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Sociology And Philosophy

Sociology means the study of society on a generalized or abstract level. In an empirical science the generalizations concerning a specified field of inquiry are drawn from facts observed in that field or in closely related fields these generalizations are drawn. Without assuming any knowledge on a level of higher abstraction concerning reality as a whole. All propositions that constitute an empirical science from a self-sufficient system. No propositions are allowed to play a role in the system if it contains knowledge which is not empirical. In other words it is not formulated under the limitations just stated.

On the contrary philosophy is primarily an attempt to understand reality in its totality. From a multitude of observed facts the philosopher proceeds to certain ultimate principles which have taken together attempt to explain reality as a whole. Thus whereas the sociologist explains society in terms of acts observed in society and eventually in related fields of empirical knowledge, the social philosopher explains society in terms of the explanation he gives to total reality. The latter can speak of the first causes, supreme values and ultimate ends the sociologist is not entitled to do so. Modern philosophy and sociology came into existence during one time period to explain the social crisis of Europe in the 19th century. Sociology aimed to be in with to provide a social doctrine that would guide social policy. This aim has now been abandoned. There exist some links between sociology and philosophy. There is a philosophy of sociology in the same sense as a philosophy of science that is an examination of the methods, concepts and arguments used in sociology. There is a close relationship between sociology and moral and social philosophy the subject matter of sociology is human social behavior as guided by values: moral and social philosophy studies values and the sociologists study values and human valuation as facts. On occasions the sociologist is made to distinguish between fact and value. It is only by some training that social philosophy becomes competent to distinguish between fact and value. It can be said that the study of sociology leads to philosophical quest.Durkheim thought that sociology has to necessarily contribute to a renewal of philosophical questions. This made him indulge in some epistemological discussions a branch of philosophy. Karl Mannheim argued that sociology of knowledge had implications for epistemology. Both of them thought that sociology can make a direct contribution to philosophy.

While sociology leads to philosophical reflections much of it also begins there. Sociological research will become trivial if it ignores the larger problems of social life which are coordinated in philosophical world-views and in social doctrines.