Sociological Theory 6 (1):1-20 (1988)

This paper considers the goals and methods of theoretical sociology. The chief goal of theoretical work is a theory in two parts-postulates and predictions-the key challenge being to minimize the number of postulates and maximize the number and variety of predictions. The paper discusses the distinctive character of the sentences in each part of the theory and, in light of that bipartite structure, the two main activities of theoretical analysis: (i) speculative thinking, whereby the theorist identifies the starting ideas for the postulates; and (ii) formal reasoning, whereby the theorist constructs the postulates and derives predictions from them. To illustrate the features of a theory and the tasks of theoretical analysis, the paper briefly sketches the theory of the distributive-justice force
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DOI 10.2307/201910
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Dreams of Pure Sociology.Donald Black - 2000 - Sociological Theory 18 (3):343-367.
In Defense of Unrealistic Assumptions.Satoshi Kanazawa - 1998 - Sociological Theory 16 (2):193-204.

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