The Natural Sciences and the Social Sciences

Some Critical and Historical Perspectives

  • I. Bernard Cohen

Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 150)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxxvi
  2. Introduction

  3. Perspectives on the Relations between the Natural Sciences and the Social Sciences

  4. Some Influences of the Natural Sciences on the Social Sciences

  5. Some Influences of the Social Sciences on the Natural Sciences

  6. Conclusion

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 399-412

About this book


Natural Sciences and the Social Sciences contains a series of explorations of the different ways in which the social sciences have interacted with the natural sciences. Usually, such interactions are considered to go only `one way': from the natural to the social sciences. But there are several important essays in this volume which show how developments in the social sciences have affected the natural sciences - even the `hard' science of physics. Other essays deal with various types of interaction since the Scientific Revolution.
In his general introductory chapter, Cohen sets some general themes concerning analogies and homologies and the use of metaphors, drawing specific examples from the use of concepts of physics by marginalist economists and of developments in the life sciences by organismic sociologists. The remaining chapters, which explore the different ways in which the social sciences and the natural sciences have actually interacted, are written by leaders in the field of history of science, drawn from a wide range of countries and disciplines.
The book will be of great interest to all historians of science, philosophers interested in questions of methodology, economists and sociologists, and all social scientists concerned with the history of their subject and its foundations.


Charles Darwin history of science science scientific revolution sociology

Editors and affiliations

  • I. Bernard Cohen
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard UniversityUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1994
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-4258-3
  • Online ISBN 978-94-017-3391-5
  • Series Print ISSN 0068-0346
  • Buy this book on publisher's site