By Robert Staughton Lynd

Contents: Foreword ix; I. Social technology in concern 1; II. the idea that of "Culture" eleven; III. The trend of yank tradition fifty four; IV. The Social Sciences as instruments 114; V. Values and the Social Sciences a hundred and eighty; VI. a few Outrageous Hypotheses 202; Index 251

Originally released in 1939.

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Knowledge for What: The Place of Social Science in American Culture

Contents: Foreword ix; I. Social technology in hindrance 1; II. the concept that of "Culture" eleven; III. The trend of yank tradition fifty four; IV. The Social Sciences as instruments 114; V. Values and the Social Sciences a hundred and eighty; VI. a few Outrageous Hypotheses 202; Index 251Originally released in 1939.

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Extra resources for Knowledge for What: The Place of Social Science in American Culture

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But that is not a necessary conclusion. For when economic theory has been purified so far that human nature has no place in it, economists become interested perforce in much that lies outside their theoretical field. Further, it is possible that the effort to keep the study of human nature out of eco­ nomic theory may break down. The admitted deficiencies of hedonism may stimulate future economists, not to dis­ avow all psychological analysis, but to look for sound psychological analysis. It may even be that economists will find themselves not only borrowing from but also con­ tributing to psychology.

All through the nineteenth century economic theory contented itself with viewing money simply as a neutral medium of exchange which does not affect the operation of the economy. 18 All such procedures, lacking the vital interrupting thrust of close contact with individual behavior around the institution in question, tend to make for theoretical inbreeding. Concepts defined in ways essential to the going theoretical structure tend to be elaborated, rather than re­ defined. Such concepts are accepted as facts, and considera­ tion of undercutting hypotheses is thereby discouraged.

Instead of a reference to the abstract average of as The stubborn, unavoidable fact that confronts social science at every point is the presence, in every institutional trait that it seeks to analyze, of a subtly graded, unevenly distributed, and continually changing array of behavior. Individuals vary in their capacities and in their definitions of situations, and the pressures upon them to act in given ways or to depart from these ways of acting vary from moment to moment. The Securities and Exchange Com­ mission is not so much concerned with honest and dis­ honest brokers as it is with an infinite variety of specific practices employed in some degree at one time or another by most brokers, which practices blur imperceptibly from "performing a highly useful social function" at the one extreme into "gross exploitation of the public" at the other.

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