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methodenstreitmethodological dispute between NEO-KANTIANS and naturalists in late 19th-century Germany The former asserted that the natural and cultural sciences were different in kind and therefore needed different methodologies, the latter that the same methodology would do for both. The methods of HERMENEUTICS and VERSTEHEN became theoretically articulated during this period (see also IDIOGRAPHIC AND NOMOTHETIC). Running to some extent in parallel with these disputes, there were also disputes between the historical and the neoclassical school in economics, and debates about the role of VALUE JUDGEMENTS and issues of value freedom (see VALUE FREEDOM AND VALUE NEUTRALITY; see also WEBER). The term methodenstreit has also latterly been applied to the dispute between POPPER and ADORNO (amongst others) in Germany in the 1960s. Popper presented a falsificationist model (see FALSIFICATIONISM) of politically neutral social science which was hotly contested by critical theorists (see FRANKFURT SCHOOL OF CRITICAL THEORY).
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000