Talcott Parsons Quotes
25 Sourced Quotes
Science is intimately integrated with the whole social structure and cultural tradition. They mutually support one other – only in certain types of society can science flourish, and conversely without a continuous and healthy development and application of science such a society cannot function properly.
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. 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.
Without deliberate planning on anyone's part, there have developed in our type of social system, and correspondingly in others, mechanisms which, within limits, are capable of forestalling and reversing the deep-lying tendencies for deviance to get into the vicious circle phase which puts it beyond the control of ordinary approval-disapproval and reward-punishment sanctions.
It is a fact that social existence depends to a large extent on a moral consensus of its members and that the penalty of its too radical breakdown is social extinction. This fact is one which the type of liberal whose theoretical background is essentially utilitarian is all too apt to ignore.