This 1996 book argues that behind the diverse methods of the natural sciences lies a common core of scientific rationality.
CSA Sociological Abstracts abstracts and indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. The database provides abstracts of journal articles and citations to book reviews drawn from over 1,800+ serials publications, and also provides abstracts of books, book chapters, dissertations, and conference papers.
The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of the Social Sciences collects newly commissioned essays that examine fundamental issues in the social sciences.
This is the second of two volumes containing papers submitted by the invited speakers to the 11th international Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, held in Cracow in 1999, under the auspices of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science, Division of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science. The invited speakers are the leading researchers and accordingly the book presents the current state of the intellectual discourse in the respective fields.
An anthology of works on the philosophy of economics, including classic texts and essays exploring specific branches and schools of economics. Completely revamped, this edition contains new selections, a revised introduction and a bibliography. The volume contains 26 chapters organized into five parts: (I) Classic Discussions, (II) Positivist and Popperian Views, (III) Ideology and Normative Economics, (IV) Branches and Schools of Economics and Their Methodological Problems and (V) New Directions in Economic Methodology. It includes crucial historical contributions by figures such as Mill, Marx, Weber, Robbins, Knight, and Veblen and works by most of the leading contemporary figures writing on economic methodology, including five Nobel Laureates in Economics.
Scientific Metaphysics collects original essays by leading philosophers of science on the question of whether metaphysics can and should be naturalized--that is, conducted as a part of natural science. Some people think the idea of naturalized metaphysics is a contradiction in terms: metaphysics is by definition about matters that transcend the domain of empirical inquiry. Most of the authors here disagree: they argue that if metaphysics is to hold outany prospect of identifying objective truths, it must be continuous with and inspired by science, or even be of some positive use to science. The essays offer various points of view on the relationship betweennaturalized metaphysics, more traditional forms of metaphysics, and the wider history of philosophy, and draw on examples from physics, biology, economics, psychology. At stake is the question of whether metaphysics should give way to science and disappear from contemporary inquiry, or continue as an activity that unifies the particular sciences into a single naturalistic worldview.
Poe Yu-ze Wan argues for a critical realist and systemist social ontology, designed to shed light on current debates in social theory concerning the relationship of social ontology to practical social research, and the nature of 'the social'. It explores the works of the systems theorist Mario Bunge in comparison with the approach of Niklas Luhmann and critical social systems theorists, to challenge the commonly held view that the systems-based approach is holistic in nature and necessarily downplays the role of human agency.
Is social science really a science at all, and if so in what sense? This is the first question that any course on the philosophy of the social sciences must tackle. In this brief introduction, Malcolm Williams gives students the grounding that will enable them to discuss the issues involved with confidence. He looks at: * The historical development of natural science and its distinctive methodology * the case in favour of an objective science of the social which follows the same rules * The arguments of social constructionists, interpretative sociologists and others against objectivity and even science itself * recent developments in natural science - for instance the rise of complexity theory and the increased questioning of positivism - which bring it closer to some of the key arguments of social science. Throughout, the book is illustrated with short clear examples taken from the actual practice of social science research and from popular works of natural science which will illuminate the debate for all students whatever their background.
A revolutionary textbook introducing masters and doctoral students to the major research approaches and methodologies in the social sciences. Written by an outstanding set of scholars, and derived from successful course teaching, this volume will empower students to choose their own approach to research, to justify this approach, and to situate it within the discipline. It addresses questions of ontology, epistemology and philosophy of social science, and proceeds to issues of methodology and research design essential for producing a good research proposal. It also introduces researchers to the main issues of debate and contention in the methodology of social sciences, identifying commonalities, historic continuities and genuine differences.
This volume addresses fundamental issues in the philosophy of science in the context of two most intriguing fields: biology and economics. Written by authorities and experts in the philosophy of biology and economics, Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics provides a structured study of the concepts of mechanism and causality in these disciplines and draws careful juxtapositions between philosophical apparatus and scientific practice. By exploring the issues that are most salient to the contemporary philosophies of biology and economics and by presenting comparative analyses, the book serves as a platform not only for gaining mutual understanding between scientists and philosophers of the life sciences and those of the social sciences, but also for sharing interdisciplinary research that combines both philosophical concepts in both fields. The book begins by defining the concepts of mechanism and causality in biology and economics, respectively. The second and third parts investigate philosophical perspectives of various causal and mechanistic issues in scientific practice in the two fields. These two sections include chapters on causal issues in the theory of evolution; experiments and scientific discovery; representation of causal relations and mechanism by models in economics. The concluding section presents interdisciplinary studies of various topics concerning extrapolation of life sciences and social sciences, including chapters on the philosophical investigation of conjoining biological and economic analyses with, respectively, demography, medicine and sociology.
