New Foundations for the Human Sciences
This book is a radical plea for the centrality of experience in the social and human sciences. Lash argues that a large part of the output of the social sciences today is still shaped by assumptions stemming from positivism, in contrast to the tradition of interpretative social enquiry pioneered by Max Weber. These assumptions are particularly central to economics, with its emphasis on homo economicus
, the utility-maximizing actor, but they have infiltrated the other social sciences too.
Lash argues for a social sciences based not in positivism’s utilitarian a priori but instead in the a posteriori of grounded and embedded subjective experience. His wide-ranging account starts from considerations of ancient experience via Aristotle’s technics, continues through a politics of Hannah Arendt’s ‘a posteriori’ public sphere and concludes with the contemporary – with technological experience, on the one hand, and with Chinese post-ontological thought, in which the ‘ten thousand things’ themselves are doing the experiencing, on the other.
This original book by a leading social and cultural theorist will be of great interest to students and scholars in sociology, cultural studies and throughout the social sciences.