Talcott Parsons - Quotes

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Theory not only formulates what we know but also tells us what we want to know, that is, the questions to which an answer is needed. ---->>>

The functions of the family in a highly differentiated society are not to be interpreted as functions directly on behalf of the society, but on behalf of personality. ---->>>

If observed facts of undoubted accuracy will not fit any of the alternatives it leaves open, the system itself is in need of reconstruction. ---->>>

The part an actor played on stage was once written on a separate roll of paper. ---->>>

It is probably safe to say that all the changes of factual knowledge which have led to the relativity theory, resulting in a very great theoretical development, are completely trivial from any point of view except their relevance to the structure of a theoretical system. ---->>>

The hypothesis may be put forward, to be tested by the s subsequent investigation, that this development has been in large part a matter of the reciprocal interaction of new factual insights and knowledge on the one hand with changes in the theoretical system on the other. ---->>>

A gloss is a total system of perception and language. ---->>>

From all this it follows what the general character of the problem of the development of a body of scientific knowledge is, in so far as it depends on elements internal to science itself. ---->>>

It is that of increasing knowledge of empirical fact, intimately combined with changing interpretations of this body of fact - hence changing general statements about it - and, not least, a changing a structure of the theoretical system. ---->>>

The conception that, instead of this, contemporary society is at or near a turning point is very prominent in the views of a school of social scientists who, though they are still comparatively few, are getting more and more of a hearing. ---->>>

Empirical interest will be in the facts so far as they are relevant to the solution of these problems. ---->>>

But the fact a person denies that he is theorising is no reason for taking him at his word and failing to investigate what implicit theory is involved in his statements. ---->>>

The main concern of the study is with the outline of a theoretical system. Its minor variations from writer to writer are not a matter of concern to this analysis. ---->>>

Of course there may well be particular reasons why Spencer rather than others is dead, as there were also particular reasons why he rather than others made such a stir. ---->>>

The implications of these considerations justify the statement that all empirically verifiable knowledge even the commonsense knowledge of everyday life - involves implicitly, if not explicitly, systematic theory in this sense. ---->>>

If there are four equations and only three variables, and no one of the equations is derivable from the others by algebraic manipulation then there is another variable missing. ---->>>

The importance of certain problems concerning the facts will be inherent in the structure of the system. ---->>>

In so far as such a theory is empirically correct it will also tell us what empirical facts it should be possible to observe in a given set of circumstances. ---->>>

Among those who are satisfactory in this respect it is desirable to have represented as great a diversity of intellectual tradition, social milieu and personal character as possible.

Among those who are satisfactory in this respect it is desirable to have represented as great a diversity of intellectual tradition, social milieu and personal character as possible.

Thus, in general, in the first instance, the direction of interest in empirical fact will be canalised by the logical structure of the theoretical system. ---->>>

That is, a system starts with a group of interrelated propositions which involve reference to empirical observations within the logical framework of the propositions in question. ---->>>

Spencer's god was Evolution, sometimes also called Progress. ---->>>

Now obviously the propositions of the system have reference to matters of empirical fact; if they did not, they could have no claim to be called scientific. ---->>>

But the scientific importance of a change in knowledge of fact consists precisely in j its having consequences for a system of theory. ---->>>

Special emphasis should be laid on this intimate interrelation of general statements about empirical fact with the logical elements and structure of theoretical systems. ---->>>

The system becomes logically closed when each of the logical implications which can be derived from any one proposition within the system finds its statement in another proposition in the same system. ---->>>

A theoretical system does not merely state facts which have been observed and that logically deducible relations to other facts which have also been observed. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: American
Born: 12-13, 1902
Birthplace:
Die: 05-08, 1979
Occupation: Sociologist
Website:

Talcott Parsons (December 13, 1902 – May 8, 1979) was an American sociologist of the classical tradition, best known for his social action theory and structural functionalism. Parsons is considered one of the most influential figures in the development of sociology in the 20th century. After earning a PhD in economics, he served on the faculty at Harvard University from 1927 to 1979, and in 1930, was among the first professors in its newly created sociology department (wikipedia)