Sane Society in Modern Utopianism. A Study in Ideology

Author: Walters, Kerry
Year:1989
Pages:350
ISBN:0-88946-331-X
978-0-88946-331-8
Price:219.95
Traces the birth and development of a modern ideological goal: the "sane" society. Posits that utopian visions of the "perfect society" are ideological in nature, reflecting Western capitalism's exaltation of scientism and instrumental reason. Deals with Mannheim and Marx on sociology of knowledge, Bacon's influence on scientific and sociological theoretical frameworks, and particular utopian models, e.g., Bellamy's "Looking Backwards."

Reviews

". . . argues that the `sane society' goal of engineering social relations in such a way as to totally `rationalize' them reemerges in contemporary Marxism, positivism, and behaviorist psychology." _ The Philosopher's Index

"Walters does show what a temptation scientism was to writers from very different political and cultural backgrounds. The book is therefore a useful guide to the intellectual underpinnings of this approach, and to the way it coloured blueprints of the future at the end of the nineteenth century. This is facilitated by Walters' undoubted talents as a writer -- I cannot recall a better short introduction to Mannheim's ideology/utopia distinction." _ Utopian Studies

"We owe a debt to Walters for his masterful elucidation of the sane society ideal. His warning of its dangerous and deceptive features is both timely and critical." - Southeastern Political Review

"The author is best at tracing the social and political context of this ideal. . . . all in all, an important contribution to the study of utopian thinking." -- Ethics