The Philosophy of Social Science: A Contemporary Introduction examines the perennial questions of philosophy by engaging with the empirical study of society. The book offers a comprehensive overview of debates in the field, with special attention to questions arising from new research programs in the social sciences. The text uses detailed examples of social scientific research to motivate and illustrate the philosophical discussion. Topics include the relationship of social policy to social science, interpretive research, action explanation, game theory, social scientific accounts of norms, joint intentionality, reductionism, causal modeling, case study research, and experimentation.
A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach. With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don’t arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of “normal science,” as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age. This new edition of Kuhn’s essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhn’s ideas to the science of today. Usefully keyed to the separate sections of the book, Hacking’s introduction provides important background information as well as a contemporary context. Newly designed, with an expanded index, this edition will be eagerly welcomed by the next generation of readers seeking to understand the history of our perspectives on science.
"a welcome third edition of an already well-known and widely used text... truly 'user-friendly' " Network "The third edition of this tried and tested book works very well and should be extremely successful...its strength is that it covers all the principal areas of research in an accessible and lively style, treating each approach in relation to the philosophical and methodological debates that underpin them. It is logically organised and each chapter is well-structured...complex topics are clearly explained for the inexperienced reader, at the same time it contains enough of substance and food for thought for more advanced students." - John Scott, University of Essex Praise for the previous edition: "This is the finest introduction to social research I have ever read...Methods are meticulously worked through from official statistics to comparative research via surveys, interviews, observation and documentary analysis...The writing is clear, concise and scholarly with the bibliography a delightful A to Z compendium of the best in sociology." - British Sociological Association Network The fully revised and updated third edition of this hugely popular text incorporates the latest developments in the interdisciplinary field of social research, while retaining the style and structure that appealed to so many in the first two editions. Tim May successfully bridges the gap between theory and methods in social research, clearly illuminating these essential components for understanding the dynamics of social relations. The book is divided into two parts, with Part I examining the issues and perspectives in social research and Part II setting out the methods and processes. Revisions and additions have been made to Part I to take account of new ways of thinking about the relationship between theory and research, and values and ethics in the research process. These take on board advances in post-empiricist thinking, as well as the relations between values, objectivity and data collection. Where necessary, recommended readings and references to studies that form the bases of discussions throughout the book have been updated. In Part II, additions have been made to the chapter on questionnaires, and elsewhere new discussions have been introduced, for example, on research on the internet, narratives, case studies and new technologies. The reader will detect many other changes, the intention of which is to aid understanding by staying up-to-date with the latest innovations in social research. The chapters follow a common structure to enable a clear appreciation of the place, process and analysis of each method, and to allow the comparison of their strengths and weaknesses in the context of discussions in Part I. The clear writing style, chapter summaries, questions for reflection and signposts to further readings continue to make this book the ideal companion to social research for students across the social sciences. In addition, it will be recognised as an invaluable source of reference for those practising and teaching social research who wish to keep abreast of key developments in the field.
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.
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.
Pain research is still dominated by biomedical perspectives and the need to articulate pain in ways other than those offered by evidence based medical models is pressing. Examining closely subjective experiences of pain, this book explores the way in which pain is situated, communicated and formed in a larger cultural and social context. Dimensions of Pain explores the lived experience of pain, and questions of identity and pain, from a range of different disciplinary perspectives within the humanities and social sciences. Discussing the acuity and temporality of pain, its isolating impact, the embodied expression of pain, pain and sexuality, gender and ethnicity, it also includes a cluster of three chapters discusses the phenomenon and experience of labour pains. This volume revitalizes the study of pain, offering productive ways of carefully thinking through its different aspects and exploring the positive and enriching side of world-forming pain as well as its limiting aspects. It will be of interest to academics and students interested in pain from a range of backgrounds, including philosophy, sociology, nursing, midwifery, medicine and gender studies.
This collection brings together some of the most influential sociologists of law to confront the challenges of current transnational constitutionalism. It shows the constitution appearing in a new light: no longer as an essential factor of unity and stabilisation but as a potential defence of pluralism and innovation. The first part of the book is devoted to the analysis of the concept of constitution, highlighting the elements that can contribute from a socio-legal perspective, to clarifying the principle meanings attributed to the constitution. The study goes on to analyse some concrete aspects of the functioning of constitutions in contemporary society. In applying Luhmann’s General Systems Theory to a comparative analysis of the concept of constitution, the work contributes to a better understanding of this traditional concept in both its institutionalised and functional aspects. Defining the constitution’s contents and functions both at the conceptual level and by taking empirical issues of particular comparative interest into account, this study will be of importance to scholars and students of sociology of law, sociology of politics and comparative public law.
