Talk:Social science

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Social Sciences in Ancient Greece[edit]

Even with the "first talk" comment below, I feel the need to say that the section about the Greeks, specifically about Aristotle using the same methods on poetry and various fields we would now call "hard sciences," is an oversimplification of their thought. The source cited is questionable at best for supporting the claim.

For example, see: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:39, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

first talk[edit]

I've started a long series of sections on the rise of social science, which are, at best, rather sketchy and limited, but an improvement over the placeholder status previously, which were not much better than dictionary entries.

One clear lack in what has been done so far is a section on the critiques of social science, both as a concept and in application. While the current material references the controversy surrounding social science an sich, it is far from sufficient to provide a NPOV on what is a very contentious subject.

There is also a need for broadening the base of the history to include the various Marxist interpretations of history, literature and so on, since these also tend to be framed in scientific terms.

I'm writing this note so that we don't have someone coming ripping through with a bee in their bonnet, trying to NPOV it by adding "some" and other weak qualifier words, when the better approach is to provide a cogent summary of opposing views, links to pages where the particulars of those opposing views are elaborated and explained etc. Stirling Newberry 22:54, 15 Jan 2004 (UTC)

--- Delete folklore, history, and communications? --- These fields should not be listed as "major social science fields". I agree there may be some overlap with social sciences, but by and large they fall under the aegis of "humanities". Convince me otherwise...

"The social sciences are also known pejoratively as the soft sciences in contrast to the hard sciences." - While they may be "known" as soft science they are in fact little different to the science of physics. Many theories in physics undergo various changes with thinking at the time, if physics was a hard science then fact would be fact and things wouldn't change as often as they do. Like physics, social science also derives theories from what is observed and measured, and many of these theories, like theories of Gravity, are open to change over time. There is no need to dismiss Social Science as a soft science on this ground when quite clearly the same could be applied to numerous aspects of Physics.

--- I strongly disagree with the last argument. After all, these phisics-laws have proven to work, they simply undergo changes to make them even more accurate. Newton's law of gravity works fine for most applications, only Einsteins law makes it even more accurate which is only useful in extreme circumstances (light, space...). The same goes for most changes in physics, they are not fundamental changes or corrections of mistakes. This strongly contradicts the nature of social 'scienses'. (talk) 10:04, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

As I understand science, one is correct until proven wrong by another theory. If I write a hypothesis but my hypothesis is wrong, then it normally backs another hypothesis. If my hypothesis is prove right then I possibly just disproved another hypothesis. My point is, how is a social science theory proven wrong?--MrNiceGuy1113 (talk) 18:16, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Just a little comment on the last post, in science it is never assumed that one is right, just that theories have a great amount of supporting evidence that contibutes to knowledge, but that might be falsified by new evidence some time in the future. The criticism towards social sciences is that sometimes it tries to analyse phenomena that are not tangible and cannot be studied empirically, and so, it is easy to make subjective judegements. And it is not uncommon to see experts in these fields having opposite views about certain topics. —Mr. Gyra 大家好! 17:08, 4 January 2015 (UTC)


Is memetics a branch of sociobiology? If so, why list memetics along with sociobiology here? Moreover, The fact that sociobiology can be applied to human populations surely doesn't make sociobiology a social science. More argument than that would be needed, anyway. (You can apply physics to human beings, but that doesn't make physics a branch of anthropology.) --LMS

While memetics was created by sociobiologists, and its first application was sociobiology, it's unfair to say its a branch. It can be as well used to non-social behavior.

