Social Philosophy and Sociology

My sister, Naomi, is studying youth work and is writing an essay on group work. Part of this involves asking questions about what a group is. Given my Philosophical interest in this question I asked her to send me her references.  This lead me to the follwoing interesting page:

What is a Group? – The encyclopaedia of informal education

The interesting, and perhaps depressing (depending on your outlook), thing is that I’ve not really read any of the work by the authors quoted as having something to say about what the a group is on this page.

And this isn’t just me being a bad philosopher of collective action. I can’t recall any of the names that come up in this article (Lewin, Homans, Cartwright, Zander, Brown etc) coming up in any of the work of philosophy of collective action (i.e. in the works of Bratman, Gilbert, Tumela, Roth etc.) If they do then it is just as in tiny fragments, perhaps buried away in footnotes. There is certainly isn’t any sustained and critical engagement. There is one exception, Gilbert conducts a sustained and very interesting discussion of Durkheim in her Book On Social Facts.

This goes the other way as well. The sociology article doesn’t quote any of the works by the philosophers.


About Joseph Kisolo

Philosopher teaching Ethics & Epistemology @ NottsUni and interested in in Social Ontology. Outside academia interested in climbing, design, geekery and radical social justice.
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4 Responses to Social Philosophy and Sociology

  1. andyroberts says:

    This is how academia salami slices any useful meaning until there is nothing left except deference.

  2. Sue Pascoe says:

    An interesting reflection Joe. Joining up the dots makes sense when we get to see a meaningful image emerge. When I was a kid we sisters used to map the freckles on our skin via felt tip pen; sense of this kind of randomness can only be made through interpretation.

  3. hi, nice blog about social. I would like to say, permission to copy your banner!! you banner excited t me, thanks before :d

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