Front Page Titles (by Subject) Sociology: Holism vs. Individualism - Literature of Liberty, April/June 1979, vol. 2, No. 2
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Sociology: Holism vs. Individualism - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, April/June 1979, vol. 2, No. 2 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Sociology: Holism vs. Individualism
“Change and Pseudo-Change in Sociology.” The Jewish Journal of Sociology 19 (June 1977): 79–88.
Has contemporary sociology worked a revolution or “paradigm shift” to replace orthodox sociology's stress on deterministic social forces with a newer stress on “individual autonomy”? Not yet. For a newer paradigm to emerge with sociology viewed as a “science of liberty” that is individualistic alike in its methodology, psychology, and normative content, we need to go beyond the present scholarship.
Dennis H. Wrong's Skeptical Sociology (1977) and Monica B. Morris's An Excursion Into Creative Sociology (1977) are cases in point. Both works critique orthodox structural functionalist orthodoxy but need themselves to be supplemented.
Wrong dissects the inadequacy of structural functionalism's positivism and scientism. He also exposes the holistic and deterministic assumptions of conventional sociology whose over-socialized conception of human nature overlooks human choice and autonomy. His own alternative model of human psychology, however, ignores the rationalist versions of humanistic or “third force” psychologies, and opts for a deterministic Freudianism. Furthermore, Wrong fails to identify the conservative-collectivist origins of traditional sociology as illustrated in such concepts as “rootedness,” “community,” and socially guaranteed “identity.”
Monica Morris introduces the newer “creative” sociology, such as the phenomenological, ethnomethodological, and interactionist approaches, all of which challenge the positivism and deterministic view of human puppets passively manipulated by social forces. However, Morris's exposition needs far more analysis to show how “creative” sociology departs from traditional sociology. We still need to construct a voluntaristic and individualist sociology.
IV Economic Schools and Analysis
Economic thought and analysis arose in the West among the ancient Greek philosophers, Plato, Xenophon, and Aristotle, all of whom viewed economic affairs from an ethical and rational perspective. Later economic thought became immeshed in religious doctrines (such as the ban on interest as “usury”), and the marketplace became subject to rival interpretations of God's will. The more secular Greek economic analysis returned to the West, paradoxically, by a harmonious collaboration of Christian, Jewish, and Moslem scholars.
As the “heirs to Greece,” the Arabs continued Greek scientific traditions when they conquered Alexandria in 639. During the ninth century, a Nestorian Christian, Hunain ibn Ishaq (809–872) made Baghdad a center for translating Greek treatises into Arabic and Syriac. Still later, the Arab empire together with the Byzantine Greeks “met together in Western Europe, carrying with them the seeds of the Renaissance.” In particular, Moslem Spain acted as the principal channel through which Greek economic ideas passed into the west (see Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson, Early Economic Thought in Spain 1177–1740. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1978).
The following summaries explore selected strands and issues in economic history and analysis, beginning in ancient Greek economic thought and ranging through the influential Scholastic economic doctrines, mercantilism, economic liberalism, Adam Smith, and the modern period. The last six summaries examine methodological and ideological issues that touch on the nature of economics as a discipline and its relationship to the social sciences, politics, and society.