”Sanning på ena sidan av Pyrenéerna, villfarelse på den andra”

Om kunskapssociologi, filosofisociologi och filosofihistoria


  • Carl-Göran Heidegren Lunds universitet
  • Henrik Lundberg Lunds universitet


This article discusses "the sociology of philosophy", a sub-discipline within sociology that studies philosophical activity and thinking. It represents a sociological approach to the study of philosophy and the history of philosophy. The article presents the sociology of philosophy as an empirical undertaking that relies on certain types of empirical material and modes of utilizing data. The article also discusses the sociology of philosophy as a theoretical undertaking that thematizes the relation between social being and philosophical thought on the one hand, and the relation between social being and validity on the other. In this connection, a distinction is made between first-order theories (that are confirmed or falsified on empirical grounds) and second-order theories (truth-claims that rely on abstract argumentation). A second distinction is drawn between a descriptive relativism (one that gives a sociological account of changes in philosophical thought) and a normative relativism (one that argues that all philosophical theories are in the end context-dependent). Among the authors discussed in the article are Randall Collins and Pierre Bourdieu.