About this book
This book has been written primarily for the applied and social scientist and student who longs for an integrated picture of the foundations on which his research must ultimately rest; but hopefully the book may also serve philosophers interested in applied disciplines and in systems methodology. If integration was the major motto, the need for a method ology, appropriate to the teleological peculiarities of all applied sciences, was the main impetus behind the conception of the present work. This need I felt a long time ago in my own area of analytical and empirical research in accounting theory and management science; later I had the opportunity to teach, for almost a decade, graduate seminars in Methodology which offered particular insight into the methodological needs of students of such applied disciplines as business administration, education, engineering, infor matics, etc. Out of this effort grew the present book which among other things tries, on one side, to illuminate the difference and relationship between methods of cognition and methods of decision and on the other, to sketch a framework suitable for depicting means-end relationships in a holistic setting. I believe that a systems methodology which incorporates recent endeavours of deontic logic, decision theory, information economics and related areas would be eminently suited to break the ground for such a future framework. Yet systems theory has two major shortcomings which might prevent it from evolving into the desired methodology of applied science.