How Should Social Engineers Develop Critical Social Science?
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.
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