Graduate studies at Western
Inquiry 24 (1):3 – 19 (1981)
|Abstract||The schema, or theoretical framework, holism, is concerned with the essence of society as a whole. Though undermined by Popper, it cannot be refuted ? nor proved. The extreme alternative is individualism. Several forms, due to Freud, Wittgenstein, and phenomenology, make presuppositions that require the individualist interpretation of society to be reopened at a new point. Popper's ? or Weber's ? is the sturdiest; its units being individual actions plus their unintended by?products. The Weber?Popper schema can provide a framework for many satisfactory societal explanations. But individualism misses the holistic possibility of dynamic societal forces; the individualist fails to produce any dynamic laws. A dynamic bipolar schema could put both schemata to work without prescribing which would predominate. Empirical investigation would determine the more fruitful for a given problem. This schema would be ?justified? by fostering a satisfactory empirical social theory. The present investigation also reveals where the real controversies about schemata lie|
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