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Book Cover for: The True, the Good, and the Beautiful: The Rise and Fall and Rise of an Architectonic for Action, John Levi Martin

The True, the Good, and the Beautiful: The Rise and Fall and Rise of an Architectonic for Action

John Levi Martin

We have many histories of social theory--what different authors attempted to do as they responded to previous theories. But we know precious little about how they did this in structural terms--what scaffolding they adopted and adapted to make their claims. Yet today's social thoughts largely employ structures passed down from previous generations, structures that were developed to solve problems that are no longer ours.

In The True, the Good, and the Beautiful, John Levi Martin explores these structures, the resulting tensions, and their broader significance for sociological thought. By examining how thinkers mapped interpersonal to intrapersonal structures, he traces the development of the underlying architectonics of theory, focusing on one that was inherited from eighteenth-century philosophy and brought into social science in the nineteenth century. He shows that the structural tensions inherent in these theories paralleled those being worked out in practical terms by constitutional theorists as thinkers attempted to return to their most fundamental understandings of the nature of the human, the social, and the political to recraft their societies. A magisterial new interpretation of the foundations of sociological thought, The True, the Good, and the Beautiful is as ambitious a work of social theory as we have seen in generations.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publish Date: Oct 1st, 2024
  • Pages: 1112
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9780231213127
  • Categories: Sociology - Social TheoryMethodology

About the Author

John Levi Martin is the Florence Borchert Bartling Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Social Structure (2011) and The Explanation of Social Action (second edition, 2021), as well as Thinking Through Theory (2014), Thinking Through Methods (2017), and Thinking Through Statistics (2018).
Praise for this book
This book is a major statement meant to stand the test of time. Connecting philosophy, social theory, and sociology, it explains in a new way what centuries of thinking about society and human action were actually about, and what the underlying intellectual issues driving all this effort were. Radically novel, fun to read, and deep both in learning and insight--a rare combination.--Stephen Turner, author of Explaining the Normative