Rise of sociology as an intellectual tradition. Classical tradition in sociology of the XIX century — страница 2

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who worked and created in that period are considered direct predecessors of sociological knowledge. Of German philosophers Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is more often recollected due to his contribution to development of social problems, in particular problems of personality. Kant believed that man is an ambivalent being by his nature: he is both good and bad, honest and dishonest, fair and unfair, free and dependent. To his mind, man’s natural negative character is hidden and displayed in those living conditions which make man reveal his vices. But man is striving for self-perfection and his ally is reason that helps man to overcome his negative qualities. Kant considered that harmony between human and the society is achieved if man overcomes his vices by obeying laws and moral

norms. Georg Hegel (1770-1831) made this dialectics more generalized. His aim was to define basic determinants of historic development so that he could examine peculiarities of its realization in different historic periods and show correlation of historic necessity and people’s conscious activities. He drew a picture of social reality all parts of which (objective and subjective, dynamic and static, material and ideal) are interrelated by a dialectic method. Of French philosophers one can mention Charles Montesquieu, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Saint-Simon and others. Ch. Montesquieu (1689-1755) underlined importance of comparative research of social phenomena. J.-J. Rousseau (1712-1778) distinguished classes in the society and believed that man’s nature is good but man is

“spoilt” by the society. Into the basis of harmonic arrangement of the society he put social agreement, i.e. consensus of people as reflection of their common will which is expressed in laws. Saint-Simon (1760-1825) was possibly the first to suggest planning as a way to run economy. To his mind, social problems could be solved by moral and religious reforming, based on employers’ good will to better the working conditions. In 1822 he published his work, Plan de traveaux scientifiques nécessaires pour réorganiser la société (План научных работ, необходимых для реорганизации общес­тва), written with Auguste Comte. In the book the thinkers suggested an idea of developing a new science of the society which, by analogy

with physics, should be based on observation, experiment and other methods of natural sciences. Initially, the science was given the name of social physics. By that time a social theory presented a mixed spectrum of various views in which both basic and additional motives were combined; basic motives bore rational and irrational character while economic, political, legal and moral interests constituted the entity of additional ones. Those views reflected thinkers and researchers’ outlook, their ideological positions and ways of studying social problems. In this context legacy by A. Comte (1798-1857), the initiator of sociology, was not an exception. There are two reasons why A. Comte is acknowledged as the founding father of sociology. First, he developed a systematic and

hierarchical classification of all sciences and by including sociology into them, he gave grounds for establishing its autonomy as a discipline; second, in 1839 he changed the name of social physics into sociology. His fundamental works are Cours de philosophie positive in 6 volumes (1830-1842), Système de politique positive (1850-1854). A. Comte’s legacy includes the law of three phases, his contribution to further development of the theory of an industrial society started by Saint-Simon. It is by his statement of this law that he is best known in the English-speaking world. The law says that the society has gone through three phases: theological, or military authority; metaphysical, or feudal authority; scientific, or positive phase seen as an industrial civilization. In the

theological phase man’s place in the society and the society’s restrictions upon man were referred to God. The metaphysic phase involved justification of universal rights as something on a higher plane than the authority of any human ruler could countermand. The scientific phase is that one in which people could find solutions to social problems and bring them into force despite of the proclamations of human rights or prophecy of the will of God. For its time, the idea of a scientific phase was considered up-to-date. A. Comte also formulated the law of three phases: human development (social progress) progresses from a theological stage, in which nature was mythically conceived and man sought the explanation of natural phenomena from supernatural beings, through a