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Learning Objectives:
• Explain anthropological and sociological
perspectives on culture, society and politics
• Acquire basic knowledge about origin, growth
and development of the social sciences.
• Demonstrate curiosity and openness to
the significance of the social sciences.
• Recognize the Western and colonial origins of
third world social sciences and knowledge
The Historical Background of
the growth of Social Sciences

In the development and

progress of human knowledge,
the social sciences were the last
to develop
After the natural sciences. And
while the origin of the social
sciences can be traced back to
the ancient Greek philosophers
Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle,
their development as separate
fields of knowledge only begun
in the modern period (Collins
1994, p.7)
The development and progress of human
knowledge Social Sciences can be traced back to
Before the birth of modern social
sciences in the West, the study of
society, culture and politics were based
on social and political philosophy. (Scott
2006, p.9).In return, social and political
philosophies were informed by
theological reasoning grounded in
Revelation based on the Bible.
This was largely due to the dominance of
religious worldwide and authority during
time. While pre-modern social thinkers
employed experiences and personal
observation, just like modern scientists,
they fit them with the overall framework of
their philosophy and the overall religious
scheme of the Church.
Philosophy is district from Science.
Science would have not development if
it remained under the wings of
philosophy and theology. • Philosophy
is based on analytic understanding of
the nature of truth asserted about
specific topics of issues.
Analytical (adjective) means – of or
relating to analysis or analytics;
especially: separating something in
components parts or constituents

Understanding (noun) means – the

knowledge and ability to judge a
particular situation or subject
It asks the questions:
“ What is the nature of truth?”
“How do we know what we know?”

Unlike philosophy, the sciences are

based on empirical data, tested theories
and contrived observations. It does not
ask the question about the nature of
Empirical (adjective) means – based on
testing or experience

Data (noun) means – facts or

information usually to calculate, analyze,
or plan something
Science seeks to discover the truth
about specific causes of events and
happenings in the natural world. It is
inductive. ( using particular examples to
reach a general conclusion about
It proceeds from observing particular
cases and moves toward generalizing
the properties common to these cases
to others similar cases under the same
specified condition.
This definition of Science is a very
modern description. Before the modern
period, the growth of the science was
slowed down because of the dominance
of the religious authority and tradition.
However, with the breakdown of the
Church and its religious power after the
French revolution, the science grew
steadily and rapid to become
The most widely accepted way
explaining the world, nature, and human
beings (Harrington 2006)
The development of the Social Sciences
during the modern period was made
possible by several large scale social
upheavals and pivotal events. They can be
summarized below
Science s
Pure Visual Arts
Applied Performing
Science Arts
Social Science Religion
The Unprecedented Growth of Science
The Scientific Revolution which begun with
Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) refers to
historical changes in thought and belief. In
Europe roughly between 1550 and 1700. It
culminated in with the works of Sir Isaac
Newton, (1643- 1727) which prosed
universal laws of motion and mechanical
model of the Universe .
The 17th century saw the rapid development
in the sciences. Along with Sir Francis Bacon,
who established the supremacy of reason
over imagination, Reńe Decartes and Sir
Isaac Newton laid the foundation that
allowed science and technology to change
the world. The discovery of gravity of Sir
Isaac Newton, the mathematization of
physics and medicine paved the way for the
dominance of science and
Mathematics in describing and explaining
the world and its nature. With the coming of
the Scientific Revolution and Age Reason, in
the 16th and 17th centuries, nature was to be
controlled, “bound into service and made a
slave” (Capra 1982, p.56). From the Medieval
cosmology or model of the universe as big
The triumph of this model of the universe
was facilitated by Newton’s Physics.
Decartes’ separation of the physical from
the spiritual, the body from the mind, also
led to the triumph of valuing the physical
over the spiritual. Once the physical universe
is considered as a machine, it soon became
apparent that human beings can explore it
according to science in order to reveal its
secrets (Merchant 1986)
The Secularization of Learning & Education
The modern period marked the growing
triumph of scientific method over religious
dogma and theological thinking .
The Protestant movement led by Martin
Luther eroded the power of the Roman
Catholic Church.
The triumph of Reason (specifically Western
Reason) and science over dogma and
religious authority began with the
Revolution Catholic Church. It challenged
the infallibility of the Pope and
democratized the interpretation of the Bible.
Then there was the Enlightenment.
This was largely a cultural movement,
emphasizing rationalism as well as political
and economic theories, and was clearly built
on the Scientific Revolution (Stearns 2003,
In the Age of Enlightenment, philosophers
led by Immanuel Kant challenged the use of
metaphysics or absolute truth derived
mainly from unjustified tradition and
authority such as the existence of God.
Kant advocated the use of reason in order
to know the nature of the world and human
begins. In 1784, Immanuel Kant wrote his
famous essay, “What is Enlightenment?”
Kant heralded the beginning of the Modern
Period when he defined Enlightenment as
courage to know.
ENLIGHTENMENT is man’s release from his
self-incurred tutelage. Tutelage is man’s
inability to make use his understanding
without direction from another. Self incurred
is this tutelage when its cause lies not in lack
of reason but in lack of resolution and
courage to use it without direction from
another. Sapereaude! “Have courage to use
your own reason!”-that is the motto of
Whereas in the MEDIEVAL PERIOD,
universities relied mainly on religious the
Bible to explain the nature of the universe
and the place of human being in the grand
scheme of things, the modern universities
started to rely on science and its method to
interpret the world.
Max Weber ,one of the leading figures in modern
sociology, described this process as
Rationalization or rationalisation (also known as
making excuses) is a defense mechanism in
which controversial behaviors or feelings are
justified and explained in a seemingly rational or
logical manner to avoid the true explanation, and
are made consciously tolerable – or even
admirable and superior – by plausible means
Means that social life is more and more
subjected to calculation and prediction.
Calculation and prediction can only be achieved
if human beings and society rely on regularities
established by modern science.

