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By Mary Evans

''A very good inquiry into tradition and society over a few seven centuries, Mary Evans explores the origins and trajectories of modernity from the Reformation in the course of the Enlightenment to the modern interval. Her highbrow keep watch over of advanced principles and numerous kinds of facts is continually extraordinary. Exploring a number of pessimistic, dystopian strands in ecu views on modernity via Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Weber and Theodor Adorno, she defends a balanced view of either the damaging and confident effects of modernization. this is often ancient sociology at its top: really appropriate, theoretically knowledgeable, rigorously crafted, grounded in empirical study, and exceptionally intellectually shrewdpermanent. a brief historical past of Society will turn out to be a necessary better half to the coed who wishes a concise scholarly and sociological review of modernity.'' Bryan Turner, nationwide collage of Singapore

a brief historical past of Society is a concise account of the emergence of contemporary western society. It appears to be like at how successive generations have understood and defined the realm within which they lived, and examines major occasions because the Enlightenment that experience resulted in the improvement of society as we all know it this present day. The booklet spans the interval 1500 to the current day and discusses the social global by way of either its politics and its culture.

This publication is perfect for undergraduate scholars within the social sciences who're confused by way of the myriad of occasions and theories with which their classes are involved, and who want a historic standpoint at the adjustments that formed the modern international.

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Extra resources for A Short History of Society: The Making of the Modern World

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Earlier in this chapter the works of writers of the seventeenthcentury Enlightenment – Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza – were identified as part of a shift towards the rethinking of the relationship between religion and the social world. None of these individuals specifically advocated a secular society as we would understand it in the twenty-first century (although perhaps Hobbes comes close), but what they all did was to ask questions about the authority of traditional judgements about the existence of God.

At the same time it is also important to recognize 26 A SHORT HISTORY OF SOCIETY that advances in human knowledge do not occur only out of human curiosity or the wish to advance knowledge but are also directed towards the solution of problems in human existence and everyday reality. The example of Galileo serves to illustrate precisely that relationship between scientific enquiry and the needs of the social world which is suggested above: Galileo wanted to solve the problem of longitude, and was willing to attempt to collect the life pension offered by Philip III of Spain to the person who produced a solution.

By the time Kant was writing, intellectual life had started to assume those distinctions between subjects and disciplines which we can recognize in the twenty-first century. In contrast, at the time that Descartes was writing, these distinctions had not yet emerged and many notable figures of the seventeenth century would have had difficulty in identifying themselves with a particular intellectual specialization. Descartes himself first studied mathematics and then, in 1637 published Discourse on Method, a book which is generally taken to be the first text in modern philosophy.

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