Hutchinson’s Four Types of Social Theory

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2 pages /

870 words

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2 pages /

870 words

Downloads: 57

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The four types of social theories from the first day of lecture includes the Theory of Categorical Imperative, the Explanatory Theory, the Interpretive Theory and the Critical Theory. Each theory is an analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another. Every single Theory we discussed in class related to the Theories of the Good, True and Beautiful.

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Immanuel Kant developed the Theory of Categorical Imperative. This theory is about what we call the “Golden Rule”, which means the saying “Treat others how you wish to be treated”. It is the rules we go by in this society, that are not wrote in stone, but it is the universal law. Kant’s theory goes with the Good. The Good covers ethics and morality. It tells us how we should act and how we actually do. It touches basics with the normative theory. The Normative theory studies ethics. Ethics is the moral branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles and governs a person’s behavior. Morality is the actual differences of the intentions, decisions and actions that organized and labeled as proper and improper in the society. For example, we were taught not to spit on others is labeled as improper in the society; we know it is morally wrong but others end up taking on this action anyway.

Karl Marx developed what we call the Critical Theory. The Critical theory is the critique of society and culture by using the sciences of humanities and social sciences. This social theory offers to direct towards critiquing and changing society all together. Marx’s Critical Theory combines the good and beautiful aspect. The beautiful involves the theories of Aesthetics. Aesthetics examines the nature of art, music, beauty and taste. This is where interpretation comes into play. The interp People have different opinions and judgements about what is beautiful and ugly. You may think Classical music is the best, but others may disagree with you. There is no specific measurement with defining whose music is better or what classified as beautiful and ugly. Marx argued that in society the use of creative work, free and productive is the main foundation for our society to work together for the good.

The Enlightenment

The Enlightenment movement started around the 17th and 18th century. It is the era of secular thinking, reasoning, nature and humanity. The reformation movement was for the religious thought. In the Dark Ages and middle Ages, In Europe there was the church, which was ran by the priest. The priest and the monks were the only ones that had direct contact with God. As a regular member of the Catholic Church, you would confess your sins to the priest instead of having that direct relationship with God. The monk and the priest were the only ones that could read the bible in the church. The renaissance rediscovered the classical culture that we know of now. The art we have come to love, the classical music, and the food. The Enlightenment produced secular theories also including ethics and psychological sciences. The Enlightenment was treated as a blank slate, with the creativity, the new free and bold society. John Locke was the individual who named it the blank slate.

“Have the courage to use your own intelligence” (page.50) is how Immanuel Kant starts explaining about what the Enlightenment is. He believes that tutelage occurred through laziness and coward ness in our society. He used the word coward to represent how humankind did not want to venture out and try new ideas. Just dealt with immaturity (lack of courage from man). He used the analogy that humanity were like “domestic cattle”. What he meant by this was that humankind obeyed all the laws and rules without ever challenging them. If you do not challenge you will not see any form of change. It is hard to get outside the immaturity phase, which has become almost natural to him. It has become a habit to sit back and just be told what to do rather than to empirically challenge it. He goes on to say “All that is required for this enlightenment is freedom; and particularly the least harmful of all that maybe be called freedom, namely, the freedom for man to make public use of his reason in all matters.” (Page 51) What Kant is saying is important to be able to speak up when you think something is unfair or unjust. He also goes on to say that, the leaders must be able to be enlightened first and then it carries on to the public. The public will not want to speak freely if the leader is not able to do so also. The scholar speaking through writing may be able to express himself through writing without facing direct consequences and has unlimited free speech through his word.

The Enlightenment Today

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In today’s American society, I see the principles that Kant was referring. Kant spoke about how humankind was immature with refusing to challenge the social norms with not speaking up. Today I believe we are in an era where not a lot of individuals are afraid to speak up. The thought of having freedom of speech helped accommodate to new intellectual ideas and practices. The development of our natural laws

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Hutchinson’s Four Types of Social Theory. (2019, August 08). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 28, 2023, from
“Hutchinson’s Four Types of Social Theory.” GradesFixer, 08 Aug. 2019,
Hutchinson’s Four Types of Social Theory. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 Sept. 2023].
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