Natural science, social science, and democratic practice: Some political implications of the distinction between the natural and the human sciences

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 22 (3):337-356 (1992)
This article examines some of the contributions to the contemporary debate over the question of whether there is an important distinction to be made between the natural and the human sciences. In particular, the article looks at the arguments that Charles Taylor has put forward for the recognition of a radical discontinuity between these forms of science and then examines Richard Rorty's objections to Taylor's distinction and argues that Rorty misunderstands the reasons for this distinction and thereby misses the political implications of failing to make such a distinction. In this regard, some arguments made by Anthony Giddens and John O'Neill, respectively, around Alfred Schutz's "postulate of adequacy" are used to show how the social sciences must be conceived so as to avoid consequences inimical to the reproduction and maintenance of participatory, democratic institutions. Additionally, the article uses O'Neill's argument that the Schutzian conceptualization of interpretive sciences can be critical in a way that Giddens and Jürgen Habermas require, while including a translation and accountability principle, to demonstrate how we ought to respect participatory, democratic forms
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/004839319202200303
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,422
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

13 ( #332,969 of 1,924,993 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #418,001 of 1,924,993 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.