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N.K. Mikhailovsky about subject of sociology


The specific understanding of the subject of sociology, characteristic for a number of Russian thinkers of the 19th century including N.K. Mikhailovsky is analyzed. The positivism of Mikhailovsky is perceived as progressive philosophical movement, focused on science and scientific knowledge opposed to religious, idealistic concepts. From the standpoint of positivism Mikhailovsky argued with Lenin in the 90s of the 19th century. From the standpoint of positivism he revealed the fallacy of Marxist economic determinism as a metaphysical. However, in understanding the subject of sociology he was forced to withdraw from his rigid anti-meta-physics. Positivism has been focused on knowledge of objective, impartial truth. Russian thinkers in the latest trendy products of Western thought, which positivism was, saw not only as means of knowledge of the objective world, but also means of its transformation, not only virtue, but the truth. In this perspective Mikhailovsky treated the subject of sociology. Mikhailovsky tried to give a theoretical justification of sociology using anthropological principle, trying to include in the subject of science moral factor, subjective method that had its historical and theoretical justification. As a result, sociology should be a synthetic science of society. Therefore, sociology is a movement from reality to the ideal of things for granted. Man takes an active part in the process of social development, gives a moral assessment, forms an ideal and subjectively promotes its implementation. The principal difference between Mikhailovsky’s approach to the subject of sociology theoretical justification is normative, ethical, value approach, which must not contradict the objectivity of the study. However, this problem could not be solved within the framework of such an interpretation of the subject of sociology. On the one hand, he built his world, under the influence of positivism, relying on science and scientific knowledge, with an emphasis on objectivity, impartiality knowledge. On the other hand, the desire for a unifying reality and the ideal system is focused on the moral and ethical justification ideal. For Michael's sociology is not a science in the traditional sense, but a kind of synthetic system, seamlessly incorporating truth-virtue and truth-justice.


positivism; sociology; social reality and social ideal; existent and granted; anthropological principle; human needs; moral factor; subjective method

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Philosophy, sociology and cultural studies

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