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The Social Sciences. Knowledge or Ideology?
Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese
At the Sorbonne on May 29, 1989, Boudon was presented with the "Academician's sword". In this, his speech of acceptance, he tackles a problem that has concerned social scientists ever since their discipline came into being: should the social sciences seek to produce knowledge, like the so-called "hard" sciences, or should they confine themselves to impressionistic descriptions of the object studied. The author does not hesitate to defend the first thesis, which has inspired all the great classical sociologists. This thesis, however, is currently unfashionable due to the diffusion, well outside the sphere of the social sciences themselves, of an irrational vision of knowledge. The reflowering of the cognitive genre in sociology is thus subordinated to a number of conditions, first of which the efficient functioning of institutions responsible for conveying knowledge, universities in particular.