chapter  4
12 Pages

‘Gi’ Baldamus, Karl Mannheim, and the Idea of a Social Science

ByPeter Lassman

In a central section of Ideology and Utopia Mannheim argued that ‘it was not often noticed that a Weltanschauung is not of necessity a source of error, but often gives access to spheres of knowledge otherwise closed’ (Mannheim 1960: 150). This insight provides a clue to the problem that fascinated Baldamus throughout his career. In trying to make sense of the modern development of the social sciences he never lost sight of the controversial implications of Karl Mannheim’s sociology of knowledge. What happens when we apply the methods of the sociology of knowledge to sociology itself?