Toby E. Huff (born April 24, 1942) is an American academic and emeritus professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.He was born in Portland, Maine. He was trained as a sociologist but has research interests in the history, philosophy and sociology of science. He has published Weber-inspired studies of the Arab and Muslim world, as well as China, including field work in Malaysia. He is best known for his book The Rise of Early Modern Science: Islam, China and the West , which has been translated into multiple languages.
Huff earned a B.A. from Northeastern University and a Master's from Northwestern University. He completed a Ph.D. from The New School For Social Research in 1971, where he was mentored by Benjamin Nelson.He completed a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley working with Robert Bellah, and was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey from 1978–79.
Huff has been a visiting scholar at the National University of Singapore, the University of Malaya, and the Max Weber College in Erfurt, Germany. He taught sociology for thirty-four years at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth before becoming chancellor professor emeritus in 2005. Since then he has been a research associate in the Department of Astronomy at Harvard University.
Maximilian Karl Emil Weber was a German sociologist, historian, jurist and political economist, who is regarded as among the most important theorists of the development of modern Western society. His ideas profoundly influence social theory and research. While Weber did not see himself as a sociologist, he is recognized as one of the fathers of sociology, along with Karl Marx and Émile Durkheim.
Modernity, a topic in the humanities and social sciences, is both a historical period and the ensemble of particular socio-cultural norms, attitudes and practices that arose in the wake of the Renaissance—in the Age of Reason of 17th-century thought and the 18th-century Enlightenment. Some commentators consider the era of modernity to have ended by 1930, with World War II in 1945, or the 1980s or 1990s; the following era is called postmodernity. The term "contemporary history" is also used to refer to the post-1945 timeframe, without assigning it to either the modern or postmodern era.
Conflict theories are perspectives in sociology and social psychology that emphasize a materialist interpretation of history, dialectical method of analysis, a critical stance toward existing social arrangements, and political program of revolution or, at least, reform. Conflict theories draw attention to power differentials, such as class conflict, and generally contrast historically dominant ideologies. It is therefore a macro-level analysis of society.
Social theories are analytical frameworks, or paradigms, that are used to study and interpret social phenomena. A tool used by social scientists, social theories relate to historical debates over the validity and reliability of different methodologies, the primacy of either structure or agency, as well as the relationship between contingency and necessity. Social theory in an informal nature, or authorship based outside of academic social and political science, may be referred to as "social criticism" or "social commentary", or "cultural criticism" and may be associated both with formal cultural and literary scholarship, as well as other non-academic or journalistic forms of writing.
Tu Weiming is a Chinese-born American philosopher. He is Chair Professor of Humanities and Founding Director of the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University. He is also Professor Emeritus and Senior Fellow of Asia Center at Harvard University.
Benjamin Nelson was a sociologist who explored the historical development and nature of civilizations. He held positions at University of Chicago, University of Minnesota, Stony Brook University and after 1966, New School for Social Research.
Axial Age is a term coined by the German philosopher Karl Jaspers. It refers to broad changes in religious and philosophical thought that occurred in a variety of locations from about the 8th to the 3rd century BC.
Modernization theory is used to explain the process of modernization within societies. The "classical" theories of modernization of the 1950s and 1960s drew on sociological analyses of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and a partial reading of Max Weber, and were strongly influenced by the writings of Harvard sociologist Talcott Parsons. Modernization theory was a dominant paradigm in the social sciences in the 1950s and 1960s, then went into a deep eclipse. It made a comeback after 1991, when Francis Fukuyama wrote about the end of the Cold War as confirmation on modernization theory and more generally of universal history. But the theory remains a controversial model.
Ernst Peter Wilhelm Troeltsch was a German liberal Protestant theologian, a writer on the philosophy of religion and the philosophy of history, and a classical liberal politician. He was a member of the history of religions school. His work was a synthesis of a number of strands, drawing on Albrecht Ritschl, Max Weber's conception of sociology, and the Baden school of neo-Kantianism.
Sociology as a scholarly discipline emerged, primarily out of Enlightenment thought, as a positivist science of society shortly after the French Revolution. Its genesis owed to various key movements in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of knowledge, arising in reaction to such issues as modernity, capitalism, urbanization, rationalization, secularization, colonization and imperialism.
