Stark, in belief system, seems to have been caught between "Catholicism and social science" (Das, 2015). His main aims was to attempt to reconcile nominalism and realism, philosophically, while at the same time, siding with the motto that "only god can know nature adequately", as he says his intellectual hero Giambattista Vico (PR:1,967|65AE / philosopher:123) (Gottlieb 1000:299), the anti-reductionist, might have put it.
Quotes | By
The following are quotes by Stark:
- “In a way, it would be more charitable and christian not to speak of extreme forms at all, for to speak of them means, however, we must formulate their ideas, to expose them to ridicule. Yet it would be wrong to pass them by without a word. A book that would serve the cause of truth must not flinch from the task, unpleasant though it be comma of bringing them out: it must be like a good diagnostician who exposes unhealthy growths where he finds them, and like the good surgeon who cuts them out.”
- — Werner Stark (1962), Fundamental Forms of Social Thought (§5: Organism – Extreme Forms, pg. 60)
Quotes | On
The following are quotes on Stark:
- “Some modes of mechanism (§10), such as Simmel’s, are tolerated; others, such as Lundberg’s, are not. Simmel is deemed a moderate even though he leans toward nominalism, just as Durkheim is favorably contrasted with Simmel as a moderate who leans toward realism. Lundberg is criticized for aping physics — for using motion, energy, and force as social mechanism and defining societal groups as ‘electron-proton configurations’—thereby being enslaved by ‘mechanistic modes of thought’ (pgs. 153-54). The work of Henry Carey (§:10-11) and that of Spiru Haret is characterized as extreme mechanicism. Both apply physical principles to society (e.g. force, attraction, motion, constrains, space, equilibrium, energy, and electricity) and both see individuals in mechanistic-atomistic terms (e.g. as particles and or molecules) as inert elements caused from without. Stark criticizes extreme mechanism for its inability to deal with social fact (pg. 163) and as inclined to be a-historical or anti-historical (pg. 159). Some ‘empiricism’ is evident here in Stark’s criticisms of the various types of mechanicism he posits. His argument is an angry one: that Carey, Pareto, and Lundberg have all ‘imported’ models from elsewhere (e.g. from physics and astronomy), and have ‘imposed’ them on social phenomena (which Stark knows to have an idealistic character) under a ‘unity of nature’ positivist ideal, which is really a sociology unified under physics (pg. 155).”
- — Leon Warshay (1993), “The Social Theory of a Humane Organicist: On Werner Stark as Intellectual Detective and Moralist”
- Das, Robin R.; Strasser, Hermann. (2015). “The Sociologist from Marienbad: Werner Stark between Catholicism and Social Science” (Jst), Czech Sociological Review, 51(3):417-44.
- Giambattista Vico – Hmolpedia 2020.
- Warshay, Leon H. (1993). “The Social Theory of a Humane Organicist: On Werner Stark as Intellectual Detective and Moralist”, in: In Search of Community: Essays in Memory of Werner Stark (1909-1985) (pgs. 45-55). Fordham.
- Stark classification – Hmolpedia 2020.
- Stark, Werner. (1962). The Fundamental Forms of Social Thought. Routledge.
- Werner Stark – Hmolpedia 2020.