Author

Ann D. Duffy

Date of Award

3-1972

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology

Supervisor

R. Hornosty

Language

English

Abstract

The intent of this study is to consider the evolution of the conception of man and society from the period of the eighteenth century Enlightenment to that of the nineteenth century social theorists. Specifically, the concern here is with discerning whether and in what manner the-writings of Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim may be seen as a reaction to and rejection of the notions regarding man popularized by the Enlightenment philosophes. The investigation suggests that Marx and Durkheim, although they did not simply discount the Enlightenment orientation which considered man as the source and center of reality, did in fact join in providing the basis for subsequent theorists to abandon the inquiries initiated by the Enlightenment and to base reality, truth and goodness in the social sphere. The implication is that Marx and Durkheim, and their perspectives, Marxist socialism and sociology, may be seen as rather unwitting accomplices in the elimination of certain fundamental questions underlying social philosophy.

McMaster University Library

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