When are theories (not) interesting?
Murray Davis’ That’s interesting! is a true classic. Published in 1971, even after more than 45 years it has lost none of its relevance and is ideal for reflective Christmas reading.
- Davis, M. S. (1971). That's interesting: Towards a phenomenology of sociology and a sociology of phenomenology. Philosophy of the social sciences, 1(4), 309.
In fact I would argue that the paper that the paper is even more relevant today in a time where many academic articles seem to engage mostly in “filling a gap in the literature”. Davis provides a spirited account of what distinguishes interesting theories from non-interesting ones. His main thesis is that all interesting theories in some way constitute an attack on the taken for granted world of their audience.
Read that's interesting
Davis’ paper is available at many university websites, but the “cleanest” copy can be found here on Harvard Univerisity’s website. A very useful synopsis can be found here. It is well worth a read with the more reflective mood induced by the Christmas holidays. See you all in 2018.
Copyright © 2017 Anne-Wil Harzing. All rights reserved. Page last modified on Wed 6 Sep 2017 16:12
Anne-Wil Harzing is Professor of International Management at Middlesex University, London. In addition to her academic duties, she also maintains the Journal Quality List and is the driving force behind the popular Publish or Perish software program.