The concept of society sui generis – society as a level of reality which could be studied scientifically – crystallized in the middle of the nineteenth century in Europe, with the work of Durkheim, Marx and Weber and today, more than at any other period in history, the idea of the social has gained a foothold in philosophy, biology, and neuroscience. However, this idea has emerged into prominence not through the historical or contemporary efforts of sociologists, but mainly through the efforts of biologists and neuroscientists.

This book seeks to re-establish the credentials of sociology as the science of society. While acknowledging the amalgamation of traditional disciplines into interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary networks of research and theory, and championing interdisciplinarity in recognising the capacity of converging perspectives to yield more interesting general theories of social life, the author defends disciplinarity in maintaining sociology’s achievements as a discipline.

With chapters on the sociological world view, imagining society, the self, love, education, mathematics and religion, The Age of the Social re-states the importance of sociology as the source of robust ideas about the social in an age in which this notion has grown in importance. As such, it will appeal to scholars across the social sciences, with interests in method and philosophy in the social disciplines.

chapter 1|6 pages


Cautionary, skeptical, and wild

chapter 2|36 pages

A biography of society

chapter 4|18 pages

The force awakens

Imagining society

chapter 5|15 pages

Nietzsche’s revenge

The “I” as a grammatical illusion

chapter 6|24 pages

Kingdom of the crystal myth

Love and evolution

chapter 7|10 pages

Requiem for Plato

The myth of the mathematician and the social construction of mathematics

chapter 8|11 pages

Raiders of the last illusion

The last chapter of “God”

chapter 9|9 pages

Inside the temple of mind

Einstein’s brain

chapter 10|6 pages

Romancing the robots

chapter 11|24 pages

The physics–mysticism nexus

chapter 13|8 pages

The black hole economy

chapter 14|7 pages

The last crusade

The very idea of education

chapter 15|7 pages

Through a sociological lens darkly

The sociological cogito and the human condition, a Nietzschean postscript