AbstractThe history of the social sciences is replete with attempts at trying to imitate, more or less successfully, the methods, logic and techniques of the natural sciences – or at least to comply with what a certain image of the natural sciences had established to be the paradigm for science. Do such attempts still make sense in the present arena? What do old attempts tell us about the status of the sciences of the social and their specific methodological / ontological / epistemological aspects? In this article it is argued that if a comparative strategy were to maintain a function, it should be not to single out what is missing from social science in order to qualify as “science.” It should rather point out what and how specific features of the social world qualify for a scientifically domain-conscious type of analysis.
Keywords: comparative strategy, empiricism, constructivism, scientific realism, scientific objects, objectivity, sociobiology.