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Scientific Method and Social Progress

L. L. Bernard
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 31, No. 1 (Jul., 1925), pp. 1-18
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2764878
Page Count: 18
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Scientific Method and Social Progress
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Abstract

I. Three historic concepts of social progress: (a) theological, (b) metaphysical, (c) scientific. 2. Criticisms of theories of progress. 3. The concept of law: (a) anthropocentric, (b) descriptive and general, (c) as projective generalization, (d) as abstract synthetic quantitative generalization-illustrations from physics and chemistry. 4. The formulation of social laws follows the same general procedure as in physical laws, but with greater difficulty. 5. An accurate and inclusive general law of progress not yet possible. 6. The gradual synthesis of a theory of social progress follows the integration of the sciences. 7. There is no finality in the formulations of the laws of science or of a theory of social progress, but there is constant progress in the achievement of both under present conditions.

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