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Inventing Human ScienceEighteenth-Century Domains$
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Christopher Fox, Roy Porter, and Robert Wokler

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780520200104

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520200104.001.0001

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The Enlightenment Science of Society

The Enlightenment Science of Society

(p.232) Eight The Enlightenment Science of Society
Inventing Human Science

David Carrithers

University of California Press

History offers the different sciences of man a background that establishes it and provides it with a fixed ground. This chapter aims to discuss the Enlightenment science of society as the “homeland” for what was later labeled “sociology,” while avoiding any additional skirmishes on the vexing questions of origins and disciplinarity. It does not fully subscribe to Foucault's radical epistemic break at the epoch of the French Revolution. Although the science of society of Enlightenment figures was different from the sociology of later epochs reflecting a different context, it was not so completely different as to be wholly without relevance for what nineteenth-century perspectives would produce.

Keywords:   Enlightenment, French Revolution, Foucault, sociology, science of man

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