The problems I address in this book are among the least studied in the soci ology of science and knowledge. Part I is a critique of the claim that there are parallels between ancient mysticism and modern physics, and a sociological analysis of this claim as a strategy in intellectual conflict. This study must. ultimately be rooted more firmly in a: type of sociology of knowledge that is just now beginning to crystallize (and which I discuss in Chapter 7), and a sociology of religion that is not so much unknown as underground, and timid, that is, a non-worshipful materialist sociology of religion. My study of physics-mysticism parallelism is a vehicle for exploring epistemic strategies. I thus conclude Part I by sketching a materialist, emancipatory epistemic strategy. My conclusion brings together a number of ideas formulated by myself and others over the past several years, but stops short of a systematic synthesis. A more integrated and coherent "model" than what I can sketch here must wait on the results of research now in progress in the critical (as opposed to apologetic or worshipful) sociology of knowledge.
Table of Contents
I. Physics, Mysticism, and Society.- Section I. The Parallelist Perspective.- 1: Parallels Between Physics and Mysticism.- Appendix A: The Physicist and the Sufi Master: A Meeting of Alternate Realities.- 2: The Pitfalls of Parallelism.- Appendix B: The Search for China’s Aristotles, Galileos, and Einsteins.- Section II. The Sociology of Physics and Mysticism.- 3: Mysticism as a Social Fact.- 4: Physics as a Social Fact.- Section III. Parallelism and Society.- 5: Interests and Ideas: Parallelism as an Intellectual Strategy.- 6: Parallelism, Science, and Society.- Appendix C: The Dialectics of Physics, Knowledge, and Life.- Section IV. Emancipatory Epistemology.- 7: Epistemic Strategies, Society, and Social Change.- II. The Social Roots of Mathematics.- Section V. Introduction.- 8: The Sociology of Mathematics.- Section VI. The Legacy of Marx.- 9: Dialectics, Materialism, and Mathematics.- 10: Historical Materialism and Mathematics.- 11: Contemporary Marxist Sociology of Mathematics.- Section VII. The Legacy of Spengler.- 12: Numbers and Cultures.- 13: Mathematics and World View.- Appendix D: The Social Roots of Non-Euclidean Geometry.- Section VIII. Sociological Materialism and History of Mathematics: An Exploratory Case Study.- 14: Mathematics in Ancient Greece.- 15: Mathematics in Europe, 1200–1700.- Notes.- Name Index.