This article starts with a brief critical account of the major epistemological issues that emerged during the twentieth century and that affected both the natural sciences and the social sciences. It briefly resumes the main matters of contention from the analytical view, and presents its consequences, particularly those related to the weakening of the dichotomy between social sciences and natural sciences. Following the crisis of analytical epistemology, in the late 1960s, and the emergence of complex approaches to the detriment of deterministic ones, social sciences have begun to expand their questioning the foundations of traditional science in a transdisciplinary way. The article also seeks to indicate ways to overcome the limitations of classical epistemology, by providing an account of the new postcolonial debates and their consequences, particularly the dualisms universal/local, social/natural, physical/symbolic.
Epistemology; Social Sciences; Knowledge; Complexity; Post-structuralism; Deconstruction; Postcolonial