antinaturalism


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antinaturalism

any approach to sociological analysis which opposes the adoption of a natural-science model (e.g. the formulation of natural laws), regarding this as inappropriate to the study of human social action. Reference to ‘naturalism’ in this sense must be distinguished from a different usage of the term ‘naturalism’ in sociology to refer to NATURALISTIC RESEARCH METHODS. Here the emphasis is on the study of social action in ‘naturally’ occurring social settings. In this case, a preference for ‘natural’ research methods is often associated with opposition to the slavish following of any model drawn from the physical sciences. Thus, naturalism in this second sense is often taken as implying ‘antinaturalism’, using naturalism in the first sense.