Explanation and Progress in Security Studies asks why Security Studies, as a central area of International Relations, has not experienced scientific progress in the way natural sciences have—and answers by arguing that the underlying reason is that scholars in Security Studies have advanced a range of different notions of "explanation" or different criteria of "explanatory superiority" to show that their positions are better than rival positions. To demonstrate this, the author engages in in-depth content analysis of the generally recognized exemplars of explanation and explanatory superiority in three of the core debates in the disciplines: Why do states pursue policies of nuclear proliferation? Why do states choose to form the alliances they do? And why do liberal democratic states behave the way they do toward other liberal democracies? The book reveals that authors in the debates that have shown the most progress use similar criteria in arguing for and against the key explanations. In the nuclear proliferation debate, there is wide divergence in the criteria the most visible authors use, and there is wide divergence in the explanations offered. In the alliance formation/balance-of-power debate, there is some overlap of criteria the most important authors use, and there has been some limited movement toward consensus. In the democratic peace debate there has been much more overlap of criteria the most prominent authors use, and there is agreement on both some positive and negative conclusions.
In this original and important book, Harold Kincaid defends a view of the special sciences -- all sciences outside physics -- as autonomous and nonreducible. He argues that the biological and social sciences provide explanations that cannot be captured by explanations at the level of their constituent parts, and yet that this does not commit us to mysterious, nonphysical entities like vital forces or group minds. A look at real scientific practice shows that the many different sciences can be unified in a way that leaves them each an autonomous explanatory role. This book will be of great interest to philosophers of science and social scientists.
The rhetoric of economics has long claimed scientific objectivity, however the late, great economist Joan Robinson argued that ‘the purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of ready-made answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists.’ This unique book examines the use of rhetoric in economics, focusing on the work of Deirdre McCloskey and other major economic philosophers. McCloskey is one of the most recognizable names in economics, yet this is the first real attempt to analyze her work in book form. She views economics as a language that uses all the rhetorical devices of everyday conversation, and her controversial standpoint on judging economics by aesthetic and literary standards has been hugely influential. Utilizing the views of Derrida and Foucualt amongst others, Benjamin Balak analyzes McCloskey’s major texts and critically evaluates the linguistic, literary and philosophical approaches they introduce. This long overdue examination of the methodological and philosophical consequences of McCloskey’s work will be of interest to philosophers and economists alike.
The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations first edition was winner of the ISA-Northeast’s Yale H. Ferguson Award, and the ISA Theory Section’s Best Book of the Year award. The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations provides an introduction to the philosophy of science issues and their implications for the study of global politics. The author draws attention to the problems caused by the misleading notion of a single unified scientific method, and proposes a framework that clarifies the variety of ways that IR scholars establish the authority and validity of their empirical claims. Jackson connects philosophical considerations with concrete issues of research design within neopositivist, critical realist, analyticist, and reflexive approaches to the study of world politics. Envisioning a pluralist science for a global IR field, this volume organizes the significant differences between methodological stances so as to promote internal consistency, public discussion, and worldly insight as the hallmarks of any scientific study of world politics. In this second edition, Jackson has centralised the philosophical history of the ‘science question’ into a single chapter, providing a clearer picture of the connections between contemporary concerns about the status of knowledge and classic philosophical debates about the relationship between human beings and the world they inhabit. The central chapters feature more detailed and pedagogically useful illustrations of the methodological positions discussed, making the book even better suited to clarify the philosophical distinctions with respect to which a scientific researcher must locate herself. The second edition will continue to be essential reading for all students and scholars of International Relations, Political Science and Philosophy of Science.
In this provocative survey, a distinguished philosopher and a leading neuroscientist outline the conceptual problems at the heart of cognitive neuroscience. Surveys the conceptual problems inherent in many neuroscientific theories. Encourages neuroscientists to pay more attention to conceptual questions. Provides conceptual maps for students and researchers in cognitive neuroscience and psychology. Written by a distinguished philosopher and leading neuroscientist. Avoids the use of philosophical jargon. Constitutes an essential reference work for elucidation of concepts in cognitive neuroscience and psychology.
