theory, data, totality — quote of the day

I’m indexing our upcoming translation, Group Experiment and Other Writings: The Frankfurt School on Public Opinion. Here’s a favorite for today:

It is impossible to glean a social totality–on which all real individual experience depends–by increasing the quantity of data. It is also impossible to extrapolate a theory from empirical findings in a world in which individual social realities conceal their own essence almost as much as they express it.

(page 11)