Knowledge can never truly “be apolitical”. No matter what the political climate, sociology needs to make itself useful. Of course, to whom it should make itself useful, and to what ends, and how — these are crucial questions.
Science faces a legitimation crisis because the metanarratives which formerly sustained it have lost their appeal.
One shifts from an argument to a negotiation. Negotiations do not require epistemic consensus. Both parties can remain different.
relativism does not prevent us from making assertions; it only changes how we understand “what it is that we are doing” when we make assertions.
When we say that something is good or evil, we are not making a truth-claim; instead, we are speaking performatively.
Just finished reading Marx, Marginalism, and Modern Sociology by Simon Clarke (MacMillan, 1982). It’s flawed but interesting.
Single-dialectic thinking, despite its merits, has limitations which give rise to some self-defeating intellectual habits. Tangled-systems thinking could overcome those limitations.
Single-dialectic thinking has limitations which explain why radicals have a tendency to antagonize their allies and to fight amongst themselves, splitting into subfactions and trashing the insufficiently pure. This is not just pettiness or zealotry. There is a real epistemic problem at work.
Pessimistic visions of feminism as a permanent resistance to an intractable patriarchy are distressingly common. We need a different kind of intellectual production than we’ve had so far.
Liberal or libertarian social theories employing an MI strategy and counterhegemonic theories employing a dialectical strategy cannot be synthesized and cannot even really debate each other, at least not in strictly rational terms. Each side depends on fundamental assumptions which appear ludicrous or just plain stupid to the other side.