On the Possibilities of Achieving Consensus and “Rapid Discoveries” in the Social Sciences

Niko­lai S. Rozov
Insti­tute for Phi­los­o­phy and Law, Siber­ian Branch of Russ­ian Acad­e­my of Sci­ences

Novosi­birsk State Uni­ver­si­ty
Novosi­birsk State Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty

On the Pos­si­bil­i­ties of Achiev­ing Con­sen­sus and “Rapid Dis­cov­er­ies”
in the Social Sci­ences

Abstract. The paper con­sid­ers the dif­fi­cul­ties of reach­ing agree­ment on the the­o­ret­i­cal lev­el of the social sci­ences, their gen­er­al objec­tive and sub­jec­tive rea­sons. The study looks into fac­tors, which aggra­vate these dif­fi­cul­ties in the mod­ern Russ­ian social sci­ences. In West-Euro­pean sci­ence of the 16th and 17th cen­turies, such dif­fi­cul­ties were over­come in math­e­mat­ics and nat­ur­al sci­ences due to the emer­gence of “the rapid dis­cov­er­ies machin­ery”, i.e. the prac­tice of estab­lish­ing com­mon cri­te­ria for solv­ing prob­lems, sys­tem­at­ic ver­i­fi­ca­tion of results (includ­ing those of oth­er peo­ple), con­sen­sus build­ing, as well as sub­se­quent insti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion and accu­mu­la­tion of results as sci­en­tif­ic knowl­edge. The author also dis­cuss­es the obsta­cles and oppor­tu­ni­ties for achiev­ing sci­en­tif­ic con­sen­sus and “rapid dis­cov­er­ies” in the social sci­ences.

Key­words: sci­en­tif­ic con­sen­sus, the sci­ence of rapid dis­cov­er­ies, the method­ol­o­gy of the social sci­ences, the accu­mu­la­tion of knowl­edge, sci­en­tif­ic the­o­ries, empir­i­cal ver­i­fi­ca­tion of the­o­ries, repro­ducibil­i­ty of research results.

DOI: 10.5840/dspl2018116


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