Full text: Notes on Social Science Policy

Notes on Social Science Policy 
The Backwardness of Social Science 
There is a general feeling that the development of knowledge 
has proceeded unevenly in different fields: quickest in re 
lation to '’dead" nature, much slower in relation to living 
nature, and very slow indeed in relation to man and society. 
This is the basic contrast of science (in the following 
always used for "natural science") and the social sciences. 
The development of techniques has been correspondly uneven: 
We have gone a long way in the "conquest" or "mastery" of 
nature, but we have not bothered about mastery over the forces 
which grow in society, in man and between men. This is pro 
bably a hang over from the original situation of man: His 
helplessness in face of a threatening nature. The struggle 
against nature corresponds to old drives - to ensure survival 
and protection against enemies, and to procreate and spread the 
species over the globe. In the service of these drives, com 
parable to primeval deities, we have created the machine and 
with it industrial captalism; on the machine is built, by 
necessity, a hierarchical organisation of growing complexity, 
uncontrollable dynamics, non-transparence, irrationality, which 
has created its own aims and subjected the human lives to them.

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