Philosophy of Science deals with the problem, 'What is science?' It seems that the answer to this question can only be found if we have an answer to the question, 'How does science function?' Thus, the study of the methodology of social sciences is a prominent factor in any analysis of these sciences. The history of philosophy shows clearly that the answer to the question, 'How does science function?' was the conditio sine qua non of any kind of philosophy of science, epistemology and even of logic. Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Mill, Russell, to mention a few classical authors, clearly emphasized the primacy of methodology of science for any kind of philosophy of science. One may even state that analyses of the presup positions, the foundations, the aims, goals and purposes of science are nothing else than analyses of their general and specific formal, as well as practical and empirical methods. Thus, the whole program of any phi losophy of science is dependent on the analysis of the methods of sciences and the establishment of their criteria. If the study of scientific method is the predominant factor in the philosophy of science, then all the other problems will depend on the outcome of such a study. For example, the old question of a possible unity of all social sciences will be brought to a solution by the study of the presuppositions, the methods, as well as of the criteria germane to all social sciences.
This book constitutes the outcome of an international conference held at the Otto-Mobes-Volkswirtschaftsschule, Graz-Stifting( Austria), from June 16 to 22, 1974. The conference was initiated by a project group working on determinants and controls of social science development at the In stitute for Advanced Studies and Scientific Research in Vienna and or ganized by the editors of this volume. It was held under the auspices of the Austrian Ministry of Science and Research. The main topics of the conference were those at the forefront of the 'state of argumentation' (to borrow from one of our contributors) in philosophy and sociology of science ever since the controversy between Thomas S. Kuhn and Sir Karl R. Popper has sharpened our awareness for the methodological and substantial presuppositions involved with questions of growth and development in science. Let us give two examples of those topics. The borderline between sociology of science and philo sophy of science has become more and more unclear; while the work of at least some philosophers of science comes to have an empirical flavour, sociologists of science are increasingly apt to include logical and methodo logical components of the research process as their objects of examina tion. Papers included in this volume testify to both tendencies.
This collection of articles contains contributions from a few of Werner Leinfellner's many friends and colleagues. Some of them are former students of Werner's. Others were colleagues of his at various American and European universities. Further, some have come to know Werner through his research, his long-standing editorship of Theory and Deci sion and his extensive participation in international conferences and congresses. The following articles are new to this volume. The areas covered are those in which Werner continues to play an active professional role. We offer them as a tribute to the many and multi-faceted contributions to the scientific enterprise for which Werner Leinfellner is so widely known. We believe such a festschrift to be fitting and long overdue. Because of the breadth of Werner's professional associations, it was difficult to select representatives from among his many spheres of influence. We apologize to the many scholars who could not be in cluded because of time and space considerations. Finally, we wish to express appreciation to Dean John Guilds of the University of Arkansas for providing financial support early on in the evolution of this project, to Jennifer Bauman for her bravura performance in copy-editing the manuscripts, and to our publisher at Reidel for bringing this volume to press.
Proceedings of the Fifth Research Conference on Subjective Probability, Utility, and Decision Making, Darmstadt, 1–4 September, 1975
Author: H. Jungermann,G. De Zeeuw
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Category: Social Science
It is only just recently that people have the tools to judge how well they are doing when making decisions. These tools were conceptualized in the seventeenth century. Since then many people have worked to sharpen the concepts, and to explore how these can be applied further. The problems of decision-making and the theory developed correspondingly have drawn the interest of mathematicians, psychologists, statisticians, economists, philosophers, organizational experts, sociologists, not only for their general relevance, but also for a more intrinsic fascination. There are quite a few institutionalized activities to disseminate results and stimulate research in decision-making. For about a decade now a European organizational structure, centered mainly around the psy chological interest in decision-making. There have been conferences in Hamburg, Amsterdam, Uxbridge, Rome and Darmstadt. Conference papers have been partly published+. The organization has thus stabilized, and its re latively long history makes it interesting to see what kind of developments occurred, within the area of interest.
Alexander L. George,Andrew Bennett,Sean M. Lynn-Jones,Steven E. Miller
Max Weber wrote these methodological essays in the closest intimacy with actual research and against a background of constant and intensive meditation on substantive problems in the theory and strategy of the social sciences. They were written between 1903 and 1917, the most productive of Max Weber's life, when he was working on his studies in the sociology of religion and Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. Weber had done important work in economic and legal history and had taught economic theory. On the basis of original investigations, he had acquired a specialist's knowledge of the details of German economic and social structure. His always vital concern for the political prosperity of Germany among the nations thrust him deeply into discussion of political ideals and programs. Weber's methodology still holds interest for us. Some of its shortcomings, from the contemporary viewpoint, may be attributed to the fact that some of the methodological problems that he treated could not be satisfactorily resolved prior to certain actual developments in research technique. These few qualifications aside, the work remains a pioneering work in large scale social research, from one of the field's masters.
