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We Always Know More Than We Can Say: Mathematical Sociologists On Mathematical Sociology

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the question of the possibility of a mathematical sociology through a set of interviews with mathematical sociologists. All mathematics is a much more exact language than the written or spoken word, which brings clarification and coherence to theoretical arguments and helps eliminate ambiguous interpretation. Mathematics is a unifying language that promotes communication and problem solving among otherwise conceptually separate scientific communities. Because it is a unifying language, mathematics provides a way to learn from other scientific domains that struggle with structurally similar properties. The chapter takes as a point of departure the fact that by and large, mathematics is rarely put to work in sociology and when it is, it is done by a small number of sociologists. It presents interviews which bear witness that there are positive adherents of mathematical sociology, and the author's literature review provides references to impressing work on many timely problems.

Keywords: communication; mathematical sociologists; mathematical sociology

10.1163/ej.9789004165694.i-450.110
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