The Society for General Systems Theory and its publication General Systems was a mixed bag. Few authors were actually doing research -they philosophized, and many prematurely resolved dilemmas by mathematical equations in a language poorly understood by the empirical investigator.
The social scientist is in a difficult, if not impossible position.On the one hand there is the temptation to see all of societyas one's autobiography writ large, surely not the path to general truth.On the other hand, there is the attempt to be general and objective by pretending that one knows nothing about the experience of being human, forcing the investigator to pretend that people usually know and tell the truth about important issues, when we all know from our own lives how impossible that is.
In philosophical anthropology, … where the subject is man in his wholeness, the investigator cannot content himself, as in anthropology as an individual science, with considering man as another part of nature and with ignoring the fact that he, the investigator, is himself a man and experiences this humanity in his inner experience in a way that he simply cannot experience any part of nature.Martin Buber
Mankind will possess incalculable advantages and extraordinary control over human behavior when the scientific investigator will be able to subject his fellow men to the same external analysis he would employ for any natural object, and when the human mind will contemplate itself not from within but from without.ivan pavlov
The researcher hoping to break new ground in the theory of experimental design should involve himself in the design of actual experiments. The investigator who hopes to revolutionize decision theory should observe and take part in the making of important decisions.george e. p. box
He [the "specialist"] is one who, out of all that has to be known in order to be a man of judgment, is only acquainted with one science, and even of that one only knows the small corner in which he is an active investigator. He even proclaims it as a virtue that he takes no cognisance of what lies outside the narrow territory specially cultivated by himself, and gives the name of "dilettantism" to any curiosity for the general scheme of knowledge.josé ortega y gasset
The diligent investigator of natural phenomena can give the causes of all natural effects... by the rules and roots and foundations given from the power of geometry.
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