Religious Change and Continuity clearer from our account. The second sense will be explored in close association with the concept of antinomianism. In the first sense, then, dialectic involves the idea of a system o r totality in which elements-say, A and B-that demand some kind of âsatisfactionâ are in tension and in which âexcessiveâ movement toward either-toward A or toward B-will tend to generate movement toward the other. Thus, Diesing (1971) writes of a certain one-sidedness in the methodology of science that is illustrated by a definition of science exclusively in terms of rigor and precision. Diesing argues that science needs a certain amount of âvaguenessâ and âsuggestivenessâ as well as rigor and precision. He finds that actual scientific traditions show a balance of precision and vagueness but that different traditions apportion the two in different ways. âThe various kinds of balance serve the conflicting scientific needs of creativity and control: Vagueness and suggestiveness facilitate creativity, and precision and rigor are means of control, either empirical or logicalâ (Diesing, 1971, p. 221). T h e outcome of an exaggerated stress on rigor and precision is likely to be âtheoretical stagnation and empirical preoccupation with detail,â while an
Sociological Inquiry – Wiley
Published: Apr 1, 1979
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