The Logic of Reductive Systematizations of Social and Behavioral Theories

  • Stefan Nowak
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 94)


One of the basic tasks of every theoretically oriented discipline is to discover and to test empirically various laws which explain the mechanisms governing the structure and dynamics of the phenomena studied by the given science. Its further task is to systematize these laws as consistently as possible into systems of propositions called theories. Theories may be classified according to various criteria: by the kind of phenomena they describe (substantive systematization), by the formal character of the variables and the relationships they involve (qualitative and quantitative theories), by their interest in either static or dynamic aspects of reality, etc. One possible approach to the classification of theories is to classify them on the basis of relations between the propositions which constitute the given theory. It seems especially worthwhile to distinguish two groups of theories from this point of view:
  1. (I)

    Theories in which some of the laws explain other laws, i.e. in which some laws may be logically derived from the others.

  2. (II)

    Theories which are systems of propositions ‘put together’ in a way that does not permit such derivation.



Contextual Variable Elementary Level Reductive Systematization Sociological Theory Reductive Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Nowak

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