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Epistemology and "Objectivity" in Social Science


This article presents a critical commentary on the debate between M.
Loužek and P. Drulák. First, in direct contradiction to Loužek's position, the
article argues that "objectivity" in social science is not based on a dogmatic
belief in the ability of a particular theory to seize the "truth" of the world-out-there. Instead, the only way to approach the ideal of objectivity in our
varied and complex world is to facilitate an open debate between different
theoretical positions. The article then discusses the dichotomy between
positivism and normativism introduced by Loužek. This dichotomy is
artificial; realism is no less "normatively-oriented" than alternative
paradigms in international relations theory. However, there is a relevant
distinction between analytically-oriented and normatively-oriented theories
that is overlooked by Loužek, who wrongly believes that all non-realist
theories of international relations belong to the group of normative


Epistemology, objectivity, social science, international relations, positivism, realism, normative theories

PDF Research Article (Czech)