The papers contained in this volume are based on the contributions to an international, interdisciplinary Symposium entitled 'Analytical and Sociologi cal Action Theories' which took place in Berlin (West) on September 1-3, 1982. Each part comprises a main paper followed by two (in Part IV three) papers commenting on it. On the whole there is an equal division into philo sophical and sociological papers. In particular each main paper receives both inter- and innerdisciplinary comments. The Berlin Symposium was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Bonn) and, to a smaller extent, by the Freie UniversiHit Berlin; both grants are acknowledged gratefully. Berlin and Helsinki, May 1984 GOTTFRIED SEEBASS RAIMO TUOMELA vii GOTTFRIED SEEBASS INTRODUCTION I. It is a striking fact that the extended efforts of both sociologists and analytical philosophers to work out what is termed a 'theory of action' have taken little, if any, account of each other. Yet of the various reasons for this that come to mind none appears to be such as to foil any hopes for fruitful interdisciplinary exchange. Being concerned, apparently, with the same set of phenomena, viz. individual and social actions, the two theories can reasonably be expected to be partially overlapping as well as competitive and complementary. Accordingly each can eventually be shown by the other to need completion or revision. Whether or to what extent this is the case is subject to inquiry and discussion.
Linking Social and Economic Indicators through Tangible Behavior Settings
Author: K. Fox
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Category: Social Science
This book results from a research program on which I have spent most of my time since 1974. It addresses two of the major problems facing social system account ing: how to measure and account for nonmarket activities and how to combine social and economic indicators. The solution I propose is accounts based on behavior settings, a concept originated by Roger G. Barker more than thirty years ago. Behavior settings are the natural units of social activity into which people sort themselves to get on with the busi ness of daily life--grocery stores, school classes, reI i gious services, meetings, athletic events, and so on. The descriptive power of behavior settings has been established in surveys of complete communities in the United States and England, of high schools ranging in size from fewer than 100 to more than 2000 students, of rehabilitation centers in hospitals, and of several other types of organizations. Behavior settings are empirical facts of everyday life. A description of a community or an organization in terms of behavior settings corresponds to common experi ence. In many cases, small establishments are behavior settings; the paid roles in behavior settingsare occupa tions; and the buildings and equipment of establishments are the buildings and equipment of behavior settings.
Ethics, as one of the most respectable disciplines of philosophy, has undergone a drastic and revolutionary change in recent time. There are three main trends of this development. The first trend can be described as a tendency towards a rigorous formal and analytical language. This means simply that ethics has created beside its own formalized set theoretical language a variety of new formalized, logical and mathemati cal methods and concepts. Thus ethics has become a formalized meta or epidiscipline which is going to replace the traditional concepts, principles and ethical methods in the realm of social sciences. It is clear that a formalized form of ethics can be used more easily in social, economic and political theories if there are ethical conflicts to be solved. This first trend can be regarded as a conditio sine qua non for application in, and imposing ethical solutions on, social scientific theories. The second trend may be characterized as an association- or unification-tendency of a formalized and analytical ethics with decision theory. Decision theory as a new interdiscipline of social sciences is actually an assemblage of a variety of subtheories such as value-utility theory, game theory, collective decision theory, etc. Harsanyi has called this complex of subtheories a general theory of human behavior. Analytical or formal ethics is actually using this general theory of human behavior as a vehicle simply because this theory deals from the beginning with conflict solution, i. e.
Author: R. Hegselmann,Ulrich Mueller,Klaus G. Troitzsch
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Category: Social Science
Model building in the social sciences can increasingly rely on well elaborated formal theories. At the same time inexpensive large computational capacities are now available. Both make computer-based model building and simulation possible in social science, whose central aim is in particular an understanding of social dynamics. Such social dynamics refer to public opinion formation, partner choice, strategy decisions in social dilemma situations and much more. In the context of such modelling approaches, novel problems in philosophy of science arise which must be analysed - the main aim of this book. Interest in social simulation has recently been growing rapidly world- wide, mainly as a result of the increasing availability of powerful personal computers. The field has also been greatly influenced by developments in cellular automata theory (from mathematics) and in distributed artificial intelligence which provided tools readily applicable to social simulation. This book presents a number of modelling and simulation approaches and their relations to problems in philosophy of science. It addresses sociologists and other social scientists interested in formal modelling, mathematical sociology, and computer simulation as well as computer scientists interested in social science applications, and philosophers of social science.
