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"The Holy that Has Befallen Me" Vitalis Norström and his Intellectual Choices in a Sociology of Philosophy Perspective

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Henrik Lundberg
Publicerad i Ideas in History
Volym 9
Nummer/häfte 1-2
Sidor 37-64
ISSN 1890-1832
Publiceringsår 2015
Publicerad vid Institutionen för sociologi och arbetsvetenskap
Sidor 37-64
Språk en
Ämneskategorier Sociologi, Sociologi (exklusive socialt arbete, socialpsykologi och socialantropologi), Filosofi, etik och religion, Idé- o lärdomshistoria


This article examines the intellectual choices the Swedish philosopher Vitalis Norström (1856–1916) made and manifested in his seminal work "Hvad innebär en modern ståndpunkt i filosofien?" (1898). The theoretical position-taking by Norström in this text is studied through the sociological theories of intellectual choice as presented by Neil Gross, Pierre Bourdieu and Randall Collins respectively. The argument is made that the standpoints adopted by Norström are first and foremost to be understood as reflecting his self-understanding of himself as a defender and champion of the personal and rational life. Thereby, the analysis of Norström’s intellectual choices in the article provides support for Gross’s social-psychological theory and its theses about the influence of intellectual self-concept on such choices. It, furthermore, supports the view held by the proponents of the new sociology of ideas that macro-social factors in the first place have only an indirect influence on knowledge production. Gross’s theory is, however, also criticized for failing to sufficiently clarify how strategic action and actions undertaken to remain true to one’s self-concept relate to each other as explanations for intellectual choice.

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