calling of social thought: Rediscovering the work of Edward Shils

calling of social thought: Rediscovering the work of Edward Shils

Edward Shils was a central figure in twentieth-century social thought, as well as a pioneer in the social study of science and the academic study of universities themselves. He held appointments both at Chicago and Cambridge and was a crucial link between British and American intellectual life. This is the first book to focus entirely on Shils, whose anomalous role across diverse disciplines and institutions has previously obscured both his thought and its relation to other major thinkers.
The volume collects essays by distinguished contributors who deal with the major aspects of Shils' thought, including his relations with Michael Polanyi, his parallels with Michael Oakeshott, his defense of the traditional university, his fundamental philosophical anthropology, and his important work on tradition, civility and the nation.
This collection provides the most comprehensive picture yet of Shils as a thinker, and forms a valuable introduction to this complex, original and often controversial figure, who was important in documenting the lives of academics and the fate of the academic ethic. It offers a detailed analysis of his key themes, ideas and abiding interests in such topics as the academic tradition and the relations between social bonds, as well as explaining his continuing relevance today. It will be of interest to scholars and students in a number of fields, including sociology and social theory, as well as those interested in the intellectual life of the mid-twentieth century.

Publication Date: 
March 1, 2019