Collins is quite critical of both Marxism and postmodernism in sociology. He particularly objects to the reduction of everything to politics (as postmodernism does, in its reduction of everything to power):
The personal is political, but the politics of intellectual practice, within the inwardly focused network of specialists, is not the same thing as the politics of gaining power in the state, or the politics of men and women in their homes or sexual encounters. Winning the focus of attention within the contests among philosophers is done with specifically intellectual resources, which are social resources specific to intellectual networks. There is abundant historical evidence that when players in this arena try to win their way solely with the weapons of external politics, they win the battle at the cost of their intellectual reputations in the long-term historical community. These are not the same game; and at those times in history when one game reduces to another, the intellectual game does not so much give in as disappear, to reappear only when an inner space becomes available for it again. Without an internal structure of intellectual networks generating their own matrix of arguments, there are no ideological effects on philosophy; we find only lay ideologies, crude and simple." (12-13)
If the last statement does not sum up the current situation in philosophy -- and increasingly in the arts, literature, and even the sciences -- I don't know what does. Indeed, we can consider not just philosophy, but the intellectual networks of the arts and literature and of the sciences as well. Postmodernism reduces everything to power; power, in the master-slave interaction, is the social interaction of politics; therefore, postmodernism reduces everything to politics. Thus are we dominated by crude, simple lay ideologies.
Has philosophy disappeared from the scene, waiting for postmodernist reductionism to finally be replaced by a more complex world view that can include philosophy? Can we ask the same question of the arts? of literature? of some areas in science?
While The Sociology of Philosophies is on the spontaneous orders of the world's philosophies, a similar book on, say, literature could just as easily be written, with much the same structure as this book. He explains the canons of world philosophy; one on literature would explain those canons. One could probably do the same work on the sciences. I think doing so would really shore up spontaneous order theory as a sociological theory, and draw a connection between sociology and free market economics that desperately needs to be drawn.