Rise of sociology as an intellectual tradition. Classical tradition in sociology of the XIX century — страница 3

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metaphysical stage in which nature was conceived of as a result of obscure forces and man sought the explanation of natural phenomena from them to the final positive stage in which all abstract and obscure forces are discarded, and natural phenomena are explained by their constant relationship. This progress is forced through the development of human mind and increasing application of thought, reasoning and logic to the understanding of world. Due to it, A. Comte thought that industrialization is the result of a scientific way of thinking spread out in all spheres of human life but not of technical and economic progress. However, he rejected the role of general theory in sociology: instead of theoretic generalization of empiric data to make up a whole of them, he presented the

society as a simple entity of interconnected facts. He didn’t clearly determine the subject of a new science; either he didn’t find its scientific method to learn laws of social development. A great contribution to establishing the methodological basis of sociology, mostly its empiric basis, was made by Lambert Ketle (1796-1874), a French and Belgian mathematician and statistician. He brought in new theoretic and methodological ideas and a new sample of research aimed at solving certain applied problems. His achievements in sociology are as follows: discovery of statistical laws; understanding a social law as a stable tendency of changing means; methodical recommendations how to formulate questions in forms and questionnaires. Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), a British

philosopher, is also acknowledged as one of the founders of sociology as he published a number of works devoted to different domains, such as Principles of Sociology and Principles of Ethics. They included his ideas on evolution, that’s why H. Spencer is seen as the originator of the scientific perspective called Social Darwinism. Furthermore, his major works predated those of Charles Darwin. H. Spencer’s book, First Principles, is an exposition of the evolutionary principles underlying all domains of reality. It was H. Spencer, not Ch. Darwin who coined the phrase “survival of the fittest”, as well as popularizing of the term “evolution”. H. Spencer considered the society as an organism made up of systems subdivided into smaller ones. The inner system performs the

function of preserving the organism by adaptation to the conditions of “subsistence”; the external system performs the function of regulation and control between the subsystems and milieu; the intermediate system is in charge of distribution, transit and communication. By this approach to the study of the society H. Spencer marked the basic elements of functionalism, later developed by other researchers: a systemic character of the society as a totality of actions which are not reduced to the actions of individuals; the conception of the system’s structure that is built due differentiation and stabilized through integration. H. Spencer used the criterion of comparative meaning to classify societies as military and industrial ones. Military societies have common systems of

belief, people interact due to violence and compulsion, in other words, people exist for the state. Industrial societies, in which the economic system dominates, are characterized by democratic principles, diversity of belief systems, people’s interactions are voluntary: the state is for people. Human development progresses from military societies to industrial ones, although a return to military forms can’t be excluded. Besides, H. Spencer believed that social order in industrial societies could not be adequately explained as an outcome of contractual agreements between people motivated by self-interests. Criticizing H. Spencer’s conceptions, modern sociologists agree that alongside with Marxism it was the first experience of combining a historical-evolutionary approach to

analyze social phenomena with a structural-functional one. 2. Classical tradition in sociology of the XIX century A classical tradition in any science is often connected with institutionalization of its knowledge. And sociology was not an exception. Its classical tradition started with the theories worked out by E. Durkheim, K. Marx, M. Weber, G. Simmel and other celebrities. A French thinker Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) is widely acknowledged as a founding father of modern sociology, who helped to define the subject-matter of sociology and establish its autonomy as a discipline. In his doctrine of social realism E. Durkheim saw the domain of sociology as the study of social facts, not individuals. He believed that societies had their own realities which could not simply be reduced