Social Sciences and the Methodology of the Organic Whole: Beyond the Dipole of Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches


Dimitrios Patelis*


In: Pourkos M.A., Dafermos M.G. (ed.), (2010). Qualitative Research into Social Sciences: Epistemological, Methodological and Ethical Issues. Athens: TOPOS, pp. 207-297.


ABSTRACT In my paper I examine the Dialectical Methodology of the Organic Whole, the cognitive potency of which (descriptive, explanational, theoretical, probative, heuristic, prognostic, etc.) has been proved in the social sciences (particularly in the political economy and in the social theory). The development of scientific thought is examined as a process governed by laws, historical moments of which are the Cognition Situations, which include a spectrum of possibilities (destructive tendencies, as well as the perspective of creative development) as a result of internal and external factors interaction. Internal factors are described by: the structure, the character, the properties and the development level of the object as a system or a totality; the theoretical and methodological level of the already achieved scientific knowledge and the theoretical and methodological level of the subject of the research activity. External factors are combined to the contemporary historic and cultural situations, social needs, interests etc. The Methodology of the Organic Whole provides a guideline beyond the persistence of prejudices to qualitative or quantitative approaches, for examining and studying phenomena as the unity of their qualitative and quantitative aspects, for seeing the complex interconnections and interactions of these aspects, and the changes in the relationships between them in the various levels of their structure, development and cognitive level.


Key words: Philosophy, Philosophy of science, Method, Methodology, Methodology of the organic all, Logic, Dialectical logic,  V.A. Bazjulin, Objective logic, Subjective logic, Cognitive process, Knowledge, Science, Prescientific knowledge, Scientific knowledge, Conscience, Science as direct productive force, Cognitive situation, Crisis cognitive situation, Objective and subjective terms of Crisis cognitive situation situation, Scientific revolution, Intellect, Reason, Ascent from abstract in concrete, Historical and Logical, Part and all, Surface, Substance, Phenomenon, Reality, Discourse, Description, Explanation, Scientific Prevision, Subject of research, Constitution of a new subject of research, Object of research, Particularity and the object level of development, Organic, Development stages of the organic all, Extrapolation, Vested knowledge, Objectivity, Truth, Provability, Plenitude, Adequacy of knowledge, Theoretical and methodological vested, Discreteness and Continuity in the science development, Terms and limits of validity and applicability of theory, Strategy and tactic of research, Spectrum of Scientific Research Programs, Socio-economic, institutional and cultural terms of research, Financing of research, Control of research, Contradictions of cognitive process, Foundations of sciences, Scientific picture of the world, Ideals, rules and claims of the scientific community, Research problem, Crisis in science, Professorial “science”, Social sciences, Empiricism, Operationalism, Irrationalism, Reduction, Reductionism, Dialectical logic, Dialectics, Spontaneous dialectics, Analytic method, Metaphysics, Interdisciplinary Synthetic science, Conscious dialectics, Logical positivism, W. Quine, Postpositivism, T.S. Kuhn, Paradigm, K. Popper, Evolutionary epistemology, I. Lakatos, P. Feyerabend, Sociology of knowledge and science, Post-modern, Quality, Quantity, Measure, Experience, Theory, Qualitative Methods, Quantitative Methods, Mathematization, Thought, Impulsivity, Feeling.

*             Dimitrios Patelis, Assistant Professor, Department of Sciences, Technical University of Crete.