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Sociology 122 Winter Term Exam Final-notes.doc

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Queen's University
SOCY 122
Rob Beamish

o Beginning of the scientific world view ∙ Therefore, emphasis is on observation and classification ∙ Grasps regularities ∙ Progress in accuracy of observing and understanding the world, and utility – permitting humankind to work in the world ∙ Does not exclusively rely on intellect ∙ Draws upon creativity of emotions and imagination o These capacities allow it to observe and classify more accurately ∙ Language is a critical dimension of science TheArts ∙ Stem from the emotions ∙ Comparative standards of excellence o No progress ∙ Employs aspects of reality and life experience with imagination • Like science, sociology is committed to analysis and comprehension of relatively enduring reality • Like science and the arts, language and creativity are critical to sociology’s comprehension of complex social world • Sociology focuses on the level of “action” where intellect and emotions combine (the humanization of the world) • Subject matter is a product of human action • This level is the domain of sociology • Sociology is fundamentally tied to an analysis of the world • Role of language is central to scientific enterprise • Sociology is a science but different from the natural sciences in two key way: • The “objects” of study differ fundamentally (do not exist independently of human action; they are a product of action)—every “object” or term simultaneously identifies social phenomenon and is evaluative • Due to contested nature of “objects” and terms, full theoretical agreement unlikely • Areas of disagreement much smaller in area of natural science Sociology, Science & Language Philosophy of Science: ∙ Deals with basic ideas that underlie our understanding of science Logical Positivism: Specific goals: • Language, concepts, and ideas precede observation • Linguistic turn – recognized the importance of conceptual notions • Seek precise language of science • Replace vague terms of everyday discourse with clear terms • Seek the unity of the sciences • Same techniques of science applied universally 1
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