Critical History of Social Sciences

School of Consciousness and Transformation ANTH 6159 2.00

Immanuel Wallerstein (2001), in his celebrated plea for "unthinking social science," made a powerful case that social science divided the world into three arenas: politics, economics, and socio-culture. This distinction was an 18th century invention of liberal political ideology, subsequently imposed upon the world of knowledge, and it now forms the basis of contemporary social science. According to Wallerstein and his colleagues in Fernand Braudel Center, the link between liberal ideology and the social science enterprise has been both essential and existential. Social scientists were urged to be “empirical,” “objective,” and “neutral,” in search of “universal” truths (Wallerstein 1997). This link is predicated on a split between what C.P. Snow (1957) calls “two cultures,” the so-called divorce between philosophy and science, or what would be better characterized as the separation of the quest for the true and the quest for the good and the beautiful (Lee 2011). This double epistemology has been seriously challenged only in the last decades. In this course, we will attempt to explore the ways of overcoming once and for all the distinction between antagonistic epistemologies, and formulating an integral epistemology of knowledge that treats simultaneously and inextricably the issues of the true and the good (Wallerstein 1997). Priority to ANTH students

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