The original papers which appear in this volume were initially presented in a series of sessions of the Ad Hoc Group on Alienation Theory and Research at the 1974 World Congress of Sociology in Toronto, Canada. This group was organized by the editors as a result of their longstanding research and teaching interest in the field. The purpose of the Toronto sessions was to provide an international forum where scholars and researchers could come to gether for a personal exchange of ideas and research findings. To our know ledge this was the first forum of its kind concerned specifically with aliena tion theory and research. More than fifty theoretical and empirical papers from thirteen countries and several overlapping disciplines were organized into panels and workshops during the span of four days. The response to these sessions indicates that interest in the study of alienation by philosophers and social scientists continues unabated. The Toronto sessions were organized largely around a fundamental concern for further theoretical development and conceptual clarification in the alienation field. The papers selected for this volume reflect this thematic concern. Although many excellent empirical papers were presented, it was generally felt that meaningful empirical research would benefit from a continued elaboration and refinement of alienation theory. The present collection is consequently geared to problems of meaning, theory, and method. Considerable emphasis is also placed on a critical evaluation of the alienation theme as it has evolved from social philosophy to empirical social research.
This book is both a handbook for defining and completing a research project, and an astute introduction to the neglected history and changeable philosophy of modern social science.
Originally published in 1983. This book concentrates on the impact of philosophy of science on sociology and other disciplines. It argues that the impact of the philosophy of science on sociology from the rise of the Vienna Circle until the mid-1980s resulted in a deep-reaching and, in the author’s view, undesirable methodological reorientation in sociology.
Bunge contends that social science research has fallen prey to a postmodern fascination with irrationalism and relativism. He urges social scientists to re-examine the philosophy and the methodology at the base of their discipline.
This is a much-needed new introduction to a field that has been transformed in recent years by exciting new subjects, ideas, and methods. It is designed both for students with central interests in philosophy and those planning to concentrate on the social sciences, and it presupposes no particular background in either domain. From the wide range of topics at the forefront of debate in philosophy of social science, the editors have chosen those which are representative of the most important and interesting contemporary work. A team of distinguished experts explore key aspects of the field such as social ontology (what are the things that social science studies?), objectivity, formal methods, measurement, and causal inference. Also included are chapters focused on notable subjects of social science research, such as well-being and climate change. Philosophy of Social Science provides a clear, accessible, and up-to-date guide to this fascinating field.
Population health has recently grown from a series of loosely connected critiques of twentieth- century public health and medicine into a theoretical framework with a corresponding field of research--population health science. Its approach is to promote the public's health through improving everyday human life: afford-able nutritious food, clean air, safe places where children can play, living wages, etc. It recognizes that addressing contemporary health challenges such as the prevalence of type 2 diabetes will take much more than good hospitals and public health departments. Blending philosophy of science/medicine, public health ethics and history, Philosophy of Population Health offers a framework that explains, analyses and largely endorses the features that define this relatively new field. Presenting a philosophical perspective, Valles helps to clarify what these features are and why they matter, including: searching for health's "upstream" causes in social life, embracing a professional commitment to studying and ameliorating the staggering health inequities in and between populations; and reforming scientific practices to foster humility and respect among the many scientists and non- scientists who must work collaboratively to promote health. Featuring illustrative case studies from around the globe at the end of all main chapters, this radical monograph is written to be accessible to all scholars and advanced students who have an interest in health--from public health students to professional philosophers.
Nurses who conduct research have a longstanding interest in questions of nursing knowledge. Nursing Knowledge is a clear and well-informed exposition of the philosophical background to nursing theory and research. Nursing Knowledge answers such fundamental questions as: How is nursing theory related to nursing practice? What are the core elements of nursing knowledge? What makes nursing research distinctive as nursing research? It examines the history of the philosophical debates within nursing, critiques the arguments, explains the implications and sets out to rethink the philosophical foundation of nursing science. Nursing Knowledge begins with philosophical problems that arise within nursing science. It then considers various solutions with the help of philosophical ideas arguingargues that nurses ought to adopt certain philosophical positions because they are the best solutions to the problems that nurses encounter. The book argues claims that the nursing standpoint has the potential to disclose a more complete understanding of human health than the common disease-and-dysfunction views. Because of the relationship to practice, nursing science may freely draw theory from other disciplines and nursing practice unifies nursing research. By redefining theory and philosophy,With a new philosophical perspective on nursing science, the so-called relevance gap between nursing theory and practice can be closed. The final chapter of the book ‘redraws the map’, to create a new picture of nursing science based on the following principles: Problems of practice should guide nursing research Practice and theory are dynamically related Theory research must provide the knowledge base necessary for nurse interventions, training, patient education, etc. Nursing research should develop midrange theories and its results are nursing theory is strengthened when it uses theories confirmed by is integrated with other disciplines Key features Clear and accessibly written Accurate and philosophically well-informed, Discusses philosophical problems in contexts familiar to nurses Systematically examines the philosophical issues involved in nursing research Examines epistemology (how we know what we know), theory development, and the philosophical foundations of scientific methodology. Develops a new model of nursing knowledge Dr. Mark Risjord is Associate Professor in Philosophy at Emory University, and has a faculty appointment in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. His main research areas have been in the philosophy of social science and the philosophy of medicine. He was invited to has been teaching philosophy of science and theory development in the new PhD program in the Nell Hodgson School of Nursing at Emory University insince 1999. He has been awarded two competitive teaching prizes: Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award (2004) and the Excellence in Teaching Award (1997). He is presently serving as the Masse-Martin/NEH Distinguished Teaching Chair (2006-2010).
