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The Book Forum
July 13, 1964

The Broken Image: Man, Science and Society

Author Affiliations

San Francisco

JAMA. 1964;189(2):169. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070020097046

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The argument of this book is that social science is dominated by "root metaphors and routine methods appropriated from classical mechanics," and that this keeps us from seeing "the whole man"; we see only a broken self-image. The author has certainly identified and attacked a number of outworn, indefensible doctrines: materialist metaphysics, naive behaviorism, the apotheosis of mathematical and statistical methods in social science, the claim that science can be altogether value-free, the bureaucratization of administration, the denial of the limits of scientific method, the naïve notion of an observer wholly isolated from the object of his investigation.

However, this volume lacks both originality and subtlety. What is true has been said far better many times before. The author apparently does not understand philosophy sufficiently well to do justice to the range of topics he skips across. He does not properly deal with the value problem in modern science. His

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