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Between Literature and Science: The Rise of Sociology (Ideas in Context) Paperback – June 24, 1988

ISBN-13: 978-0521338103 ISBN-10: 0521338107

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Product Details

  • Series: Ideas in Context (Book 10)
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (June 24, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521338107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521338103
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,886,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Lepenies offers us an historical record. He does not evaluate the contributions of literature and sociology, or of literary sociology, to public exegesis. The book is a spectacular record of the internecine strife among exegetes. The author's international erudition is remarkable, control of materials masterly, his method careful and thorough, and his writing dramatic." Samuel Z. Klausner, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences

"This is an immensely learned and fascinating essay in intellectual history. Originally published in German in 1985, it has now been made available in a remarkably fluent translation." Fritz Ringer, Journal of Modern History

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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My original interest in this book was about German sociology of knowledge. Nietzsche, Max Weber and Thomas Mann are the only thinkers mentioned by Wolf Lepenies that I have tried enough to understand in the political contexts of their times. The book added to what I knew about John Stuart Mill, H. G. Wells, and T. S. Eliot.

I had not realized how much opposition there was to changes in education in France when the Third Republic made sociology the theology taught to teachers. Comte had been boring for me, and now I find that sciences that attempt to direct society were rejected early by people who considered literary life more fulfilling. Comte went to Italian operas and was approved by the sort of people who look for interesting ideas, but literature continues to offer an avenue for those who wish to report on absurd results of the attempts to get people together. A sense of monstrosity always fills me with more than the words on the page ever do. I feel worse than the things this book is about, like having paid my dues so I want to sing the blues, but this book succeeds in taking some ideas seriously.
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