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Quels penseurs vont définir notre avenir ?

BERKELEY – Il y a quelques années de cela, je me suis rendu compte que les sociologues actuels se tiennent tous sur les épaules de géants tels que Machiavel, John Locke, Adam Smith, Alexis de Tocqueville, Max Weber et Émile Durkheim. La chose qu'ils ont tous en commun est que leur principale préoccupation se rapportait au tissu social, politique et économique de l'Occident européen entre 1450 et 1900. En d'autres termes, ils fournissent des outils intellectuels qui nous permettent de comprendre le monde occidental des années 1840, mais pas nécessairement celui de 2016.

Quelle doctrine sera enseignée dans les cours de théorie sociale autour de 2070 ? Quel canon, écrit aujourd'hui ou encore à venir, ceux qui termineront leur carrière dans les années 2070 souhaiteraient avoir utilisé, pour avoir commencé leur carrière à la fin des années 2010 ?

Après avoir ruminé cette question ces dernières années, j'ai réduit ma sélection aux œuvres de trois personnes : Tocqueville, qui a écrit dans les années 1830 et 1840 ; John Maynard Keynes, qui a écrit dans les années 1920 et 1930 et Karl Polanyi, qui a écrit dans les années 1930 et 1940.

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