Aristotle suggests that the beginning of philosophy is the wonder that is natural to human beings; knowledge of first principles or first philosophy including a recognition that there is theoretical and practical wisdom as portrayed in Paul Gauguin’s painting Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going
What does it mean to ask, where does it come from?
The authors of this book attempt to cut through the veneer, peel away appearances to discover the reality, to pierce the veil. It is the sociology of sociology, the philosophy of philosophy, and a philosophy of the disciplines known as the social sciences. However, it is incumbent upon us to stay on the perch, as it were, and look at what is happening. Then to step down and immerse ourselves in the event. A new bridge is being built over the canal, concrete pilings are pounded into the wet sand and coral base. In New York, steel is driven into the earth in anticipation of the ten story structure that will be erected. Whether Carrabas or McDonalds, patrons purchase and eat the food but do not look behind the kitchen doors to scrutinize the way their food is prepared. The nervous test-taker enters the Department of Motor Vehicles and performs the ritual on the prescribed concourse and answers the questions on the computer screen, but does not know the workings of the machine in which they will be spending a good portion of their life. The public is viewing a recorded deposition and reading a document of testimonies given before the Grand Jury, reported by media as lurid and salacious. People walking into the General Motors building will see a directory listing the offices on each floor. Driving up Route 41 in Naples, Florida people see a sign over the building, Pittman and Pittman, Funeral Directors, Burial and Cremation. How do the bridges get built, the cars function, the offices in GM operate, the bodies get cremated or who picks them up? What is the underlying rationale behind the deposition and how does the law work?
The evidence suggests that societies are collapsing and a major political and economic visceral upheaval is imminent for the industrial societies. The issues facing us today will be meticulously reviewed in the chapters on politics and economics.
This book is designed to explicate theoretical perspectives concerning the disciplines within the social sciences combined with empirical research. Consequently, the task has become a philosophy of the social sciences, an interdisciplinary approach which will elucidate the intricacies of human behavior.