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Balancing broad theory with specific practice is the challenge to social science teaching and scholarship, three professor agreed at last night's Kirkland House Forum.
Louis B. Harts, associate professor of Government, explained that the government teaching problem lies in presenting both political facts and ultimate ideals. "Students who take government to learn what to do in Korea are often hard to interest in Locke's "second Treatise," he said.
Speaking from the sociologist's view-point, George G. Homans '32, associate professor of Sociology, indicated that too many sociologists are trying to make practical application and are neglecting broad research into human behavior. The urge to get immediate results may be "fatal" to the accumulation of knowledge, he warned.
Disagreeing with Homans, Arthur Smithies, professor of Economics, insisted that creating a better world and not pure knowledge, must be the sole end of scholarship; arguing that statistics on social ills will not cure the ills, Smithies said, "I, don't see how a society that knows too much about itself can function well."
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