By Lee C. McIntyre
Throughout the darkish a long time, the development of Western civilization almost stopped. the information received through the students of the classical age used to be misplaced; for approximately six hundred years, lifestyles was once ruled by way of superstitions and fears fueled via lack of know-how. during this outspoken and forthright booklet, Lee McIntyre argues that this day we're in a new darkish Age--that we're as unaware of the motives of human habit as humans centuries in the past have been of the explanations of such usual phenomena as illness, famine, and eclipses. we're no extra alongside in our knowing of what reasons warfare, crime, and poverty--and how one can finish them--than our ancestors. we'd like, McIntyre says, one other medical revolution; we'd like the braveness to use a extra rigorous method to human habit, to move the place the empirical proof leads us--even if it threatens our loved non secular or political opinions approximately human autonomy, race, type, and gender.Resistance to wisdom has regularly arisen opposed to medical enhance. present day academics--economists, psychologists, philosophers, and others in the social sciences--stand within the means of a technological know-how of human habit simply as clerics tried to dam the Copernican revolution within the 1600s. a systematic method of social technological know-how might try out hypotheses opposed to the facts instead of locate and use proof in simple terms to verify a selected concept, as is frequently the perform in ultra-modern social sciences. Drawing classes from Galileo's clash with the Catholic church and present debates over the educating of "creation science," McIntyre argues that what we want such a lot to set up a technological know-how of human habit is the medical attitude--the willingness to listen to what the proof tells us no matter if it clashes with spiritual or political pieties--and the get to the bottom of to use our findings to the production of a higher society.
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Nigel Dodd is professor of sociology on the London college of Economics. he's the writer of The Sociology of cash and Social thought and Modernity.
Throughout the darkish a long time, the development of Western civilization nearly stopped. the data won through the students of the classical age used to be misplaced; for approximately six hundred years, lifestyles was once ruled via superstitions and fears fueled through lack of knowledge. during this outspoken and forthright publication, Lee McIntyre argues that this present day we're in a new darkish Age--that we're as blind to the explanations of human habit as humans centuries in the past have been of the reasons of such average phenomena as affliction, famine, and eclipses.
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Extra info for Dark Ages: The Case for a Science of Human Behavior (A Bradford Book)
Worst of all, it seems that the mass of contemporary social scientific inquiry is constrained by the curious conviction that social scientific theories must be intuitively plausible or must fit neatly within certain ideological parameters. What scientific progress might be made by further empirical observation is then stalled through a reluctance to abandon old congenial theories, or to embrace or even fully examine new and controversial ones. To say that the social sciences are not now scientific, however, does not amount to saying that their theories are not based on any evidence; there is obviously some attempt to reconcile theory with data.
Humans have free will. At base, the most fundamental objection to the possibility of a science of human behavior is that as human beings, we are free to act in any way that we choose at any time that we choose. Once we become aware of any purported regularity in our behavior that may be discovered by social science, we are free to change it. Such objections are standard and are commonly cited as fundamental barriers to the possibility of a science of human action. But as I shall argue, they are all misfounded or overestimated and fail to show that we could not have a true social science.
At base, the most fundamental objection to the possibility of a science of human behavior is that as human beings, we are free to act in any way that we choose at any time that we choose. Once we become aware of any purported regularity in our behavior that may be discovered by social science, we are free to change it. Such objections are standard and are commonly cited as fundamental barriers to the possibility of a science of human action. But as I shall argue, they are all misfounded or overestimated and fail to show that we could not have a true social science.