How to use "positivism" in a sentence
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Comte's positivism established the initial philosophical foundations for formal sociology and social research. Durkheim, Marx, and Weber are more typically cited as the fathers of contemporary social science. In psychology, a positivistic approach has historically been favoured in behaviourism. Positivism has also been espoused by 'technocrats' who believe in the inevitability of social progress through science and technology.
Instrumentalism became popular among physicists around the turn of the 20th century, after which logical positivism defined the field for several decades. Logical positivism accepts only testable statements as meaningful, rejects metaphysical interpretations, and embraces verificationism (a set of theories of knowledge that combines logicism, empiricism, and linguistics to ground philosophy on a basis consistent with examples from the empirical sciences). Seeking to overhaul all of philosophy and convert it to a new scientific philosophy, the Berlin Circle and the Vienna Circle propounded logical positivism in the late 1920s.
The variety of positivism that remains dominant today is termed instrumental positivism. This approach eschews epistemological and metaphysical concerns (such as the nature of social facts) in favour of methodological clarity, replicability, reliability and validity. This positivism is more or less synonymous with quantitative research, and so only resembles older positivism in practice. Since it carries no explicit philosophical commitment, its practitioners may not belong to any particular school of thought. Modern sociology of this type is often credited to Paul Lazarsfeld, who pioneered large-scale survey studies and developed statistical techniques for analysing them. This approach lends itself to what Robert K. Merton called middle-range theory: abstract statements that generalize from segregated hypotheses and empirical regularities rather than starting with an abstract idea of a social whole.
This interdisciplinary article draws on the social sciences to posit a tripartite model from which literary research into disability can benefit. Ableism and disablism are defined by normative positivisms and non-normative negativisms respectively, but consideration is also given to non-normative positivisms. Informed by experiential knowledge, the model is illustrated with reference to a trilogy of literary representations of blindness: George Sava’s novel Happiness is blind (1987), Brian Friel’s play Molly Sweeney (1994), and Stephen Kuusisto’s memoir Eavesdropping (2006). The result is a complex reading that recognises problems but also non-normative renderings of happiness...
This thesis explores Jurgen Habermas's dualist, system and action methodology of the social sciences as a continuation of Frankfurt School critical theory. It also interprets it as a reworking of this tradition. First, it lays out the criteria and models Habermas uses for a theory of rational modern progress, and relates these ideals to his empirical political theory of practice in the public sphere (Chapter One). Then, it looks for positivisms and objectivisms in the project that threaten its critical function (Chapter Two). Finally, it illustrates these positivisms at work in Habermas's dualist theory of new social movements (Chapter Three). Habermas's dialogue with new social movement theory illuminates some hidden instrumentalisms in his critical theory of society...
Jakubowski, Jan Zygmunt, ed., Literatura polska od średniowiecza do pozytywizmu (Polish Literature from the Middle Ages to Positivism), Warsaw, Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1979.
The overarching methodological principle of positivism is to conduct sociology in broadly the same manner as natural science. An emphasis on empiricism and the scientific method is sought to provide a tested foundation for sociological research based on the assumption that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge, and that such knowledge can only arrive by positive affirmation through scientific methodology.
The logical positivism movement originated in the Vienna Circle and was continued by British philosopher A. J. Ayer. The Vienna Circle adopted the distinction between analytic and synthetic statements: analytic statements are those whose meaning is contained within the words themselves, such as definitions, tautologies or mathematical statements, while synthetic statements make claims about reality. To determine whether a synthetic statement is meaningful, the Vienna Circle developed a verifiability theory of meaning, which proposed that for a synthetic statement to have cognitive meaning, its truthfulness must be empirically verifiable. Because claims about God cannot be empirically verified, the logical positivists argued that religious propositions are meaningless.
As in Comptean positivism's envisioned unity of science, neopositivists aimed to network all special sciences through the covering law model of scientific explanation. And ultimately, by supplying boundary conditions and supplying bridge laws within the covering law model, all the special sciences' laws would reduce to fundamental physics, the fundamental science.
