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Inescapability and Attainability in Social Theory
Peter Wagner - University of Barcelona, Spain, Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies, University of Barcelona, Spain
This book argues that sociology has lost its ability to provide critical diagnoses of the present human condition because sociology has stopped considering the philosophical requirements of social enquiry. The book attempts to restore that ability by retrieving some of the key questions that sociologists tend to gloss over, inescapability and attainability. The book identifies five key questions in which issues of inescapability and attainability emerge. These are the questions of the certainty of our knowledge, the viability of our politics, the continuity of our selves, the accessibility of the past, and the transparency of the future. The book demonstrates how these questions are addressed in different forms and by different intellectual means during the past 200 years and shows how they persist today.
The Certainty of Knowledge
The Viability of the Polity
The Continuity of Selfhood
The Accessibility of the Past
Modernity and Exile
The Transparency of the Future
Historicity, Plurality, Probl[ac]ematiques
`Modernity has to be understood in terms of problems, not solutions. In reflections ranging from epistemology to political theory, Peter Wagner develops an understanding of modernity in terms of inescapable problems for which only transitory solutions can be found - and opposes this convincing conception to the declarations of a new epoch of postmodernity or reflexive modernity. Balanced and innovative, this book is a must for all readers interested in social theory and the diagnosis of our time' - Professor Hans Joas, Free University Berlin