Semantic universals

One of the subjects I stumbled upon is the work of Anna Wierzbicka, Professor in linguistics. In 1972 she wrote a book entitled “Semantic Primitives” and since then there has been a lot of linguistic studies based on her theory, the Natural Semantic Metalanguage. In short her work aims at finding the semantic primitives of […]

Ewald Vervaet over het positivisme (in Dutch)

Discussie over het positivisme Op 28 april 2006 heeft dr. Ewald Vervaet het bestuur van de Koninklijke Nederlandse Academie van Wetenschappen (KNAW) verzocht een discussie te openen over het positivisme in het algemeen en over de positivistische psychologie in het bijzonder. Dat verzoek wordt begeleid door het artikel ‘Het positivisme en zijn ongeldigheid’. Vervaets verzoek […]

Douglas Rushkoff: Economics is not natural science

We must stop perpetuating the fiction that existence itself is dictated by the immutable laws of economics. These so-called laws are, in actuality, the economic mechanisms of 13th Century monarchs. Some of us analyzing digital culture and its impact on business must reveal economics as the artificial construction it really is. Although it may be […]

Friedrich August von Hayek on Methodology

Throughout his writings, Hayek has emphasized that a “scientistic prejudice” is working as a bad steering factor in the research for sound theories in the general field of social sciences, and especially in economics. Notwithstanding Hayek’s criticism, most contemporary economists still think that they must imitate methods of physical and biological sciences in order to […]

Yuelin on science

Caveat: Edward de Bono, founder of lateral thinking, remarked that he never debates. He said that two parties cannot agree primarily because they have either different information, or different perception, or different values. I interpret Bono as meaning that recognizing our differences and trying to view from the other party’s perspective is better than debating. […]

Scientific knowledge

I share my love of science with many other people I love science. Science is a way of thinking and a way of manipulating certain aspects of the real world in order to gain knowledge about those aspects. Science has produced a body of knowledge about the empirical world. Science explains how aspects of the […]

Science and religion

I like thinking, so I like science. Because science is thinking, experimenting and making statements about us and about our world. I completely disagree with Descartes though who said: cogito ergo sum (I think so I am). I would rather say: I feel so I am (I’m sorry I can’t write this in Latin). But […]

Is social science a science?

The status of social science has always been very questionable and from the beginning,  social scientists have tried to explain that their methods are just as good as those of any scientist who studies the natural world (the physical scientist). ‘Look at how many statistics, we use’ you hear them exclaim. So by applying the […]


In 1982 I worked at the faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Amsterdam (in the Netherlands) as a methodologist. My work consisted of reviewing statistical software packages that were used at the university to analyse data. After a year I left the university because working as a methodologist/statistician wasn’t fulfilling for me. I […]