And sociobiology is social science. It's strictly opposing the way some people are doing social science, so it seems to be something different from others, but its just social science with solid mathematical and biological basis. --Taw

I don't know enough about sociobiology to debate with you, even if I wanted to. :-)

But you say that memetics can be applied to non-social behavior. But when applied to social behavior, it is always a branch of sociobiology--right? If so, we can remove it from the list, because the relevant (social scientific) part of sociobiology will include the relevant (social scientific) part of sociobiology. So, please debate the point more with me, or I'll remove the memetics link and you'll be unhappy. :-) --LMS

Uhm, you're right here. I merged both entries. --Taw

Memetics is a separate field from sociobiology. In sociobiology the evolving entities are genes, while in memetics they are memes. Sociobiology attempts to reduce human behaviour to biology; while memetics treats humans as products not only of biological evolution, but of cultural evolution also. Read Blackmore, The Meme Machine, for a more detailed discussion of how memetics and sociobiology are different. -- Simon J Kissane

Memes are not completely different from genes, rather special type of genes. Their effect is similar, but they spread in different way. Wilson (On Human Nature) said that for sociobiology it is no difference, whether human behavior is gene based or culture (read: meme) based. So it's wrong to say that there's only genetic sociobiology. --Taw

Okay, well that's very different from what Blackmore says in her book; she argues they are distinct. She argues that while sociobiology may have made some room for cultural elements, the work of Wilson, etc., ensures the genes were always in control, and does not allow for any truly independent cultural evolution; while memetics allow culture to be truly independent of genes, and even allows culture to change the genes. She distinguishes memetics and sociobiology as such. -- Simon J Kissane

Announcing policy proposal[edit]

This is just to inform people that I want Wikipedia to accept a general policy that BC and AD represent a Christian Point of View and should be used only when they are appropriate, that is, in the context of expressing or providing an account of a Christian point of view. In other contexts, I argue that they violate our NPOV policy and we should use BCE and CE instead. See Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/BCE-CE Debate for the detailed proposal. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:55, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

history belongs under humanities, not social sciences[edit]

I plan on removing history from the list/discussion of social sciences. This is not a snub at a valuable field of academic research. It is simply a recognition that for historical and methodological reasons it is more accurately classified with the humanities. Note the discussion "what are the humanities?" at the National Endowment for the Humanities website.

Uhm, some universities in the East classify history as a social science, especially when tangible evidences like primary sources, like artifacts, are used to discover unknown events. Can that be reconciled?
It's not only universities in the East that do this, the University of Tromsø in Norway f. ex. also classifies history as a social science - the institute of history is placed under the faculty of Social Sciences. I personally find the exclusion of history from the social sciences to be totally misleading, in particular because History applies theories from other Social Sciences (notably Political Science and Psychology) and because the other Social Sicences in fact use historical works both to make their hypotheses and to test their hypotheses.
Finally, history should be mentioned and described under "Social Sciences" if not for any other reason, then simply because there in fact isn't a consencus as to whether history is a Social Science or part of the Humanities. Not mentioning history, and not explaining the debate, would in fact be wildly misleading. The idea that History is "more accurately classified with the humanities" is not objective, and therefore shouldn't form the basis for removing content from Wikipedia.

--Misha bb 16:50, 18 November 2006 (UTC)Misha BB

Note, I'm tempted to remove "Communications" as well even though there are researchers with appointments in that field who are doing psychology and political science research. Journalism, media studies, and rhetoric are not social sciences. -- 18:21, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Economic history is an example of a field of historical investigation that best belongs in the social sciences. While one example does not add much weight to the argument of keeping a history section under the social sciences, I think one can finds lots of examples of scholars that utilize the tools of historians in social sciences other than just economics. The question I suppose is whether there is sufficient justification to group these efforts under the rubric of "History" (as practiced by social scientists).
I tend to view academic borders as rather permeable and thus I believe the benefit of having multiple views of such a core discipline as History displayed in a number of places outweighs the risk that this will make it more difficult for a reader to grasp the importance of the discipline and its proper place among acadmic disciplines.
Having said this, if I were pushed up against the wall (by a gang of dean-thugs?) and forced to make a decision about where History should "go", I would say "Its a humanities, send it to the building with all the nice ivy".
Joel Kincaid 15:26, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I raised the point about communication below, and now reading that i wonder what the claim that communication is not social science is based upon? The fact that disciplines borrow research methods from other disciplines does not necessarily dissolve them.
WikiDima 18:30, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

The study of history cannot be a social science since the the scientific method does not seem to be followed. There are no historical experiments that researchers can conduct. History really belongs to the arts and humanities. (talk) 07:17, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, history belongs to the humanities. Every university I know count it under the humanities rather than under social science.

