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War in Social ThoughtHobbes to the Present$
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Hans Joas and Wolfgang Knöbl

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691150840

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691150840.001.0001

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The Long Peace of the Nineteenth Century and the Birth of Sociology

The Long Peace of the Nineteenth Century and the Birth of Sociology

(p.65) 3 The Long Peace of the Nineteenth Century and the Birth of Sociology
War in Social Thought

Hans Joas

Wolfgang Knöbl

, Alex Skinner
Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how the progressive optimism nourished by liberal doctrines gradually began to take hold and how sociology as a discipline took a particularly wide variety of institutional forms and featured very different theoretical and research programs. Toward the end of the eighteenth and during the first third of the nineteenth centuries, utilitarians such as Jeremy Bentham and later James and John Stuart Mill were already singing the praises of free trade and its peace-promoting effects. This laid the foundations for at least one strand of liberal thought in the nineteenth century, on which early “sociologists” such as Auguste Comte and Herbert Spencer could then build. Despite the hegemonic status of liberal doctrines, other views were always present beneath the surface. This includes Marxism, which in many respects embraced the legacy of liberalism.

Keywords:   sociology, Jeremy Bentham, James Mill, John Stuart Mill, free trade, Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, Marxism, liberalism, progressive optimism

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