Skip to main content

Social Science as Civic Discourse

Essays on the Invention, Legitimation, and Uses of Social Theory

Richard Harvey Brown’s pioneering explorations in the philosophy of social science and the theory of rhetoric reach a culmination in Social Science as Civic Discourse. In his earlier works, he argued for a logic of discovery and explanation in social science by showing that science and art both depend on metaphoric thinking, and he has applied that logic to society as a narrative text in which significant action by moral agents is possible. This new work is at once a philosophical critique of social theory and a social-theoretical critique of politics. Brown proposes to redirect the language and the mission of the social sciences toward a new discourse for a humane civic practice.

246 pages | 6.00 x 9.00 | © 1989

Political Science: Political and Social Theory

Rhetoric and Communication

Sociology: Theory and Sociology of Knowledge

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
Civic Discourse and the Travails of Social Truth
2. The Positivist Habit of Mind
Metaphysics, Social Theory, and Social Control
3. The Romantic Alternative and Its Limits
A Rhetorical Reformulation of the Debate between Positivism and Romanticism
4. Jean-Paul Sartre and Claude Levi-Strauss
The Dialectic of Agency and Structure in Theories of the Social
5. Metaphor and Knowledge of History I
Organicism and Mechanism in the Study of Social Change
6. Metaphor and Knowledge of History II
Structuralism, Phenomenology, and the Tropes of Linguistic Figuration
7. Bureaucracy as Praxis
Toward a Political Symbology of Formal Organization
8. Social Planning as Symbolic Practice
Toward a Liberating Discourse for Societal Self-Direction

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press