The longstanding divide between purely rational inquiry and empiricism, the problem of knowledge, is being challenged by more and more thinkers, academics and researchers in the business of discovery. On one hand, math can approach mind boggling concepts like infinity. On the other, naturalists see opportunities to apply empiricism to the human equation, perhaps most notably in the brain sciences. Neither method seems able to offer complete answers on its own.
In November the Ecole des hautes études in Paris will organize a conference about social sciences and the “threat” of reductionism.
I imagine it will be a very representative occasion to assist to heated debates about why we have principled reasons to naturalize social sciences or not, opposing principled anti-naturalists such as Vincent Descombes to principled naturalist such as Dan Sperber.
Taking opposite sides, both agree that the ongoing naturalization of social sciences engages deep and substantial philosophical, methodological and epistemological questions. I think they are both wrong.
He appears to believe that deeper questions are inconsequential - a point with which I disagree - but he does the raise the role of methodology in problem solving. The back and forth in the comments is worthwhile as well.
I'll probably be embarrassed when I realize why, but I again cannot link directly to AlphaPsy. Use this Google results page instead to jump to the site.