of Udmurt University
Sociology. Political Science. International Relations



Author(-s) Ridgley Stanley K.
Abstract Much of what is considered bleeding edge theory in sociology[1] today consists of articles propounding theories that cannot be falsified, that are grounded in confirmation bias, that are crafted in a strange and inaccessible argot, and that appeal to pathos in the creation of a Moloch upon which to hang blame for the world’s ills. Any one of these contentions about modern sociological writing could and probably should be the subject of expanded study - taken together, they constitute a tendency in sociology toward a New Metaphysics. This tendency represents a profound change in the modern zeitgeist - a reversal, in fact. We are experiencing a reversal of the ascendancy of science and scientific thinking and a resurgence of medievalist magical thinking about society - how we live, how we exchange with each other, how we are governed. This essay ranges far in this regard and charts a course for further exploration. It examines the rise of the New Metaphysics and its primary means of communicating its ideas. It draws parallels between today’s new metaphysicians and those schoolmen of the middle ages, whose embrace of magic thinking was so complete that its straitened medieval orthodoxy not only hindered scientific, economic, and commercial progress, but also often punished such progress as heretical. Finally, this essay suggests that in its embrace of its own truth and with its “praxis-oriented” posture, the New Metaphysics poses a growing threat to the scholarly traditions of the university and itself constitutes a barbarous pseudo-science that begs unmasking.
Keywords sociology, metaphysics, social sciences, falsification, confirmation bias, praxis, critical theory, Popper
UDC 316.2
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