make their organization more complex. " Presented in sketchy and erratic fashion, at first retracted as often as advanced, Lamarck's theory, nevertheless, offered a new version of connection, what he himself described as "a truly general theory, linked everywhere in its parts . . "20 Starting with a version of the Great Chain of Being, Lamarck gave animation to his classifications, and emerged with a theory of evolution.

30 As a result, after Comte, sociology, along with economics, stumbled forward, trying to establish itself in an independent way, though connected to biology (with Herbert Spencer being a key figure in this last regard). To complicate matters, a philosophical debate was concurrently taking place. Thus, in the late nineteenth century a contest was also being waged between those who saw no difference between the physical and human sciences, except of degree, and those who made a sharp division between what they called Naturwissenschaften and Geisteswissenschaften, that is, natural and moral sciences.

26 To his contemporaries, by the time of publication of The Origin of Species (1859), Darwin had given the final rend to the fabric of nature, tearing it completely apart. They accused him of philosophical materialism, though he tried to bury his true beliefs in his Notebooks. What was left was a nature "red in tooth and claw," where the survival of the fittest echoed Hobbes's atomistic conception of nature, where each man warred against every other. Social Darwinism appeared to be a cosmic version of the "cash nexus"; that is, a view of nature and society as being at one in their disregard of human values other than the struggle to divide a fixed pie.

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