1979 (1) Issue 1
Table of Contents
Title: Zum Programm einer kritischen Sozialwissenschaft - Empirie und Theorie
Author: Michael Baurmann / Anton Leist / Dieter Mans
Abstract: The article argues for a synthesis between analytical philosophy and social sciences as relevant and necessary. The motivation and framework of such a synthesis is outlined on the basis of a critical social science. The authors illuminate such a perspective negatively in a critique of empirical and theoretical sociology, then positively in a clarification of the critical standpoint. Four theses, two under each aspect, are defended: 1. Concerning empirical social sciences: Neither the quantitative nor the qualitative paradigm of empirical social science is able to put forward adequate methods for social research. Instead, the development of reconstructive methods is proposed to combine the advantages and eliminate the disadvantages of the quantitative and qualitative paradigms. 2. Concerning theoretical sociology: Macrosociological theories tend to resist empirical corrobation. Pure theoretical and philosophical justification abounds instead. In this situation the tools of analytic theory of science are proposed in order to c1arify the necessary steps towards a further development of theories, which can be empirically tested. 3. Concerning the critique of society: A critical social science must incorporate a theory of a just society in order to analyse social institutions in a normative way. In this context an ethical realist approach is offered which tries to fulfil two conditions for sociologically relevant normative reasonings: satisfaction of individual interests and the rational consensus of all persons concerned. 4. Concerning critique of ideology: The tools of analytic philosophy can be given new application by combining them with an ana-lysis of interests under the tide of critique of ideology.
Title: Logischer Positivismus und radikale Gesellschaftsreform
Author: Ansgar Beckermann
Abstract: For many years some critically engaged German sociologists have challenged Logical Positivism with the criticism that Positivism's allegedly neutral conception of science in fact supports conservative or even reactionary political movemenrs. This line of criticism is due, at last in part, to the fact that German scientists became acquainted with the positivistic branch of analytical philosophy after World War II almost exclusively through the works of the liberal-conservative K. R. Popper. Popper, however, is by no means representative of all Positivists. There were influential members of the Vienna Circle who saw a direct connection between the aims of the "scientific world view" and the endeavour to renew the society on the basis of rational, i.e. socialistic, principles. This connection becomes especially clear in the manifesto Wissenschaftliche Weltauffassung - Der Wiener Kreis which was published in 1929 by Camap, Hahn and Neurath.
Title: Grenzen der wissenschaftlichen Weltauffassung des Wiener Kreises. Eine Replik auf A. Beckermanns "Logischer Positivismus und radikale Gesellschaftsreform"
Author: Rainer Hegselmann
Abstract: Beckermann states correctly that one wing of the Vienna Circle advocated a program of rationality including theoretical as well as practical questions. However, contrary to Beckermann, it can be pointed out that there is no consistent relationship between the theoretical and practical parts of this program. These inconsistencies could be e1iminated if one takes the historical background from which Logical Empiricism originated into consideration.
Title: Zerstört der Logische Empirismus die Praktische Rationalität? Eine Erwiderung auf Beckermanns "Logischer Positivismus und radikale Gesellschaftsreform " und Hegselmanns "Grenzen der wissenschaftlichen Weltauffassung des Wiener Kreises"
Author: Wolfgang R. Köhler
Abstract: It will be argued that the basic theoretical assumptions of logical empiricism do not destroy the possibility of practical reasoning, because the non-cognitivity of normative or evaluative statements still guarantees rational argument over practical questions and problems. Therefore, no logical inconsistency exists between logical empiricism, its non-cognitivist metaethics and socialist politics. In particular, logical empiricism is not committed to indifference concerning reactionary political programmes, although it itself entails no individual political programme.
Title: Historical Momentums and Historical Epochs. An Attempt at a Non-Marxian Historical Materialism
Author: Leszek Nowak
Abstract: The paper begins with a proposal for a reconstruction of three major statements of the traditional Marxian version of historical materialism. The general concept of an adaptive mechanism is introduced to explain how, in the Marxian sense, several parts of the superstruc-ture are to be thought of as determined by the economic base. The paper proceeds by asking whether the classical type of economic determination is valid not only for precapitalist and capitalist societies, but for socialist societies as well. An answer in the negative is given. The author tries to outline a type of historical materialism which takes into account the autonomous role of political institutions and social relations as determinants in socialist societies.
Title: Comments on some Methodological Aspects of Rawls, "Theory of Justice"
Author: Ernst Tugendhat
Abstract: In the first part of the paper Rawls, conception of a "reflective equilibrium" with our "considered moral judgements" is criticized. Moral judgements cannot form a court of appeal for the justification of moral principles, since they are themselves in need of justification. An analysis of the meaning of the sentences in which moral judgements are expressed is called for in order to establish their method of justification. In the second part of the paper the consequence which Rawls, repudiation of semantic analysis has had for his conception of the "original position" is discussed. In retrogressive extension of his four-stage-sequence a zero-stage is postulated which represents the moral point of view. At this stage the reasons would have to be given for adopting the original position and for conceiving it with just those characteristics that Rawls has assumed. Only thus can the advantages and disadvantages of these characteristics be analytically assessed.
Title: Methodenfragen der Gerechtigkeitstheorie. Überlegungen im Anschlu ß an Tugendhats "Comments on some Methodological Aspects of Rawls' 'Theory of Justice'"
Author: Arend Kulenkampff
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is the clarification of some methodological problems concerning Rawls, theory of justice. The first part seeks to make more precise Tugendhat's distinc-tion between 1st-person-theory and 3rd-person-theory. Rawls, theory fulfils all criteria for 1st-person-theories. In the second part Rawls, coherence model for the justification of norms ("reflective equilibrium") is critically analyzed and opposed to the hypothetical decision which individuals are to make in the original position (contract model). It is shown that the conception of reflective equilibrium is in various aspects mistaken. In conclusion a problem is indicated which Rawls has not satisfactorily resolved: The veil of ignorance is supposed to guarantee that the decision for the basic principles of social justice is unanimous. Nevertheless it would appear that the individuals in the original position either have too little empirical knowledge in order to make a rational decision, or they have too much knowledge in order to come to an unanimous decision. The veil of ignorance is either too fine or not fine enough.