All rivers run through Vienna

I wanted to write a self-indulgent post that says nothing at all.

I’ve recieved a copy of a book that I’m set to review for The Marxist Review of Books. Looking at the blurb, and the contents, I find a very interesting read ahead.

The book I’m set to read is ‘Dreams in Exile: Rediscovering Science and Ethics in Ninteenth-Century Social Theory’, by George E. McCarthy. The book sets itself a task (so the blurb and intro seem) to relate Aristotle and Kant to the theoretical underpinnings of early Sociologists and sociology theory. Both the subjects of Kant and social theory are close to heart, and the chapter headings look pretentious and verbose. While this doesn’t look terribly prospectful, it is a book about philosophy and social theory written by a sociologist (sociologists don’t have a reputation for much classical learning) which itself seems an interesting mix of insights.

Also, this looks interesting from a personal view because some of my postgrad work was on Kant and the origins of social science.

Just an aside, I found out that Otto Neurath (the figurehead of the Vienna Circle and proponent of the Unity of Science movement) had an economics background and he also had Ferdinand Toennies as a supervisor. The link between the early social sciences and philosophical thinking is a fascinating aspect of the history of the mid-19thC to the early 20thC, especially as its rivers run through Vienna.

Michael

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