Earlier people explained diseases through divine

intervention. Ex. HB, Germs
With discoveries of germ theory and the
development of vaccination by Louis Pasteur,
people relied more and more on medical
knowledge to deal with disease. As French
sociologist Francois Lyotard (1984) points out
Science triumphed because provided reliable
Another element of rationalization is the
separation between different social spheres
especially between the Church and the
universities. The collapse of religious authority
and the gradual erosion of religious domination
over social life of the people led to the use of
classical humanistic resources such as ancient
philosophy and humanities to advance human
knowledge independent of Revelation (Zeitlin
1968, pp.3ff)
Education is the single most important
factor in the rise of social sciences. The
growth of universities also contributed to
the triumph of science. Secular subjects or
subjects dealing with natural world
proliferated in the universities. Merchants
and capitalists supported universities and
institutions secular learning
Because they became the hub of training
future scientists, technocrats, and
technological innovators. Durheim, one of
the founding “fathers” of sociology, for
instance, lectured on the need to secularize
education and base the curriculum on the
need of nation-state – to develop citizens
necessary for the modern world. (Collins
1994, p.11)
The rise of Universities • As students at a university, you are
part of a great tradition. Consider the words you use: campus,
tuition, classes, courses, lectures, faculty, students,
administration, chancellor, dean, professor, sophomore, junior,
senior, fees, assignments, laboratory, dormitory, requirements,
prerequisites, examinations, texts, grades, convocation,
graduation, commencement, procession, diploma, alumni
association, donations, and so forth. These are the language of
the university, and they are all derived from Latin, almost
unchanged from their medieval origins. The organization of
this university, its activities and its traditions, are continuations
of a barroom brawl that took place in Paris almost 800 years
With the intensification of commerce and trade
in the 17th century ,many medieval guilds or
worker’s cooperative were dissolved and
absorbed into the emerging factory system. The
factory system and the unprecedented growth in
the urban centers due to trade and commerce,
attracted a lot of agricultural workers and mass
of rural population to migrate to urban centers.
This created the modern cities. This development
forced many social scientists during this time to
study the effects of the dissolution of feudal
relations on the social life of the people.
Ferdinand Tőnnies(1855-1936), a German
sociologist, and contemporary of Max Weber,
lamented the passing away of gemeinschaft or
community because of urbanization Tőnnies
classic book Community and Society (1957)
showed how the modern way of life had
drastically changed the way people relate to one
Whereas in traditional communities people had
warm relationships with the members of the
community, in modern cities or gessellschaft
individualism gave way to cold and calculated
social relationships. As capitalism replaced
agricultural economy, people began to see their
relationships with other people as mere
economic transactions rather than as form of
personal relationships.
Trade and Commerce • For many centuries the
Great Silk Road connected a complex network of
trade routes from Europe with Asia. It was a way
to establish contact with the great civilizations of
China, India, the Near East and Europe. Trade
caravans, diplomatic missions, merchants
representatives of religious circles, dervishes,
warriors – millions people have passed on this
road through time with nothing frightening these
brave travelers, neither the difficult roads, nor the
waterless deserts.
The Rise of Individualism • The intensification of
commerce and trade gradually replaced barter
with the production of money and banking
system. Soon banking system provided
merchants and capitalists the leverage to extend
credit and transactions. The introduction of
money enabled people to deal with people in an
impersonal manner. Money made possible the
reduction of human interaction to mere
business-like transaction devoid of any warmth
and personal touch.
GEORGE SIMMEL (1858-1918), a German
sociologist in the early 20th century, to decry the
growing depersonalization of life due to the
