Civilisations and Social Theory: Volume 1 of Social by Anouar Abdel-Malek

By Anouar Abdel-Malek

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Extra info for Civilisations and Social Theory: Volume 1 of Social Dialectics

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The formal criteria for this mode of societal maintenance appear more clearly in a group of nations anchored in a historical continuity dating from AntiquityEgypt, China and Persia were, as we know, the most striking examples. Besides, this same mode of societal maintenance takes on different forms, and is situated at different phases of historical evolution. The rediscovery of the Orient, and thus of the colonial world, in recent research has marked out the path for the re-emergence of the non-Western worlds.

The essential task is 40 Positions to point to each of the stages, to analyse their relations in tenns of dialectical interaction rather than in intangible structural tenns. 2 The whole broad and complex process in tum affects the epistemological field and the scientific disciplines, on the one hand, and the nationalcultural spheres in their civilisational framework, on the other, in a word, the unfolding of the whole course of the history of human societies. What is involved here, then, is neither craftsmanship nor individual skill.

That is why, once the aspiration to universality has been set aside, its scientific, epistemological status must be situated. In our view that is the starting-point, the body of theory that can provide a The Future of Social Theory 33 scientific hyphothesis - the only one we have at our disposal at this time - with which to interpret the concrete exploration of human societies in the contemporary world. That is to say that we see the process of restructuring social theory as the specific content of the evolution of social theory itself - not as the rejection of the Western-centred conceptual apparatus.

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