Lecture 007

Nature science of today

Changes in epistemological view in social science


Epistemological reductionism: fundamental constituents can explain everything.

Metaphysical reductionism: ultimately made up of fundamental constituent.

Game theory:

Methodological individualism:


  1. ontological naturalism for social science make sense?

I don't know. If I have to choose one to believe, I think it can make sense by study what we know on ontological level.

Such correlation is reasonable to assert. In social science, take psychology, for example, there exist various scientific methods that are commonly used to collect data: case study, survey, and experiment. In contrast, in physical science, it is rare for physicists or chemists to perform case studies or surveys. Because case studies can hardly generate statistical significance due to the lack of repeating phenomenon, and because the survey has to be written in human-readable languages, the data collected by those scientific methods are not purely numeric. However, in the modern progression of physics and chemistry, the precise "diameter" of an atom and even plank constant can be measured and used in mathematical equations. Therefore, although not all social studies make use of case studies or surveys, such tendency for social science to use non-numerical data is clear. Because physical science tends to use more numerical data as support for their arguments, such correlation to "equate the use of quantitative research methods with physical science and qualitative research methods with social science" exists.

  1. causal in social science

  2. by our definition of causality

  3. causal relation can happen in social science

  4. Shopping behavior, vs. beaving dam-building behavior. In this case, not really

  5. Since observing dam-building behavior is often a case study.

  6. But this is a survey, you can't talk to beaver

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