Quotes About Social Sciences

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Quotes About Social Sciences

Computers seem a little too adaptively flexible, like the strange natives, odd societies, and head cases we study in the social sciences. Theres more opposable thumb in the digital world than I care for; its awfully close to human.
— P. J. O'Rourke —

But no. That was analogy rather than homology. What in the humanities they would call a heroic simile, if he understood the term, or a metaphor, or some other kind of literary analogy. And analogies were mostly meaningless - a matter of phenotype rather than genotype (to use another analogy). Most, of poetry and literature, really all the humanities, not to mention the social sciences, were phenotypic as far as Sax could tell. They added up to a huge compendium of meaningless analogies, which did not help to explain things, but only distorted perception of them. A kind of continuous conceptual drunkenness, one might say. Sax himself much preferred exactitude and explanatory power, and why not? If it was 200 Kelvin outside why not say so, rather than talk about witches' tits and the like, hauling the whole great baggage of the ignorant past along to obscure every encounter with sensory reality? It was absurd.

— Kim Stanley Robinson

What would be the nicest thing I could say about Newt Gingrich? He may be one of the great supporters of the humanities, because you have people who don't want to study the social sciences, because it's not profitable, and now Newt, as the highest-paid historian in American history, may be an encouragement to people to study history.

— Barney Frank

Not that I wish by any means to deny, that the mental life of individuals and peoples is also in conformity with law, as is the object of philosophical, philological, historical, moral, and social sciences to establish.

— Hermann Von Helmholtz

I have this extraordinary curiosity about all subjects of the natural and human world and the interaction between the physical sciences and the social sciences.

— Ian Hacking

And intellectual world or by political and financial elites. Hence they must set aside their contempt for other disciplines and their absurd claim to greater scientific legitimacy, despite the fact that they know almost nothing about anything. This, in any case, is the charm of the discipline and of the social sciences in general: one starts from square one, so that there is some hope of making major progress. In France, I believe, economists are slightly more interested in persuading historians and sociologists, as well as people outside the academic world, that what they are doing is interesting (although they are not always successful

— Anonymous.

The qualifications that I have to speak on world affairs are exactly the same ones Henry Kissinger has, and Walt Rostow has, or anybody in the Political Science Department, professional historians-none, none that you don't have. The only difference is, I don't pretend to have qualifications, nor do I pretend that qualifications are needed. I mean, if somebody were to ask me to give a talk on quantum physics, I'd refuse-because I don't understand enough. But world affairs are trivial: there's nothing in the social sciences or history or whatever that is beyond the intellectual capacities of an ordinary fifteen-year-old. You have to do a little work, you have to do some reading, you have to be able to think but there's nothing deep-if there are any theories around that require some special kind of training to understand, then they've been kept a carefully guarded secret.

— Noam Chomsky

Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns is an American masterpiece, a stupendous literary success that channels the social sciences as iconic biography in order to tell a vast story of a people's reinvention of itself and of a nation-the first complete history of the Great Black Migration from start to finish, north, east, west.

— David Levering Lewis

Mathematical economics is old enough to be respectable, but not all economists respect it. It has powerful supporters and impressive testimonials, yet many capable economists deny that mathematics, except as a shorthand or expository device, can be applied to economic reasoning. There have even been rumors that mathematics is used in economics (and in other social sciences) either for the deliberate purpose of mystification or to confer dignity upon common places as French was once used in diplomatic communications.

— James R Newman

The prime lesson the social sciences can learn from the natural sciences is just this: that it is necessary to press on to find the positive conditions under which desired events take place, and that these can be just as scientifically investigated as can instances of negative correlation. This problem is beyond relativity.

— Ruth Benedict

The price of these failures has been a loss of moral consensus, a greater sense of helplessness about the human condition ... The intellectual solution to the first dilemma can be achieved by a deeper and more courageous examination of human nature that combines the findings of biology with those of the social sciences.

— E. O. Wilson

[I]n the humanities and social sciences, and in fields like journalism and economics and so on ... people have to be trained to be managers, and controllers, and to accept things, and not to question too much.

— Noam Chomsky

The state has been living on a revenue which was being produced in the private sphere for private purposes and had to be deflected from these purposes by political force. The theory that construes taxes on the analogy of club dues or of the purchase of the services of, say, a doctor only proves how far removed this part of the social sciences is from scientific habits of mind.

— Joseph A. Schumpeter

The social sciences are usually concerned with groups of persons rather than individual persons. The behavior of individuals, being free, is unpredictable.

— Carroll Quigley

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