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Towards good social science

Moss, Scott and Edmonds, Bruce (2005) Towards good social science. ISSN 1460-7425

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Abstract

The paper investigates what is meant by "good science" and "bad science" and how these differ as between the natural (physical and biological) sciences on the one hand and social sciences on the other. We conclude on the basis of historical evidence that the natural science are much more heavily constrained by evidence and observation than by theory while the social sciences are constrained by prior theory and hardly at all by direct evidence. Current examples of the latter proposition are taken from recent issues of leading social science journals. We argue that agent based social simulations can be used as a tool to constrain the development of a new social science by direct (what economists dismiss as anecdotal) evidence and that to do so would make social science relevant to the understanding and influencing of social processes. We argue that such a development is both possible and desirable. We do not argue that it is likely.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Full-text of this article is not available in this e-prints service. This article was originally published in Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, published by and copyright University of Surrey, Department of Sociology.
Divisions: Legacy Research Institutes > Research Institute for Business and Management (RIBM) > Centre for Policy Modelling
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2010 12:56
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2016 14:00
URI: http://e-space.mmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/95370

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