Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Beyond Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft: The Foundations for Ethical Political Humanist Social Science

A piece that I wrote for The Hampton Institution: A Working-Class Think Tank has been posted.

Here is a snapshot:

It is pertinent to recognize that social reality is not an aura of perceived characteristics, of which there lays no unifying substance that could account for coherence. There is an evident danger in oversimplifying things. The attempt of this paper is to promote an approach to social science that engages issues concerning social ontology; that is, epistemic positions in regards to the means by which to uncover underlying interconnecting structures that constitute the manifestation of certain types of social reality. In this sense, the very notion of society itself amounts to an immensely complex entity - the broad functioning of which cannot be captured by obscure models of positivistic simplification.

Pragmatism does not tell us about the existence of anything. By not grasping the essence of human behavior that exhibits interconnections, we as human beings are left mystified about the world in which we live in. As such, "the attempt to define some underlying reality beneath the ever-changing surface of human phenomena, to delineate the common psychobiological structure of man, to specify the common blueprint of the human animal." (Wolf, 1974 [1964]: 33) We must abandon our Hegelian selves; social scientists have a responsibility to illuminate the intersections of the latent and visible content of human endeavor such that intelligible conclusions of human social life can be holistically developed.

Read rest here

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