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AuthorBailey, Robert Benjamin. author
TitleSociology Faces Pessimism [electronic resource] : A Study of European Sociological Thought Amidst a Fading Optimism / by Robert Benjamin Bailey
ImprintDordrecht : Springer Netherlands, 1958
Connect tohttp://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-015-0859-9
Descript 173 p. online resource

SUMMARY

My initial interest in sociology stemmed from the desire to see specific social change in certain areas of my native United States of America. My rather naive assumption at that time was that if the truth is known about social phenomena and presented to rational and educated persons, public opinion will bring about the desirable social change. That is, I assumed some automatic linkage between truth, rationality and social progress. Certainly some of the so-called "pioneers" of sociology also assumed this automatic linkage. Thus, the opportunity to study in Europe, on the soil of some of these "pioneers" heightened my interest and desire to learn more about the relationship between sociology and social progress. After living and studying several years in various parts of Western Europe - England, Germany, France, Holland - one finds that European sociology has remained very closely associยญ ated with social philosophy and history, has often been resisted by the universities, and is not as empirical as American sociology. The European sociologist, still quite conscious of the mistakes of the early fathers - Comte, Spencer, Marx, among others - is extremely cautious concerning problems of social progress and social action. He is aware that his science is still young and susยญ pect. He is also less sure than his predecessors about the exact role of sociology


CONTENT

I. The Idea of Progress -- II. Forms of Pessimism -- III. Mass Society as Irrational -- IV. Vilfredo Pareto Exponent of Modern Pessimistic Trends -- V. Cyclical Theorists Spengler, Toynbee and Others -- VI. Progress Reconsidered -- VII. Rationality Reconsidered -- VIII. A System of Truth, Rationality and Social Utility -- Indexes


Social sciences Philosophy and social sciences Sociology Social Sciences Sociology general Philosophy of the Social Sciences



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