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Talcott Parsons on Theories - Dictionary of Arguments

Habermas IV 355
Theories/Parsons/Habermas: up to the 1960s, Parsons reaffirms his thesis: scientific theory is a corpus of coherent propositions about empirical phenomena within a frame of reference. (1)
Frame of reference/Parsons/Habermas: has the status of basic concepts and basic assumptions which, such as the protophysical framework of classical mechanics, must not be confused with the empirical theories which can be established with their help. In this sense, the framework of reference for action theory should also constitute the subject area of the social sciences.
However, Parsons had not introduced it as a theoretical model - it was by no means intended to represent the basic features abstracted from reality itself from an analytical point of view. Rather, analytical realism consists of an order of problem levels that establishes internal, non-empirical relationships between the categorial framework, empirical theories, scientific predictions/explanations and facts. This hierarchy does not break out of the linguistic universe of the scientific communication community.
New: after Parsons identifies the framework of action theory with those emergent characteristics that occur in the evolution of natural systems at the level of socio-cultural life forms, analytical realism retains only a declamatory value. From now on, the framework of action theory serves to characterize a certain type of border-preserving systems; the general system theory has now the task of establishing models which are relevant for the characterization of border-preserving systems.
Habermas IV 356
Parts of reality simulate. Statements about analytical relationships between values, goals, norms and resources are transformed into statements about empirical relationships between system components.
The empirically reinterpreted unity of action is formed in processes of exchange between its components. Only under this essentialist condition can the organism or the behavioral system also be integrated informally into the triad person, society and culture. (Parsons pro essentialism). His theory now receives the connotations of a reconstruction of characteristics of self-structuring systems of action.

1.T.Parsons, E.Shils, K. D. Naegele, J.R. Pitts (Eds.) Theories of Society, NY 1961, S. 965.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

ParCh I
Ch. Parsons
Philosophy of Mathematics in the Twentieth Century: Selected Essays Cambridge 2014

ParTa I
T. Parsons
The Structure of Social Action, Vol. 1 1967

ParTe I
Ter. Parsons
Indeterminate Identity: Metaphysics and Semantics 2000

Ha I
J. Habermas
Der philosophische Diskurs der Moderne Frankfurt 1988

Jürgen Habermas
Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns Bd. I Frankfurt/M. 1981

Jürgen Habermas
Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns Bd. II Frankfurt/M. 1981

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