SOCIOLOGY AND THE LOGIC OF THEORETICAL RESEARCH

Authors
Citation
Jm. Domingues, SOCIOLOGY AND THE LOGIC OF THEORETICAL RESEARCH, Sociology, 30(4), 1996, pp. 763-783
Citations number
78
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Sociology
Journal title
ISSN journal
0038-0385
Volume
30
Issue
4
Year of publication
1996
Pages
763 - 783
Database
ISI
SICI code
0038-0385(1996)30:4<763:SATLOT>2.0.ZU;2-J
Abstract
This article deals with problems of the philosophy of science in terms of its concrete development in sociological theory. Parsons' theses o n theory building and Alexander's redirectioning of some of its fundam ental tenets are discussed. It is shown that Alexander's ideas are con sistent with the so-called post-positivist philosophy of science that is linked to Popper and Kuhn, but that he is oblivious to other strand s that are much more in tune with Parsons' first approach to the issue . Bachelard, Piaget and Bhaskar furnish elements that account better, both factually and normatively, for the coupling of empirical data and theory in the sciences in general and in sociology in particular, tha n Alexander's, Popper's and Kuhn's perspectives. They offer the underp innings for a dialectical epistemology, which can relinquish the princ iple of uniformity or determinism, dealing with creativity and the flu idity of social life, without giving up general theories, concepts and causal correlations. Concrete controversies are also discussed in ord er to illustrate this epistemological strategy.