Yoshida Theory: Its Structure, Criticism and Advancement




This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum Volume 20, Issue 1, 132, Article first published online: 29 April 2011


Tamito Yoshida, a giant of theoretical sociology, passed away in 2009. Here, I give a concise review of his theoretical achievements, called “Yoshida Theory”, and foresee the future. The main features of Yoshida Theory are the following: information controls resources; there was evolution from the stage of only materials to that of materials controlled by generic information and also to that of materials controlled by symbolic information; the process of information procedures is divided into “to cognize,”“to evaluate” and “to order,” which are distinguished from one another, and from the theoretical standpoint called the “Information Processing Resources Paradigm”; information is maintained as long as it is useful, and when it becomes useless it is selected or expected to be changed. There was much criticism against the theory. The most unrelenting opposition was that it was not a system of explanation in the conventional sense of scientific methodology. It was claimed not to be positive scientific theory because of the logical inconsistency. Yoshida's counter-criticism was, contrary to his opposites' expectations, that sociological theory ought not to fulfill the criteria to be science. It seemed to support his evolutionalist assertion that the synchronically inconsistent theory will be corrected diachronically and achieve some consistency. The criteria of science themselves should be re-constructed to thematize the fact that information or program-controlling society has evolution, he thought. He called it “New Science”; however, the attempt was never completed. It is still our task to clarify whether sociological theory can remain in science or not.