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Reclaiming novelty : Hannah Arendt on natality as an anti-methodological methodology for sociology

Clark, J V W (2018) Reclaiming novelty : Hannah Arendt on natality as an anti-methodological methodology for sociology. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This dissertation seeks to contribute to research in the philosophy of social science. The study focuses upon select epistemological and ontological aspects of Hannah Arendt’s work from which methodological implications are drawn pertaining to sociology. Arendt, although critical of the sociology of her time, has become increasingly cited and influential for emerging sociological research and this study seeks to contribute to this by focusing upon the problem of novelty. The aim is to explore the philosophical and methodological implications of novelty for social science by working through three case studies that are theoretically pivotal for social science—action, the ‘social’, and the self—in terms of novelty as expressed in Arendt’s writing. Arendt is critical of methodology and epistemology, aiming to draw her readers to ontological concerns outlined from her preoccupation with the 'world' and social reality. In this aim, Arendt seeks to distance herself from social sciences that she claims ignore human novelty in favour of reading social regularities, tendencies and similarities. Despite her disdain for method, Arendt suggests a anti-methodological 'method' (outlined in an overlooked footnote) for keeping trained upon and for dealing with novel, anomalous events. In the seed of this method lies a unique opportunity for social science to reassess and extend its methods, addressing this oversight and in so doing bring to light the novel social object as a legitimate subject of social research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Jonathan Clark
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018 15:19
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2018 15:19
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/22373

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