The study addresses the problem of the epistemological foundation of sociology, using the dichotomy of "ancients and moderns". One way of explaining the difference is to say that it is not true that sociology is born with Comte. Rather, what is born with him is a certain way of studying social reality, one that competes with the "criteria", the standards, with which the ancients approached the study of society. This competition, which is one of the most important events of modernity, does not consist in the opposition between an empirical sociology and a theoretical one, but, more radically, between a sociology that recognizes a domain of metaphysics for its foundation and a sociology that denies any such foundational "context". In this sense, through the categories of participation, relation, order and cause, a case is made for a way of engaging in social research and sociological reflection that constitutes an alternative to the one that dominates in our advanced modernity.
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