By Philip Selznick
Supplying a capstone to Philip Selznick's influential physique of scholarly paintings, A Humanist Science insightfully brings to gentle the value-centered nature of the social sciences. The paintings essentially demanding situations the meant separation of truth and price, and argues that human values belong to the area of truth and are the resource of the beliefs that govern social and political associations. by means of demonstrating the shut connection among the social sciences and the arts, Selznick finds how the equipment of the social sciences spotlight and increase the learn of such values as overall healthiness, prosperity, rationality, and self-government.
The ebook strikes from the animating ideas that make up the humanist culture to the values which are imperative to the social sciences, interpreting the center teachings of those disciplines with recognize to the ethical concerns at stake. in the course of the paintings, Selznick calls awareness to the stipulations that have an effect on the emergence, consciousness, and decline of human values, supplying a worthwhile source for students and scholars of legislations, sociology, political technological know-how, and philosophy.
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Extra resources for A Humanist Science: Values and Ideals in Social Inquiry
Much preoccupied with foundational issues of subjectivity and historicity, Dilthey was sensitive to the The Postulate of Humanity 23 values at stake in social life. The human sciences, he said, must study meanings and motives, and use interpretive methods. Otherwise, no description can be accurate or complete, no explanation can be valid, and no claim to empiricism can be justified. A human science true to itself will explore the ideals, strivings, failures, and fulfillments of everyday life. “Life,” or “lived experience,” was thought to be the chief and proper subject of the human sciences.
This was an inviting prospect for neo-Kantians, who gave Kant’s doctrines their own spin and drew their own conclusions. ” Strong voices in historical study (such as Wilhelm Dilthey, Max Weber, and Georg Simmel) entered the conversation, arguing that the human sciences—history, political science, sociology, psychology, economics, jurisprudence, and anthropology—differ in fundamental ways from the physical sciences. The human sciences can and do provide knowledge of human nature and social life, but this must include the worth and limits of freedom, rationality, and self-transcendence.
A common humanity is recognized, but what people have in common is not necessarily what we need to know. More problematic are special ways of cohesion and adaptation, which form and sustain distinctive states of consciousness. ” But in social inquiry, verstehen plays only an ancillary part. We cannot depend on shared experience to describe and account for exotic forms of kinship, eating, or division of labor. Even if the main interest is in cultural uniformities, we need evidence that the asserted uniformity (with respect to religious symbolism or child-rearing practices, for example) is based on objective criteria.