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You are here: The Platypus Affiliated Society/Manchester (UK) Summer 2022 IN-PERSON Reading Group: What is society?

Manchester (UK) Summer 2022 IN-PERSON Reading Group: What is society?

Opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, 2008.
Opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, 2008.

“Society is a reality sui generis; it has its own characteristics that are either not found in the rest of the universe or are not found there in the same form."

"Society is a sui generis being with its own special nature, distinct from that of its members, and a personality of its own different from individual personalities."

— Emile Durkheim

Saturdays, 18:00-20:00

LOCATION WILL SHIFT EACH WEEK AND WILL BE POSTED AHEAD OF EACH WEEKLY SYLLABUS BELOW

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( • required / + recommended readings)

Required background reading:
• Chris Cutrone, "Back to Herbert Spencer! Industrial vs. militant society" (2016) [audio]

Recommended supplemental parallel reading:
+ Theodor W. Adorno, "Static and Dynamic as Sociological Categories" (1961)
+ AdornoIntroduction to Sociology (1962 lecture series)
+ AdornoPhilosophical Elements of a Theory of Society (1964 lecture series)
+ AdornoPhilosophy and Sociology (1960 lecture series)

Preliminary readings:
• Adorno“Society” (1965)
• Benjamin Constant"The liberty of the ancients compared with that of the moderns" (1819)

Charts of terms:
Capital in history timeline and chart of terms
Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
Capitalist contradiction chart of terms
Commodity form chart of terms
Reification chart of terms


Week 1: Saturday 4th June, 2022

Location: Duck & Drake Public House, Leeds

• Gillian Rose, Hegel Contra Sociology (1981/95) selections:
   Preface for 1995 reprint
   1. The Antinomies of Sociological Reason
   7. With What Must the Science End?


Week 2: Saturday 11th June, 2022

Location: Chapter One Books, Manchester

• Max WeberThe Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905) (Giddens' introuction and the translator's preface are optional)


Week 3: Saturday 18th June, 2022

Location: THERE WILL BE NO IN-PERSON READING GROUP THIS WEEK; WE WILL BE JOINING THE IN-PERSON READING GROUP ON TUESDAY THE 21st OF JUNE

• Auguste Comte, Introduction to Positive Philosophy (1830-42) selections:
   I. The nature and importance of the positive philosophy
Comte, The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte, Vol. III selections:
   Book VI. Social Physics
      VII. pp. 1-11
      XI. pp. 199-216
      XII. pp. 277-344
Comte, A General View of Positivism selections:
   II. The Social Aspect of Positivism, pp. 63-78
   VI. The Religion of Humanity, pp. 340-426


Week 4: Monday 27th June, 2022

Location: Chapter One Books, Manchester

+ Cutrone, "Back to Herbert Spencer! Industrial vs. militant society" (2016)
• Herbert Spencer, Principles of Sociology, Vol. I
   Part I. The Data of Sociology
      I. Super Organic Evolution
      II. The Factors of Social Phenomena
      III. Original External Factors
      IV. Original Internal Factors
   Part II. The Inductions of Sociology
      I. What Is a Society?
      II. A Society is an Organism
Spencer, On Social Evolution
   IV. Evolution in General
      15. Societal Typologies
      16. Militancy and Industrialism
   V. The Analysis of Institutions
      18. Ceremonial Institutions
      19. Political Institutions
Spencer, The Man Versus the State
   VI. The Great Political Superstition


Week 5: Saturday 2nd July, 2022

Location: TBC

• Emile Durkheim, On Morality and Society selections:
   II. Sociology and Social Action, Chapter 3: "The Principles of 1789 and Sociology" (1890)
Durkheim, Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912) selections:
   Introduction
Durkheim, On Morality and Society selections:
   V. Social Creativity, Chapters 11-12


Week 6: Saturday 9th July, 2022

Location: TBC

• Durkheim, On Morality and Society selections:
   IV. The Learning of Morality, Chapter 10: "The Dualism of Human Nature and Its Social Conditions" (1914)
   II. Sociology and Social Action, Chapter 4: "Individualism and the Intellectuals"
• Durkheim, The Division of Labor in Society (1893) selections:
   Introduction
• Durkheim, On Morality and Society selections:
   III. The Evolution of Morality, Chapter 6: "Progressive Preponderance of Organic Solidarity"


Week 7: Saturday 16th July, 2022

Location: TBC

• Durkheim, The Division of Labor in Society (1893) selections:
   Selections TBA
• Durkheim, On Morality and Society selections:
   III. The Evolution of Morality, Chapters 7-9
• Durkheim, The Division of Labor in Society (1893) selections:
   Preface to the Second Edition


Week 8: Saturday 23rd July, 2022

Location: TBC

• Frankfurt School, Aspects of Sociology (1956) selections:
   Preface by Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno
   Chapters I-VI, XII
• Adorno, "Society" (1965)