A unique contribution to discussions of social theory, this book counters the argument that no social theory was ever produced in Britain before the late twentieth century. Reviewing a period of 300 years from the seventeenth century to the mid-twentieth century, it sets out a number of innovative strands in theory that culminated in powerful contributions in the classical period of sociology. The book discusses how these traditions of theory were lost and forgotten and sets out why they are important today.
Chapter 1 Was There a Failure of British Social Theory? Foundations of Social Thought Chapter 2 Social Thought in Mainstream Philosophy: Towards a Science of Social Structure Chapter 3 Difference, Diversity, and Development in the Social Organism Chapter 4 The Romantic Critique and Social Idealism Chapter 5 The Socialist Critique and Cultural Materialism Classical Social Theories Chapter 6 Patrick Geddes: Towards a Professional Sociology Chapter 7 Robert MacIver: Building an Intellectual Base Chapter 8 Leonard Hobhouse: Building Disciplinary Sociology Development and Decay Chapter 9 Social Theory After the Classics Chapter 10 Rediscovering Theory and Theorists Appendix: Principal Social Theorists Bibliography