Social scientists are often vexed because their work does not satisfy the criteria of "scientific" methodology developed by philosophers of science and logicians who use the natural sciences as their model. In this study, Paul Diesing defines science not by reference to these arbitrary norms delineated by those outside the field but in terms of norms implicit in what social scientists actually do in their everyday work. Patterns of Discovery in the Social Sciences is a detailed and systematic report on the full range of methods and procedures as they are actually practiced. Neither a how-to-do-it handbook nor a lofty philosophical treatise, this is a truly interdisciplinary study of the basic modes of procedure in scientific inquiry, with a special emphasis on normative politics. Diesing treats scientific methods as inductive logics of discovery in continuous evolution. He emphasizes the variety of methods available, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of specific methods, and, in particular, provides an account of mathematical modeling and of participant observation. The book will be of immense interest to all working social scientists, graduate students in any of the social science disciplines, and philosophers of science. It can also be employed as a text or supplement in courses in sociological methods and philosophy of science. This book is also a noteworthy companion to Diesing's major work on Science and Ideology in the Policy Sciences. Paul Diesing is professor emeritus of political science at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He did his graduate studies in philosophy from the University of Chicago and has taught at that university, the University of Illinois, and the University of Colorado. Diesing has also been a faculty associate at the Buffalo Center for International Conflict Studies, where he participated in the Center's program of researching in bargaining theory and international crises. He is the author of Reason in Society: Five Types of Decisions and Their Social Conditions and Science and Ideology in the Policy Sciences.
When John Harsanyi came to Stanford University as a candidate for the Ph.D., I asked him why he was bothering, since it was most un likely that he had anything to learn from us. He was already a known scho lar; in addition to some papers in economics, the first two papers in this vol ume had already been published and had dazzled me by their originality and their combination of philosophical insight and technical competence. However, I am very glad I did not discourage him; whether he learned any thing worthwhile I don't know, but we all learned much from him on the foundations of the theory of games and specifically on the outcome of bar gaining. The central focus of Harsanyi's work has continued to be in the theory of games, but especially on the foundations and conceptual problems. The theory of games, properly understood, is a very broad approach to social interaction based on individually rational behavior, and it connects closely with fundamental methodological and substantive issues in social science and in ethics. An indication of the range of Harsanyi's interest in game the ory can be found in the first paper of Part B -though in fact his owncontri butions are much broader-and in the second paper the applications to the methodology of social science. The remaining papers in that section show more specifically the richness of game theory in specific applications.
Generating Images of Stratification is a self-contained presentation of a theoretical research program that deals with a significant explanatory problem relating to social inequality and that constructs generative theoretical models in doing so. In more detail: -Self-contained presentation - In respect to the background sociological facts and theoretical ideas and also the formal methods the book provides clear and simple accounts accompanied by examples. - A theoretical research program - The emphasis is on theory development, involving a series of theoretical models constructed within a core framework of principles and methods. - Deals with a significant explanatory problem relating to social inequality - We know from research that how people perceive the stratification system of a society depends upon their position in that system. So the problem is: What process generates this regularity and thereby explains empirical generalizations about the social structuration of images? - Constructs generative theoretical models - The book is an extended presentation of "generative theory" in sociology, a formal method of producing effective theoretical explanations. Generating Images of Stratification is of interest to mathematical sociologists and formal theorists in sociology; sociologists interested in social stratification; methodologists, both in sociology and in other fields; philosophers of social science; and theoretical scientists and mathematicians who are interested in applying their analytical tools to social science topics.
This book examines the nature of economic explanation. The author introduces current thinking in the philosophy of science and reviews the literature on methodology. He looks at the status of welfare economics, and also provides a series of case studies of leading economic controversies, showing how they may be illuminated by paying attention to questions of methodology. A final chapter draws the strands together and gives the author's view of what is wrong with modern economics. This book is a revised and updated edition of a classic work on the methodology of economics.
One of the most promising trends in modem political science is the develop ment of a theory of politics as rational action. Focussing on choice as the central topic of study, rational choice theorists set out to specify what alter native an actor should prefer if he has some given knowledge of the conse quences of each alternative and wants to see his preference system as fully realized as possible. But rational choice theory is not confmed to the norma tive sphere of science. It can also be used for explanatory purposes. Then, the alternatives actually chosen are specified and the task is to explain the decisions by fmding out what considerations lay behind them. The starting point for an emerging research program at the Department of Government, Uppsala University, on 'Politics as Rational Action' is to describe the major choices in fifteen different policy areas of Swedish domes tic politics and explain why they were made.