"Legend is overdue for replacement, and an adequate replacement must attend to the process of science as carefully as Hull has done. I share his vision of a serious account of the social and intellectual dynamics of science that will avoid both the rosy blur of Legend and the facile charms of relativism. . . . Because of [Hull's] deep concern with the ways in which research is actually done, Science as a Process begins an important project in the study of science. It is one of a distinguished series of books, which Hull himself edits."—Philip Kitcher, Nature "In Science as a Process, [David Hull] argues that the tension between cooperation and competition is exactly what makes science so successful. . . . Hull takes an unusual approach to his subject. He applies the rules of evolution in nature to the evolution of science, arguing that the same kinds of forces responsible for shaping the rise and demise of species also act on the development of scientific ideas."—Natalie Angier, New York Times Book Review "By far the most professional and thorough case in favour of an evolutionary philosophy of science ever to have been made. It contains excellent short histories of evolutionary biology and of systematics (the science of classifying living things); an important and original account of modern systematic controversy; a counter-attack against the philosophical critics of evolutionary philosophy; social-psychological evidence, collected by Hull himself, to show that science does have the character demanded by his philosophy; and a philosophical analysis of evolution which is general enough to apply to both biological and historical change."—Mark Ridley, Times Literary Supplement "Hull is primarily interested in how social interactions within the scientific community can help or hinder the process by which new theories and techniques get accepted. . . . The claim that science is a process for selecting out the best new ideas is not a new one, but Hull tells us exactly how scientists go about it, and he is prepared to accept that at least to some extent, the social activities of the scientists promoting a new idea can affect its chances of being accepted."—Peter J. Bowler, Archives of Natural History "I have been doing philosophy of science now for twenty-five years, and whilst I would never have claimed that I knew everything, I felt that I had a really good handle on the nature of science, Again and again, Hull was able to show me just how incomplete my understanding was. . . . Moreover, [Science as a Process] is one of the most compulsively readable books that I have ever encountered."—Michael Ruse, Biology and Philosophy
The philosophy of the social sciences considers the underlying explanatory powers of the social (or human) sciences, such as history, economics, anthropology, politics, and sociology. The type of questions covered includes the methodological (the nature of observations, laws, theories, and explanations) to the ontological — whether or not these sciences can explain human nature in a way consistent with common-sense beliefs. This Handbook is a major, comprehensive look at the key ideas in the field, is guided by several principles. The first is that the philosophy of social science should be closely connected to, and informed by, developments in the sciences themselves. The second is that the volume should appeal to practicing social scientists as well as philosophers, with the contributors being both drawn from both ranks, and speaking to ongoing controversial issues in the field. Finally, the volume promotes connections across the social sciences, with greater internal discussion and interaction across disciplinary boundaries.
This new edition introduces the social science audiences of a new century to one of the classic highlights of the mid-twentieth century. This is the most general statement of the general theory of action as it was developed by its principle exponent, Talcott Parsons, and his close collaborators who formed the core of the fabled department of social relations at Harvard University. Toward a General Theory of Action is an extremely ambitious formulation of the ingredients, dimensions, and ranges that determine human behavior. Parsons and Shils enunciate principles that are at the core of contemporary social science preoccupations-including the precarious balance between social integration and conflict. The volume is at once universal in intent and highly personal, an expression of Parsons' thought, one of the most notable sociological theorists of the century. Finally, the book symbolizes the interdisciplinary impulse that typified a widespread belief in the unity of the sciences. This edition includes the collaborative group's introductory statement, Richard Sheldon's essay on the theoretical and philosophical status of the general theory of action, and "Values, Motives and Systems of Action" by Parsons and Shils. Guy Swanson, writing in the The American Sociological Review, noted that "Parsons and Shils have performed a major service in clearing away many old controversies, in showing the reasonableness of a behavioral foundation for general theory in social science as a whole and in sociology in particular, in clarifying the interrelations among many concepts, and in the insightful interpretation of particular pieces of data." It is testimony to this book's continuing significance that it continues to generate new lines of research and writings. Talcott Parsons and Edward A. Shils are now deceased. Parsons had a lifelong association with Harvard University, and Shils had an equally long distinguished service at Chicago University in the United States and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. The special editor for the Transaction edition, Neil J. Smelser is director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, at Stanford University. From 1958 through 1994 he served on the sociology faculty at the University of California at Berkeley. He is author of many books in the areas of social theory, social change, economic sociology, social movements and the sociology of education.

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