The Uncertainties of Knowledge extends Immanuel Wallerstein's decade-long work of elucidating the crisis of knowledge in current intellectual thought. He argues that the disciplinary divisions of academia have trapped us in a paradigm that assumes knowledge is a certainty and that it can help us explain the social world. This is wrong, he suggests. Instead, Wallerstein offers a new conception of the social sciences, one whose methodology allows for uncertainties.
Introduction: The Uncertainties of TimePart I. The Structures of Knowledge1. For Science, Against Scientism: The Dilemmas of Contemporary Knowledge Production2. Social Sciences in the Twenty-first Century3. The End of Certainties in the Social Sciences4. Braudel and Interscience: A Preacher to Empty Pews?5. Time and Duration: The Unexcluded Middle, or Reflections on Braudel and Prigogine6. The Itinerary of World-Systems Analysis, or How to Resist Becoming a TheoryPart II. Dilemmas of the Disciplines7. History in Search of Science8. Writing History9. Global Culture(s): Salvation, Menace, or Myth?10. From Sociology to Historical Social Science: Prospects and Obstacles11. Anthropology, Sociology, and Other Dubious DisciplinesAcknowledgmentsNotesReferencesIndex
"Immanuel Wallerstein is both a redoubtable world historian and visionary prophet. Such a combination is unusual...[and] makes him a commanding figure, whose rhetorical address, radical ideas, and remarkable erudition challenge ordinary, established patterns of professional discourse."—William H. McNeill, Diplomatic History
"Wallerstein draws on his historical erudition and formidable theoretical powers to cast light on the ongoing transformation of our society. Even more impressive, he dares to think about the future."—Frances Fox Piven
"Wallerstein is always readable, often persuasive, and occasionally profound."—Michael Mann, The British Journal of Sociology
"The volume is consistently well written, historically grounded in its own right, and, when taken as a whole, the essays provide new understanding of the thinking that underlies Wallerstein's world-systems analysis."—Choice
"Immanuel Wallerstein tells a fairly clear story in this book."—The American Journal of Sociology