Menu Home

Notes on the Social Life of Theory 1.2

In the preface to his Sociology of Philosophies, Randall Collins argues that intellectual networks hold the key to understanding ideas and their changes: “if one can understand the principles that determine intellectual networks, one has a causal explanation of ideas and their changes”. His point is to understand the way […]

The Messiness of Intellectual Biography

If one stands back from the day-to-day demands of professional routine, it becomes clear that an intellectual trajectory is not organised in advance, we do not begin by surveying the intellectual ground before deciding upon a line of enquiry; rather, as Hans-Georg Gadamer might put it, we fall into conversation; […]

The Self-Talk of Intellectuals

With regard to self-concept, my claim in the Rorty book is certainly not that, as sociologists of ideas, we should somehow let intellectuals tell their own stories. As I’ve noted above, the accounts intellectuals give of their own lives are often highly problematic from the standpoint of sociological realism. That […]