The Cognitive and Metacognitive Dimensions of Social and Political Theory

Authored by: Piet Strydom

Routledge International Handbook of Contemporary Social and Political Theory

Print publication date:  March  2011
Online publication date:  March  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415548250
eBook ISBN: 9780203875575
Adobe ISBN: 9781135997946


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In this chapter 1 I am charged with explicating the contribution of a relatively new departure, the cognitive approach, to contemporary social and political theory as well as its potential for coming to grips with the problems with which this theory has to grapple today. After some preliminary remarks, accordingly, I propose to open with a brief consideration of the nature of modern society in order to pinpoint the problems stimulating social and political theory. This is followed by a cognitively inspired analysis in terms of the dialectical processes of the constitution and organization of society. It provides the opportunity to introduce some central cognitive theoretical concepts and to indicate both their meaningfulness and usefulness. Finally, this account allows a restatement of the task of contemporary social and political theory and the identification in a practically meaningful way of a core aspect of the contemporary problematic situation: the formation of a subject appropriate to the emerging world society.

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