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Methodological Misconceptions in the Social Sciences. Rethinking social thought and social processes

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  • Fusari, Angelo

Abstract

Contemporary social teaching suffers from a grave deficiency: it is lacking rules of methodology and procedure suited to social reality that are, in particular, able to reconcile increasing creativity (implying irreversibility) with rationality, which are indispensable for the scientific judgement of theoretical ideas. Unfortunately, this lack is largely ignored, and eminent social scholars have even explicitly and emphatically theorized a rejection of method. This allows rhetorical and literary skills to prevail over the reasons of science, thereby promoting a deceptive instead of constructive pluralism, confusion in the study of contemporary societies and growing ineptitude in their government, what represents a main source of afflictions in the present world. Method is a two-edged sword: it offers powerful assistance in and enhances our capability of understanding and solving the problems of everyday life; but if the chosen method is inappropriate,it can seriously obstruct the advancement of knowledge. Significantly, the best contributions to social knowledge have been ad hoc studies that disregard method and simply apply common sense. But ad hoc studies suffer a lack of coordination, and the neglect of method makes it difficult to evaluate and select findings and results. As a consequence, ad hoc analyses have little chance of stimulating the cumulative growth of knowledge. However, the present study is intended as a contribution that prevents method from becoming a prison for the mind as opposed to a stimulant of creativity and knowledge.

Suggested Citation

  • Fusari, Angelo, 2013. "Methodological Misconceptions in the Social Sciences. Rethinking social thought and social processes," MPRA Paper 60164, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:60164
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/60164/1/MPRA_paper_59400.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Victoria Chick & Sheila Dow, 2005. "The meaning of open systems," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 363-381.
    2. McCloskey,Deirdre N., 1994. "Knowledge and Persuasion in Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521436038, December.
    3. Fusari, Angelo, 2010. "Economic theory and social change: problems and revisions," MPRA Paper 23974, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Fusari, Angelo, 1986. "A development model of a dualistic economy. The Italian case," MPRA Paper 74175, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 1986.
    5. Wilson, James Q., 1993. "The Moral Sense," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(1), pages 1-11, March.
    6. McCloskey,Deirdre N., 1994. "Knowledge and Persuasion in Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521434751, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Angelo, Fusari, 2016. "Understanding the Course of Social Reality," MPRA Paper 74007, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2016.
    2. Fusari, Angelo, 2016. "A New Economics for Modern Dynamic Economies," MPRA Paper 74008, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2016.
    3. Fusari, Angelo i, 2015. "Across the crises of modern capitalism," MPRA Paper 74176, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2015.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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    JEL classification:

    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology
    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • B50 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - General
    • B51 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Socialist; Marxian; Sraffian
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Modern Monetary Theory;
    • B53 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Austrian
    • B59 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Other
    • Y90 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Other - - - Other

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