An Epistemology of the Applied and Social Sciences
Author: Richard Mattessich
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Category: Social Science
This book has been written primarily for the applied and social scientist and student who longs for an integrated picture of the foundations on which his research must ultimately rest; but hopefully the book may also serve philosophers interested in applied disciplines and in systems methodology. If integration was the major motto, the need for a method ology, appropriate to the teleological peculiarities of all applied sciences, was the main impetus behind the conception of the present work. This need I felt a long time ago in my own area of analytical and empirical research in accounting theory and management science; later I had the opportunity to teach, for almost a decade, graduate seminars in Methodology which offered particular insight into the methodological needs of students of such applied disciplines as business administration, education, engineering, infor matics, etc. Out of this effort grew the present book which among other things tries, on one side, to illuminate the difference and relationship between methods of cognition and methods of decision and on the other, to sketch a framework suitable for depicting means-end relationships in a holistic setting. I believe that a systems methodology which incorporates recent endeavours of deontic logic, decision theory, information economics and related areas would be eminently suited to break the ground for such a future framework. Yet systems theory has two major shortcomings which might prevent it from evolving into the desired methodology of applied science.
Agent-based modelling on a computer appears to have a special role to play in the development of social science. It offers a means of discovering general and applicable social theory, and grounding it in precise assumptions and derivations, whilst addressing those elements of individual cognition that are central to human society. However, there are important questions to be asked and difficulties to overcome in achieving this potential. What differentiates agent-based modelling from traditional computer modelling? Which model types should be used under which circumstances? If it is appropriate to use a complex model, how can it be validated? Is social simulation research to adopt a realist epistemology, or can it operate within a social constructionist framework? What are the sociological concepts of norms and norm processing that could either be used for planned implementation or for identifying equivalents of social norms among co-operative agents? Can sustainability be achieved more easily in a hierarchical agent society than in a society of isolated agents? What examples are there of hybrid forms of interaction between humans and artificial agents? These are some of the sociological questions that are addressed.
In The Emerging Consensus of Social Systems Theory Bausch summarizes the works of over 30 major systemic theorists. He then goes on to show the converging areas of consensus among these out-standing thinkers. Bausch categorizes the social aspects of current systemic thinking as falling into five broadly thematic areas: designing social systems, the structure of the social world, communication, cognition and epistemology. These five areas are foundational for a theoretic and practical systemic synthesis. They were topics of contention in a historic debate between Habermas and Luhmann in the early 1970's. They continue to be contentious topics within the study of social philosophy. Since the 1970's, systemic thinking has taken great strides in the areas of mathematics, physics, biology, psychology, and sociology. This book presents a spectrum of those theoretical advances. It synthesizes what various strains of contemporary systems science have to say about social processes and assesses the quality of the resulting integrated explanations. Bausch gives a detailed study of the works of many present-day systems theorists, both in general terms, and with regard to social processes. He then creates and validates integrated representations of their thoughts with respect to his own thematic classifications. He provides a background of systemic thinking from an historical context, as well as detailed studies of developments in sociological, cognitive and evolutionary theory. This book presents a coherent, dynamic model of a self-organizing world. It proposes a creative and ethical method of decision-making and design. It makes explicit the relations between structure and process in the realms of knowledge and being. The new methodology that evolves in this book allows us to deal with enormous complexity, and to relate ideas so as to draw out previously unsuspected conclusions and syntheses. Therein lies the elegance and utility of this model.
The Second International Conference on Foundations of Utility and Risk Theory was held in Venice, June 1984. This volume presents some of the papers delivered at FUR-84. (The First International Conference, FUR-82, was held in Oslo and some of the papers presented on that occasion were published by Reidel in the volume Foundations of Utility and Risk Theory with Applications, edited by Bernt P. Stigum and Fred Wenst~p). The theory of choice under uncertainty involves a vast range of controversial issues in many fields like economics, philosophy, psychology, mathematics and statistics. The idea of discussing these problems in international conferences has been successful: two conferences have been held and others will follow. The climate of the debate has changed in the meantime, partly as a result of these conferences. It is no more only a question of attacking or defending the neo-Bernoullian assumptions, but also of proposing wider generalizations and including new elements in the analysis of the decision process. For instance Amartya Sen - comparing the two current notions of rationality, internal consistency and self-interest pursuit introduces the concept of reasoning and considers the irrationality which may result from the failure of a positive correspondence between reasoning and choice or from a limited capacity of reasoning. Rationality is also considered with respect to the controversial axiom of strong independence. John C. Harsanyi introduces the concept of practical certainty, i. e.