introduction of money. Money economy
transformed individuals to autonomous
consumers who were released from attachment
to local contexts and traditions.
Hence, the dominance of money in social life
paved the way for individualization of lifestyle
and the birth of plural relationship.
This condition became an important focus of
social scientists, It compelled them to explain
how the “new economy”, which was industrial
capitalism, that replaced the traditional feudal
relations, had drastically shaped human character
and traits. The transition from feudal economy to
industrial capitalism heralded the creation of
people who no longer relied on traditional norms
and prevailing culture.
Modern individuals asserted their freedom to
choose. Through education and the spread of
scientific worldwide, people saw their lives as no
longer at the mercy of the fate or destiny.
Individualism is simply the recognition of power
of the individual to assert ones freedom against
the given norms and structures of society.
The birth of Social Sciences as a Response to the
Social Turmoil of the MODERN PERIOD •
Sociology is a branch of the social sciences that
deals with the scientific study of human
interactions ,social groups and institutions ,whole
societies and the human world as such. Of course
Sociology also addresses the problem of the
constitution of the self and the individual, but it
only does so in relation larger social structures
and processes.
Sociology, the therefore, is a science that studies
the relationship between the individual and the
society as they develop and change in history.
Sociology does not only study the existing social
forms of interactions but also pursues the
investigation of the emergence of stable
structures that sustain such interactions.
Auguste Comte • better known as Auguste
Comte was a French philosopher. He was a
founder of the discipline of sociology and of the
doctrine of positivism. He is sometimes regarded
as the first philosopher of science in the modern
sense of the term
Harriet Martineau • Harriet Martineau, one of the
earliest Western sociologists, was born in 1802 in
Norwich, England. Martineau was a self-taught
expert in political economic theory, and wrote
prolifically about the relations between politics,
economics, morals, and social life throughout her
career. Her intellectual work was centered by a
staunchly moral perspective that stemmed from
her Unitarian faith. She was fiercely critical of the
inequality and injustice faced by girls and
women, slaves, wage slaves, and the working
Karl Marx • The philosopher, social scientist, historian and
revolutionary, Karl Marx, is without a doubt the most influential
socialist thinker to emerge in the 19th century. Although he
was largely ignored by scholars in his own lifetime, his social,
economic and political ideas gained rapid acceptance in the
socialist movement after his death in 1883. Until quite recently
almost half the population of the world lived under regimes
that claim to be Marxist. This very success, however, has meant
that the original ideas of Marx have often been modified and
his meanings adapted to a great variety of political
circumstances. In addition, the fact that Marx delayed
publication of many of his writings meant that is been only
recently that scholars had the opportunity to appreciate Marx's
intellectual stature.
Emile Durkleim • David Émile Durkheim
(French: [emil dyʁkɛm] or [dyʁkajm];[1] April
15, 1858 – November 15, 1917) was a
French sociologist, social psychologist and
philosopher. He formally established the
academic discipline and— with Karl Marx
and Max Weber—is commonly cited as the
principal architect of modern social science
and father of sociology
Max Weber • Karl Emil Maximilian "Max" Weber
was a German sociologist, philosopher, jurist, and
political economist whose ideas profoundly
influenced social theory and social
research.Weber is often cited, with Émile
Durkheim and Karl Marx, as among the three
founders of sociology
Anthropology • Anthropology is the study of
humans, past and present. To understand the full
sweep and complexity of cultures across all of
human history, anthropology draws and builds
upon knowledge from the social and biological
sciences as well as the humanities and physical
Franz Boas • Franz Uri Boas was a German-
American anthropologist and a pioneer of
modern anthropology who has been called the
"Father of American Anthropology” His work is
associated with the movement of
