The article argues for a synthesis between analytical philosophy and social sciences as relevant and necessary. The motivation and framework of such a synthesis is outlined on the basis of a critical social science. The authors illuminate such a perspective negatively in a critique of empirical and theoretical sociology, then positively in a clarification of the critical standpoint. Four theses, two under each-aspect, are defended:
1. Concerning empirical social sciences
Neither the quantitative nor the qualitative paradigm of empirical social science is able to put forward adequate methods for social research. Instead, the development of reconstructive methods is proposed to combine the advantages and eliminate the disadvantages of the quantitative and qualitative paradigms.
2. Concerning theoretical sociology
Macrosociological theories tend to resist empirical corrobation. Pure theoretical and philosophical justification abounds instead. In this situation the tools of analytic theory of science are proposed in order to clarify the necessary steps towards a further development of theories, which can be empirically tested.
3. Concerning the critique of society
A critical social science must incorporate a theory of a just society in order to analyse social institutions in a normative way. In this context an ethical realist approach is offered which tries to fulfill two conditions for sociologically relevant normative reasonings: satisfaction of individual interests and the rational consensus of all persons concerned.
4. Concerning critique of ideology
The tools of analytic philosophy can be given new application by combining them with an analysis of interests under the title of critique of ideology.
© 1979 by Lucius & Lucius, Stuttgart