C-68. Social sciences

A misnomer. As with many double term concepts, both “social” and “sciences” are not satisfactory representations of what we are talking about– or should be. A better designation here would be HAS disciplines (App. XV). This to make the point that what is to be talked about here are the humanism, art and science initiatives working together to produce solutions for our problems of today and tomorrow – in light of what we have come to know (sometimes poorly: C-44) about the problems and solutions of earlier times, one of which, the behavioral problem (I:Pbeh), is still pretty much unsolved. (See “peace” as a characterization of, and [one] litmus for, community capability.)

But these would be HAS disciplines in respect to what they should be and might become. We are not there yet. Witness all our unsolved problems (0) – and the problems of our own making (0:S-P, Ps). How did we end up with this mélange of fields and disciplines, of departments, institutes and colleges, of clinical, research and teaching vocations, of communities of interests?

Consider what these units aren’t, but might and should be, and not just what they are – the latter in the sense of “Is as does.” In “Is as does” terms, these communities represent emphases on observed particulars and the use of particular observer practices. Community members can often be readily distinguished by the method(s) they use to address observed segregated domains of particulars – to the extent of producing schools within schools, for example.

However, in view of their territorial expansion, often via tortuous evolution rather than revolutionary development, they obviously could, at any point, be understood to be underdeveloped communities, realizable for what they do not yet do – too. Ergo: “Is as doesn’t do.”

But this is so far largely in respect to particulars. If we consider generality (that is not redundant to particulars – i.e., universals and actuarial principles), such as those generalities furnished by the Nature of Things (III: general persisting conditions of partial order, consequentiality and discontinuity; behavioral necessity’s requisites and imperatives), then we have more of “Is as doesn’t do.”

Not only that but we have “Is as doesn’t do” within the communities themselves, as in partisan efforts on behalf of research and teaching and clinical. And we have it between and among the communities (e.g., the several social sciences). All this emptiness for HAS discipline to fill, to make HAS disciplines of them.

“Social sciences” is a misnomer in large part because humanity’s behavioral development, though it began and necessarily continues with problem solving — just like the child’s (see C-67)… that development was weaned into ADAPT and ADOPT, into attending to that which was ordered: adapting to ordered circumstances (e.g., daily needs of sustenance and shelter), adopting the proven (or sometimes only promised) path or practice (e.g., follow the leader).

The order of things, re particulars of one kind or another, seemed (still seems?) “heaven-sent” to us — and for us — as incompletely instructed behavioral entities. We are, however, equipped only with that, poorly equipped for life in accord with the Nature of Things on the frontier (App. XII; C-9).

Looking at history’s two-stranded thread of contingent emergent materiality, CEM (App. XI), we get a better picture (“CEM-sense”) of what needs to be talked about and brought about. As CEM progresses toward today’s frontier, composition before the fact becomes more and more relevant to change (II). We are challenged with problems, not just puzzles. Development and research (C-67) – as contrasted with, and complementary to, research and development (XI) – needs attention to humanity’s problems and to art (i.e., compositional capability) for solutions to those problems … as we weave the fabric which is to be our future.

As prospective HAS disciplines, the social sciences would need to become much more experimental. This with far more emphasis on experimenting with collective behavior – i.e., composing communities (see operating systems, C-36) of all kinds, from friends and partners and marriages to organizations dedicated to all sorts of enterprises. Implicit here is that the social sciences need to be much more behavioral. After all, community is the most behavioral of all behavioral entities.

“Social” should shout for attention to the unique behavioral challenge of community: that its composed structure should follow from needed functionality as well as its functions (e.g., behavioral roles) from the structure given it (XI). Then there is the challenge of the individual x community dynamic relationship: The behavioral problem (I: Pbeh) has to be solved for both if that relationship is to have viability for an effective attack on situational problems (I:Psit). Their operating systems have to be compatible. (Fortunately, the same N of T’s principles apply to their construction.)

When “social” interests are not reaching toward enhanced community development, as they should be as we find ourselves at the frontier of history where community implies a further possible advance of materiality, of our potential consequentiality, then “social” as an intellectual interest makes a mockery of what we advertise as human purpose. And “science,” on its own and on its own terms, divorced from art and humanism, is a serious mistake in metastrategy.

Because we need to attack from both ends of CEM history! The behavioral principles that derive from the Nature of Things (e.g., requisites and imperatives) give us before-the-fact assistance – as for experimenting – which can complement and supplement the assistance of after-the-fact principles (e.g., actuarial, normative) derived from analysis of past and current practices.

(c) 2012 R.F. Carter