In this article the tripartite model of disability is applied to the lived experience of twenty-first-century higher education. The tripartite model facilitates a complex understanding of disability that recognises assumptions and discrimination but not at the cost of valued identity. This being so, not only the normative positivisms and non-normative negativisms but also the non-normative positivisms of the classroom and the curriculum are explored. Inclusion is taken as the starting point and the argument progresses to a profound and innovational appreciation of disability. The problem addressed is that inclusion, as shown in The Biopolitics of Disability, constitutes little more than inclusion-ism until disability is recognised in the context of alternative lives and values that neither enforce nor reify normalcy. Informed by this understanding, the article adopts the disciplinary example of literary studies and refers to Brian Friel’s Molly Sweeney as a primary text. The conclusion is that, despite passive and active resistance, disability enters higher education in many ways, most of which are beneficial to students and educators alike...
Dworkin's model of legal principles is also connected with Hart's notion of the Rule of Recognition. Dworkin rejects Hart's conception of a master rule in every legal system that identifies valid laws, on the basis that this would entail that the process of identifying law must be uncontroversial, whereas (Dworkin argues) people have legal rights even in cases where the correct legal outcome is open to reasonable dispute. Dworkin moves away from positivism's separation of law and morality, since constructive interpretation implicates moral judgments in every decision about what the law is.
A fundamental influence on Durkheim's thought was the sociological positivism of Auguste Comte, who effectively sought to extend and apply the scientific method found in the natural sciences to the social sciences. According to Comte, a true social science should stress for empirical facts, as well as induce general scientific laws from the relationship among these facts. There were many points on which Durkheim agreed with the positivist thesis. First, he accepted that the study of society was to be founded on an examination of facts. Second, like Comte, he acknowledged that the only valid guide to objective knowledge was the scientific method. Third, he agreed with Comte that the social sciences could become scientific only when they were stripped of their metaphysical abstractions and philosophical speculation. At the same time, Durkheim believed that Comte was still too philosophical in his outlook.
Dissatisfaction became more evident during the 1880s, and some officers began to display open insubordination. The Emperor and the politicians did nothing to improve the military nor meet their demands. The dissemination of Positivist ideology among young officers brought further complications, as Positivism opposed the monarchy under the belief that a dictatorial republic would bring improvements. A coalition between a mutinous Army faction and the Positivist camp was formed and directly led to the republican coup on 15 November 1889. Battalions and even full regiments of soldiers loyal to the Empire, who shared the ideals of the older generation of leaders, attempted to restore the monarchy. Attempts at a restoration proved futile and supporters of the Empire were executed, arrested or forcibly retired.
The nation enjoyed great international prestige during the final years of the Empire, and it had become an emerging power within the international arena. Predictions of economic and labor disruption caused by the abolition of slavery failed to materialize and the 1888 coffee harvest was successful. The end of slavery had resulted in an explicit shift of support to republicanism by rich and powerful coffee farmers who held great political, economic and social power in the country. Republicanism was an elitist creed which never flourished in Brazil, with little support in the provinces. The combination of republican ideas and the dissemination of Positivism among the army's lower and medium officer ranks led to indiscipline among the corps and became a serious threat to the monarchy. They dreamed of a dictatorial republic, which they believed would be superior to the monarchy.
This chapter proposes that, though based in the social sciences, the tripartite model of disability can be used to enrich critical approaches to the arts and humanities. The aim is to recognise not only the difficulties but also the positivisms of disability. How have the arts and humanities privileged certain minds and bodies; problematised other minds and bodies; and promoted an appreciation of the minds and bodies that come under the rubric of disability? These are the considerations that underpin the methodological application of the tripartite model of disability...
Some of the main problems of sociological theory are analyzed in this paper. Especial concern is given to positivism's methodological approach which is particularly criticised by the authors. They insist that social facts do not speak for themselves. These facts' description and interpretation depend on the instruments and perspectives through which they are observed and on the own researcher's biases. Deep theoretical changes introduced by Systems Theory during the last decades have surpassed closed conceptual frameworks and have been opening new theoretical routes that lead to a conceptual and methodological pluralism...
César Vallejo's short story, "Los caynas" (1923), relates a tale of species mutation, of men who become apes. The story, however, is something more than the reflection of the positivist interpretation of Darwinian theory. It can be read as a critique of Positivism's pseudo-scientific ideals or as a version of the Oedipal drama in which the son encounters and rejects his ape father. The ambivalence raises the question of whether Vallejo's Darwinism is to be read literally or ironically as well, as marking an antinomy present throughout his writing between the human subject's immersion in the species and the possibility of a collective human-transformation...
