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Alexander Jeffrey - Theoretical logic in scientific thought.pdf

Alexander Jeffrey - Theoretical logic in scientific thought.pdf

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11/09/2013

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Instead
of
a serious discussíon
among
confiícting theories that, in
theirvery
conflict,
demonstrate
the
intimacy
with
which
they belong together,
the commonnessoftheir underlying
convictíons,
and
an
unswerving
belief in a
true
philosophy;
wehave
a
pseudo-reportíng and
a
pseudo'
critícizing, a
mere semblance
of
philosophizing seriously wíth
and foroneanother
...
But how
could
actualstudy
and
actual
collaboration
be
possible,
where
there
are
so
many philosophers and almostequally
many
pbilosopbies?
To
be sure,
we still
bave
philosophical
congresses.
The
philosophers
meet
but,
unfortunately,
not the
philosophies.
Thephi·
losophies lack
theunity
of
a
mental space in which
they
might
exist
for
and
act
on one another.
Edmund
Husserl,
Cartesian !v1edítations
,...
Iheorefical
Logic
in
Sociology
VolumeOne
/
POSITIVISM,PRESUPPOSITIONS,AN ClTR
ENT
CONTROVERSIES
Jeffrey
C6
)Alexander
L
International Library of Sociology
Routledge
&
!(egan Paul
London and
Henley
 
xx
Contents-Volume
One
Chapter Three: Theoretical Logic
in
Sociological
Thought
(2):
Towardthe
Restoration
01
Generality 64
L
The
Epistemological
Reference
for
Generalized SociologicalArgument
6S
2.
The
Generalized
Problem
of
Action
71
2.1.
The Presupposition
of
Rationality:
"Instrumental"
Action
and
the Reduction
of
Ends
to
Means
72
2.2.
The
Presupposition
of
Nonrationality:
"Nonnative
H
Action
and
the
Relative
Autonomy
of Ends
'75
2.3.
Other
Approaches
to Rationality
and
the Problem
of
Theoretical
Reduction
79
2.3.1.
Rationality
as
Means/End
Calculation
80
2.3.2.
Rationality
as the
Achievement
of
Particular
Ends
86
31
The
Generalized Problern
ofOrder
90
./
3.1.
The
Conflationary Dimensíons
of Current
Approaches
toOrder: Empirical, Ideologicat
and
PresuppositionalReduction 90
3.2.
The Individualist Presupposition
in
Its
Instrumentalqnd
Normative Forms: Social
Order
as
Residual Category
94
3.3.
The
Collectivist Presupposition
in
Its Ratíonalist Form:Coercive
Order and the
Eliminatíon
oE
Freedom
98
3.4.
The
Collectivist Presupposition
in
Its
Normative
Fonn
103
3.4.1.
Social Constraint
and
the
Preservation
of
Voluntarism 103
3.4.2.
Voluntarisrn, Constraint,
and
the
Reification
of the
Free Will
Concept
104
3.4.3. Voluntary
Order
and
the
Problemof
SociologicalIdealism 110
Chapter
Four: Theoretical Logic as Objective
Argument
113
1.
Objective
Evaluation
through
Universal Reference:
The
UStructural"
Status
of
Action
and
Order
114 .
2.
Objective
Evaluation
through
Synthetic Standards:
The
Scope
and
Mutual Autonomy
of
Action
and
Order
11S3.
Objective
Evaluation
through
Explicit
Hierarchical
Judgment:
The
Need
for
a Multidimensional
Approach
to Action
andOrder
122
Notes
127
Author-Citation
Index
219
Subject
Index
229
ChapterOne
THEORETICAL LOGIC
IN
SCIENTIFIC
THOUGHT
The
attempt
to
elabora
e a
general
theoretical1ogic
for
sociology
1S
con
fronted
by
two barriers.
There
is,
of course,thetruly imposing
lack
of
agreement
on
whatthe
general
theoretical issues
are andhow
they
affectsociological formulations.
1
will discuss this issue in
chapters
2
and
3.
But
before
this
problem
can
even be
addressed, there
is
another
obstacle
which must
first
be
overcome. This ís
the
issue
of
theoretical
thinking
itselt
not
"how"
general
issues affect sociology
but
"w
hether"
they
do.
Since
sociology
has for
the most
part
measured
itself
against the stan
dard
of the
natural
sciences,
the
point
at the centerof
this initial
problem
becomes
the
debateover
the nature of
science.
If
he
independent
role ofgeneral thinking
in
sociology is to be
preserved,
it
ís
necessary to
rein
terpret
the conventional
understandingof
the
scientífic process.
In
the first section
of
this chapter,
1
present the
outHne
of
such
a reformulation. Next,
1
articulate the
principIes
of
the
prevailing "positivist
persuasion," found in
the
work of
a
wide range
of
contemporary
sociolo·\ gists.
In
subsequen:t sections,
1
argue,
first,
that
the traditional alternative
I
to
such
positivism,
theargument that
sociology
should
not
be
conceived
as
a science,
represents
an inappropriate
response,
and
1
propose instead
a series
of counterpostulates
to
the
positivist
conception
of
science, counterpostulates
derived
from the work of
those philosophers
and
histo-
NOTE:
In
addition to
the
citation
of
sources, the backnotes inelude
numerous
, suhstflntíve
discussions-refinements of
points
that occur
in
the main
text
and
digressions about relevant issues and.
secondary
literature.
To
enable
the
interested
reader
to
turn
irnmediately to this substantive annotation¡ 1 have dis·tinguished these substantive notes
by markingthemwith
a
dagger
(t)
following
the
note number. A
ribbon bookmark
1S
provided to facilitate
such
referral.
 
