Chapter

The Collectivism of the Scientistic Approach

Edited by Bruce Caldwell

in Studies on the Abuse and Decline of Reason

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780226321097
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226321127 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226321127.003.0008
The Collectivism of the Scientistic Approach

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Closely connected with the objectivism of the scientistic approach is its methodological collectivism, its tendency to treat wholes such as society or the economy, capitalism (as a given historical “phase”), or a particular industry or class or country, as definitely given objects about which we can discover laws by observing their behavior as wholes. This chapter finds that the specific subjectivist approach of the social sciences starts from our knowledge of the inside of these social complexes and the knowledge of the individual attitudes that form the elements of their structure. The objectivism of the natural sciences tries to view them from the outside, it treats social phenomena not as something of which the human mind is a part and the principles of whose organization we can reconstruct from the familiar parts, but as if they were objects directly perceived by us as wholes.

Keywords: collectivism; objectivism; scientistic approach; social science; social phenomena; social interactions; positivists; social behavior; human behavior

Chapter.  4844 words. 

Subjects: History of Economic Thought

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