Journal of Scottish Philosophy 7 (1):29-46 (2009)
The Scottish Enlightenment is commonly identified as the birthplace of modern social science. But while Scottish and contemporary social science share a commitment to empiricism, contemporary insistence on the separation of empirical analysis from normative judgment invokes a distinction unintelligible to the Scots. In this respect the methods of modern social science seem an attenuation of those of Scottish social science. A similar attenuation can be found in the modern aspiration to judge the outcome of institutions or processes only with regard to efficiency. While the tenet that efficiency is preferable to inefficiency is central to Scottish social thought, the Scots regarded maximization of quantifiable returns as only one among three ends that well-functioning institutions and processes promote. Scottish social science speaks also of virtue and liberty where ours speaks only of utility. This essay develops these differences in three sections. Its first section compares Scottish and contemporary understandings of social science methods. Its second section examines how these differing methodologies inform their differing conceptions of human flourishing and particularly led Scottish social science to focus on virtue and freedom in addition to wealth. The essay concludes by calling attention to three movements in social science today which might help us recover the best features of Scottish social science
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
The 'Sub-Rational' in Scottish Moral Science.Toni Vogel Carey - 2011 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 9 (2):225-238.
The Tradition of Scottish Philosophy: A New Perspective on the Enlightenment.Alexander Broadie - 1990 - Barnes & Noble.
Essays on David Hume, Medical Men, and the Scottish Enlightenment: Industry, Knowledge, and Humanity.Roger L. Emerson - 2008 - Ashgate.
Studies in the Philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment.M. A. Stewart (ed.) - 1990 - Oxford University Press.
Character, Self and Sociability in the Scottish Enlightenment.Thomas Ahnert & Susan Manning (eds.) - 2011 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
The Status of Animals in Scottish Enlightenment Philosophy.Nathaniel Wolloch - 2006 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 4 (1):63-82.
The Scottish Enlightenment, Unintended Consequences and the Science of Man.Craig Smith - 2009 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 7 (1):9-28.
:The Library of Scottish Philosophy;Adam Smith: Selected Philosophical Writings;James Beattie: Selected Philosophical Writings;The Scottish Idealists: Selected Philosophical Writings;Art and Enlightenment: Scottish Aesthetics in the 18th Century;Scottish Philosophy: Selected Writings 1690–1960;John Macmurray: Selected Philosophical Writings. [REVIEW]Aaron Garrett - 2005 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 3 (2):181-186.
Added to index2010-07-11
Total downloads15 ( #314,494 of 2,170,078 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #345,514 of 2,170,078 )
How can I increase my downloads?