--I'd disagree with this very strongly. In the U.S., Germany, France and most other countries with advanced social science programs and institutions, historians and social scientists agree that one of the fundamental markers of the social sciences is actually a rooting in historical consciousness. See Dorothy Ross, Origins of American Social Science or Mary Furner, Advocacy and Objectivity for a more full discussion of this. But even Weber, one of the founders of sociology, argued that there was no understanding of society or cultures without a conception of historical origins. If history is not a social science than political science, economics and sociology that use history are, by extension not social scientific. History is most certainly a social science and in much of the world, in its various iterations, it sits in social science faculties. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:32, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

I agree that history can't be a science b/c the scientific method isn't followed, but of course the scientific method isn't followed in any of the social sciences, and the whole concept is bunk. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:02, 16 October 2010 (UTC)


This is not an appropriate title. Also, the joke isn't very good :).

--- Well, it made me laugh for a second, but then again it kind of belittles the work of real scientists who study human behavior. Does anyone have a reference to this actually being circulated among academia, or was it something one scientist has quipped among friends? I've never heard it before Even if it were true, it doesn't apply to the social sciences. There is no singular discipline called "Social Science." With the exception of Political Science, none of the standard social sciences (Psychology, Sociology, Ecenomics, etc.) contain the word science in their names. Only collectively are they referred to as "Social Sciences." If that makes them not science, then neither are Biology, Physics, or Chemistry because they are collectively referred to as "Natural or Physical Sciences." One must also be careful not to confuse legitimate Politcial Science with political punditry passed of as expertise (a la folks like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and James Carville). Most of the stats and studies quoted during election years come not from real Poli-Sci researchers, but from partisan think tanks. Similar care must be taken to seperate legitimate scientific psychology and sociology from pop-psychology and self-help movements.

I'm removing the most of the criticism section. It's all unsourced arrogance on the part of natural scientists as far as I'm concerned and obviously written by someone whose never read a social science article in their life. By the way: postmodernity. Vesperal 05:31, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I have to agree with the comments above. This section is not at all useful: Even if one wanted to spend time cleaning this up not much would be accomplished. What I take from this section is a sense that there are folks here that wish to explore the problems of methodology, which is a legitimate area of debate. Perhaps this section could be replaced by a section on pointers to various pages regarding the methodologies of various social sciences, as well as pointers to issues in the philosophy of science, scientific practice, etc.
Joel Kincaid 15:43, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I think that the criticism section is an important aspect to this article. Many prominent scientists have vocally apposed the classification of social science as a science, Richard Feynman for example. One of his main arguments is that in fields such as psychology, its early theorists have for the most part been debunked. On the other hand sciences like physics have a long chain of theories that stem back to a fundamental set of axioms posed by Newton. Modern day psychology follows the scientific method more closely then before however the field is still in its infancy in this respect. This is just one example of where the criticism arises from; the article does a good job of articulating others.
One part of this section that I definitely think needs to be cited and explained is the use of mathematical proofs in social sciences. Is it talking about game theory or something else entirely? This is a major counter argument to the criticism of social science and needs to be addressed.
But overall I think that this article is fair and balanced enough that the flag concerning its neutrality should be removed.
User: hatchback123 13:45, 29 January 2007