The Positivist school argues criminal behavior comes from internal and external factors out of the individual's control. Philosophers within this school applied the scientific method to study human behavior. Positivism comprises three segments: biological, psychological and social positivism.
Ayer, Alfred Jules. Logical Positivism. Glencoe, Ill: Free Press, 1959.
Whereas legal positivism would say that a law can be unjust without it being any less a law, a natural law jurisprudence would say that there is something legally deficient about an unjust norm. Legal interpretivism, famously defended in the English-speaking world by Ronald Dworkin, claims to have a position different from both natural law and positivism.
In his History of Italy from 1871 to 1915, published in 1928 during the Fascist period, Benedetto Croce traced the profile of the Italian politics and culture in the turn of the century, interweaving the analysis of the positivism’s crisis (with the so-called «rebirth of idealism») and that, now dramatic, of liberal institutions. For many reasons, History of Italy is not only a great history book, but also the proof of a real drama in the liberal conscience after the rise of fascism. The following paper takes into account the relationship between idealism and politics from 1902 to 1925, with particular regard to the philosophy of Croce and Gentile...
Thomas Kuhn's 1962 book—explaining that periods of normal science as but a paradigm of science are each overturned by revolutionary science whose paradigm becomes the normal science anew—dissolved logical positivism's grip in the English-speaking world, and inductivism fell. Besides Popper and Kuhn, other postpostivist philosophers of science—including Paul Feyerabend, Imre Lakatos, and Larry Laudan—have all but unanimously rejected inductivism. Among them, those who have asserted scientific realism—that scientific theory can and does offer approximately true understanding of nature's unobservable aspects—have tended to claim that scientists develop approximately true theories about nature through IBE. And yet IBE, which, so far, cannot be trained, lacks particular rules of inference. By the 21st century's turn, inductivism's heir was Bayesianism.
In a previous paper, I compared Bentham and Austin’s positivisms. I showed that the difference between them mostly laid in their concepts of a law. The concepts of a law Bentham and Austin adopted drove them to very different positions as regards the possibility of a conceptualisation of legal powers. Whereas Austin’s « imperative » theory does not allow for such a discussion, Bentham’s « imperational 146 » theory imposes him this reflection. Austin only admits that the sovereign and, in very restrictive conditions, the judges can create laws. On the contrary, according to Bentham, the sovereign, judges, administrators, individuals in their private relations also produce laws. Thus the necessity to explain how they can have such a « normative power » or, in Bentham’s terminology, « power of imperation » ( [...] .) ...
Bergmann, Gustav. The Metaphysics of Logical Positivism. New York: Longmans Green, 1954.
Friedman, Michael, Reconsidering Logical Positivism. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Rescher, Nicholas (ed.). The Heritage of Logical Positivism. University Press of America, 1985.
This is a project of History of Literature, where we attempt to see in a unique vision Realism – Naturalism – Parnasianism, studying some relevant points from the ambient where they were developed. Realism exists like tendency and it exists like school, too. Between motives for Realism become school, we remember Positivism’s influence in the general culture and the 1848 ’s episode. The School of Recife also was important; their principal participants were Tobias Barreto and Silvio Romero. Three questions affect the society in that époque: military question, Coimbrã question and the religious question. In begin we see Realism – Naturalism – Parnasianism together, but after we need consider two rams came from Realism: Naturalism and Parnasianism, this is seen together other tendency of époque: the realist poetry...
Much of the thinking that has shaped our understanding of community-engaged research has its roots in the intellectual résistance of the early 20 th century to the domination and permeation of the positivist imagination into our ways of knowing, talking about and interacting with the world. Since then, positivism’s vision of a singular source and mode of knowledge, accessed, secured and enriched only through carefully guarded instruments and methodologies, has been systematically assaulted by social theorists at two major points. At the first of these, adherents of the critical theory tradition have attacked the tendency of positivist models to reduce diversity and complexity in the social world to rationalised taxonomies and empirically observed social ‘facts’, querying the possibility of their ‘objective’ observation and even disputing their very existence. Elsewhere, cultural and political theorists have exposed the myriad ways i...
