By Chris Renwick
A brand new and leading edge account of British sociology's highbrow origins that makes use of formerly unknown archival assets to teach how the field's forgotten roots in a overdue 19th and early twentieth-century debate approximately biology can assist us comprehend either its next improvement and destiny power.
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Additional info for British Sociology’s Lost Biological Roots: A History of Futures Past
However, as the third section shows, those efforts were long unsuccessful and it was not until Political Economy, the BAAS and Sociology 21 the 1860s that critics were able to dent classical political economy’s lofty reputation, which, as the fourth and fifth sections show, had a double-edged effect. Whilst the classical system of thought went into what would turn out to be a sudden and rapid decline, one consequence of that shift was a re-igniting of the debate about political economy in Section F.
25 Whilst Campbell’s comments reflected the development in Britain of a general set of concerns about political economy, they were also a response to a much longer debate about the place of political economy at the BAAS. Indeed, throughout most of the nineteenth century, Section F, which had been created in controversial circumstances a little over 40 years earlier, was often a barometer of wider opinion about the leading British social science. 26 For the ‘Gentlemen of Science’ behind the BAAS, science was meant to be a force for unification.
In this sense, what this book aims to show is why we should not lose sight of the fact that science is a cognitive activity and that studying that activity is a crucial part of understanding the direction of science in the past, present, and future. 16 British Sociology’s Lost Biological Roots However, in order to make this argument, as well as the others that have just been outlined, we must first return to the late nineteenth-century debate about classical political economy that helped bring Galton, Geddes, and Hobhouse together at the Sociological Society during the first decade of the twentieth century.