Postmodern, anti-science, positivism, social work practice, scientific knowledge


This paper examines, then disproves, the claim that social work practices based upon postmodern thought are either anti-science, or at the very least, weak on their respect for and application of scientific knowledge. Postmodern thought does attack the epistemological theory of positivism as well as the correspondence theory of truth. Hence, postmodern social work practices do seek to displace the role that scientific knowledge plays in guiding the helping situation. Rather than diagnosing causes and effects in a problem-solving endeavor, science is used to circumscribe the boundaries within which a postmodern endeavor at consciousness- raising takes place. Describing this new role for scientific knowledge within postmodern practice is the object of this study.

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