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Title: Prolegomena to any future social science: strategic suggestions
Contributor(s): McDowell, Robert Alexander (author); Lynch, Anthony  (supervisor)orcid ; Blinov, Arcady  (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2015
Copyright Date: 2014
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: "These Prolegomena are not for the use of pupils, but of future teachers, and even the latter should not expect that they will be serviceable for the systematic exposition of a ready-made science, but merely for the discovery of the science itself." Like Kant my intention is to persuade those who would study and teach social science to pause for a moment, and question whether such a thing as "social science" itself is possible. There most certainly exists a science to many aspects of social interaction but it is often obscured by practical strategies posing as science. Properly distinguishing the two will greatly facilitate future developments in both scientific and strategic pursuits. Attempting to describe strategic elements scientifically, regularly serves to frustrate the acquisition of real knowledge. Since a large portion of the social sciences is in fact strategic, we require a means of separating the two; this means is through the identification of the reflexively changeable and resistant features in social scientific theories. Considering social strategies as strategies presents many interesting developments like reflexive and catalytic influences on the strategic environment. Because of the persuasive and public nature of strategies, ethical concerns must be observed in investigation, education and employment. I suggest a method for identifying social strategies in the social sciences and a way these social strategies may be investigated. I outline some concerns, benefits and limitations of the project, and suggest areas in need of further development. By doing this I aim to present a more realistic and productive approach to the social sciences generally: one with the added benefits of requiring minimal modification to identified strategies, at the same time as standardising the scientific. Finally, since strategies are concerned with what agents should do, this categorical and methodological separation is the right course of action both ethically and scientifically.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Field of Research Codes: 149999 Economics not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 950403 Environmental Ethics
Rights Statement: Copyright 2014 - Robert Alexander McDowell
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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