Objectivity and Endurance: On Some Evaluative Criteria for Social Science Knowledge

  • R. Reichardt
Conference paper
Part of the Institut für Höhere Studien — Institute for Advanced Studies IHS-Studies book series (INHSIAS)


Circularity is a pervasing situation in epistemological problems. An important variety of circularity is found in the social sciences: The researcher can be considered as being part of the object which he intends to study, namely the society. Influences in both directions — from society to the researcher and from the researcher to society — exist and may destroy the notion of objective knowledge. A recent formulation of this problem is found in Becker’s writings [1970, p. 23]: “We can never avoid taking sides, so we are left with the question of whether taking sides means that some distortion is introduced into our work so great as to make it useless.”


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Reichardt
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept of SociologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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