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Objectivism vs. Subjectivism in the Social Sciences

Paul Diesing
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 33, No. 1/2 (Mar. - Jun., 1966), pp. 124-133
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/186448
Page Count: 10
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Objectivism vs. Subjectivism in the Social Sciences
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Abstract

Recent developments in social science methods have made most of the objectivism-subjectivism arguments in the philosophy of social science obsolete. Developments in experimental methods have made possible a behavioristic treatment of everything cherished as important in human action by the subjectivists; developments in computer and mathematical models have made possible a type of theory which carries out the program of the subjectivists but is not vulnerable to the arguments of the objectivists. What remains of the philosophical argument are two types of theory (for example, game theory and learning theory) which are both useful, both scientific, and frequently equivalent. Choice between them by scientists can be made on empirical grounds rather than on the grounds developed in the philosophical controversy.

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