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The calling of social thoughtRediscovering the work of Edward Shils$
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Christopher Adair-Toteff and Stephen Turner

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526120052

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526120052.001.0001

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The sociologist as human scientist: the meaning of Shils

The sociologist as human scientist: the meaning of Shils

Chapter:
(p.47) 2 The sociologist as human scientist: the meaning of Shils
Source:
The calling of social thought
Author(s):

Thomas Schneider

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526120052.003.0003

The writings of Edward Shils have been widely neglected in contemporary sociology. One major reason for this neglect is due to the contradictory receptions of his ideas. There have been two dominant lines of interpretation—the functionalist as well as the practice-theoretical paradigm of understanding of Shils’ writings—and they are not consistent with each other. Therefore, a more comprehensive understanding of Shils’ thinking needs to take into account his close attachment to the University of Chicago and to some of its pragmatist traditions. The suggestion in this paper is that we should read Shils from a standpoint which is called a human scientific approach. Thus, placing Shils in the context of contemporary social theory and moral philosophy reveals similarities to what has been called ‘sacralisation’ and ‘affirmative genealogy’.

Keywords:   pragmatism, humanism, sacralization, affirmative genealogy

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