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The Enlightenment Sociology Essay

1388 words - 6 pages

Sociology as a scholarly discipline emerged primarily out of enlightenment thought, shortly after the French Revolution, as apositivist science of society . Its genesis owed to various key movements in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of knowledge. Social analysis in a broader sense, however, has origins in the common stock of philosophy and necessarily pre-dates the field. Modern academic sociology arose as a reaction to modernity, capitalism, urbanization, rationalization, secularization,colonization and imperialism. Late 19th century sociology demonstrated a particularly strong interest in the emergence of the modern nation state; its constituent institutions, its units of socialization, and its means of surveillance. An emphasis on the concept of modernity, rather than the Enlightenment, often distinguishes sociological discourse from that of classical political philosophy.[1]Various quantitative social research techniques have become common tools for governments, businesses and organizations, and have also found use in the other social sciences. Divorced from theoretical explanations of social dynamics, this has given social research a degree of autonomy from the discipline of sociology. Similarly, "social science" has come to be appropriated as an umbrella term to refer to various disciplines which study humans, interaction, society or culture.[2]Sociological reasoning may be traced back at least as far as the ancient Greeks (cf. Xenophanes′ remark: "If horses would adore gods, these gods would resemble horses"). Proto-sociological observations are to be found in the founding texts of Western philosophy (Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato, Polybius and so on), as well as in the non-European thought of figures such as Confucius.[3] The characteristic trends in the sociological thinking of the ancient Greeks can be traced back to their social environment. Because there was rarely any extensive or highly centralized political organization within states this allowed the tribal spirit of localism and provincialism to have free play. This tribal spirit of localism and provincialism pervaded most of the Greek thinking upon social phenomena.[4]The origin of the survey can be traced back to the Doomesday Book ordered by king William I in 1086.[5 ] [6]In the 13th century, Ma Tuan-Lin, a Chinese historian, first recognized patterns of social dynamics as an underlying component of historical development in his seminal encyclopedia, Wenxian Tongkao or "Comprehensive Examination of Literature".[7]There is evidence of early Muslim sociology from the 14th century. Some consider Ibn Khaldun, a 14th-century Tunisian, Arab, Islamic scholar from North Africa, to have been the first sociologist and father of sociology;[8] his Muqaddimah was perhaps the first work to advance social-scientific reasoning on social cohesion and social conflict.[9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), in his Muqaddimah (later translated as Prolegomena in...

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