Talcott Parsons Quotes

Home / Sociologist / Talcott Parsons Quotes
Talcott Parsons

Picture by Lois Lord
Born (1902-12-13)December 13, 1902
Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.
Died May 8, 1979(1979-05-08) (aged 76)
Munich, West Germany
Nationality American
Fields Sociology
Institutions Harvard University
Alma mater Amherst College

London School of Economics

University of Heidelberg

Notable students Robert Merton
Influences Émile Durkheim, Max Weber

But the scientific importance of a change in knowledge of fact consists precisely in j its having consequences for a system of theory.
Talcott Parsons
In so far as such a theory is empirically correct it will also tell us what empirical facts it should be possible to observe in a given set of circumstances.
Talcott Parsons
That is, a system starts with a group of interrelated propositions which involve reference to empirical observations within the logical framework of the propositions in question.
Talcott Parsons
It is that of increasing knowledge of empirical fact, intimately combined with changing interpretations of this body of fact – hence changing general statements about it – and, not least, a changing a structure of the theoretical system.
Talcott Parsons
Thus, in general, in the first instance, the direction of interest in empirical fact will be canalised by the logical structure of the theoretical system.
Talcott Parsons
The implications of these considerations justify the statement that all empirically verifiable knowledge even the commonsense knowledge of everyday life – involves implicitly, if not explicitly, systematic theory in this sense.
Talcott Parsons
Spencer's god was Evolution, sometimes also called Progress.
The part an actor played on stage was once written on a separate roll of paper.
Talcott Parsons
A theoretical system does not merely state facts which have been observed and that logically deducible relations to other facts which have also been observed.
Talcott Parsons
The conception that, instead of this, contemporary society is at or near a turning point is very prominent in the views of a school of social scientists who, though they are still comparatively few, are getting more and more of a hearing.
Talcott Parsons
The functions of the family in a highly differentiated society are not to be interpreted as functions directly on behalf of the society, but on behalf of personality.
Talcott Parsons
Among those who are satisfactory in this respect it is desirable to have represented as great a diversity of intellectual tradition, social milieu and personal character as possible.
Talcott Parsons
The hypothesis may be put forward, to be tested by the s subsequent investigation, that this development has been in large part a matter of the reciprocal interaction of new factual insights and knowledge on the one hand with changes in the theoretical system on the other.
Talcott Parsons
Of course there may well be particular reasons why Spencer rather than others is dead, as there were also particular reasons why he rather than others made such a stir.
Talcott Parsons
Now obviously the propositions of the system have reference to matters of empirical fact; if they did not, they could have no claim to be called scientific.
Talcott Parsons
Empirical interest will be in the facts so far as they are relevant to the solution of these problems.
Talcott Parsons
Special emphasis should be laid on this intimate interrelation of general statements about empirical fact with the logical elements and structure of theoretical systems.
Talcott Parsons
The main concern of the study is with the outline of a theoretical system. Its minor variations from writer to writer are not a matter of concern to this analysis.
Talcott Parsons
If there are four equations and only three variables, and no one of the equations is derivable from the others by algebraic manipulation then there is another variable missing.
Talcott Parsons
The system becomes logically closed when each of the logical implications which can be derived from any one proposition within the system finds its statement in another proposition in the same system.
Talcott Parsons
From all this it follows what the general character of the problem of the development of a body of scientific knowledge is, in so far as it depends on elements internal to science itself.
Talcott Parsons
The importance of certain problems concerning the facts will be inherent in the structure of the system.
Talcott Parsons
It is probably safe to say that all the changes of factual knowledge which have led to the relativity theory, resulting in a very great theoretical development, are completely trivial from any point of view except their relevance to the structure of a theoretical system.
Talcott Parsons
If observed facts of undoubted accuracy will not fit any of the alternatives it leaves open, the system itself is in need of reconstruction.
Talcott Parsons
But the fact a person denies that he is theorising is no reason for taking him at his word and failing to investigate what implicit theory is involved in his statements.
Talcott Parsons
A gloss is a total system of perception and language.
Theory not only formulates what we know but also tells us what we want to know, that is, the questions to which an answer is needed.
Talcott Parsons