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The Text, the Author and the Canon: Gadamar and the Persistence of Classic Texts in Sociology.

How, Alan (2007) The Text, the Author and the Canon: Gadamar and the Persistence of Classic Texts in Sociology. Journal of Classicial Sociology, 7 (1). pp. 5-22. ISSN 1468-795X

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The role of the classic text in the social sciences has come under fire in recent years. The authority of classics has been challenged on the grounds that they conceal a variety of ideological assumptions, tensions and discontinuities as well as being far removed from our experience of contemporary life. Drawing on Gadamer’s account of the ‘classical’ in Truth and Method, the article contests these views, arguing that classic texts are a source of intellectual vitality and should not be jettisoned. Following the introduction the article divides into two main sections. The first deals with the issue of authorship, arguing that while ‘names’ remain intrinsic to sociology, attention should remain with the text. The second employs Gadamer’s ideas to show why classic texts persist. The claim that subsequent historical horizons elicit from the text truths that continue to resonate is illustrated with Weber’s Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: authorship, sociology, Gadamer, Weber, classic texts
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Humanities
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Depositing User: Janet Davidson
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2008 11:47
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 16:49

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