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Sociology and The Natural Sciences Essay

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Sociology is the study of society as well as the pursuit of knowledge regarding human social activities however, the entity’s legitimacy as a science is a concept worth discussion. Although sociology is different at face value than the natural sciences, the two possess fundamental similarities by which problems are recognized and explained. With the explanation of why sociology is a science, the next step would be to specify what type of science sociology is and how it relates to the natural sciences.
Karl Popper is an often cited philosopher when addressing the concern of sociology as a science and by his logical explanation of science one can easily deduce that sociology is a science. In his article problems are discussed as the source of knowledge and that science pursues problems to determine answers so that we may gain awareness and understanding. Therefore, the scientific process begins with observation so that we may find as Popper states “something [which] is not quite in order with our knowledge, with our expectations, with our theories” (89) or rather an unexplained problem which cannot be answered based on the knowledge which is immediately available to us. Once a problem has been identified, solutions must be proposed in an attempt to fix the problem, however a crucial step must be carried out before we make assumptions of truth based on the proposed solutions. All solutions must be then subjected to applicable criticism in an attempt to disprove the hypothesis and if the solution stands against such criticism, than that hypothesis should be accepted temporarily. Sociology utilizes this process by conducting studies and proposing hypotheses for problems of a social nature like social stratification, which then are i...


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...ition, the potential existence of casual relationships which have not yet been discovered makes the above argument invalid.
Despite the differences between the natural sciences and the social sciences, sociology is in fact a legitimate science. The fundamental process of observing problems, formalizing hypotheses and testing said hypotheses is a common element among the sciences and one which sociology utilizes. In addition, sociology needs to be termed as a hermeneutic science rather than a nomological science because society is a complex entity. Understanding problems must be paired with an understanding of the culture within which the problem exists, otherwise an accurate solution is impossible to discover. In conclusion, sociology is a legitimate science however certain dissimilarities must be addressed in order to fully comprehend the scope of that claim.



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