Clarity and Confusion in Social Theory: Taking Concepts by Leonidas Tsilipakos

By Leonidas Tsilipakos

Departing from a priority with sure ’hard’ difficulties in social concept and focusing as a substitute at the theoretical techniques hired of their answer, particularly on how those concepts rely on what the writer calls the theoretical angle in the direction of language, this booklet considers even if those concepts, faraway from being critical courses to considering, may possibly in truth lead social theorists to misconceive the strategies constitutive of social existence. using the insights and perform of standard Language Philosophy, understood as encompassing the paintings of Wittgenstein, Ryle, Austin and their fans, readability and Confusion in Social conception finds the profound logical flaws in a number of the critical methodological techniques usually hired in social concept for facing innovations, delivering replacement techniques to social scientists and philosophers for tackling the conceptual concerns that experience so bedevilled social technology from its inception. A lucid explication of standard Language Philosophy and the aptitude that it deals for deepening and re-orienting theoretical paintings within the social sciences, this quantity, except being a problem to the influential serious Realist paradigm, constitutes a thorough critique of social theoretical cause. As such, it is going to entice social theorists and philosophers of social technological know-how, people with pursuits in examine tools and idea development, and an individual attracted to pondering sincerely approximately society.

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Extra info for Clarity and Confusion in Social Theory: Taking Concepts Seriously

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3 In this book I am concerned with social theory as it pertains to sociological concerns. I am thus using ‘sociological theory’ and ‘social theory’ interchangeably. Chapter 1 Sociology and Ordinary Language Philosophy: A Dialogue The following dialogue1 provides an account of Ordinary Language Philosophy (OLP) and its relation to sociological theory and empirical research. Moreover, it attempts to pre-empt possible misconstruals by dealing with a number of standard objections that have been raised against OLP.

If they do they will find that many of the arguments that I make herein are identical with or constitute explications or elaborations of arguments that have been made therein. By clarifying OLP as a form of elucidation of the logic of language and applying it to social theory, however, I hope to defend Winch indirectly, in the sense that I will attempt to show how much purchase his central insights still have, namely his insights on understanding as expressed in the concepts a society employs, on the relationship between philosophy and social science, on the latter’s conflation of empirical and conceptual matters and on the embeddedness of logic in social activities.

A: Granted that there might be a connection between these traditionally philosophical questions, on the one hand, and social theory on the other. Still, that leaves empirical sociology out of the equation. B: Well, there is a sense in which sociology can pose distinct empirical problems although I am not so sure that what passes for empirical sociology does not actually involve what I have been calling ‘conceptual problems’. May I remind you that sociologists engage in ‘theoretically informed empirical research’ which implies that there is some contribution made by the theory to the understanding of what is researched and sometimes also by the research to the theory.

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