In a hyper-individualistic age and in the face of the narrowly focused, policy-oriented research ubiquitous in the social sciences, this book revisits the humanistic world-view that is integral to Norbert Elias’s pre-eminent figurational-process sociology, with the aim of increasing the fund of sociological knowledge that has the human condition as its horizon.

Clarifying the contentious ‘post-philosophical’ aspects in order to supplement standard histories of sociology with new insights, it offers incisive evaluations of some of the bewildered attempts by prominent sociologists to diagnose the malaise of contemporary globalised society. It also challenges the orthodox limitation of the empirical scope of sociology to ‘modernity’. With its ominous warnings of the destructive prevalence of ‘overcritique’ in the discipline and lack of in-depth sociological psychology, Post-Philosophical Sociology will appeal to scholars of sociology, psychoanalysis, social philosophy, cultural theory and social and political theory with interests in developmental and dynamic thinking and the history of the discipline.

chapter |22 pages


part I|95 pages

Figurational-process sociology

chapter 1|20 pages

The dawn of detachment

Norbert Elias and sociology's two Tracks 1

chapter 2|24 pages

Karl Marx

New perspectives

chapter 3|24 pages

Norbert Elias's post-philosophical sociology

From ‘critique’ to relative detachment

chapter 5|15 pages

From distance to detachment

Knowledge and self-knowledge in Elias's theory of involvement and detachment 1

part II|79 pages

Overcritique or social diagnosis?