Towards a Universal Social Science. Sociology in Dialogue with Neighboring Disciplines

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 12:45
Location: Auditorium Maximum (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Dieter BOEGENHOLD, Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt, Austria
The last hundred years can be seen as the century of the rise and establishment of sociology. The academic subject sociology emerged, differentiated and consolidated a series of approaches, theories and paradigms, which are sometimes overlapping or even competing. Comparing sociology with economics, psychology or history shows that borderlines between disciplines have become fluid and perpetually oscillate into new shapes.  Economists, especially prominent proponents in receipt of Nobel prizes, are increasingly discussing items such as motivation, rationality, norms or culture, which belong to the domain of sociology. Sociology should acknowledge this kind of “imperialism” and claim its own competencies. Against the background of these circumstances, the paper will argue from a methodological point of view that sociology is as modern and important as never before, but that it must be aware of its own strengths and weaknesses in concert with further academic disciplines. Our recent argumentation may benefit from the Austrian authors L. von Mises and J.A. Schumpeter, who gave very early lessons on how sociology must be embedded in a dialogue with neighboring disciplines.