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The Historical-Philosophical Basis for Uniting Social Science with Social Problem-Solving

Leonard Goodwin
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 29, No. 4 (Oct., 1962), pp. 377-392
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/186297
Page Count: 16
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The Historical-Philosophical Basis for Uniting Social Science with Social Problem-Solving
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Abstract

Social scientific development has been greatly influenced by Galilean-Newtonian thought which emphasized formulation of abstract hypotheses valid throughout all time and space and independent of human characteristics. This influence has resulted in an artificial hiatus between social science and social problem-solving. Dissolution of certain Galilean-Newtonian assumptions has opened the way for integrating aspects of another stream of thought, the Hegelian-Marxian one, into the social scientific endeavor. Hegelian-Marxian thought emphasizes the individual becoming self-conscious of, and involved in, the social-historical process. The uniting of certain aspects of Galilean-Newtonian and Hegelian-Marxian thought provides a genuinely experimental social science in which abstract hypothesis-testing is united with social action that is based on persons' awareness of relevant hypotheses viewed in historical perspective.

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