A movement in early twentieth-century American sociology which blended together the three themes of quantification, behaviourism , and positivist epistemology. Its principal proponents were Franklin H. Giddings and George A. Lundberg , although the mathematical sociology of writers such as George K. Zipf (1902-50) can be seen as a development of neo-positivist theory.
In his Studies in the Theory of Human Society (1922), Giddings offered a defence of behaviourism, arguing that ‘psychology has become experimental and objective. It has discriminated between reflex and conditioning’. He also insisted that ‘sociology [is] a science statistical in method’ and that ‘a true and complete description of anything must include measurement of it’. Similarly, Lundberg maintained that sociology could be modelled on the natural sciences, and should observe the behaviour of human beings in social situations but without reference to concepts such as feelings, ends, motives, values, and will (which he described as ‘the phlogiston of the social sciences’). Like Giddings, Lundberg argued that science dealt in exact descriptions and generalization, both of which required ‘the quantitative statement’. He emphasized the importance of attitude scales in this context, and insisted (in common with earlier positivists) that science cannot formulate value statements, and that sociology must be a science in this mould.
In so far as neo-positivism had a lasting influence on the development of American sociology, this is perhaps best seen in later mathematical sociology, as for example in Richard M. Emerson's attempt to integrate mathematical theory and exchange theory (reported in, Sociological Theories in Progress, 1972). There are those (see, for example,, Sociological Theory Construction, 1972) who continue to insist that the most important criterion of a scientific theory is testability, and that only a mathematically formalized theory is empirically testable.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

Игры ⚽ Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • neo-positivist — neo positivism …   Dictionary of sociology

  • neo — neo·abietic; neo·anthropic; neo·an·thro·pi·nae; neo·aplec·ta·na; neo·arsphenamine; neo·balaena; neo·baroque; neo·calamites; neo·ceratodus; neo·cerebellar; neo·cerebellum; neo·classic; neo·classicism; neo·classicist; neo·cortex; neo·cosmic;… …   English syllables

  • positivism — a philosophy (of science), that originated in the Vienna Circle in the 1920s, which holds that philosophy should aspire to the same sort of rigor as science. Philosophy should provide strict criteria for judging sentences true, false and… …   Mini philosophy glossary

  • Neo-Scholasticism — • The development of the Scholasticism of the Middle Ages during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Neo Scholasticism     Neo Scholasticism …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Positivism — • A system of philosophical and religious doctrines elaborated by Auguste Comte. Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Positivism     Positivism      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Neo-Kantianism — Part of a series on Immanuel …   Wikipedia

  • Néo-positivisme — Empirisme logique L Empirisme logique (parfois nommé positivisme logique, néo positivisme, ou empirisme rationnel) est une école philosophique principalement illustrée par le Cercle de Vienne, fondé par un groupe réunissant des scientifiques et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Neo-Gramscianism — International relations theory  • Idealism  Liberalism   …   Wikipedia

  • Neo-neo synthesis — The Neo Neo Synthesis is a phrased used in international relations to refer to the converge of the neorealist and the neoliberal[1] schools of thought since the 1970s. The term is frequently used by scholars who work outside of those two… …   Wikipedia

  • Logical positivism — (also known as logical empiricism, scientific philosophy, and neo positivism) is a philosophy that combines empiricism the idea that observational evidence is indispensable for knowledge with a version of rationalism incorporating mathematical… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”