THE SOCIOLOGY OF PHILOSOPHIES (Google eBook)

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Harvard University Press, Jun 30, 2009 - Philosophy - 1120 pages
4 Reviews
Randall Collins traces the movement of philosophical thought in ancient Greece, China, Japan, India, the medieval Islamic and Jewish world, medieval Christendom, and modern Europe. What emerges from this history is a social theory of intellectual change, one that avoids both the reduction of ideas to the influences of society at large and the purely contingent local construction of meanings. Instead, Collins focuses on the social locations where sophisticated ideas are formed: the patterns of intellectual networks and their inner divisions and conflicts.
  

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An important and timely attempt at a review of major strands of human thought relating them historically to their social bases. A brief glance at this challenging work convinces one that it should be carefully studied. I hope to set about this with the care it deserves.
Nanda

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al-farabi setting it free

Contents

Academic Expansion as a TwoEdged Sword Medieval Christendom
451
The Organizational Bases of Christian Thought
455
The Inner Autonomy of the University
463
The Breakup of Theological Philosophy
485
The Humanists
497
The Question of Intellectual Stagnation
501
The Intellectual Demoralization of the Late Twentieth Century
521
CrossBreeding Networks and RapidDiscovery Science
523

LongTerm Chains in China and Greece
64
The Importance of Personal Ties
68
The Structural Crunch
74
Partitioning Attention Space The Case of Ancient Greece
80
The Intellectual Law of Small Numbers
81
The Forming of an Argumentative Network and the Launching of Greek Philosophy
82
How Long Do Organized Schools Last?
89
Small Numbers Crisis and the Creativity of the PostSocratic Generation
97
The Hellenistic Realignment of Positions
103
The Roman Base and the Second Realignment
109
The Stimulus of Religious Polarization
119
The Showdown of Christianity versus the Pagan United Front
123
Two Kinds of Creativity
131
Part I Asian Paths
135
Innovation by Opposition Ancient China
137
The Forming of Official Confucianism and Its Opposition
153
The Changing Landscape of External Supports
158
The Pure Conversation Movement and the Dark Learning
168
Class Culture and the Freezing of Creativity in Indigenous Chinese Philosophy
174
External and Internal Politics of the Intellectual World India
177
Sociopolitical Bases of Religious Ascendancies
178
Divisions and Recombination of Vedic Ritualists
193
The Crowded Competition of the Sages
195
Monastic Movements and the Ideal of Meditative Mysticism
200
Antimonastic Opposition and the Forming of Hindu Lay Culture
208
Partitioning the Intellectual Attention Space
213
The BuddhistHindu Watershed
224
The PostBuddhist Resettlement of Intellectual Territories
255
Scholasticism and Syncretism in the Decline of Hindu Philosophy
268
Revolutions of the Organizational Base Buddhist and NeoConfucian China
272
Buddhism and the Organizational Transformation of Medieval China
274
Intellectual Foreign Relations of Buddhism Taoism and Confucianism
279
Creative Philosophies in Chinese Buddhism
281
The Chan Zen Revolution
290
The NeoConfucian Revival
299
The Weak Continuity of Chinese Metaphysics
316
Innovation through Conservatism Japan
322
Japan as Transformer of Chinese Buddhism
326
The Inflation of Zen Enlightenment and the Scholasticization of Koan
341
Tokugawa as a Modernizing Society
347
The Divergence of Secularist Naturalism and Neoconservatism
361
Conservatism and Intellectual Creativity
367
The Myth of the Opening of Japan
369
The Ingredients of Intellectual Life
379
Part II Western Paths
385
Tensions of Indigenous and Imported Ideas Islam Judaism Christendom
387
Philosophy within a Religious Context
388
An Intellectual Community Anchored by a Politicized Religion
392
Four Factions
395
Realignment of Factions in the 900s
407
Ibn Sina and alGhazali
417
Routinization of Sufis and Scholastics
423
Spain as the Hinge of Medieval Philosophy
428
Are Idea Imports a Substitute for Creativity?
446
A Cascade of Creative Circles
526
Philosophical Connections of the Scientific Revolution
532
Three Revolutions and Their Networks
556
The Mathematicians
557
The Scientific Revolution
559
Bacon and Descartes
562
Secularization and Philosophical Metaterritoriality
570
Secularization of the Intellectual Base
573
Geopolitics and Cleavages within Catholicism
574
Reemergence of the Metaphysical Field
587
Jewish Millennialism and Spinozas Religion of Reason
589
Leibnizs Mathematical Metaphysics
591
Rival Philosophies upon the Space of Religious Toleration
594
Deism and the Independence of Value Theory
600
The Reversal of Alliances
603
Antimodernist Modernism and the Antiscientific Opposition
609
The Triumph of Epistemology
613
Intellectuals Take Control of Their Base The German University Revolution
618
The German Idealist Movement
622
Philosophy Captures the University
638
Idealism as Ideology of the University Revolution
650
Political Crisis as the Outer Layer of Causality
661
The Spread of the University Revolution
663
The Postrevolutionary Condition Boundaries as Philosophical Puzzles
688
Metaterritories upon the SciencePhilosophy Border
694
The Social Invention of Higher Mathematics
697
The Logicism of Russell and Wittgenstein
709
The Vienna Circle as a Nexus of Struggles
717
The Ordinary Language Reaction against Logical Formalism
731
Wittgensteins Tortured Path
734
From Mathematical Foundations Crisis to Husserls Phenomenology
737
Catholic Antimodernism Intersects the Phenomenological Movement
743
Division of the Phenomenological Movement
748
The Ideology of the ContinentalAnglo Split
751
Writers Markets and Academic Networks The French Connection
754
The Secularization Struggle and French Popular Philosophy
757
Existentialists as LiteraryAcademic Hybrids
764
Into the Fog of the Present
782
METAREFLECTIONS
785
Sequence and Branch in the Social Production of Ideas
787
Cosmological EpistemologicalMetaphysical Mathematical
800
The Future of Philosophy
856
Sociological Realism
858
Mathematics as Communicative Operations
862
The Objects of RapidDiscovery Science
870
Why Should Intellectual Networks Undermine Themselves?
875
The Clustering of Contemporaneous Creativity
883
The Incompleteness of Our Historical Picture
890
Keys to Figures
893
Notes
947
References
1035
Index of Persons
1069
Index of Subjects
1089
Copyright

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Page v - Would that strife might perish from among gods and men!" He did not see that he was praying for the destruction of the universe; for, if his prayer were heard, all things would pass away.

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About the author (2009)

Randall Collins is Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.

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