Epistemology, Social Technology, and Expert Judgement: Olaf Helmer's Contribution to Futures Research

Futures, Volume 41, Issue 5, June 2009, Pages 253-259

7 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2012

See all articles by Paul Dragos Aligica

Paul Dragos Aligica

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

R. Herritt

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

The article discusses Olaf Helmer's contribution to the development of futures studies by focusing on four basic theses defining his approach. (1) Quasi-laws in social sciences and futures studies can in fact be treated in the same way that the natural laws of the physical sciences. (2) In order to make predictions, one need not appeal to a strict logical derivation, as the “covering laws” doctrine of logical-empiricism suggests. (3) Prediction and explanation are not logically symmetrical as positivists believe, thus the conditions needed for explanation are not those required for prediction. (4) Local, tacit, personal and expert knowledge are crucial in developing a foresight methodology. In conjunction, these four theses open the way to a unique theory of social prediction and to variety of “unorthodox items of methodological equipment for the purposes of prediction in the inexact sciences.”

Suggested Citation

Aligica, Paul Dragos and Herritt, R., Epistemology, Social Technology, and Expert Judgement: Olaf Helmer's Contribution to Futures Research (2009). Futures, Volume 41, Issue 5, June 2009, Pages 253-259 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2149091

Paul Dragos Aligica (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

R. Herritt

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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