Practical Reason: On the Theory of Action

Practical Reason: On the Theory of Action

Do social classes really exist? Is disinterested action really possible? What do the family, the church, and the intellectual world have in common? Can morality be founded on hypocrisy? What is the "subject" of action? In this new volume, one of France's foremost social thinkers of our time responds to these major questions and to others, thus tracing the outlines of a work that could be called "Pierre Bourdieu by himself."

In these texts, the author tries to go to the essential, that is, the most elementary and fundamental, questions. He thereby explains the philosophical principles that have led to his social science research and the idea of the human that guides his choices there. With the lucidity allowed by retrospect, Bourdieu brings out the fundamental theories of his greatest books, notably Outline of a Theory of Practice and The Logic of Practice (Stanford, 1990), and, with an eye to the future, presents the first results of his most recent work on the state, the anthropological moorings of the economy, and male domination.

Bourdieu's theory is both a philosophy of science dedicated to revealing the objective relations that shape and underpin social life, and a philosophy of action that takes account of agents' dispositions as well as the structured situations in which they act. This philosophy of action is condensed in a small number of key concepts—habitus, field, capital—and it is defined by the two-way relationship between the objective structures of social fields and the incorporated structures of the habitus.

All in all, this book should be an indispensable introduction to Bourdieu's work, not only to students and scholars in sociology, anthropology, political science, and philosophy, but throughout the social sciences and humanities generally.

Title:Practical Reason: On the Theory of Action
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780804733632
Format Type:

    Practical Reason: On the Theory of Action Reviews

  • Trevor

    This book was quite hard going at times. I’m not sure how much of it I would have been able to understand without the bits and pieces of Kant’s philosophy I’ve picked up over the years. But, as ...

  • Andrei Tama?

    ”Best-seller-ul nu este în mod automat recunoscut ca operă legitimă, iar reuşita comercială poate avea chiar valoare de condamnare. Şi, invers, artistul blestemat (care este o invenţie istori...

  • Mateo R.

    Bourdieu comienza estableciendo conceptos:Filosofía de la ciencia: Es relacional porque da primacía a las relaciones objetivas (mientras que el pensamiento habitual o semicientífico del mundo socia...

  • Josephine Ensign

    This is a weighty but accessible book. I was especially intrigued by his chapters on the family, on the economy of symbolic goods (gifts), and on the scholastic point of view. I learned that I am a 'H...

  • Regina Andreassen

    A very good book and for those of us who know Bourdieu's work the book is very easy to follow....

  • Marc

    I originally would have given the book 5 stars but I started reading Distinction and I realized that it takes a work the length of Distinction to really teach the ideas within this little book. I defi...

  • Philip Cohen

    I read this when I assigned it for a graduate theory seminar -- looking for a more approachable Bourdieu for myself and the students. It really worked, and changed my whole attitude toward him. This i...

  • jenn

    It summarizes concepts from distinction nicely, but in lecture form, which can leave something to be desired....

  • Montriblood

    Bourdieu addresses a few controversial issues about his previous work. Interesting and challenging, though a bit difficult for beginners as my humble self....

  • Ali

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