Anomaly: systematic difference with the accepted theory
study of ourselves -> hard to exclude biases
experiment has no place in social world
if experiements are limited, increase generalization may be the approach, but... over-generalization
Philosophy: answer questions that science can't answer Social Science
categories: epistemological, metaphysical, and ethical
no consensus in scientific method
recent work no better than ancient Greek
because human are more complex, one discovery can't develop to law
Theory: social science is just young, therefore time can solve problem
Question: if philosophy is controversial, is it doing any better than social science?
How successful have economists been in predicting when a major recession will occur and how deep that recession will be?
Are theories from sociology used successfully to explain and predict the formation of urban criminal gangs?
Is there a generally accepted explanation for racial discrimination in the human species?
Rom Harre's view on
nature of social science and
value of social science
nature: hard to exclude biases (we live in society), can't do controlled experiments, often over-generalization
value: great value since we want social good
Do social science fail at explain/predict as physical? (Rosenberg's opinion about success/failure of social/physical, explanation) social science is slow, and discovery is speeding up
First of all social science fail at explaining social phenomena. Alex Rosenberg, in except "Why a Philosophy of Social Science?" mentioned that there isn't an agreement in social science about the general methodology scientists should use to study a social phenomena. Based on this evidence, it is safe to assume that different school of social scientists have different ways to explain the same observation. This failure to communicate on the same topic will lead to failure to make a consensus explanation about social phenomena. In contrast, as Alex Rosenberg mentioned, there exists such consensus about methodology in physical science. (p2~3) Such consensus can lead to better explaining power in physical science.
Secondly, social science also fail at predicting a social phenomena. As physical science are making great machines and aircraft by manipulating the natural phenomena using physical scientists' accurate prediction about the nature, there are little evidence that social scientists are benefiting the world in the extends that physical scientists do. (page4) Therefore, social science failed to predict, and therefore failed to control, our society.
consensus: social science has little, no benchmark theory progress: extend to benefit society answerable: if a question is unanswerable, then failure to answer a question is fine since answer shifts as time pass
I think there is a failure: - If a science don't progress, it fails! - Because there is potentially no progress can be made due to different schools of social science that have different methodologies
Does the passage suggest social science's lacks of consistent (methodologies)?
however, their title may overgeneralizing the result of their findings
How do you predict your friends
I don't predict based on
desires is hard to measure,
beliefs can be personal,
action can be trivial.
I predict by
Context play a big role in predicting (environment)
action are best categories
no. because these terms are highly subjective and undefined.
alternative: SAT Score, ACT Score... because they are relatively standard and objective measure of human success
consider Phrenology, it was regarded as a progressive/ accurate scientific explanation for human nature, but turned out it was not. To a degree it was progress back in that days but it also induced many problems, disasters even. Same dilemmas reappear over and over, e.g. the ethical debate on genetic modified children
A example of progress in social science: gender study is now a major in many universities, I do believe it helped society therefore progress
Looking retrospectively there might be progression and regression in a school of science, but if you observe in present time it might become real ambiguous. Not so different in my opinion
Science has a general methodology
severely test: standard deviation
finding generalization: claim about specific instance
community: inter-subjective reliability
language on describing variables
time and space is not static in social science
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