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By Helmuth Heisler (eds.)

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8 7 Soft data scrutinised too meticulously 'easily lead to sterile debates where the plain fact that quite a lot of contemporary sociology works is lost' in effort to become too exact. 89 24 Foundations of Social Administration Inequality is emerging as the central empirical concern in academic intelligence. There has been considerable advance since inequality was viewed solely in terms of wealth and income. 91 Academic intelligence about inequality has been most illuminating when it has dealt with people's sense of justice, disorder, economic needs and the availability of resources in a single context 92 - because of the limited pertinence of empirical findings about one context or another.

3 Responsibility and Justice Thomas McPherson Introduction It may be useful to indicate in summary form the main themes of this chapter. I begin by noting that although the closeness of the relationship between social justice and economic justice is not likely to be questioned, there is less agreement on what exactly the relationship is. There are important differences between anyone of the three following views and the other two: (a) that the achievement of economic justice is simply one means among several to the achievement of social justice; (b) that the achievement of economic justice is overwhelmingly the most important condition of the achievement of social justice; (c) that the achievement of economic justice actually is the achievement of social justice - that is, that social justice has no content over and above economic justice.

In fact many social-science disciplines could be said to be in constant danger of conceptual annihilation by the expansion of those disciplines most closely related to them. Thus, whilst it may be possible to make social administration disappear into the sociology of welfare, the economics of welfare, the politics of welfare (and so on), it may be equally feasible to make sociology disappear into social history, social psychology, social anthropology, economics and political science. 9 It might of course be said that the argument is more substantial than one about boundaries between disciplines.

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