This book helps you provide a well-rounded doctoral curriculum. The philosophy of science is essential to the core of doctoral study in nursing. This text presents historical and contemporary thinking on this significant subject. Readers will find a wealth of information from a variety of philosophers and conceptualizers of Western science. The text's approach stimulates analysis and reflection for enhanced learning. Coverage straddles the balance between nurse and non-nurse philosophers with discussion and reflective questions, and includes thoughts about nursing as a science and an art. Students will learn to recognize the connection between an understanding of philosophic inquiry and scientific investigation -- or research -- in nursing. Compatibility: BlackBerry® OS 4.1 or Higher / iPhone/iPod Touch 2.0 or Higher /Palm OS 3.5 or higher / Palm Pre Classic / Symbian S60, 3rd edition (Nokia) / Windows Mobile™ Pocket PC (all versions) / Windows Mobile Smartphone / Windows 98SE/2000/ME/XP/Vista/Tablet PC
This book covers some of the major contributions Sal Restivo has made to the sociology of science over the past twenty years. His work has been guided by three agendas: to develop a sociological theory of science and scientific knowledge; to use the sociology of science as a vehicle for developing a sociology of objectivity; and to explore the relationships between science, objectivity, and human values. He has tried - in his career and, specifically, in this volume - to understand science without accepting the culture of science uncritically. In his introduction, Restivo provides a view of the sociology of science from his perspective as a working sociologist of science. He sketches the sociology of science landscape and provides some preliminary indications of why a critical sociology of science is needed. Then, showing the influence of classical social theorists such as Marx, Durkheim, and Nietzsche, and later theorists such as G. H. Mead and C. W. Mills, he writes on the scientific revolution (using a human ecology approach), science and progress, the science machine (i.e., industrialized science), the anthropology of science, science policy, and epistemology. His substantive concerns lead directly to his proposal in the concluding chapter for a sociology of objectivity. In chapter 2, Restivo argues for a conception of the scientific revolution as an organizational and institutional revolution. This is crucial for understanding the author's claim in chapters 3 and 4 that modern science is a social problem, and his later claims about scientific knowledge as a social construction. There, the author begins to unfold a defense of anarchy in society and inquiry. In chapter 5, Restivo shows how his early study of visiting foreign scientists in America raised the question of ideology in science for him. He concludes the chapter by underscoring the results of the so-called "laboratory studies," in particular the suspension of a host of conventional dichotomies such as social/technical, fact/ artifact, and internal/external. Chapter 6 then examines issues of science policy and scientific validity from a sociology and anthropology of science perspective. The concept of a critical sociology of science is linked to the program for developing what Marx called a "human science." The final chapter includes a section on the sociology of mathematics, an area Restivo has pioneered in.
A text that emphasizes the importance of case studies in social science scholarship and shows how to make case study practices more rigorous.
This highly original work presents laboratory science in a deliberately skeptical way: as an anthropological approach to the culture of the scientist. Drawing on recent work in literary criticism, the authors study how the social world of the laboratory produces papers and other "texts,"' and how the scientific vision of reality becomes that set of statements considered, for the time being, too expensive to change. The book is based on field work done by Bruno Latour in Roger Guillemin's laboratory at the Salk Institute and provides an important link between the sociology of modern sciences and laboratory studies in the history of science.
Despite their shared interests, historians and philosophers of science collaborate poorly and generally lack firsthand experience in laboratories. This volume invents ways to develop their understanding of each other's goals and their common subject matter. Internatinally respected historians and philosophers of science clarify the distinct perspectives of each discipline and explore the types of interaction possible between them. By focusing on specific scientific problems, their papers make an excellent introduction to both historical and philosophical theories.

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