s the revival and renewal of positivism in theoretical sociology possible?


Smirnov P.I.

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Prof., Saint-Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg, Russia smirnovpi@mail.ru

ID of the Article:


For citation:

Smirnov P.I. s the revival and renewal of positivism in theoretical sociology possible?. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 3. P. 14-23




Abstract

This article states that old discussion about crisis in sociology reflects dissatisfaction of sociological community regarding the level of this science development. Author’s opinion is that this level can be evaluated in regard to what degree the task (set by a А. Comte) – convergence of social and natural sciences methodology – is solved. This problem has its acceptable solution in empirical sociology. However, the situation in theoretical sociology is very different. The complex of theories, authors’ ideas and their sociologies etc. has no united basis. It cannot give answers to “big questions” (mankind’s global problems). In order to increase the level of theoretical sociology – we need to go back to positivism and use the modeling method shared by all sciences. For building of simple and clear ideal models (ideal types) of social phenomena – we need to meet the following criteria: form a minimal list of intuitively clear ideas (for example, man, multitude, interaction, co-correlation), use one type of interaction between people (natural, emotional, speech-communicative etc.) for forming abstract unions of people (population, community, society etc.), join method of gradually deepening in the essence of intuitively clear idea and method of gradually deepening in phenomenon (for example, studying atom). Building of ideal models of the most important social phenomena will allow finding possible answers to the main problems of humanity and decrease risks during their solution.


Keywords
positivism; cognition; modeling; ideal type; type of interaction

References

Augustine (1969). Ispoved’ [Confessions]. In: Antologiya mirovoy filosofii v 4 t. Т. 1. Chast’. 2. [Anthology of world philosophy in 4 t. T. 1. Part 2] Moscow: Mysl’: 581–606. (In Russ.)

Aristotle (1983). Politika [Policy]. In: Sochineniya v 4 t. T. 4. [Op. in 4 t. T. 4] Moscow: Mysl’: 376–644. (In Russ.)

Boronoev A.O., Pis’mak Yu.M., Smirnov P.I. (1996). Modelirovanie sozial’nych system: konzepziya i osnovnyie kategorii [Modeling of social systems: concept and main category]. In: Boronoev A.O. (ed.) Problemy teoretichescoiy sociologii. Vyp. 2 [Problems of theoretical sociology]. Saint-Petersburg: Izdatel’stvo SpbGU: 81–92. (In Russ.)

Boronoev A.O., Smirnov P.I. (2011) Deiatel’nostno-zennostnyi podhod k opisaniyu sozial’nyh yavleniy [Activity-value approach to the description of social phenomena: key issues]. In: Problemy teoretichescoiy sociologii. Vyp. 8 [Problems of theoretical sociology]. Saint-Petersburg: Skifiya-Print:114–138. (In Russ.)

Dudina V.I. (2015) Sociological knowledge in the context of information technologies development. Soziologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological researches]. No. 6: 13–21. (In Russ.)

Giddens E.(2005) Soziologiya. Perevod s angliyskogo [Sosiology]. Moscow: Editorial. URSS. (In Russ.)

Ivanov D.V., ed. (2005). Soziologiya. Uchebnik [Sociology. Textbook]. Moscow: Vyshee obrazovanie. (In Russ.)

Il’ichev L.F., ed. (1983) Poznanie [Knowledge]. In: Filosofskiy enziklopedicheskiy slovar’ [Philosophical Encyclopedic Dictionary]Moscow: Sovetskayat encyclopedia. (In Russ.)

Kondakov N.I. (1971) Teoremy Gedelya [Godel’s theorems]. In: Logicheskiy slovar’ [Logical Dictionary]. Moscow: Nauka. (In Russ.)

Lektorskiy A.V. (1983) Ob’ekt [Object]. In: Filosofskiy enziklopedicheskiy slovar’ [Philosophical Encyclopedic Dictionary]. Moscow: Sovetskayat encyclopedia. (In Russ.)

Lektorskiy A.V. (1983) Sub’ekt [Subject]. In: Filosofskiy enziklopedicheskiy slovar’ [Philosophical Encyclopedic Dictionary]. Moscow: Sovetskayat encyclopedia. (In Russ.)

Marx K. (1960) Kapital [Capital]. In: Marks K, Engels F. Sochinenia. 2-e Izd. T. 23. [Works. 2-e ed. T. 23] Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel’stvo politicheskoy literature. (In Russ.)

Pascal B. (2011) Mysli. Aforizmy [Thoughts. Aphorisms]. Moscow: AST: Aprel. (In Russ.)

Romanovsky N.V. (2016) Discourse of crisis of (in) contemporary sociology. Soziologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological researches]. No. 4: 3–13. (In Russ.)

Smirnov P.I., Smirnov G. P. Aktivnost’ chelovera: sovokupnost’ osnovnyh proyavleniy [Human activity: a set of manifestations]. In: Vtoryie Kovalevskie chteniya. Materialy nauchno-prakticheskoy konferenzii 16–17 noyabrya 2007. [Kovalevskie Second Reading. Materials of Scientific-Practical Conference, 16–17 November 2007]. Saint-Petersburg: 83–89. (In Russ.)

Boronoev A.O., Pis’mak Yu.M., Smirnov P.I. (2010) Soziologiya. Vvedenie v problemy poznaniya obzchestva. Uchebnoe posobie dl’a sistemy obrazovaniya vzroslyh [Sociology. Introduction to the Problems of the Society Knowledge. Study Guide for Adult Education]. Sant-Petersburg: SPb.: Institut obrazovaniya vzroslyh. (In Russ.)

Smirnov P.I. (2016) Vozvraschenie k pozitivizmu v teoreticheskoy soziologii [A return to positivism in theoretical sociology: the need and the possibility]. Diskurs [Discourse]. No. 2: 133–141. (In Russ.)

Szelenyi I. (2015) Triple Crisis of US Sociology. Global Dialogue. V. 5. No. 2: 4–7.

Weber M. (1949) The Methodology of Social Sciences. New York.

Content No 3, 2017