2
Positivism,
Presuppositions.
and
Current
Controversies
rians
who,
rather than
leave
science
to its objectivist
interpreters, have
to develop
an
alternative
understanding
of natural
science itself.
In
conclusion,
1
present the
case
for
developing a conception
of
generaltheoreticallogic
in
sociology.
1.
INTRODUCTION: SCIENTIFIC THOUGHT
AS
A TWODIRECTIONAL CONTINUUM
Science
can be
viewed
as
an
intellectual
processthatoccurswithinthe
context of two distínctive
environments,
the
empirical
observational
world
and
the non-empÍrical
metaphysical
one. Although scientific state
ments may
be oriented
more
toward
one of
these
environments
than the
other, they
can
never be
determined
exclusively by
either
alone,
The
dif
ferences
between
what are
perceived
as
sharply
contrasting
kinds
of
scientific
arguments should
be
understood
rather
as representing
differentpositíons
on
the
same epistemological
continuum
(see fig.
1
.lt
Those
scientífic statements c10ser to
the right-hand
side
of
the
contínuum
are
saidto be
H
empírical" because their
form
is
more
influenced
by
the
criterionof
precisely describing observatíon,
hence the
11
specíficity"
of empírical
statements,
Statements closer
to
the
left-hand side
are
caJled "theoreti
cal" because
their
form
is
concerned
les$
with the
immediate
characterof
the
observations
that
inform them.
One can; in fact,
arrange
a11
the
different components
of
scientific
thought
in
terms
of such
degrees
of
generality
and
specificity (fig.
2).2t
This listing
i5
intended
to
be
suggestive
rather
than exhaustive,
an
attempt
to
order
the
elements mostoftenmentioned
in the social scientific
literature
as constitutíng
indepen
dent
points
of
focus.
Eaeh
of these elements
1
have
listed could
them
selves
be
further
elaborated-for
example,
the
methodologieallevel into"meta-methodological
assumptions"
and
"technical
orientations." AIso,
the
identity
of
different levels díffers, to sorne degree,
according
to
thenature
of
the scientific activity.
In
the
human
scienees;
theeategory
of
"general
presuppositions"
should
be divided into
"presuppositions"
and
"ideological assumptions,"
whereas
this division does
not apply
to
the
sciences
of
nature.
Fjgure
2 allows
us
to
make
several
important
points, First, it clarifies
further
the
relative
character of
the
theory/data
s·plit.
That "data'!
is a
Figure
1
THE
CONTINUUNl
OFSCIENTIFICTHOUGHT
MetaPhYSícall·
"("
I
mpirical
,
environment
6-----------'------.....
environment
;)
Theoretical Logic in Scientific Thought
3
Figure
2
THE
SCIENTIFIC CONTINUUM
AND
ITS COMPONENTS
Metaphysical
Empiricalenvironmentenvironment
I
I
U)
(1)
tJ)
<Il
Vl
~
'"
~
Q
Q)
a
.:::
e
~
p.
Q
¡:¡
.g
"'d
d)
.g
.9
t;1
,~
,9
<r¡
,9
o
u
~
....1
~
r:
~
Vi
~
¡:¡
'a
oo
tr.1
(J
'"t:I
Q)
'&
;>
~
...
ij
p.
u
(\)
§
¡g
...
(\)
.
'¡¡:¡
!Jo
S
U)
..
IJ)
o
o
.J
::l
~
;<
'~
UI
..D
J)
;::
o
(\)
(.J
,-
<1
.J
...
Q
la
UJ
<.:)
A
n:I
o
8'~
u
o.
thoroughly relative
formulatíon
canbe
illustrated by the fact
that
as social scientists
we
continually
treat
as
data
the
more
general "scientific"
formulations
of
those
around
us-others'
propositions, models, classifications,
and
general assumptionsabout theempirical
world.
But
it is also
clear
that
"theory"
is
just
as
much
a
designational
convenience, Differentsociological
theorists,like
Talcott Parsons,
John
Rex,
orHans
Zetterberg,take different levels
of
scientific
formulatíon
to be indicative
of"real
scientific
theory" as
distinguished
from
more
general "specu]ation"
on
the
one hand
and mere "data"
on the
other. Thus, while
Parsons
defines
propertheoretical
thinking
,in
sociology
as
foeusing
on
I/frames
of
reference"
(Le.,
general
presuppositions)
and
on "generalized conceptual sys'
tems," Rex
considersthe "model"
to
be
the
level
of genera
ity
at
which
any
truly effective sociologica1
theory
must be
directed.
3
And
in
sharp
contrast
to
both
of
these theorists,
Zetterberg
claims the only
legitimate
focus
for
social scientific theorizing to
be
"multi-variate"
axioms,
as
com
pared
with
mere
simple
propositions,
on
the
one hand,
andmore
general
"social
hought~"
onthe
other.
4t
Although
data and
theory
are,
thus,
commonly
equated with
qualitative positions
on the
more
specific
and
general sides
of
the
scientific
contínuum,
it is
morecorreet
to
understandthem
as
quantitative
distinctions: every
formulatíon
"leftward"
of any
given point
of
focus
i8
called theory
and
every
statement
"rightward
H
ofthat
poínt is
claimed as
data.
As
this first clarificatíon begins to indicate, the
continuum
conceptualization also allows
us to emphasize the ínterdependenee of formula
tions a
each
of
these
levels. Although
eommon
sense
and
a
certain
body
of
scientific
opinioninform
us
that
theseelements
are
qualitatively diserete,
that
is, completely
independent
of
one
another,
in
positioning
the
elements on this
continuum
1
try
to
demonstrate
precisely the opposite,"Generality"
and
"specificity"
ndicate~ntations,
or
direebons,
of
dif-

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