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Knowledge Society and Contextual Universalism
Knowledge Society and Contextual Universalism

Author(s): Georgi Fotev
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Институт по философия и социология при БАН
Keywords: The Challenges of Globalism; knowledge society; universalism (Ulrich Beck); globalism and localism

Summary/Abstract: In our time extensive use is made of a variety of names for the current unprecedented transition that the most advanced societies and mankind are undergoing. One such expression denoting the phenomenon is knowledge society. The sociological vocabulary itself, based on modern, national society is changing. The classical striving to reduce the complexity of the world to a unified/unique principle is being rejected. In this light the article examines the knowledge society. The new place of knowledge (theoretical knowledge) is situated in the context of the impossibility to know immediately, an impossibility bringing out the element of risk of actions, whose agent is individual or collective. The diabolical quality here is becoming a main concern of sociology in its efforts to conceptualize the changing world. In the article, contextual universalism (Beck) is interpreted as an alternative to relativism without boundaries and to a universalism that neglects differences. As a key case in point, the author examines the events on September 11th, 2001. Sociology cannot remain restricted by the classical, but it is likewise unacceptable for it to enter into “wedlock” with cynicism.

  • Issue Year: 34/2002
  • Issue No: Special
  • Page Range: 3-11
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: English