I suppose main thing that this criticism brought to my attention is that it should be stressed that "social science," as it is really a category of sciences, is moving toward a focus on the interdisciplinary nature of the sciences contained within it as sociologists recognize criticism for its relatively low empirical grounds and are motioning to relieve such criticism. Throughout its history, sociology has often been seen as a loose fluster of theories and ideologies. However, it lacks emperical grounds no more than the foundations of psychology, some might say. All "science" observe phenomena, but it is tougher to assign a falsifiability to the nature of sociology as it observes such intangible entities. Sociological nomenclature is often criticized for either being too common sense or rather too vague, but we do observe such things as "social forces" or "stigma." If we did not observe something there, we would simply not be trying to put our finger on it. Sociology is tough to do right because it simply IS the study of generalities. I do believe that it is possible to study and treat such general phenomena as real, but it can be unsettling to a skeptic scientific community that demands something more solid. I'm optimistic that sociology will continue evolve away from its' reputation as a "soft" or "pseudo"-science into a sharper image of mechanical nature that may clarify social phenomena's presence and illuminate the science's potential application in industrious societies. Good related links would be: "futures studies", "interdisciplinary science", and all of the individual social sciences ("political science," "history," "anthropology..."). "Social science" may be better as plural, "social sciences," as this term includes factors of all subsequent interdisciplinary sciences.

--Asher Keane

The Florida State University

Department of Social Sciences

User:Carmanahtree 09:31, 7 February 2007

I’m not sure if classifying the study of some phenomenon as “hard” and some as “soft” can be considered neutral. But I do think the author has a point about social sciences being “compromised more frequently by politics.” (ie. refusing to abolish slavery based on economics) Maybe the criticism should be limited to how the social sciences are used rather than what or how they study.



would you like to publish this article? -- Zondor 22:30, 27 November 2005 (UTC) Citation needed for this article (Criticism) urgently because it seems to make unjustified claims.

Historical content[edit]

The historical analysis of the social sciences in this entry needs an extensive overhaul as far as I can tell. Although it starts well with an analysis of the influence of "scientific method" there is then a massive and unexplained jump from Newton at the end of the 17th Century to Comte in the middle of the 19th - some analysis of what comes in between (such as the development of social theory during the Enlightenment) is much needed. Also, after the reference to Comte the information becomes extremely patchy and refers only to one or two specific issues in a vast area. What has happened to the analysis of the rise of sociology and anthropology, developments in economics and geography and trends such as structuralism and behaviourism? I would suggest that a better breakdown of the historical section into specific periods or themes in the development of the social sciences might be beneficial. Mattcole 19:58(GMT), 3 Feb 2006

Good point. In addition, I think specific citations would be useful in the "20th Century" subsection that highlights various critiques of the positivist/scientific/mathematical paradigm. M. Frederick 21:48, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Mapping the sciences: scientific adjectives/name of the science(s)[edit]

Scientific adjectives is a sub-project of the WikiProject Conceptual Jungle, aiming at making an overview in a table of scientific adjectives and the various branches of (the) science(s) and qualify them by discussing them, improving the Wikipedia articles and make clear the interlinkages. Please feel free to add your contributions to the table. Best regards, Brz7 12:44, 3 January 2007 (UTC)


hello, I've just deleted the list and put new sections with stubs in, plus added part on law. I'll try to fill out the stubs with stuff (just cut and paste from main articles at first I think) soonish.

I'd just like to say though, along with some of the comments above, classifying one subject or another as within the social sciences is a bit difficult to do rigidly, and things don't diverge neatly from the "Humanities". I think the "Arts" and social science can be said to be different; though in Australia, if you do an Arts degree, then that can include humanities and social sciences! I always thought that anything that isn't natural science is social science. This page, though, is really good as a pointer page to find out more on other subjects. Wikidea 07:35, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Hi... I'm not a social scientist, but I have spotted what appears to be a set of contradictions. There are a number of subjects listed on this page that are actually categorised as Applied Science and not Social Science at Applied_sciences. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Psheld (talkcontribs) 17:37, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

I would suggest that the problem lies in the applied science article, which arbitrarily (IMHO) restricts itself to the natural sciences. The social sciences are applied all the time. In fact, it is arguably the purpose of the social sciences to apply their findings to society. Cosmic Latte (talk) 17:14, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Cultural Studies not often considered in social sciences[edit]

Cultural Studies as practised in the English-speaking world is often not considered a social science but rather placed in the humanities. Someone should remove the cultural studies references. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 07:15, 6 February 2007 (UTC).

