The understanding of a society by itself.
This definition is in some sense highly unsatisfactory, because it endows a collective abstraction- "society"- with a capacity for self awareness and knowledge. Let us in this case use the word simply as short-hand and in brackets.
Only individual historians and sociologists are able to offer their interpretation of their own (or other) "society" as it was at some time in the past and as it is supposed to be presently. Their opinions are- or not- known and accepted by a majority of the members of the considered "society".
In any case, what a "society" believes of itself and of other "societies"is of absolutely fundamental importance as a prime mover of its behavior. In many cases, it can even make it stupid or criminal. Such aspects were described and criticized more than one century ago by G.LE BON (1895) and S. SIGHELE (1892)
A reasonably credible sociognosis should be constructed (always in a provisional way) by a wide consensus among historians and sociologists. The study of societies as complex congeries, or peculiar types of systems, could be a useful methodology.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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