A Realist Philosophy of Social Science

Author: Peter T. Manicas
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139457063
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This introduction to the philosophy of social science provides an original conception of the task and nature of social inquiry. Peter Manicas discusses the role of causality seen in the physical sciences and offers a reassessment of the problem of explanation from a realist perspective. He argues that the fundamental goal of theory in both the natural and social sciences is not, contrary to widespread opinion, prediction and control, or the explanation of events (including behaviour). Instead, theory aims to provide an understanding of the processes which, together, produce the contingent outcomes of experience. Offering a host of concrete illustrations and examples of critical ideas and issues, this accessible book will be of interest to students of the philosophy of social science, and social scientists from a range of disciplines.

Revitalizing Causality

Author: Ruth Groff
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134193653
Format: PDF, Docs
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This cutting edge collection of new and previously published articles by philosophers and social scientists addresses just what it means to invoke causal mechanisms, or powers, in the context of offering a causal explanation. A unique collection, it offers the reader various disciplinary and inter-disciplinary divides, helping to stake out a new, neo-Aristotelian position within contemporary debate.

The Philosophy of Social Science

Author: Martin Hollis
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521447805
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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An introduction to the philosophy of social science from a well-known author.

Realism Philosophy and Social Science

Author: K. Dean
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230502075
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The authors examine the relationship between social science and philosophy and ask what sort of work social science and an accompanying philosophy should do. They reintroduce the question of ontology, through the work of Roy Bhaskar. The book argues against philosophising and is committed to a philosophical approach grounded in the social sciences.

The Philosophy of Social Science

Author: Garry Potter
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317331842
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Now in its second edition, this comprehensive textbook offers an exceptionally accessible yet in-depth introduction to the philosophy of social science. Students with no previous knowledge will find themselves taken on an engaging philosophical journey: the book’s unique dialogue format anticipates their most frequently asked questions and provides clear explanations of specialised terminology and essential contextualisation of contemporary debates. Encompassing both traditional and contemporary perspectives, the book explores the questions and debates raised by all the major theoretical positions in the philosophy of social science, including positivism, empiricism, rationalism, hermeneutics, feminist epistemology, postmodernism and critical realism. The first edition of this book had a Eurocentric bias, as does virtually all other textbooks covering this subject matter. This has been corrected in the second edition and includes a new chapter on the contributions of Islam to philosophy, natural science social science including sociology. The second edition also has a newly written chapter on pragmaticism and neo-pragmaticism, as well as strengthened coverage of hermeneutics, postmodernism and critical realism. The book‘s rich pedagogic support includes: point-by-point summaries introducing the scope of every chapter; discussion questions; further reading lists; and a glossary of key terminology. This excellent textbook is designed to provide every student with a clear understanding of important and complex issues. It is essential reading for all students of philosophy of social science, whether at undergraduate or Masters level and regardless of their disciplinary background. ?

The Realist Image in Social Science

Author: D. Layder
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230374174
Format: PDF, ePub
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A constructive critique and development of the new realist philosophy of social science as it is specifically applied to sociology and social psychology. Dr Layder argues that while the realist project is a move in the right direction (i.e. to provide a viable alternative to positivism), there are certain problems and ambiguities in the realist programme as it now stands. The book confronts these problems and ambiguities in an innovative and controversial way while remaining committed to the general objectives of realism. In so doing the book attempts to go beyond current realist ideas and thereby expand its explanatory base and power.

A Realist Philosophy of Science

Author: J. Aronson
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1349173789
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This book is about the nature of scientific theory. The central topicic of inquiry concerns how it is that theories are able to supply us with powerful and elegant explanations of puzzling phenomena that often confront the scientist and layman alike. It is argued that an answer to this question supplies us with an account of how theories achieve a variety of tasks such as the prediction and organization of data, including how they support a very important class of claims known int he literature as counterfactual conditionals. The book begins by presenting a critical survey of past, classic formulations of the nature of scientific theory which are promient in philosophy of sciences circles today. These include the doctrines of logical positivism, Hempel's Deductive-Nomological model of explanation, Hanson's gestalt approach to understanding and observation, Kuhn's sociology of science, and others. After presenting the reader with a critical examination of the above approaches to the nature of scientific theory, the author then presents his own views. His approach is essentially an ontological one. Ontology is usually characterized as the sudy of the nature of the most fundamental constituents of the universe. The major contention of the book is that theories are essentially deptictions of the nature of things, and that it is this feature which accounts for their ability to explain, predict and organize a vast array of data. In the tradition of more recent versions of scientific realism that have occured in the literature, the author attempts to show that the very confirmation of a tgheory depends on its ability to refer to the fundamental constituents of nature. It is argued that science can function only from an ontological point of view. In order to show this, the student is presented with a model of how theories are confirmed which is then cojoined with a model of the nature of scientific explanation. In so doing, the author ends up fostering a view of science which is rather controversial to twentieth-century philosophical tradition, namely that science is really metaphysics in disguise but a metaphysics which can ultimately be judged by empirical standards. Such an approch to science characterizes the modern-day scientist as an old-fashioned natural philosopher.

Explanation and Understanding in the Human Sciences

Author: Gurpreet Mahajan
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199088675
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Social scientists explain events by identifying reasons and causes. Occasionally they weave a series of events into a historical narrative. What is entailed in each kind of explanation? What form of explanation is adequate for the social sciences? In this lucid book, Gurpreet Mahajan surveys each of the major forms of inquiry—hermeneutic understanding, narrative, reason-action, and causal explanation—to examine how each method changes our perceptions of social reality. The third edition includes a new Preface that discusses some recent shifts in the conceptualization of the social sciences.

Method in Social Science

Author: Andrew Sayer
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 0415076072
Format: PDF
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In its second edition, Method in Social Science was widely praised for its penetrating analysis of central questions in social science discourse. This revised edition comes with a new preface and a full bibliography. The book is intended for students and researchers familiar with social science but having little or no previous experiences of philosophical and methodological discussion, and for those who are interested in realism and method.