G. Bolacchi, A new paradigm for the integration of the social sciences, in: N. Innis, Reflections on Adaptive Behavior, MIT Press, 2008

After more than one century of development, the social disciplines face fundamental internal problems that each separately seems unable to solve. This situation is confirmed by the common-sense arguments advanced within each separate discipline to emphasize the presumed differences and peculiarities that each one claims.

The current partition between economics, psychology, and sociology, expressed in terms of disjoint equivalence classes, is indeed founded on ambiguous and indeterminate properties. The language of economics can be regarded as an exemplary case. In fact, at present, economics is undeniably the most advanced social discipline, in formal and axiomatic terms–despite the lack of isomorphism between theoretical behaviors, consistent with the postulates of axiomatic analysis, and actual behaviors, emphasized by the modern experimental (or behavioral) economics. The problem of inner states in cognitive psychology and sociology results in research methods that cannot guarantee, at present, intersubjective knowledge achievements; this does not happen only in both these research fields but also in experimental economics. The contrary occurs in behavioristic psychology, where variables and parameters define a closed or isolated system.

On these bases, the paper deals with the problem of the scientific integration between social disciplines, which is considered not according to the current interdisciplinarity but rather with reference to the construction of a social interaction model allowing for all social phenomena to be explained. The proposed structural model, which is concisely outlined in this paper, is named the Theory of Interests. This theory is strictly consistent with both the theoretical behavioristic language (related to experimental analysis) and the axiomatized economic language (related to market equilibrium).

Giulio Bolacchi


A New Paradigm for the Integration of the Social Sciences

Published in
Nancy K. Innis (ed.), Reflections on adaptive behavior (Ch. 15, pp. 315-353) 

The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA (USA)


The need for integration of the social sciences online

The language of the science

Its syntactic and semantic standards

Time in science

An exemplary case: The language of economics
– The semantic interpretation of economic syntax
– Economics and the social system
– The verification of economics in a human context
– The verification of economics with animal experiments

The problem of inner states in psychology and sociology

The Theory of Interests

A theoretical hypothesis for the study of social phenomena founded on the experimental analysis of behavior

Explication of three critical concepts for the integration of the social sciences: Power, Exchange, Organization



Bolacchi G., Teoria delle classi sociali, Roma, Edizioni Ricerche, 1963

Bolacchi G., Metodologia delle scienze sociali, Roma, Edizioni Ricerche, 1963.

Bolacchi G., La struttura del potere, Roma, Edizioni Ricerche, 1964.

Bolacchi G., Concorrenza, collettivismo e pianificazione, in: Studi di economia, 1974, V, n.3, pp. 3-49.

Bolacchi G., On “social sciences” and science, in: Behavior and Philosophy, 2004, 32, pp. 465-478.

Buchanan J.M., What should economists do, in: The Southern Economic Journal, 1964, vol. XXX, n. 3, pp. 213-222.

Carnap R., Meaning and necessity, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956.

Carnap R., Introduction to semantics, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1959

Morris C., Signs, language and behavior, New York: George Braziller, Inc., 1955

Debreu G., Theory of value. An axiomatic analysis of economic equilibrium, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959

Faggiani D., La struttura logica della fisica, Torino: Edizioni Scientifiche Einaudi, 1957

Herrnstein R.J., Will, in: Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 1964, vol. 108, n. 6, pp. 455-458.

Herrnstein R.J., Self-control as response strength. In H. Rachlin, D. I. Laibson (eds.), The Matching Law. Papers in psychology and economics (pp. 121-138). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.

Holton G., Roller D.H.D., Foundation of modern physical science. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Inc., 1965

Rachlin H., Laibson D. I. (eds.), The matching law. Papers in psychology and economics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997

Staddon J.E.R., Adaptive dynamics. The theoretical analysis of behavior. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2001

error: Protetto © Giulio Bolacchi