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Classical Horizons

The Origins of Sociology in Ancient Greece

George E. McCarthy

Publication Year: 2003

This work relocates the origins of nineteenth-century social theory in classical Greece and focuses on three figures: Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Émile Durkheim, all of whom wrote dissertations on the culture and structure of ancient society. Greek philosophy, art, and politics inspired their ideas, stirred their imaginations, and defined their intellectual horizons. McCarthy rediscovers the forgotten dreams and classical horizons of these European social theorists and uncovers the close connections between sociology and philosophy, offering new insights into the methods, theories, and approaches of modern social science.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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CONTENTS

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pp. vii-viii

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. ix-x

Having written a book about lost memories and social justice, I would be remiss not to remember those individuals who have helped me to create this work. There are so many persons to whom I’m indebted and so many I would like to thank publicly. Unfortunately, I can name only a few here. I am very appreciative of the support I have received over the years from my colleagues and friends, including ...

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INTRODUCTION: CRITIQUE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT AND RETURN TO CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY

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pp. 1-14

... has been written about the classical social theory of Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim. This short work will be another addition to the already extensive literature on the subject. Its goal is different, however, in that it attempts to trace some of the basic ideas of these three authors to their origins in classical Greek philosophy, politics, art, and literature, revealing a continuity of over two thousand years between the classics and the ...

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KARL MARX: ATHENIAN DEMOCRACY AND THE CRITIQUE OF POLITICAL ECONOMY

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pp. 15-63

... in classical Greek history and philosophy from his earliest days at the Trier Gymnasium and at the Universities of Bonn and Berlin, Karl Marx incorporated his love for ancient history, archaeology, and philosophy throughout his writings on political and economic issues. The ancient Greeks offered him an opportunity to romanticize alternative possibilities of an emancipated ...

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MAX WEBER: GREEK TRAGEDY AND THE RATIONALIZATION OF SOCIETY

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pp. 64-110

... was born about the time Karl Marx was writing Capital and like Marx was educated in the classical Greek tradition. This was to leave a lasting impression on his ideas throughout his life. By the time he was fourteen years old he was steeped in classical Greek and Roman literature and history. According to a biographer, he had read Homer, Herodotus, Virgil, Livy, Cicero, and Sallust in the original languages. He continued reading the classics ...

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EMILE DURKHEIM: GREEK POLIS AND THE SOLIDARITY OF THE CONSCIENCE COLLECTIVE

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pp. 111-156

... in the case with Karl Marx and Max Weber, Emile Durkheim was also trained in the classical tradition of ancient Greece.1 It was this background that influenced his view of sociology and his theories of human nature, community solidarity, social problems, and political ideals. From his doctoral thesis on Baron de Montesquieu to his empirical writings on the division of ...

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AWAKENING CLASSICAL DREAMS: SYNTHESIS OF ANCIENT JUSTICE AND MODERN SOCIAL SCIENCE

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pp. 157-168

... interpretations of Marx, Weber, and Durkheim treat them as very distinct writers who provide a wide variety of theories in sociology as they articulate the foundations of modernity in their ideas of alienation, rationalization, and anomie. This concluding chapter stresses the commonality of their backgrounds in classical Greek and Roman history, philosophy, ...

NOTES

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pp. 169-192

INDEX

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pp. 193-202


E-ISBN-13: 9780791487624
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791455630
Print-ISBN-10: 0791455637

Page Count: 202
Publication Year: 2003

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Durkheim, Emile, 1858-1917.
  • Weber, Max, 1864-1920.
  • Sociology -- France -- Greek influences.
  • Marx, Karl, 1818-1883.
  • Sociology -- History.
  • Sociology -- Germany -- Greek influences.
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