Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology

Hans Albert @100

"The ICS and sociology in the Netherlands owe him."

When the ICS started in 1986, Hans Albert was a member of the first International Scientific Curatorium, together with Raymond Boudon and James Coleman – ‘the ABC of sociology’ has been the nickname of that Curatorium. Hans Albert, born in 1921, celebrated his 100th birthday on February 8. The ICS and sociology in the Netherlands owe him.

Hans Albert, at that time, held the chair of ‘Soziologie und Wissenschaftslehre’ (‘Sociology and Philosophy of Science’) at the University of Mannheim. He pioneered critical rationalism as well as the idea of methodological individualism and the methodological unity of science – that the ‘S’ in ‘ICS’ is for ‘social science’ rather than for ‘social sciences’ is related to Hans Albert and his scholarly work.

For more information on Hans Albert, his work, and his intellectual influence in philosophy, sociology, and social science, see the website of University of Mannheim. The website comprises links to further reading, including one to remarks by his successor on the Mannheim chair, Hartmut Esser, on the occasion of Albert’s 100th birthday.

Another useful recent contribution on major features of Albert’s work is by Rainer Hegselmann. A collection of brief essays on encounters with Hans Albert, including a contribution by Sigi Lindenberg, one of Albert’s students, can be found here.