anthropological historicism
Bronislaw Kasper Malinowski • was a Polish
anthropologist, one of the most important
20th-century anthropologists. He has also
been referred to as a sociologist and
Alfred Reginald Radcliffe -Brown • was an
English social anthropologist who
developed the theory of structural
functionalism and coadaptation
Political Science • Political science is a social
science discipline that deals with systems of
government, and the analysis of political activity
and political behavior. It deals extensively with
the theory and practice of politics which is
commonly thought of as determining of the
distribution of power and resources
Walter Lippmann • was an American writer,
reporter, and political commentator famous for
being among the first to introduce the concept
of Cold War, coining the term "stereotype" in the
modern psychological meaning, and critiquing
media and democracy in his newspaper column
and several books
The Colonial Origin of the
Social Sciences
The Clamor for Decolonization of Social Sciences
• As discussed above, the image created by the
Social Scientists around the 18th century carried
a very European view of non Western world.
Social Sciences spread from the center to the
peripheries of the of the world .Most of their
observations ,mainly from anthropology were
clothed in the cultural beliefs and attitudes of the
Fair European.
Indigenization of Social Sciences in the
Philippines • In the Philippines, social
sciences after World War II simply
perpetuated colonial knowledge production
from American social sciences. Many Filipino
social scientists such as Virgilio Enriquez, a
psychologist Zeus Salazar, a historian and
Prospero Covar, an anthropologist
advocated for the indigenization of social
Antonio de Morga
• Social Sciences in the Era of Globalization • Science may take
on completely different forms in various cultural and historical
contexts, but all of these forms of the human acquisition of
knowledge share a general nature that lies in their exploration
of the potential for innovation embodied in a given material
culture. This exploration, focusing on means rather than ends,
occurs in a certain autonomy from the specific applications
also given with this culture, through its tradition and
concentrating on certain goals. Against the background of
such a historical definition of science, the remarkable dual
character it possesses, its durability and its fragility, becomes
more understandable
• Knowledge is globalized when it is in principle globally available and
accessible. The globalization of knowledge today has reached a new
stage: it has transformed the economy of knowledge radically, in ways
that are comparable to the transformation in recent years of a monetary
economy to a system in which local and global developments are
coupled by almost instantaneous interactions. New potentials for the
globalization of knowledge have emerged, such as the global system of
science and the World Wide Web, offering immediate worldwide access
to the knowledge produced within this system. Due to the increased
mobility of people and things, research hubs and the human resources
of science have become global assets. Themigration of scientific
knowledge is no longer characterized by the trajectories of individuals
or by the dynamics
• Feminist Anthropology • that seeks to transform research
findings, anthropological hiring practices, and the scholarly
production of knowledge, using insights from feminist theory.
Simultaneously, feminist anthropology challenges essentialist
feminist theories developed in Europe and America. While
feminists practiced cultural anthropology since its inception
(see Margaret Mead and Hortense Powdermaker), it was not
until the 1970s that feminist anthropology was
formally[citation needed] recognized as a subdiscipline of
anthropology. Since then, it has developed its own subsection
of the American Anthropological Association – the Association
for Feminist Anthropology – and its own publication,
• Summary • The social Sciences namely, sociology,
anthropology and political science, developed as
result of the development of modern society. The rise
and rapid growth of the natural sciences influenced
the direction of the social sciences.
Liberal Arts & Social Sciences • St. Paul University
“God gave us TWO EARS and ONE
MOUTH, that means we should listen
twice as much as we talk. It is HARD
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