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If free will is a real force, can there be social sciences?

Science depends on regularity. It is only because forces operate in a consistent way, and make things happen predictably, that scientists can produce results. If, as Alphomism maintains, humans are only partly governed by natural forces it follows that their behaviour is to a degree unpredictable and therefore that there is no hope that social sciences can have the same level of predictive success as the natural sciences.

This is by no means to say that there should be no areas of study called ‘sociology’ and ‘economics’, only that the approach of workers in these fields should be quite different from that of the students of physics and chemistry.

Instead of looking for iron laws and over-arching theories, the social scientists should be looking for broad correlations and trends. They should then devote most of their efforts to working out ways of putting some order into the confusion. Predictability in social science will come from the establishment of systems and the passing of laws rather than from in-built certainties.

Some studies, psychology for example, come somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of the sciences. To some extent psychologists can work experimentally, especially where their inquiries stray towards the territory of the science of physiology.



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