This is a translation of Dr. James Donato's Dworkin and Subjectivity in Legal Interpretation. In that paper, the author argues about the 'Subjectivity in Legal Interpretation'. He says that Hans Kelsen and H. L. A. Hart represent the chief architects of positivism's theory of legal interpretation. The Kelsenian legal scientist stands outside the law and regards it as an object existing wholly apart from the observer. Hart relaxed Kelsen's formalism by requiring legal theorists to look at law through the eyes of someone who accepts a legal system's rules. Against this positivist approach Dworkin offers a substantially more subjectivist theory of hermeneutics. Dworkin offers a fully hermeneutics theory that strongly resembles Gadamer's ontological, dialectical, value-laden interpretation theory. But the author says that Dworkin's work has a significant flaw, namely his insistence on allegiance to tradition. And at last the author shows the way to recover Dworkin's this defect...
Priego, Natalia. Positivism, Science, and 'The Scientists' in Porfirian Mexico. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press 2016.
Rescher, Nicholas (1985), The Heritage of Logical Positivism, University Press of America, Lanham, MD.
Positivism, with its claim of being a religion of science, deeply impressed the Young Turks, who believed it could be more easily reconciled with Islam than could popular materialistic theories. The name of the society, Committee of Union and Progress, is believed to be inspired by leading positivist Auguste Comte's motto Order and Progress. Positivism also served as a base for the desired strong government.
According to author Jon Wiener, [...] "All You Need Is Love" [...] served as [...] "the anthem of flower power" [...] during the summer of 1967 but also, like the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album, highlighted the ideological gulf between the predominately white hippie movement and the increasingly political ghetto culture in the United States. Wiener says that the song's pacifist agenda infuriated many student radicals from the New Left and that these detractors [...] "continued to denounce Lennon for it for the rest of his life". In the decades following its release, Beatles biographers and music journalists have criticised the lyrics as naive and simplistic and detected a smugness in the message; the song's musical content has also been dismissed as unimaginative. Writing in 1988, author and critic Tim Riley identified the track's [...] "internal contradictions (positivisms expressed with negatives)" [...] and [...] "bloated self-confidence ('it's easy')" [...] as qualities that rendered it as [...] "the naive answer to 'A Day in the Life'".
In a book called Science Versus Crime, Houck writes that Popper's falsificationism can be questioned logically: it is not clear how Popper would deal with a statement like [...] "for every metal, there is a temperature at which it will melt." [...] The hypothesis cannot be falsified by any possible observation, for there will always be a higher temperature than tested at which the metal may in fact melt, yet it seems to be a valid scientific hypothesis. These examples were pointed out by Carl Gustav Hempel. Hempel came to acknowledge that Logical Positivism's verificationism was untenable, but argued that falsificationism was equally untenable on logical grounds alone. The simplest response to this is that, because Popper describes how theories attain, maintain and lose scientific status, individual consequences of currently accepted scientific theories are scientific in the sense of being part of tentative scientific knowledge, and both of Hempel's examples fall under this category. For instance, atomic theory implies that all metals melt at some temperature.
Precrime in criminology dates back to the positivist school in the late 19th century, especially to Cesare Lombroso's idea that there are [...] "born criminals", who can be recognized, even before they have committed any crime, on the basis of certain physical characteristics. Biological, psychological and sociological forms of criminological positivisms informed criminal policy in the early 20th century. For born criminals, criminal psychopaths and dangerous habitual offenders eliminatory penalties (capital punishment, indefinite confinement, castration etc.) were seen as appropriate (cf.Leon Radzinowicz/Roger Hood: A History of English Criminal Law, London 1986, pp. 231-387). Similar ideas were advocated by the Social Defense movement and, more recently, by what is seen and criticized as an emerging [...] "new criminology" [...] (Feeley/Simon 1992) or [...] "actuary justice" [...] (Feeley/Simon 1994). The new [...] "pre crime" [...] or [...] "security society" [...] requires a radically new criminology (Fitzgibbon 2004; Zedner 2007; Zedner 2009; Zedner 2010; Zedner 2014).