Is education a social science?[edit]

It doesn't seem like it belongs under social sciences, but that's just my impression. I imagine that studies regarding how people learn do belong under some part of either social or cognative sciences. If somebody can clarify this I think we could improve this article a bunch. --Helm.ers 18:37, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

It seems as if education could be a social science, meaning it probably has a lot of grey area. I could see where it could be considered a social science and a cognitive science. Any thoughts from people within the education field?--MrNiceGuy1113 (talk) 18:26, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
After reading the definition of social science according to this article, I would say that education is a social science based on the fact that education, or lack of education, does have the power to shape a society. I have read article that relate education to economics, especially amongst poorer populations, and how education can have an effect on a person's future income or how a child may be favored if he/she tests well. Maybe these points bring up more questions than answering your question, but seems to be within the scope of education as a social science.--MrNiceGuy1113 (talk) 18:37, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Some confusion re: Linguistics[edit]

I consider Linguistics a social science, most linguists I know consider their discipline a social science, and it certainly fits well under the description of what a "social science" is. However, there are still a number of universities that consider it a humanity, and NORC lists it under "Letters". I don't think I have the authority to declare either way (right now, I'm just a linguistics minor,) but maybe something could be mentioned in the lx section stub that, right now, it's a science that is still somewhat confusingly categorized? Quadrophrenic 01:25, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Certainly the vast majority of research done in linguistics would not come under the heading of humanities. I've done a considerable rewording of the linguistics section here, and there is some reference to this issue. We really need some sort of source though. garik 20:56, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

The human makes decisions by what is in their heart not their brain. The brain is the storage and, the heart is where the decisions are made that are stored in the brain. Consider the difference between how the heart is developed. It is developed from imagination,dreams,sights,sounds. And experments at a very young age. Consider the difference between the hearts of Adolf Hitler and Sir Winston Churchill. And the only way that can happen you must study the boy to understand the man. Every science has a Birthday. So to understand you must start at the birth and grow... pcltv:: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:50, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

lol wut (talk) 22:36, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Cognitive Science[edit]

The section on Cognitive Science identifies it as a Social Science, but it's not listed here. I'm just getting used to working in wiki and don't know the process - social or technical - for making the change. Widget28 19:27, 8 July 2007


Hi, I've never taken part in Wikipedia discussion before, but reading this entry made me wanting to engage. I wonder how the definitions of disciplines have been determined. Since i study communication, i am particularly interested in what was the decision to put it in a separate category of undetermined things. It seems to me that the debate over disciplinary status of communication has reached sort of a conclusion a while ago. Why not describe it as a discipline of its own merit? Thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by WikiDima (talkcontribs)

I think what is undetermined is whether it is a humanity or a social science. I think there are institutions that have categorized it either way. Some of the discussion about the issue can be read above, I don't see why it can't have a more full spot in this article, as it gets barely a mention at humanities. It would help if there were a good source to cite saying that it is a social science. Best, Smmurphy(Talk) 18:06, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

request for feedback[edit]

For those of you who do not know, over the past several weeks people have been rewriting the WP:NOR policy. Several people who are most active have background in the natural sciences. Nothing wrong with this, but people in the physical and life sciences talk about and use sources differently from people in the social sciences. Obviously the policy needs to be informed by and applicable to both groups. I hope anyone who has this page on their watchlist will review the discussion at Wikipedia talk:No original research and comment on various proposals. Slrubenstein | Talk 09:49, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Shouldn't Civics be listed under Social science disciplines?[edit]

