Sociology and Interpretation

From Weber to Habermas

By Charles A. Pressler & Fabio B. Dasilva

Subjects: Hermeneutics
Paperback : 9780791430446, 208 pages, July 1996
Hardcover : 9780791430439, 208 pages, July 1996

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Table of contents


Introduction: Sociology and Interpretation

Part I: The Origins of Interpretive Sociology

1. Max Weber and Interpretive Sociology

Part II: Successors and Fellow Travelers

2. Alfred Schutz

3. Karl Mannheim

4. Max Scheler

Part III: Contemporary Trends

5. Positivist Interpretation: Emilio Betti

6. Humanist Interpretation: Hans-Georg Gadamer

7. Critical Interpretation: Theodor Adorno

8. Critical Interpretation: Jurgen Habermas

Part IV: Conclusion

9. Conclusion: Metatheory of Knowledge and Interpretive Programs

References and Selected Bibliography


Explores the contributions to interpretive sociology of major Continental social theorists and examines the ways in which these individuals enrich our understanding of the art of being human.


Interpretive sociology involves the consideration of not only sense evidence, but also of meanings, affects, and other subjective phenomena. Sociologists and social philosophers have attempted to understand social behavior through observable interaction and wellsprings of behavior. This book is dedicated to a critical analysis of these approaches, from the positivist hermeneutics of Emilio Betti to the non-rational ethics of Max Scheler. Guided by a general model of social scientific activity developed in the introduction, it carefully explores the rich diversity of interpretive positions.

Charles A. Pressler is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Purdue University North Central and was awarded Teacher of the Year, 1994-1995. Fabio B. Dasilva is Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. He is coauthor of: All Music: Essays in the Hermeneutics of Music, Her Voices: Hermeneutics of the Feminine, Politics at the End of History, The Sociology of Music, and Toward an Interpretive Sociology.


"The systematic treatment of the works of several authors is not typically found in a single volume. I think it is an excellent book. " — Lauren Langman, Loyola University