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Marxism was the theory of this dialectic of modernity, as well as its practice.


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After its main lines had been drawn in bold strokes, in The Communist Manifesto , the Marxian dialectical method also paid attention to the gender and national dimensions of modern emancipation. As passionate political analysts, Marx and Engels closely followed the national politics of their time, although most of their writings about it were responses to particular circumstances. The concrete case was England, the most advanced capitalist country, where, Marx and Engels concluded, social revolution was impossible without a preceding national revolution in Ireland.

Marxists of the multinational Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires soon had to pay more systematic theoretical attention to the concept of nation and its relation to class. But the strategic vision and the political practice connecting Marxism and capital—labour conflict with anti-colonial and other struggles for national self-determination were first fully developed by Vladimir Lenin, in a series of articles written just before World War I, and then consolidated in his wartime study Imperialism Among the more useful items are N. In essence, the social behavior of the men and women of science is not markedly different from that of other groups; and as R.

It is a strange theatre, like Leibniz's universe, which admits of no distinction between the stage and the pit, and in which everyone belongs at once to the cast and to the audience. The political organization of science is remarkably, almost eerily, parallel to that of some of the major traditional religions. Although these religions and contemporary science may both be governed, in some ultimate sense, by international colleges of cardinals, the prevailing rules are set by the national chapters and are responsive to local cultural patterns.

For example, when it comes to the delicate dilemma of coping with heretics, one important national group may absolutely prohibit publication and incarcerate deviants in mental hospitals, while another may immobilize them with ridicule, unemployment, or house arrest in ivory towers. A useful overview of the movement is provided by T. Roszak, ed. The antiestablishment platform in two social science disciplines is enunciated in N. Stein and A. Viddich, eds. Zelinsky, W. But there was little originality in the central message, for others had reached the same position some time earlier; for example, Price, D.

The case for what is, or should be, the core discipline of social science is stated poignantly by Harrod, op. I hope that I have given you sufficient reasons for thinking that it ought not be so considered, and, more important, sufficient reasons for thinking that it ought not to desire to be so considered. But I hold that, in this phase of human history, it is the most important subject of adult study. The major achievements are concisely and polyannishly treated in Deutsch, K. An earlier, more ambitious survey was provided by B. Berelman and G. Henry, Scientific American , Vol.

Myrdal in H. Stein, ed. The contributions of the other social sciences has been up till now mostly irrelevant and of little practical importance for planning policies. Martin's Press, , pp. Especially disturbing is the realization of the shakiness of the presumably hard data upon which economic analysis and practice are based, O. The reflective literature on the social sciences, their nature, purpose, and special methods, has acquired imposing dimensions.

In addition to the two classic early statements, C. The embarrassing topic of the alleged backwardness of the social sciences and their practitioners is carefully examined in F. The problem of the impact of the social scientist upon society is examined from many perspectives in Simey, op. This widespread belief is stated bluntly by Bernal, op. The stage they have reached is indeed somewhat analogous to that reached by the natural sciences before Galileo and Newton. Tullock, op.

Most authors dealing with this point stress the special technical and psychological obstacles confronting the investigator of social phenomena, e. However, there is a silver lining in this methodological cloud, H. The subject matter of the former … is enormously complex and does not easily yield to quantification. Experiments are often impossible.

Precision is difficult and objectivity may be hard to achieve. Yet these drawbacks are compensated for by this great advantage—familiarity. Physical nature is, in the last resort, strange and its operations are hidden; our theories about it remain hypothetical constructions. We ourselves experience tbe processes and operations through which the features of the human world come into being.

MacIver, op. The experimental and related technical difficulties of the social science researcher are neatly underscored by the use of an analogy, Andreski, op. And imagine the difficulty of testing the validity of chemical formulae if, by repeating them long enough or persuasively enough, the chemist could induce the substances to behave in accordance with them—with the danger, however, that they might decide to spite him by doing exactly the opposite.

On this topic the invective of C.

Progress and Disillusion: The Dialectics of Modern Society by Raymond Aron (1968, Book)

This notion, immanent in so much social science thought, has been learnedly expounded by some eminent theoreticians of science, e. Braybrooke, ed. Residue of price sticker on front cover otherwise Good. Congressman's complimentary stamp on title page otherwise Good.

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