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Models of Formation and Development of the Modern Social Sciences and the Humanities

2008

This project is the first complex work dedicated to the analysis of the processes involved in the formation and development of social sciences and humanities as a whole as well as the basic scientific disciplines, that refer to this domain. This work is the first attempt to unite and connect research approaches to the study of the formation and development of scientific knowledge which have been developed as part of philosophy, sociology and science studies. The originality of this work is determined by its orientation towards social sciences and humanities, that allows us to emphasize the peculiar character of this sphere of the scientific knowledge and to define specific models of formation and development more precisely.

In the framework of this project, the authors have solved the following tasks:

1. Evaluated results received from previous studies on the development of natural science; defined the opportunities and limits for their application to social sciences and humanities; outlined the specific character of production and distribution of social and human knowledge, including internal and external parameters and criteria for its social (group) acknowledgement;

2. Analyzed existing models of the formation and accumulation of knowledge in natural sciences and developed an alternative model which takes into account the peculiarity of social sciences and humanities;

3. Defined the specfiic character of functioning of the model of interaction between key concepts in the modern science studies – the ‘core’ (accumulated knowledge) and ‘frontier’ (cutting edge of research) – in social sciences and humanities;

4. Estimated the opportunities for the use of quantitative methods to evaluate the effectiveness of research and ways of adjusting bibliometric methods developed for natural science when applied to social sciences and humanities.