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Unità e pluralità delle scienze sociali

Vittorio Cotesta


Unity and Plurality of the Social Sciences

The author supports the view that New Realism is a positive reaction to the worst aspects of Post-modernism. The call to reality and realism is also a recurrent theme in the scientific debate, both when new sciences are founded and also in periods of paradigm change. This view is demonstrated through two cases – Thucydides criticism of Herodotus at the time of the foundation of history as a science, and Durkheim’s call to reality in the Rules of the Sociological Method. However, the author maintains that this call to reality is accompanied by a new vision of the social world, and this is seen better in the methodological works of M. Weber. By analyzing these cases, the author presents the main thesis that sciences – all empirical sciences and not just the social sciences – are such if, and only if, their logical structure is based on three principles: a) theoretical (internal) coherence, b) correspondence of the theory with the empirical world, and c) liberty, autonomy, and responsibility of the scientists. All sciences, and not just the empirical ones, are instead differentiated from one another by their object and/or by the way they view their object. This general view is illustrated through a case study of the social sciences and particularly by analyzing the epistemological structure of sociology.


Durkheim, Methodology, Paradigm, Social sciences, Weber, Metodologia, Paradigmi, Scienze sociali

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ecps-2014-009-cote

Copyright (©) 2014 Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies (ECPS Journal) – Editorial format and Graphical layout: copyright (©) LED Edizioni Universitarie


Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies (ECPS)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (19/05/2010 n. 278)
Online ISSN 2037-7924 - Print ISSN 2037-7932

Research Laboratory on Didactics and Evaluation - Department of Education - "Roma Tre" University

Executive Editor: Gaetano Domenici - Associate Executive Editor & Managing  Editor: Valeria Biasci
Editorial Board: Eleftheria Argyropoulou - Massimo Baldacci - Joao Barroso - Richard Bates - Christofer Bezzina - Paolo Bonaiuto - Lucia Boncori - Pietro Boscolo - Sara Bubb  - Carlo Felice Casula - Jean-Émile Charlier - Lucia Chiappetta Cajola - Carmela Covato - Jean-Louis Derouet - Peter Early - Franco Frabboni - Constance Katz - James Levin - Pietro Lucisano  - Roberto Maragliano - Romuald Normand - Michael Osborne - Donatella Palomba - Michele Pellerey - Clotilde Pontecorvo - Vitaly V. Rubtzov - Jaap Scheerens - Noah W. Sobe - Francesco Susi - Giuseppe Spadafora - Pat Thomson
Editorial Staff: Fabio Alivernini - Guido Benvenuto - Anna Maria Ciraci - Massimiliano Fiorucci - Luca Mallia - Massimo Margottini - Giovanni Moretti - Carla Roverselli 
Editorial Secretary:
Nazarena Patrizi 

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