Social Sciences

A crucial error made by Muslim scholars is to accord western social science the same value as the physical sciences. In fact, this level and quality is claimed by social science, but this claim is false [see Origins of Western Social Science” for detailed exposition] There are many mistakes involved in thinking that social science is in any way similar to physical science. A key ingredient in the massive mistake made in equating the two is the failed philosophy of Logical Positivism.  My articles listed below document this claim, that the two domains are radically different and involve radically different methodologies. Western social science has gone fundamentally astray because it has attempted to mimic the methodology of physical science. Methodology of physics is suited to the study of inanimate objects subject to physical laws, but not to the study of human beings who are capable of making free choices. This  point is articulated most clearly in my recent paper entitled: "An Islamic Approach to Humanities". Background research leading up to this paper is contained in papers listed below. An Important piece of evidence in this regard is the moral decline of the West, as this proves the practical failure of western theories of social science. See also related page: Western Social Sciences

A New Methodology for Islamic Economics: IRTI, IDB 17th DL Course: Spring 2013 Advanced Topics in Islamic Economics Dr. Asad Zaman, IIIE, IIUI Tuesday, 28th May 2013

Logical Positivist Methodology and Islamic Economics: to appear in Proceedings of 2nd International Conference on Islamic Economics and Economies of Muslim Countries that Department of Economics, KENMS, IIUM, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia held in 29-30 January 2013

Redefining Islamic Economics: to appear in Proceedings of the workshop on “Basic Concepts and Thoughts in Islamic Economics” held in Istanbul during 1-3 March 2013. submitted to Ninth International Conference on Islamic Economics and Finance (ICIEF) to take place in Istanbul during 9-11 September 2013

Directions for Muslim Scholars in Social Sciences, Proceedings of Third Arab-Turkish Congress of Social Sciences, May 2013, Istanbul -- Popular Version: Countering Three Myths produced by Western Education -- published in three parts in the Intellect. 

"Deification of Science and its Disastrous Consequences"   Our goal is to show that production of knowledge requires different approaches in different areas. In particular, radically different methodologies are suitable for mathematics, science, and humanities. Currently, it is widely believed that “methodology of science” is unique and the only way for production of valid knowledge. This imperialist epistemology is wrong and has caused a lot of harm. Especially in social sciences, humans are free and not subject to deterministic laws; application of methodology suitable for physics leads to deep misunderstandings of human and social behavior.  [submitted to American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences]

The Normative Foundations of Scarcity,” Real-World Economics Review, issue no. 61, 26 September 2012, pp. 22-39

Origins of Western Social ScienceJournal of Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance, vol 5, number 2, May-August 2009, p. 9-22

Corruption: Measuring the Unmeasurable,” (joint with Faiz-ur-Rahim) Humanomics, Vol 25, number 2, June 2009, p 117-126.

Improving Social Science Education in Pakistan,” Lahore Journal of Policy Studies Vol. 2 No. 1, June 2008.

“Towards Foundations for an Islamic Theory of Consumer Behavior,” in Readings in Microeconomics: An Islamic Perspective, edited by Sayyid Tahir, Aidit Ghazali, and Syed Oman Syed Agil, Longman Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, 1992.

Microfoundations for the Basic Needs Approach To Development: The Lexico-graphic Utility Function.”  Pakistan Journal of Applied Economics, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 1-11, 1986.


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  Oct 25, 2016, 2:33 AM Asad Zaman