Weber’s procedure involves certain models of ideal behavior of individuals that he calls “ideal types” which he believes are not the reflections of how the society actually behaves but are to be considered abstract, hypothetical examples of situations from which actual events deviate because of accidental and irrational factors. These ideal types are used to compare and assess the deviation of actual behaviors and events from the ideal type. Durkheim on the other hand believed that the method applied in the study of sociology should be universally applicable. Unlike Weber who put more emphasis on interpretation of actions and on creating some fixed ideal types, Durkheim believed that we should not begin to approach sociology with pre-formulated broad notions that exist only in our minds without observing the real world around us. He believed that moral facts were phenomenon that were possible to observe, describe and classify and that since “morality develops over the course of history and is dominated by historical causes”, it changes with the change in social conditions (Durkheim xxvi).
In this context, what is meant by the term “science”? Positive sociology is claimed to be a “scientific” approach. If we make the assumption that crime is related to deprivation, we are making a statement which can either be proved or refused by evidence. Positive sociology itself deals only with what might be called “positive” questions, those that do not rely on value judgements. Some of the early sociologists had very strong views on how society should develop and so whilst they might have used positive sociology they would also have dealt with normative sociology.
In an attempt to understand how science evolves, Thomas Kuhn proposed the idea that in a particular scientific discipline and in a specific time period there exist a leading paradigm. This was in response to the commonly held belief that science evolves in a cumulative manner. In addition, George Ritzer uses Khun’s theory as background in order to make the social world easier to understand. He believed that Sociology is a multiple paradigm science, which embodied three major paradigms. Namely, the social facts, the social definition and the social behaviour paradigms, but he found that these paradigms were too one sided in their approach.
The Modern Dialectic Modern dialectic can be seen as a response to the contradictions in these methods and in society form which these arose. The first champion of modern dialectic is the German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel. Hegel, as the others of his times was deeply influenced by the values of Enlightenment but at the same time, before Marx, its greatest critic. Early in his life, Hegel saw himself working, albeit critically, within the Kantian philosophical tradition.
Popper was a staunch positivist in suggesting that we need to look attheories and evidence to test them.. One of the problems however, of the positivist approach is that not all ideas are readily quantifiable and there may be problems of pursuing a positivist approach in only looking to test ideas which can be easily tested. This criticism is not however confined to positivist sociologists. Not all sociologists would necessarily believe that we should move towards positivism. There is no one theory of contemporary sociology which is accepted by all sociologists. The original sociologists assumed that the study of sociology would help society to progress to better understanding and this would therefore in turn help to shape better human systems.
How can moral judgement be passed if the concept (a subjective construct) responsibility and morality is detached from any objectivity? Furthermore, objectivity cannot be restricted by binaries such as good and evil. With that said, it seems life negating to pass moral judgement on a peer based on a code of morals without an objective foot to stand on. Nietzsche is also concerned with another leg of the traditional concept of responsibility: Causality. Nietzsche maintains that: Firstly, free will and unfree will does not exist and an actor does not act out of free will.
To think in materialist terms instead, is to understand the world in it 's clearest capacity. While you think in idealist terms, and see “spirit” as driving history, you are indulging unnecessary mystification. That superfluous curtain is obscuring to you the truth of humanity, and our physical actions that shape the world. Hegelianism has thus far kept the movement of reality is standing on its head, we must now set it upon its feet. The view of historical materialism has been set apart from many contemporary philosophies by my use of critical method in the study of social sciences.
He claims that this broadening was not possible before because of the narrow definition of the social following from the distinction of natural and social and because of the human-centered definition of the term “actor”. The symmetry in that thought is opposed to an “a priori [...] asymmetry among human intentional action and a material world of causal relations.” Since ANT is a negative approach to the social, Latour sets many of his explanations in a “it’s not this, it’s that” style. For him, the social doesn’t simply exist for itself, but it must be traced through the associations “connecting non-social resources”. Similarly, the social doesn’t explain anything, it must be explained. This new view on the social opens the sociology for better observations: abandoning social explanation is like abandoning the ether; nothing is lost except an artifact that made impossible the development of a science by forcing observers to invent entities with contradictory features, blinding them to the real ones.
The social world has to be verified in a purely empirical manner by understanding of empiricism and realist ontology. Both have a view that the world exists independently of researchers’ knowledge of it and that social phenomena have causal powers on which we can make causal statements. Both Marxist and positivist stress the need for a rigorous scientific method, for scientific analysis of the social phenomenon and natural world. However these two perspectives have some traits which make one unique from another and these are discussions as below, Marxist perspective is more subjective that is to say; describes a problem from the point of view of those experiencing the problem whereas positivist perspective is more objective that is to say; it is interpreted by the researcher about the problem. Marxist perspective focuses less on empirical study and abstains from a historical explanation of social phenomena but focuses on an epistemological position which is sceptical of the naive perceptions that which lead to a proper understanding of the social world without using theoretical framework whereas positivism focuses on ontological realism and objectivity in understanding the world with value free empirical
For instance, positivist approach believes that knowledge is only produced through scientific approach. And reality is independent of any phenomena; facts are established by taking apart a phenomenon to examine its component parts. Yet from my experiences I argue that the alternative view i.e. social constructivist approaches is best because they believe that the best way to understand any phenomenon is to view it in its context. They see all quantification as limited in nature,