Riconoscere, identificare, spiegare: l’arte di teorizzare e la sociologia di Alessandro Pizzorno
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This essay draws a profile of Alessandro Pizzorno, one of the most prominent sociologists of postwar Europe. It focuses on the foundations of his theory which covers a broad set of sociological and political issues that go well beyond disciplines’ boundaries. The author traces a genealogy of Pizzorno’s theory of recognition from its inception with the early anthropological study on the mask to its more recent and complex sociological elaboration. While criticising the paradigms of rational choice Pizzorno founded his theory of recognition on a sustained dialogue with the social theories of Hegel and Hobbes. The explanatory role of sociology is therefore defined by a thorough and novel reconsideration of the relations between the theorist and the agent. From this perspective, the process of knowing is defined as a process of unveiling a foreign social reality where social life is considered through the metaphor of the stranger, expressing the foundational relation between the Self and the Other. In the author’s view, «theoretical pluralism» is what best describes Alessandro Pizzorno’s approach.