Category Archives: Sociology

What is mythology?

Mythology (Greek Mythos means “Myth” in English) has to do with the relationship of the human experience to, and subsequent attempt to explain, the realm of the divine. Myth usually connotes the time before human history, what is called prehistory. The primitive epochs of creation of the cosmos, and speculation on divine hierarchical structures even before such creation events are familiar ground for mythological thinking. Myths and mythology therefore can be generally considered as stories outside of, or before, human history.

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The Sociology of Philosophies by Randall Collins

Below are some random thoughts and notes that are relevant to a great book I have been glancing at recently called The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change (SoP for short) by Randall Collins. This is of course strictly in-between reads of An Introduction to Metaphysics. I will have an article on the topic of metaphysics posted shortly on The Known Quantity, so keep your fingers crossed.

Sociology has always interested me personally. It seems the more and more I delve into philosophical topics the closer I brush up alongside it. Whether its the discipline of science generally or postmodern philosophy particularly, sociology plays an important role in both. I suppose this is because language used in sociology seems to have a type of meta-utility for all types of specific disciplines. Put that way, to me the philosophy of sociological language seems like a ripe macro-level concept for study by sociologists.

SoP is an epic book, more than 1,000 pages. However on page 21 it states:

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What is postmodernism?

Postmodernism or postmodernity includes poststructuralism within its intellectual landscape of the 20th and 21st centuries. Postmodernism is the move away from modernism of art and architecture, philosophy and truth, and general cultural account and critique. It requires especially the rejection of global cultural narratives, meta-narratives, universal theories, or what are also called grand theories like religious fundamentalism.[1] Narratives are constructed realities produced from cultural meta-narratives so that religious fundamentalism can be expressed in the Islamist narrative. However within postmodernism narratives are dynamic, changing and evolving within different times and places, that is, different contextual backgrounds. Meta-narratives cannot even be approached in any substantive way if what we observe from them, namely narratives, are not static. Postmodernism is a social theory of skepticism questioning what meta-narratives create like authority, political and cultural norms for not only a society but individuals, and also questioning where meta-narratives stem from like revealed theology or even human reason.

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