Chapter

Social Science and Ethics

Andrew E. Barshay

in The Social Sciences in Modern Japan

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780520236455
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941335 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520236455.003.0006
Social Science and Ethics

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Japanese discussions of civil society paled in intensity in the 1960s—in part as an effort among progressive social scientists to catch up with Japan for which their conceptual legacy had not really prepared them, and in part as an effort to revitalize that legacy. Japan’s “late”-developing capitalism had in fundamental ways warped its civil society and regarded the task of social science as helping to push the ne plus ultra of that civil society beyond its current point. Civil society was a reality and a category for its critique: To act on that critique was to enact civil society. As of the late 1960s, to inquire into capitalism (including the issue of its relationship to civil society) was to inquire into the prospects for socialism. Civil society was then no more than history’s unworthy instrument in the transition from capitalism to socialism.

Keywords: civil society; social scientists; socialism; legacy

Chapter.  9073 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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