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by Donald N. Levine

Don Levine moves from the origins of systematic knowledge in ancient Greece to the present day to present an account that is at once a history of the social science enterprise and an introduction to the cornerstone works of Western social thought."Visions" has three meanings, each of which corresponds to a part of the book. In Part 1, Levine presents the ways previous sociologists have rendered accounts of their discipline, as a series of narratives—or "life stories"—that build upon each other, generation to generation, a succession of efforts to envisage a coherent past for the sake of a purposive present.In Part 2, the heart of the book, Levine offers his own narrative, reconnecting centuries of voices into a richly textured dialogue among the varied strands of the sociological tradition: Hellenic, British, French, German, Marxian, Italian, and American. Here, in a tour de force of clarity and conciseness, he tracks the formation of the sociological imagination through a series of conversations across generations. From classic philosophy to pragmatism, Aristotle to W. I. Thomas, Levine maps the web of visionary statements—confrontations and oppositions—from which social science has grown.At the same time, this is much more than an expert synthesis of social theory. Throughout each stage, Levine demonstrates social knowledge has grown in response to three recurring questions: How shall we live? What makes humans moral creatures? How do we understand the world? He anchors the creation of social knowledge to ethical foundations, and shows for the first time how differences in those foundations disposed the shapers of modern social science—among them, Marshall and Spencer, Comte and Durkheim, Simmel and Weber, Marx and Mosca, Dewey and Park—to proceed in vastly different ways.In Part 3, Levine offers a vision of the contemporary scene, setting the crisis of fragmentation in social sciences against the fragmentation of experience and community. By reconstructing the history of social thought as a series of fundamentally moral engagements with common themes, he suggests new uses for sociology's intellectual resources: not only as insight about the nature of modernity, but also as a model of mutually respectful communication in an increasingly fractious world.
Download Visions of the Sociological Tradition epub
ISBN: 0226475476
ISBN13: 978-0226475479
Category: Other
Subcategory: Social Sciences
Author: Donald N. Levine
Language: English
Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 1 edition (September 1, 1995)
Pages: 380 pages
ePUB size: 1255 kb
FB2 size: 1711 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 199
Other Formats: lrf rtf docx rtf

If you want to know what sociology was/is all about this is
the best single book I know of. It's probably not for the
uninitiated since even though the author tries to be as clear
and direct as possible it's just not possible to write on a
subject as big as this with the depth and detail necessary and
reach those with no background. But, if you have had some
exposure to the social sciences the book is well worth the
effort. His command of the material is admirable.
I think this is a great book for learning about the history of sociological thought, especially its philosophical roots. Admittedly, I'm no expert on the subject.

Furthermore, In my opinion, for most sociologists, the marginal return to learning about the history of sociological thought is less than the marginal return to learning more about modern social science but that doesn't excuse total ignorance of it.

It's well written and fun to read.
Publish in kindle format
This book is the best book ever written and it was written by the best guy ever! Don Levine Rules! Seriously, Don Levine has forgotten more about sociology than most of us will ever know. This book is a testament both to his knowledge and his taste for strange charts and graph-thingys. Rock on!