Political social

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Political social

Heritage of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance Effects of theology The same impulses that led people in that age to explore Earththe stellar regions, and the nature of matter led them also to explore the institutions around them: It was the fragmentation of medieval philosophy and theory, and, with this, the shattering of the medieval worldview that had lain deep in thought until about the 16th century, that was the immediate basis of the rise of the several strands of specialized thought that were to become in time the social sciences.

Medieval theologyespecially as it appears in St. But it is partly this close relation between medieval theology and ideas of the social sciences that accounts for the longer time it took these ideas—by comparison with the ideas Political social the physical sciences —to achieve what one would today call scientific character.

From the time of the English philosopher Roger Bacon in the 13th century, there were at least some rudiments of physical science that were largely Political social of medieval theology and philosophy. Historians of physical science have no difficulty in tracing the continuation of this experimental tradition, primitive and irregular though it was by later standards, throughout the Middle Ages.

Political social

Side by side with the kinds of experiment made notable by Bacon were impressive changes in technology through the medieval period and then, in striking degreein the Renaissance.

Efforts to improve agricultural productivity; the rising utilization of gunpowderwith consequent development of Political social and the problems that they presented in ballistics; growing tradeleading to increased use of ships and improvements in the arts of navigationincluding use of telescopes ; and the whole range of such mechanical arts in the Middle Ages and Renaissance as architectureengineeringopticsand the construction of watches and clocks —all of this put a high premium on a pragmatic and operational understanding of at least the simpler principles of mechanicsphysicsastronomyand, in time, chemistry.

In short, by the time of Copernicus and Galileo in the 16th century, a fairly broad substratum of physical science existed, largely empirical but not without theoretical implications on which the edifice of modern physical science could be built.

It is notable that the empirical foundations of physiology were being established in the Political social of the human body being conducted in medieval schools of medicine and, as the career of Leonardo da Vinci so resplendently illustrates, among artists of the Renaissance, whose interest in accuracy and detail of painting and sculpture led to their careful studies of human anatomy.

In the first place, the Roman Catholic Churchthroughout the Middle Ages and even into the Renaissance and Reformationwas much more attentive to what scholars wrote and thought about the human mind and human behaviour in society than it was toward what was being studied and written in the physical sciences.

Nearly all the subjects and questions that would form the bases of the social sciences in later centuries were tightly woven into the fabric of medieval Scholasticismand it was not easy for even the boldest minds to break this fabric. Effects of the classics and of Cartesianism Then, when the hold of Scholasticism did begin to wane, two fresh influences, equally powerful, came on the scene to prevent anything comparable to the pragmatic and empirical foundations of the physical sciences from forming in the study of humanity and society.

The first was the immense appeal of the Greek classics during the Renaissance, especially those of the philosophers Plato and Aristotle. A great deal of social thought during the Renaissance was little more than gloss or commentary on the Greek classics. One sees this throughout the 15th and 16th centuries.

Cartesianismas his philosophy was called, declared that the proper approach to understanding of the world, including humanity and society, was through a few simple, fundamental ideas of reality and, then, rigorous, almost geometrical deduction of more complex ideas and eventually of large, encompassing theories, from these simple ideas, all of which, Descartes insisted, were the stock of common sense—the mind that is common to all human beings at birth.

It would be hard to exaggerate the impact of Cartesianism on social and political and moral thought during the century and a half following publication of his Discourse on Method and his Meditations on First Philosophy Through the Enlightenment into the later 18th century, the spell of Cartesianism was cast on nearly all those who were concerned with the problems of human nature and human society.

It is not as though data were not available in the 17th and 18th centuries. The emergence of the nation-state carried with it ever growing bureaucracies concerned with gathering information, chiefly for taxationcensusand trade purposes, which might have been employed in much the same way that physical scientists employed their data.

The voluminous and widely published accounts of the great voyages that had begun in the 15th century, the records of soldiers, explorers, and missionaries who perforce had been brought into often long and close contact with indigenous and other non-Western peoples, provided still another great reservoir of data, all of which might have been utilized in scientific ways as such data were to be utilized a century or two later in the social sciences.

Such, however, was the continuing spell cast by the texts of the classics and by the strictly rationalistic, overwhelmingly deductive procedures of the Cartesians that, until the beginning of the 19th century, these and other empirical materials were used, if at all, solely for illustrative purposes in the writings of the social philosophers.

Heritage of the Enlightenment There is also the fact that, especially in the 18th century, reform and even revolution were often in the air. The purpose of a great many social philosophers was by no means restricted to philosophical, much less scientific, understanding of humanity and society.

The dead hand of the Middle Ages seemed to many vigorous minds in western Europe the principal force to be combatted, through critical reason, enlightenment, and, where necessary, major reform or revolution.

One may properly account a great deal of this new spirit to the rise of humanitarianism in modern Europe and in other parts of the world and to the spread of literacythe rise in the standard of livingand the recognition that poverty and oppression need not be the fate of the masses.

The fact remains, however, that social reform and social science have different organizing principles, and the very fact that for a long time, indeed through a good part of the 19th century, social reform and social science were regarded as basically the same thing could not have helped but retard the development of the latter.

Nevertheless, it would be wrong to discount the significant contributions to the social sciences that were made during the 17th and 18th centuries. The first and greatest of these was the spreading ideal of a science of society, an ideal fully as widespread by the 18th century as the ideal of a physical science.

Second was the rising awareness of the multiplicity and variety of human experience in the world. Ethnocentrism and parochialism, as states of mind, were more and more difficult for educated people to maintain given the immense amount of information about—or, more important, interest in—non-Western peoples, the results of trade and exploration.

Third was the spreading sense of the social or cultural character of human behaviour in society—that is, its purely historical or conventional, rather than biological, basis.

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A science of society, in short, was no mere appendage of biology but was instead a distinct discipline, or set of disciplines, with its own distinctive subject matter. To these may be added two other very important contributions of the 17th and 18th centuries, each of great theoretical significance.

The first was the idea of structure.Jul 24,  · Kant wrote his social and political philosophy in order to champion the Enlightenment in general and the idea of freedom in particular. His work came within both the natural law and the social contract traditions.

Second, economic, social and cultural rights have been seen as requiring high levels of investment, while civil and political rights are said simply to require the State to refrain from interfering with individual freedoms. Politics through a social work lens: The Political Social Worker blog covers politics, social welfare policy, and social justice issues from a social work perspective.

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In turn, the social sciences themselves are of focal interest to the philosophy of social science. Political philosophy is the study of questions about the city, government, politics, liberty, justice.

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Power (social and political) - Wikipedia