Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Hill, Michael R. 1991. “Review of David and Judith Willer, Systematic Empiricism: Critique of a Pseudoscience (Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1973)”. Invited guest lecture presented to Professor Mary Jo Deegan’s graduate Contemporary Theory course, Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, March 4.


Copyright 1991 Michael R. Hill


Mainstream sociology, tvpically qrounded in data generated by survey questionnaire techniques in tandem with systematic statistical analysis of correlations between ad hot, arbitrarily selected (or, at best, very loosely rationalized) variables (i.e, empirical categories) is the very opposite of genuine (i.e., logically rationalized and philosophically defensible) scientific research. In essence, the Willers argue from a formalist platform standard sociological methods and statistics courses are scientifically worthless and that the novice sociologist who hungers after the “latest statistical techniques” and/or longs for a "good data set to analyze" is fundamentally an idiot who will nonetheless be showered with grant money and undoubtedly offered a good job by like-minded and equally stupid sociologists.