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Reification – Are things always as they seem?

Reification is a sociological, philosophical and literary concept concerning language and symbolization.¹ For Marxist, Weberian and postmodern sociologists, reification also involves social power. It occurs whenever ideas, concepts or theories are falsely assumed to accurately represent some entity or thing. … Continue reading


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Realism – What is real, anyhow?

Realism is a term with several meanings. Here are three: 1- Creative work in arts and culture, known as “representations” that appear natural and accurate. The accuracy can be poetic or blunt, and may carry a political message. Like most … Continue reading


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Samkhya Philosophy – Another Golden Age Gone Wrong

Samkhya is one of the six main schools of Hindu philosophy. Most agree that it has conceptual roots in the Rig Veda but it is usually attributed to the legendary sage Kapila (circa 6th century BCE).¹ Kapila postulated a fundamental distinction between … Continue reading


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Comte Henri de Saint-Simon – His concern for the poor shines above everything else

Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon (1760-1825) or, more commonly, Saint-Simon is one of those figures who comes up regularly in sociology courses, especially so-called “classical” or “classical theory” courses.¹ Until writing this entry, I knew little about him. But I … Continue reading


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Sadism – Another one of those old “disorders” turned “alternative”

Sadism is a Freudian term denoting a sexual perversion in which erotic pleasure is gained by inflicting pain on another.¹ The term is derived from the surname of the French nobleman Marquis de Sade (1740-1814), who candidly wrote about the alleged … Continue reading


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Elizabeth – The Mother of the Last Great Jewish Prophet?

In the New Testament, Elizabeth a daughter of Aaron, wife of  Zechariah and the mother of John the Baptist. Among Christian theologians and homilists, John is often spoken of as a link between the Old and New Testaments. He’s the last … Continue reading


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Erich Fromm and the “Mass Man”

Erich Fromm (1900-1980) was a German-born American psychologist and social thinker who is often linked to the Frankfurt school of critical theory. Fromm’s work combined different ideas from the works of Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx and J.-P. Sartre. Like Carl Jung, he … Continue reading