Advertisement

How Should Social Engineers Develop Critical Social Science?

  • Nimrod Bar-Am
Chapter

Abstract

The most significant basic difference between the scientist and the engineer, Agassi and Jarvie have argued, is that the former seeks true explanations of reality, whereas the latter seeks effective control over it. Since control is often achievable with little or no understanding of underlying principles, this difference is of considerable methodological significance. Confusingly, however, Popper seems to have recommended to explorers of the social realms to limit themselves to piecemeal social engineering. Are social scientists engineers, or a crossbreed between engineers and scientists? Are their methodological challenges different from those of natural scientists proper? Jarvie’s work on technology and the social sciences explores the answers to these questions.

References

  1. Agassi, Joseph. 1971. What Is a Natural Law? Studium Generale 24: 1051–1066.Google Scholar
  2. ———. 1974. The Confusion Between Science and Technology. In Contributions to a Philosophy of Technology, ed. F. Rapp, 40–60. Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel.Google Scholar
  3. ———. 1985. Technology: Philosophical and Social Aspects. Dordrecht, Holland: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  4. ———. 2003. The Impact of Auschwitz and Hiroshima on Scientific Culture (in Hebrew). In Conversation and Discourse, ed. Noa Naaman-Zauderer and Yaron Sanderowitz. Tel Aviv-Yafo: Tel Aviv University.Google Scholar
  5. Agassi, Joseph, and Ian C. Jarvie. 1973. Magic and Rationality Again. The British Journal of Sociology 24: 236–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bar-Am, Nimrod. 2014. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 50th Anniversary Edition. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 44 (5): 688–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Jarvie, Ian C. 1974. The Social Character of Technological Problems. In Contributions to a Philosophy of Technology, ed. Friedrich Rapp, 86–92. Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel.Google Scholar
  8. ———. 1982. Popper on the Difference Between the Natural and the Social Sciences. In In Pursuit of Truth, ed. Paul Levinson, 83–107. New Jersey: Humanities Press.Google Scholar
  9. ———. 1986. Thinking About Society: Theory and Practice. Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel.Google Scholar
  10. Polanyi, Michael. 1958. Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  11. Popper, Karl R. 1945. The Open Society and Its Enemies. Vol. 2. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. ———. 1961 [1957]. The Poverty of Historicism. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Price, Derek. 1968. The Differences Between Science and Technology. Thomas Alva Edison Foundation.Google Scholar
  14. Rapp, Friedrich. 1974. Contributions to a Philosophy of Technology. Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ryle, Gilbert. 1949. The Concept of Mind. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
  16. Smith, Cyril S. 1967. A Historical View of One Area of Applied Science—Metallurgy, Applied Science and Technological Progress, The National Academy of Sciences, 57–71.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nimrod Bar-Am
    • 1
  1. 1.Rhetoric and Philosophy of Communication Unit, Communication Department, Sapir Academic CollegeShaar HanegevIsrael

Personalised recommendations