Marshall Goodwin Simms Hodgson, was an Islamic studies academic and a world historian at the University of Chicago. He was chairman of the interdisciplinary Committee on Social Thought in Chicago.
Shmuel Noah Eisenstadt was an Israeli sociologist and writer. In 1959 he was appointed to a teaching post in the sociology department of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. From 1990 until his death in September 2010 he was professor emeritus. He held countless guest professorships, at the University of Chicago, Harvard University, the University of Zurich, the University of Vienna, the University of Bern, Stanford and the University of Heidelberg, among others. Eisenstadt received a number of prizes, including the Balzan prize and the Max-Planck research prize. He was also the 2006 winner of the Holberg International Memorial Prize. He was a member of many academies, including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Advisory Editors Council of the Social Evolution & History Journal. His daughter Irit Meir was a noted scholar of Israeli sign language.
Edward Albert Shils was a Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought and in Sociology at the University of Chicago and an influential sociologist. He was known for his research on the role of intellectuals and their relations to power and public policy. His work was honored in 1983 when he was awarded the Balzan Prize. In 1979, he was selected by the National Council on the Humanities to give the Jefferson Lecture, the highest award given by the U.S. federal government for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.
In social science, disenchantment is the cultural rationalization and devaluation of religion apparent in modern society. The term was borrowed from Friedrich Schiller by Max Weber to describe the character of a modernized, bureaucratic, secularized Western society. In Western society, according to Weber, scientific understanding is more highly valued than belief, and processes are oriented toward rational goals, as opposed to traditional society, in which "the world remains a great enchanted garden".
The Merton thesis is an argument about the nature of early experimental science proposed by Robert K. Merton. Similar to Max Weber's famous claim on the link between Protestant work ethic and the capitalist economy, Merton argued for a similar positive correlation between the rise of Protestant Pietism and early experimental science. The Merton thesis has resulted in continuous debates.
Alan Donald James Macfarlane is an anthropologist and historian, and a Professor Emeritus of King's College, Cambridge. He is the author or editor of 20 books and numerous articles on the anthropology and history of England, Nepal, Japan and China. He has focused on comparative study of the origins and nature of the modern world. In recent years he has become increasingly interested in the use of visual material in teaching and research. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Historical Society.
The history of the social sciences has origin in the common stock of Western philosophy and shares various precursors, but began most intentionally in the early 19th century with the positivist philosophy of science. Since the mid-20th century, the term "social science" has come to refer more generally, not just to sociology, but to all those disciplines which analyze society and culture; from anthropology to psychology to media studies.
An ijazah is a license authorizing its holder to transmit a certain text or subject, which is issued by someone already possessing such authority. It is particularly associated with transmission of Islamic religious knowledge. The license usually implies that the student has acquired this knowledge from the issuer of the ijaza through first-hand oral instruction, although this requirement came to be relaxed over time. An ijaza providing a chain of authorized transmitters going back to the original author often accompanied texts of hadith, fiqh and tafsir; but also appeared in mystical, historical, and philological works, as well as literary collections. While the ijaza is primarily associated with Sunni Islam, the concept also appears in the hadith traditions of Twelver Shia.
Science and Civilisation in China (1954–present) is an ongoing series of books about the history of science and technology in China published by Cambridge University Press. It was initiated and edited by British historian Joseph Needham (1900–1995). Needham was a well-respected scientist before undertaking this encyclopedia and was even responsible for the "S" in UNESCO. To date there have been seven volumes in twenty-seven books. The series was on the Modern Library Board's 100 Best Nonfiction books of the 20th century. Needham's work was the first of its kind to praise Chinese scientific contributions and provide their history and connection to global knowledge in contrast to eurocentric historiography.
Wolfgang Schluchter is a German sociologist and, as of 2006, professor emeritus at the University of Heidelberg. Schluchter is recognized as a leading sociologist of religion and an authority on the history of sociological theory, in particular on the work of Max Weber. He was visiting professor at several universities worldwide, including the University of Pittsburgh, the New School for Social Research, and the University of California at Berkeley.