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Strategies and the Social Order bargains a finished viewpoint on wisdom creation within the box of sociology.

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Extra info for Concepts and the Social Order: Robert K. Merton and the Future of Sociology

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By the time I entered the department, there had already been identifiable personalities in the profession, but no schools of sociological theory or research to speak of. Most of our professors had begun their careers in other disciplines, switching to sociology in the 1960s–70s. As a consequence, each of 1 There exists a very informative collection of 19 interviews with the generation of sociologists who began research in the 1960s. The interviews were made in 1987, but published only two decades later.

K. Merton in France 37 losophy, and I do not mean here only those who studied philosophy at the universities, was important. Too important, perhaps, according to some. Directly or indirectly, all or almost all of those philosophers owed something to Canguilhem’s teaching or with his books. Remove Canguilhem from the picture and you will understand nothing of what happened in French philosophy in the late 1960s, although Canguilhem himself never engaged in any of the debates. This is also true for French Marxism, French sociology (mostly Bourdieu, Castel and Passeron), and the Lacaniens.

Bourdieu, Habermas, Luhmann, and rational choice theory. 2 There was, however, another circle of scholars in Budapest in the 1980s where not Merton’s general sociological theory but his sociology of science was in the foreground. That circle was constituted around the philosopher Márta Fehér by younger philosophers and sociologists interested in the philosophy of science. I think that practically everybody who works in the fields of the philosophy and sociology of science in this country today can be safely called either Márta’s student or her student’s student.

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