Vague gestures

August 2, 2012

Jonathan Steinberg ("Cult of personalities", 19 July) claims that the "collapse of the Soviet Union brought down the whole edifice of social science". This is more puzzling than claiming that relativity, quantum theory or the Higgs boson has destroyed physics.

Which social scientists predicted the lifespan of the Soviet empire?

Steinberg suggests a place for what he calls "human knowledge": tones of voice, gestures, smiles, raised eyebrows, and nods and winks in general. The trouble with these is that they can be misleading and are often misunderstood. And isn't this psychology? Isn't psychology a social science?

Ken Regelous, Kilgetty, Pembrokeshire

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