What achieve, and lastly, management is amoral and

What are social phenomena? How should they be studied? What are the differences and similarities between the social sciences and the natural sciences? Can we make social laws? These are questions that are still being heavily debated by philosophers of social sciences. Two prominent thinkers who are also involved in this discussion are Alasdair MacIntyre and Friedrich Hayek, both tough critics on the current state of the social sciences. In this essay, the question of whether they are entirely right in their philosophies of the social sciences will be addressed. It will be answered with a rejection of some of MacIntyre’s and Hayek’s claims. It will be argued that, if they are entirely right in their philosophies of the social sciences, then the social sciences have failed in their approach of law-likeness, then autonomous social scientific laws are very difficult to achieve, and lastly, management is amoral and unjustified, all of which are not the case. Firstly, the social sciences have not failed in their approach of law-likeness as they don’t have the characteristics generalizations MacIntyre claims it to have and unpredictability is not an obstacle to a lawful explanation of the social sciences. Furthermore, social laws are possible with the usage of multiple explanations and they should not rely on the division of simple and complex phenomena made by Hayek. Lastly, management is not amoral and unjustified, due to the presence of different skills and abilities and differing degrees of morality, in contrast to MacIntyre’s claims.To start, social sciences has not failed in its law-like and generalizing approach, as argued by MacIntyre. Firstly, MacIntyre makes a mistake in the following statement: “We throw no light on the status of the characteristic generalizations of the social sciences by calling them probabilistic; for they are as different from the generalizations of statistical mechanics as they are from the generalizations of Newtonian mechanics or of the gas law equations.” The statistical laws MacIntyre addresses are not stating any universal generalization about sets, but state a probability (between 0% and 100%) about distinct types of events that will occur together. This does not have to be presented numerically, in contrary to the natural sciences. Statistical “generalizations” in the social sciences can be translated to expressions like “usually” and “Characteristically and for the most part … “, as this terminology does not make generalizing claims. It doesn’t have to include universal quantifiers, as preferred by MacIntyre, and therefore this is the first reason that the social sciences do not fail in its law-like or generalizing approach.Another reason is that unpredictability does not make lawful explanation in the social sciences extremely difficult to achieve. MacIntyre agrees with the fact that the possibility of explanation is not the same as accurate prediction, as he states that “just as unpredictability does not entail inexplicability, so predictability does not entail explicability.” Let’s then, take look at the example MacIntyre provides of Oscar Newman’s “generalization”, in which the “crime rate rises in high-rise buildings with the height of the building up to a height of thirteen floors, but at more than thirteen floors levels off.” This example is not necessarily a law, yet, it does show an interesting correlation. Therefore, this kind of generalization will lead to more research on why this correlation exists for these particular circumstances, which will in turn result in provable causal hypotheses about the relations between these particular attributes of living situations and criminality. Finally, this development will lead to a creation of laws with actual practical usage for these particular instances (this is in contrast to Hayek’s impracticality of social laws argument), which are different than the generalization that was made in the first place, in terms of scope as well as validity. Thus, at first, this generalization might not be the same as a social law, but it has the potential to become one. This then, presents another counterargument to MacIntyre’s notion that the social sciences have failed in their law-like approach.Furthermore, social scientific lawful explanation is very possible if we abandon the division of simple and complex phenomena constituted by Hayek and also utilize multiple explanations. In Hayek’s paper Theory of Complex Phenomena, he creates a dividing between simple and complex phenomena, and argues that some phenomena are simply too inherently complex and thus will prevent us from discovering true laws. Yet, I don’t believe that this division holds. Firstly, simpleness or complexity of a particular human phenomenon is not ingrained in the phenomena at question, but it is rather derivative. This is because a subject matter is at first, ontologically speaking, matter. Yet, when we start to inquire about it, then it becomes a subject matter. Thus, the simpleness or complexity of a subject matter is not predetermined, as it depends on how we formulate our questions about it.  Also, why is there any assurance that this supposedly divided line between simple and complex phenomena will always remain constant? Over time, simple and complex phenomena alter in their nature. How we inquire about a particular phenomenon will change, as will the theoretical tools that are available to us. The current “division” of simple and complex phenomena is also not the same as what it used to be. Phenomena studied by the natural sciences were, at first, seemingly complex to for example, the early astrologists, but are now more simple as a result of research that has been done on these phenomena. Thus, our level of inquiry is not absolute, but rather it is relative to the progress in science, and therefore social laws don’t necessarily have to be very difficult to achieve as they don’t depend on the claim that some phenomena are too complex to derive laws from, as argued by Hayek.Then to the argument of multiple explanations. In contrary to Hayek’s argument, I believe that we don’t have to fail to establish law-like generalizations, as we can utilize more than one explanation to establish them. The example I would like to use is that of suicide. The question of why someone commits suicide can be looked at from different angles, for example psychologically, but also sociologically. Each angle creates a distinct level of understanding to the particular phenomenon, and together can create a law-like account of the phenomenon. One might object to this that it is not possible to establish a law-like account in this manner, as the multiple explanations make everything too multi-faceted and therefore one account won’t be able to capture the whole complexity of the phenomenon. This is incorrect, as this reductional approach in creating one explanation is not a goal of the social sciences nor should it be. There are many different interpretations of one reality, and thus if we accept this pluralist nature of the explanation of this reality, then lawlike generalization can be achieved, in contrary to Hayek’s beliefs.Lastly, MacIntyre’s criticism on “bureaucratic managerial expertise”does not hold, as bureaucracy is not amoral, and there is justification of the positions of the bureaucratic managerial experts. Firstly, MacIntyre argues that individuals in bureaucratic corporations are forced by the people in management positions to adjust their judgements to the type of role they occupy, which results in different conclusions about moral issues when they have to act in different roles. This then, MacIntyre argues, makes them unable to apply their own, authentic moral agency. Yet, this is not true, as management does not only consist of technical expertise, but of different skills and abilities. Therefore, management’s goal is not to be value free. Furthermore, some managers are amoral, some are moral. Thus, management itself is not inherently amoral, as argued by MacIntyre. Furthermore, MacIntyre seems to contradict himself when he argues that there is an abuse of reason in the social sciences due to the usage of generalizations, and that these can’t be made due to systematic unpredictability in human affairs, whereas his whole view on management is itself built on such generalizations. Lastly, the positions of the bureaucratic managers are justified, and therefore the weight social science is given in policy is also justified, due to the arguments provided that law-like generalizations in the social sciences are indeed possible with the usage of a pluralist explanatory model, therefore validating the weight of social sciences in bureaucracy and public policy. To conclude, the philosophies of social sciences provided by both MacIntyre and Hayek each have their flaws. If their theories did not have any problems, then the social sciences don’t succeed in their law-like approach, social laws are near impossible to achieve and lastly, management is amoral and unjustified, all of which are not true. Firstly, the social sciences don’t fail in their law-like approach as they don’t generalize in a statistical characteristic manner that MacIntyre claims it does and unpredictability is not a problem for lawful explanation of the social sciences, also in contrary to MacIntyre’s view. Moreover, social laws are indeed possible through pluralistic explanatory frameworks and don’t have to rely on the distinction between simple and complex phenomena made by Hayek. Finally, management is not amoral due to its inclusion of different skills, abilities, and different degrees of morality, and its role is also justified as a result of the possibility of social scientific laws, in contrast to MacIntyre’s perspective. Given these arguments, it would be insightful to implement especially the pluralistic explanatory models in social sciences research and to reach a consensus on how they should be used and how exactly they can reach the status of a law-like explanation.