chapter  6
9 Pages

Six The Collectivism of the Scientistic Approach

Closely connected with the objectivism of the scientistic approach is its methodological collectivism, its tendency to treat wholes like society or the economy, capitalism (as a given historical ‘phase’) or a particular industry or class or country as defi nitely given objects about which we can discover laws by observing their behaviour as wholes. While the specifi c subjectivist approach of the social sciences starts, as we have seen, from our knowledge of the inside of these social complexes, the knowledge of the individual attitudes which form the elements of their structure, the objectivism of the natural sciences tries to view them from the outside;1 it treats social phenomena not as something of which the human mind is a part and the principles of whose organisation we can reconstruct from the familiar parts, but as if they were objects directly perceived by us as wholes.