ERIC Number: ED241361
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Whitehead and Social Science: The Use of Social Science Knowledge.
Klausner, Samuel Z.
This paper attempts to reformulate some assumptions of contemporary social science so that its knowledge becomes directly applicable in social action. A schema is presented for the interpretation of social experience in which sociological, anthropological, and psychological knowledge and knowledge of the physical and biological world enter into a concrete, aesthetically patterned, social totality incorporating the moral ordering and emotional commitment necessary for action. The philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead is used to present the dilemma of seeking the concrete from the abstract, that is, of interpreting social knowledge and social action. Tactics developed by social scientists for meeting this difficulty are sketched and the question of why the transformation of thought into practice necessitates a philosophical revolution is considered. In the course of answering that question, a more detailed statement of the basic terms of Whitehead's conception of events is provided. Finally, a discussion of changes required by social science methodology is presented. Discussion closes with a consideration of the aesthetic principles in the order of nature and society. (Author/LP)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Whitehead (Alfred North)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (Detroit, MI, August 31-September 4, 1983). Paper appears in rough draft.