The paper addresses the problem of the delay of the social sciences with respect to the natural sciences. It is argued that there are no special differences between them from a methodological point of view. The methodology of both can be understood in terms of the idealizational conception of science. Nor is the subject-matter the source of the problems. It is argued that it is the social placement of the social sciences within wider communities that is responsible for the delay.
Contents: Preface. Introduction. Science as a Caricature of Reality. Part I THREE METHODOLOGICAL REVOLUTIONS. 1. Galileo-Newton's Model of Free Fall. 2. Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection. 3. Marx's Theory of Reproduction. Part II THE METHOD OF IDEALIZATION. 4. The Idealizational Approach to Science: A New Survey. 5. On the Concept of Dialectical Correspondence. 6. On Inner Concretization. A Certain Generalization of the Notions of Concretization and Dialectical Correspondence. 7. Concretization in Qualitative Contexts. 8. Law and Theory: Some Expansions. 9. On (...) Multiplicity of Idealization. Part III EXPLANATIONS AND APPLICATIONS. 10. The Ontology of the Idealizational Theory. 11. Creativity in Theory-building. 12. Discovery and Correspondence. 13. The Problem of Induction. Toward an Idealizational Paraphrase. 14. “Model and “Experiment. An Analysis of Two Homogeneous Families of Notions. 15. On Theories, Half-Theories, One-Fourth-Theories, etc. 16. On Explanation and Its Fallacies. 17. Testability and Fuzziness. 18. Constructing the Notion. 19. On Economic Modelling. 20. Ajdukiewicz, Chomsky and the Status of the Theory of Natural Language. 21. Historical Narration. 22. The Rational Legislator. Part IV TRUTH AND IDEALIZATION. 23. A Notion of Truth for Idealization. 24. “Truth is a System”: An Explication. 25. On the Concept of Scope Adequacy of Laws. 26. Approximation and the Two Ideas of Truth. 27. On the Historicity of Knowledge. Part V A GENERALIZATION OF IDEALIZATION. 28.s Are Not Our Constructs. The Mental Constructs Are Abstracts. 29. Metaphor and Deformation. 30. Realism, Supra-Realism and Idealization. REFERENCES. Analytical Table of Contents. Subject Index. Index of Names. (shrink)
According to the commonsensical model of educating researchers, young researchers must first acquire the knowledge achieved thus far and then solve new problems by developing applications of the accepted theory. This model, which presupposes a positivist theory of science, is incapable of explaining why the major breakthroughs in science have been carried out by young researchers. On the idealizational view of science, it becomes clear that commonsensical model must be rejected and replaced with an alternative, according to which the primary (...) duty of young researchers is to revise the existing theories. It is the young researchers who are usually creative enough, ignorant enough, and exhibit a sufficient degree of nonconformism, to be capable of developing really new scientific theories. (shrink)
Mentalism preserves the triad: brain's state — thought — state of affairs whereas phy‐sicalism identifies the former two elements of it. Both stands meet the famous difficulties. But these presuppose ontological actualism. On the ground of ontological possibilism, claiming the existence of all possible worlds, one may identify a thought with the corresponding state of affairs in a possible world. Yet, possibilism turns out to be too narrow to carry such an identification and requires a significant generalization.
The idea of a collective, but not necessarily universal epistemological subject is not only inherent in African tradition but also in the sciences and humanities as understood in the western tradition. In this paper I propose to delineate this collective subject by means of the construction of the Marxian concept of a theoretical representative of a social class . This allows for avoiding a trap that is necessarily faced by any collectivist viewpoint.
The peculiarity of Marx's investigation method is the use of idealization, i. e. idealizing assumptions are introduced, the laws, being in force under these assumptions, are being established, and then these assumptions are being removed with the simultaneous modification of the law. This method has not been recognized in the contemporary methodology because it assumes the essentialist vision of reality while contemporary methodology developed from the phenomenalism which negates the differentiation between essence and experience.
A definite interpretation of dialectics is put forward in order to promote the following ideat scientific rationality consists in the fact that the principles which determine its internal structure and growth are analogical to the principles which determine the structure and growth of reality under scientific investigation.