LET us take three passages chosen from three studies in the social sciences. Each passage is of a kind which often comes under the criticism of natural scientists. This sort of thing may be quite interesting,’ they say, ‘but is it science? When we learn from the first passage, for example, that a group called “the corner boys” ranked people, individually and in groups, by their success at gambling we have a piece of information which seems to foreshadow a valuable discovery. All too often, however, the foreshadowing occupies the entire study. Instead of explanation we receive a mere description of how some people behave in their particular circumstances.’