The Human Meaning of the Social Sciences

The Human Meaning of the Social Sciences

The Human Meaning of the Social Sciences

The Human Meaning of the Social Sciences

Excerpt

This book is the outcome of conversations with Jean-Marie Domenach, editor of the French review Esprit, in the spring of 1956. Like many humanists, Domenach had been puzzled by the rapid postwar growth and diffusion of Social Science. Unlike many literary intellectuals, who found no better use for their talents than to throw spitballs at the barbarians invading their territory, he set out to learn why Social Scientists were moving so swiftly--and apparently so successfully--into areas previously occupied only by Wise Men.

Domenach perceived that this process was at work throughout modern Europe, alike in France and the Low Countries, in Germany and Central Europe, in the Scandinavian lands, in Great Britain and the Commonwealth. Only the most retrograde and immobile European social order, as in Spain and Portugal, Southern Italy and Greece, seemed unaffected. The direct relationship between social change and social research was visible in every case. The more dynamic the country, the further had the new Social Sciences developed. On the Old Continent, indeed, the postwar pace was set by the effort to come abreast of American . . .

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