At this time social planning has come to be synonymous with technical forecasting. Because of this trend, the methods used by social planners are those of positive science. These methods, however, are not self-reflective, and are therefore naive about the epistemological assumptions which they inadvertantly advance. As a result of this epistemological naivete, many times the social planner is guided by methodological assumptions that are totally incongruent with the social world to which they are to be applied. This type of social forecasting is referred to as irresponsible social planning, in that it is not sensitive to the needs and values of the individuals to be surveyed. The result of this type of technical forecasting is the development of abstract plans that have little social relevance. In order to avoid this type of irresponsible planning, the social planner must be self-reflexive, so that social planning comes to be viewed as the self-motivated projection and monitoring of social desires. This type of selfmotivated planning is non-repressive and indicative of legitimate social management, and is the hallmark of the rational society. Only can social planning facilitate the growth of human rationality when it is guided by self-motivated goals.
Murphy, John W.
"Applied Sociology, Social Engineering, and Human Rationality,"
The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare: Vol. 8
, Article 3.
Available at: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/jssw/vol8/iss1/3