Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Sociology in AmericaA History$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Craig Calhoun

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226090948

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226090962.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 31 July 2021

The American Spencerians: Theorizing a New Science

The American Spencerians: Theorizing a New Science

(p.39) [Two] The American Spencerians: Theorizing a New Science
Sociology in America

Daniel Breslau

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the social sources of Spencerian sociology and the practices of research and discipline-building that it contains. Spencerianism here means the founders' adoption of Herbert Spencer's definition of society, and their adoption of his definition of sociology as the science that takes society as its object. Spencer's society is an integrated whole that is naturally occurring, continuous with the natural world, and subject to transhistorical laws of evolution. Sociology is therefore, by this definition, a holistic, naturalistic, and evolutionary science of society. Notwithstanding their disagreements, some quite radical, on theoretical particulars, the founders unanimously accepted this constitution for their discipline, just as sociologists today, with perhaps slightly less unanimity, would reject it.

Keywords:   Spencerian sociology, Spencerianism, Herbert Spencer, society, sociology

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.