Shouldn't Civics be listed under Social science disciplines? After all, it is considered a field within Social Sciences. --Darth Smurf (talk) 23:03, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Linguistics and Anthropology[edit]

In my university, we consider Linguistics a subset of Anthropology. Any thoughts?Cameron Nedland (talk) 21:16, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

I think the problem is anthropology is too broad a word. Being from the Greek anthropos for human, one would think it was of the humanities then. But no, it is of the social sciences. I think I'll leave the categorical question for the so-called experts, because I find the division between anthropology, and the humanities, both words deriving from the equivalent of human, very blurred in the first place, and inconsistent with the sciences included. SenseOnes (talk) 23:32, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
It's tough to determine the line, because linguistics and anthropology have had a special relationship since the writings of Boas and his advancement of the four-field approach, as well as Claude Levi-Strauss and his defense of linguistic structuralism in an anthropological perspective. However, I think most linguists would agree that theoretical linguistics, the bulk of linguistic research, is fully divorced from anthropology. There's still a ton of overlap, of course, and anthropological linguistics is certainly a valid field. (talk) 23:51, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Introduction needs wikification[edit]

The introduction sentence should state the common elements of social science. The current introduction with the contrast between "soft" and "hard" sciences is completely out of time in the 21th century. -- Mdd (talk) 10:25, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Psychology section[edit]

Generally very good, but one minor point re psychology at british universities. I've come accross psychology BAs and BScs, but have never encountered the BPsy. There is certainly no such course accredited by the BPS, and there wasn't when I was applying for courses. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Djh9068 (talkcontribs) 14:11, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

I believe psychology should be classified as a natural science, rather than a social science. (talk) 14:36, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
The categorization on this page tends towards maximal inclusion. For example, history and linguistics are more frequently classified as humanities, but they are on this page because some of their practitioners think of them as social sciences. And there are practitioners who consider psychology a social science. That said, I don't think I've ever encountered anyone claiming that psychology is a natural science (behavioral science, sure -- but never natural). Now you could probably get away with calling neuroscience a natural science, on the other hand, but that's a different bird. DarwinPeacock (talk) 23:17, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, the methodology of psychology is very different from the methodology which is being used in natural sciences so in my opinion it's not even open for discussion. (talk) 10:35, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
True. Generally psychology is classified as a social science, although the the term behavioural science is probabley more accurate (taking into account areas such as cognitive psychology or psychophysics, for example). I would expect most psychologists to be at ease with it being termed a social science. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Djh9068 (talkcontribs) 12:17, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
If psychology is considered a social science because of methodological differences between it and "harder" sciences, this article would benefit greatly from actual examples of such methodological differences. Alternatively, if psychology is considered a social science because of its object of study, it would seem that a citation for the legitimacy of dualism (haha) would be required. (talk) 18:39, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

im writing an essay on social science...on the 2nd day of 9th grade! which was assigned 2dday! and due 2moro! given it is honors ss, but i mean really? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:13, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

First, a note to the editor immediately above: I hope you did well on your essay, and I encourage you to read Wikipedia:Introduction (and, if you have time, Wikipedia:About) and to make further contributions to the project. Now, just to add my own two cents' worth to the discussion further up, I would suggest that psychology as a whole differs from the natural sciences, in that its objects of interest are ultimately social (and, most of the time, human). While this is most obvious in social psychology, it's true even in clinical psychology, where the goal isn't just to make people happier individuals, but also to make them more functional members of society. And even as psychopharmacology has one foot planted squarely in the realm of natural science, it explores that which psychiatrists regard as an important adjunct to clinical therapy. There are plenty of grey areas, of course, but if nobody wants to rename anthropology a natural science on account of biological anthropology, then I think it'd be a tough case to relabel psychology a natural science on account of its grey areas and overlaps. Cosmic Latte (talk) 17:03, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

First line[edit]

The social sciences are the fields of scientific knowledge and academic scholarship that attend to social groups and, more generally, human society

