Efforts at Theoretical Synthesis in Biological and Sociological Thoughts
The paper compares the way in which efforts at theoretical synthesis arise in sociological and biological thoughts and the outcomes of such efforts in each case. First it must be said that whereas attempts in biology are confined to particular areas (for example: evolutionary biology), in sociology one can find efforts intending to cover all the field (such as the attempts by Parsons,Giddens and Bourdieu). Secondly, whereas efforts at theoretical synthesis are rare in biology, they are easily multiplied in sociology.I focus on the paradigmatic case of the so-called "modern synthesis", in biology, so as to show that there is nothing of the kind in sociology, since only in biology common agendas of investigation have been established. I describe how these agendas were established and argue that if projects for synthesis in sociology, however sophisticated they may be, never reaches a paradigmatic status it is basically because they have not been responsive to any common theoretical challenge of a specific character, such as occurs in biology.
Keywords: theoretical Synthesis, Evolutionary Biology, Modern Synthesis
Dr. Renan Springer de Freitas
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Antropology, Federal University of Minas Gerais