Veblen and Mannheim Discussion Question

Veblenand Mannheim Discussion Question

Topic1: Mannheim and positivism view

Mannheiminvented and advanced the concept of sociology of knowledge, whichagreed in part with the concepts developed by earlier theorists, suchas the concept of ideology that was advanced by Marx. AlthoughMannheim credited other theorists, he criticized some of their ideas,one of them being the notion of positivism. Mannheim criticized theidea of positivism because he believed that the idea of positivismfailed to give room for the role of theory (Ritzer, 2011). Mannheimheld that positivism was solely based on material reality.Consequently, theorists who upheld the idea of positivism neglectedthe role as well as the significance of interpretation andunderstanding since the two items are not material. In addition,Mannheim criticized the idea of phenomenology by stating that itplaced more emphasis on the ideas of cognitive or mental phenomenawhile failing to explain how these phenomena are related or interactwith the material world. In essence, some ideas put forwards byearlier theorists focused on materialism while others focused oncognitive or mental processes, but these theorists did not establisha connection between cognitive processes and the material world.

Taskof the concept of sociology of knowledge

Mannheimheld that the main task of the concept of sociology of knowledge wasto integrate the cognitive orientation of the concept ofphenomenology with the empirical orientation of the concept ofpositivism, which earlier theorists failed to do (Ritzer, 2011).Integrating mental phenomena and the material world indicates thatthe sociology of knowledge was based on the idea of relationalism.This is because the concept of the sociology of knowledge emergesfrom the relationship existing between cognitive phenomena and thereal or material world.


Ritzer,George (2011). ClassicalSociological Theory, (6th Ed).Boston: McGraw Hill.