Hi all, the first line, both in its previous and current state, read quite awkwardly (although the latest revision in the clearest). I propose that we change "that attend to" to "that examine" or "that explore". Given that this is quite a popular article, and working on the assumption that the opening line has already been worked on quite a bit, i thought it best to propose the change here and get some feedback before making any article edit. let me kow what you think. Best, Darigan (talk) 16:15, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm fine with either of your suggestions, although I have a slight preference for "explore" because it sounds more...I dunno, humble, I suppose. "Studies" just seemed a bit redundant, though. Cosmic Latte (talk) 16:23, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
i'm certainly in agreement that "studies" is redundant. I shall go with "explore" for the moment and we'll se what happens. Best, Darigan (talk) 16:28, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Looks good! Thanks, Cosmic Latte (talk) 17:04, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

January 15 2010 ... changed social psychology to psychology[edit]

"social psychology" is a particular and specific field of study within psychology. For the purposes of this article and consistent with the section on psychology below, the entire field of psychology should be included under social sciences. In other words, if it says "social psychology," the reference is to just a small subset or small domain under the larger topic of psychology ... the psychology section below describes the larger field of study. Pgm8693 (talk) 18:23, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Medicine is not hard science[edit]

Medicine is the art and science of healing. The word medicine is derived from the Latin ars medicina, meaning the art of healing.[1][2] Aldo L (talk) 15:42, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

It's a biological and pharmeceutical science. Deal with it, hippy. (talk) 08:24, 1 August 2011 (UTC) Harlequin

Bear in mind that etymology is useless for telling us how to categorise disciplines. Even if it weren't, ars had a somewhat broader meaning than English art. In any case, this is irrelevant. garik (talk) 15:08, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

IR is a Social Science[edit]


International Relations, a subdivision of Political Science, is a social science. Why does the article state otherwise? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:41, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

International Studies is listed in the social sciences infobox. I think this is probably where International Relations would fall. International Relations is a more focused part of International Studies, as stated in the International Studies article. This might possibly be the reason.--MrNiceGuy1113 (talk) 18:59, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Invitation to editors to vote/discuss definition of science in Talk:Science[edit]

There has been an extensive discussion on the Talk:Science of what the lead definition of the science article should be. I suspect this might be an issue that may be of interest to the editors of this page. If so, please come to the voting section of the talk science page to vote and express your views. Thank you. mezzaninelounge (talk) 18:27, 18 September 2010 (UTC)


The opening paragraph asserts that only "in some contexts" is psychology a social science. This "contextual" qualification is attributed to two sources, of which only the second seems to be available online. I had a look at this latter source, and I don't see where it makes any reservations about calling psychology a social science. What I gather from the paper is that psychology shouldn't be regarded only as a natural science, but rather should also--concurrently--be regarded as a social science; psychology is deliberateness insofar as either its positivist "half" or its hermetic "half" goes unrecognized:

As a matter of fact, if psychology fails to investigate its object – be it man or behavior – according to the norms of natural science, it does not follow that psychological research cannot be scientific: it is perhaps scientific by the norms of some other science. That is why it is unfortunate if a psychologist finishes his professional training without learning that the procedural pattern of historical science, linguistic science, literary science, legal science or any other "moral" science might apply to examination of certain questions in psychology just as that of the natural sciences applies to other questions [emphasis in original]. And it is unfortunate if, consequently, he has no chance of learning that from these two half-sciences the construct of a unified logic of psychology cannot be built by having the logic of one half be denied by the logic of the other [emphasis added].

In other words, psychology is properly seen as simultaneously a natural and a social science, albeit a science whose naturalistic colors or societal colors stand in sharper relief against different situation backgrounds; thus the overarching problem of classification lies not in context, but in comprehension. I'd be interested in seeing what, precisely, the other source does or doesn't have to say about the matter. (For that matter, I'd also like to know if I've totally misunderstood the source I think I understand...) Cosmic Latte (talk) 00:18, 17 November 2010 (CUT)

New social networking navbox[edit]

We're putting together a new navbox called "Social networking". We have no idea what we're doing and would welcome some help organizing the groups.

