The humanitarian sciences hardly adapt and survive over time compared to the natural sciences. This is most likely due to the nature of the research subject of natural scientists.
The nature of living or non-living material is an easy-to-study passive matter for physicists, chemists, biologists, mathematicians, and other natural scientists. Our observations collect empirical facts that are repeated regularly and predictably for centuries, millennia, and more. Once established theoretical findings and concepts gradually are refined and become more accurate. Very little space remains for inaccuracies and ambiguities. Therefore, there is little room for much debate and discussion. If alternative theories arise, they are usually related to boundary-level subjects, where observations of facts do not yet exist or available observations are ambiguous, and there is ample room for guesses and hypotheses.
It is much easier to design and build a bridge, dam, building, rocket or plane. Even individual failures are associated with certain theoretical and empirical shortcomings, a lack of new knowledge and technologies. The consolidation of technical knowledge, the repetition of efforts and events, the will of man, groups and societies lead ultimately to the desired outcome. The nature of materials and substances submits itself well to observation, design and the construction of effective theoretical and practical models.
Social scientists have to deal with a completely different nature of human being, with the laws of human life and society. Thousands and thousands of observations here in no way help to unequivocally prove some kind of theoretical picture of the surrounding us reality. Many theories and quasi-theories develop in scientific, political, religious, and other institutions and circles of society. These developments are being promoted, claiming attention and truth, finding their adherents and supporters. As a result, we always see hidden or explicit, passive or active cacophony in social science and the public consciousness.
This is the case of almost any science engaged in the study of social material. Formally, one or another social interpretation may dominate, which is consistent with the interests of the dominant elite. Alternative theories, which do not fully or partially agree with the dominant elites’ views, may fall under prohibition, prosecution, ignorance, or adaptation to coexistence with dominant value concepts.
The dominance of some social theories and values and the suppression of others is a natural state of things in society. Social theories inevitably begin and end with value orientations that positively or negatively affect the existing balance of values in the elites and masses of society.
The success of a particular theory and its author depends on an elitist or mass conjuncture in a particular historical moment. The elites, being the main leading part of the social organism, select, and promote domination for, those social theories and paradigms which contribute to the values of the elites and which are most in harmony with the values of key mass segments of society. Outcasts and dissidents in one past conjuncture can become heroes and celebrities in the subsequent historical conjuncture.