Doctoral studies

country
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city
subject area
language
university type - Poland  
university status  
Toruń, Poland

Sociology

Socjologia

Language: Polish Studies in Polish
Subject area: social
University website: www.umk.pl/en
Sociology
Sociology is the scientific study of society, including patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture. It is a social science that uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about social order, acceptance, and change or social evolution. Many sociologists aim to conduct research that may be applied directly to social policy and welfare, while others focus primarily on refining the theoretical understanding of social processes. Subject matter ranges from the micro-sociology level of individual agency and interaction to the macro level of systems and the social structure.
Sociology
Comte gave a powerful impetus to the development of sociology, an impetus which bore fruit in the later decades of the nineteenth century. To say this is certainly not to claim that French sociologists such as Durkheim were devoted disciples of the high priest of positivism. But by insisting on the irreducibility of each of his basic sciences to the particular science of sciences which it presupposed in the hierarchy and by emphasizing the nature of sociology as the scientific study of social phenomena Comte put sociology on the map. To be sure, [its] beginnings can be traced back well beyond Montesquieu, for example, and to Condorcet, not to speak of Saint-Simon, Comte's immediate predecessor. But Comte's clear recognition of sociology as a particular science, with a character of its own, justified Durkheim in regarding him as the father or founder of this science, in spite of the fact that Durkheim did not accept the idea of the three states and criticized Comte's approach to sociology.
Frederick Copleston A History of Philosophy: IX Modern Philosophy (1994). Image Books, New York. p. 140. ISBN 0385129106.
Sociology
The social scientist is in a difficult, if not impossible position. On the one hand there is the temptation to see all of society as one's autobiography writ large, surely not the path to general truth. On the other, there is the attempt to be general and objective by pretending that one knows nothing about the experience of being human, forcing the investigator to pretend that people usually know and tell the truth about important issues, when we all know from our lives how impossible that is. How, then, can there be a "social science"? The answer, surely, is to be less ambitious and stop trying to make sociology into a natural science although it is, indeed, the study of natural objects. There are some things in the world that we will never know and many that we will never know exactly. Each domain of phenomena has its characteristic grain of knowability. Biology is not physics, because organisms are such complex physical objects, and sociology is not biology because human societies are made by self-conscious organisms. By pretending to a kind of knowledge that it cannot achieve, social science can only engender the scorn of natural scientists and the cynicism of the humanists.
Richard Lewontin Sex, Lies, and Social Science (1995)
Sociology
The critique of Parsons exploded sociological theory into a thousand glittering but laughably parochial fragments of nano-theories. The contemporary culture of sociology is to treat social theory as set of personal expressions of literati and pseudo-philosophers. Surveying contemporary sociological theory is like going to the art museum. There we see lots of brilliant works, each the product of an artist's imagination. Certainly there is no attempt by artists to form a unified aesthetic vision. Nor should there be. But science is not art. A science becomes mature when the efforts of all researchers are coordinated by an underlying core model. This truth is denied in contemporary sociological culture.
Herbert Gintis, Review of An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology (December 6, 2009)
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