The sociology of knowledge and its enemies

Inquiry 32 (3):245 – 260 (1989)
Abstract
My objective in the following study is to present and analyze the objections to the ?classical argument? in the sociology of knowledge raised by Leo Strauss and Karl Popper. Building on this expository account, I will attempt to demonstrate (1) that the opposition of Strauss and Popper is more apparent and polemical than real, (2) that the position taken by Strauss and Popper on the viability of a sociology of knowledge is essentially no different from that taken by the discipline's founders: Max Scheler, Karl Mannheim, and Georg Lukács, (3) that whatever the merits of Strauss and Popper's contentions, they become relevant only in the context of a radicalized version of the sociology of knowledge which developed subsequent to their formulation, and (4) that the sociology of knowledge has needlessly and deplorably become the battleground for meta?theoretical disputes that are irrelevant to its practice
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