Self-confidence and the Redundancy of Philosophy

  • John Law
  • Peter Lodge


In this text we have sought to be matter-of-fact, empirical, and down-to-earth. In talking about the nature of knowledge, the way in which it is acquired and how it is liable to change under the direction of social interests, we have used many examples. In considering the relationship between ‘science’ and ‘non-science’ we have again used illustration. Our argument about the relationship between the two has been that such differences as there may be are best seen as a function of the operation of social interests, rather than as residing in a special scientific method.


Network Theory Social Interest Social Thought Present Text Teleological Explanation 
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  1. 1.
    As an example of the former, consider Max Weber’s explanation of the rise of capitalism in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (George Allen & Unwin, London, 1930). As an example of the latter, many types of structural functionalist theory.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    On this see John Whittaker, ‘Models of Social Space: a Study of a Statistical Coup’, Sociology, 16 (1982), pp. 43–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    There are naturally exceptions to this rule. See P. K. Feyerabend, Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge (New Left Books, London, 1975).Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Peter Winch, The Idea of a Social Science (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1958) p. 43.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    I. C. Jarvie, Concepts and Society (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1972) p. 144.Google Scholar

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© John Law and Peter Lodge 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Law
  • Peter Lodge

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