Many thanks. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 06:09, 23 January 2012 (UTC)


Maybe I'm crazy or out of line, but I really feel like this page is a little heavily focused on the development of scientific thought on society in Europe only and sort of leaves out what people in other places might have been scientifically thinking about society when Diderot was doing his deal. I admit I haven't read the whole page, but this is my impression after reading the first couple sections. (talk) 06:09, 25 July 2012 (UTC)


I sort of echo the concerns of the commenter above re: Psychology on the issue of whether psychiatry should be mentioned. Historically, it's only the last 30 years or so that psychiatry has embraced a more biomedical orientation, whereas before it was much more explicitly talking-cure focused, where that was possible anyways. The problem with these level 2 articles is that they are not particularly amenable to finding secondary sources, i think. it may be possible to find quotes calling psychiatry a social science or denying that it is, but my suspicion is that these will not be the focus of an article, because the term "social science", again like many of the level 2 article terms, is fairly weak category-wise. Im not sure how to address this, but I suspect it's why there are a few level 2s that are in desperate need of revision. -- [UseTheCommandLine ~/talk] #_ 17:44, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Frankly, I don't quite see what exactly your problem is right now. From what you've written I can only infer that, basically, you're in doubt as to the proper status of psychiatry yourself?! But if you're in doubt, why then have it included in the first place? With all due respect, this makes no sense at all. Based on that, we could just as well include dozens of disciplines that appear to be border cases in whatever regard. But why would one do that and what for? At least you'll agree that psychiatry is a branch of medicine proper (psychology isn't!) and psychiatrists, in most places, will almost always tend to be ordinarily trained MDs. They are authorized to (and do) prescribe drugs! If this isn't application, what is? Psychologists (like linguists, anthropologists, ...), by the way, again aren't -- unless they happen to be an MD at the same time, of course.
Merely have a look at the section titled Methodology and explain to me, convincingly, how/where psychiatry fits in there. And if so, why that would then still exclude geriatrics, pediatrics, sexual medicine, ... in short, all of medicine. Zero Thrust (talk) 21:32, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
In some areas, psychologists can prescribe drugs (though in some places, a prescription is not needed to buy drugs from a pharmacy).
And yes, i agree with you that medicine is a social science. -- [UseTheCommandLine ~/talk] #_ 04:03, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
(not purely a social science, but it's got elements of it anyway. particularly clinical practice.) -- [UseTheCommandLine ~/talk] #_ 04:05, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Social science a science?[edit]

I've noticed that the first statement shies away from the referring to it as a science (rather an "academic discipline"). There is that "part of a series on science" template, the Science article mentioning it and File:The Scientific Universe.png. -Ugog Nizdast (talk) 17:25, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Dr. Charness's comment on this article[edit]

Dr. Charness has reviewed this Wikipedia page, and provided us with the following comments to improve its quality:

1) As per "economic imperialism" (mentioned twice, separately), I might mention that the effort by economists to include ideas from other disciplines has helped to improve understand of phenomena at the boundaries of economics with other disciplines.

We hope Wikipedians on this talk page can take advantage of these comments and improve the quality of the article accordingly.

Dr. Charness has published scholarly research which seems to be relevant to this Wikipedia article:

  • Reference : Charness, Gary & Masclet, David & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2013. "The Dark Side of Competition for Status," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt3858888w, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.

ExpertIdeasBot (talk) 17:53, 27 June 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Etymology: Latin: medicina, from ars medicina "the medical art," from medicus "physician."(Etym.Online) Cf. mederi "to heal," etym. "know the best course for," from PIE base *med- "to measure, limit. Cf. Greek medos "counsel, plan," Avestan vi-mad "physician")
  2. ^ "Medicine" Online Etymology Dictionary