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Outline And Explain Two Reasons Why Some People Argue That Sociology Cannot Be A Science Sociology Essay

432 words - 2 pages

Some people, like the philosopher Karl Popper, believe the key feature of a practice that makes it scientific is its ability to be falsified. ‘All knowledge is capable of refutation at any moment’. For example, a scientist may hypothesise that all swans are white, and then proceed to search the surrounding area for black swans. It is impossible to say that all swans are white, as it is always possible for the next swan the researcher finds is black. The primary aim of this is to find proof that their hypothesis is false - hence the term ‘falsification’. People who support falsification as the primary criteria for science would reject the idea that sociology is scientific, because much of sociology attempts to verify a hypothesis, to prove it true by finding evidence that supports it. Therefore, sociology is not seen as a science. However, scientific sociology is possible in principle - for example, you could aim to falsify the hypothesis that all women like the colour pink by asking every woman if they like pink until someone responds ‘no’. This works in principle, however - in practice, some women are blind, or some may refuse to answer. This is because sociology is the study of social reality, which has many uncontrollable variables that make falsifying a...

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