Proloog akadeemilisest vabadusest

Siinviidatu leidis oma koha peamiselt pedagoogilistel kaalutlustel ja lootuses, et akadeemilisel teel alustaja (nt minusugune) saab siit midagi kõrva taha panna. Tegelikult olen arvamisel, et essees toodu vääriks arutelu ka juba kogenud tegijate vahel näiteks mõne seminari vormis ja oleks selliselt abiks metodoloogia mõtestamisel mitte ainult sotsioloogia valdkonnas, vaid veidi avaramalt. Mõned väited essees pakuvad ilmselt paljudele võimalust häälekaks arvamiseks.


As a science, sociology too demands testable propositions based on theoretical principles that constantly expand the domain of explanation. An excessive infatuation with philosophy and statistics might make us lose sight of this, but worse, make us dreadful philosophers and statisticians too.


Sociology, indeed all social sciences, should be mindful: (a) of objectively demonstrating an argument; and (b) of premising the argument in theory and not in belief or numbers. Science is about the phenomenal world, but it is also about explanation that does not depend on extrasensory or subjective preferences, nor plays second fiddle to statistics. […] Thus, while we have little difficulty in separating religion from social science, we are often seduced by philosophy. This happens when we use philosophical aphorisms or statements to buttress what is strictly a matter of science. In all sciences, social science included, propositions must have an empirical bearing because they are proof-demanding.

Sotsioloogia tugevus teadusena

If the body temperature is 98.4°F, it will be the same no matter who reads the thermometer. It will not budge if the language of communication is English or Hindi, or if the doctor is an existentialist or a Hegelian. If a person has pneumonia, the stethoscope will pick up the bubbling heave of the lung, which again would be a culturally neutral experience. This ability to communicate facts objectively is the strength of sociology as a science.

Erinevad kultuurid ja teadus:

Culture too can muddy the waters for science. Imagine a Zambian, Indian or Korean scholar searching for the relationship between law and society being told that the Greek myth Antigone provides the key. The job of science is precisely to free itself from cultural infractions, yet many contemporary sociologists and anthropologists ignore this dictum quite merrily.

Mida arvud ütlevad:

If in India the average consumption of eggs per week rises from 1.00 to 1.75 eggs, would this mean poverty has been dented? What is the tipping point when we can confidently say that poverty is on its way out? Poverty has many correlates that play a significant role in its perpetuation, and therefore, getting rid of it must also take multi-pronged efforts.

Vabadus ja teadus:

Prosperous countries like China and Russia are woeful in the social sciences because they lack freedom. […] Without freedom, science quickly degenerates into mere technology and imitation, and eventually, it becomes just about control. Toss freedom out, and you would spell the ruin of philosophy, for all thought would turn fascist. […] When there is freedom, philosophers can explore, unhindered, preferences and basic assumptions outside empirical verifications. With freedom on its side, science can win votaries to objective, empirical statements, without the backing of the church or the state.

Gupta, D. (2021). Three Theses on Methodology. Sociological Bulletin, 70(3), 418–424.