Procedurality as Methodological Paradigm. Or: Methods as Procedures

Stephan Lorenz


The term procedure is often used synonymously with method. In this article I ask two questions: 1. Why is it justified to use both terms in the same way? 2. What are the consequences of understanding methods as procedures? I begin the paper by considering influential theories in the fields of law and politics (LUHMANN, HABERMAS) because concepts of procedures have been most thoroughly reflected upon in these fields. The focus is on legitimacy of legal and political norms and procedural decisions. Contrasting other kinds of procedures, e.g. economic and scientific ones, it should be possible to identify further dimensions beyond legitimacy, namely constitution and knowledge. This makes it possible to develop a general model that joins basic functions and structural characteristics of procedures. The "political" experimental procedure, developed by Bruno LATOUR, will be discussed as it exemplifies the general model. Specifying and expanding upon LATOUR's conception allows us to derive consequences for the procedurality of scientific work; for a procedural methodology, which is associated with terms such as relationality, positivity, reconstruction, and transdisciplinarity. Moreover, this may clear an interesting path toward negotiating the divide between quantitative versus qualitative research. Eventually a procedural based method offers critical potential because it enables consideration of the observance or non-observance of procedures.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1001142


procedurality; methodology; procedures; reconstruction; transdisciplinarity; Habermas; Latour; Luhmann

Copyright (c) 2009 Stephan Lorenz

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