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This is a comprehensive and authoritative reference collection in the philosophy and methodology of the social sciences. The source materials selected are drawn from debates within the natural sciences as well as social scientific practice. This four volume set covers the traditional literature on the philosophy of the social sciences, and the contemporary philosophical and methodological debates developing at the heart of the disciplinary and interdisciplinary groups in the social sciences. It addresses the needs of researchers and academics who are grappling with the relationship between questions of knowledge construction and the problems of social scientific method.
This 1996 book argues that behind the diverse methods of the natural sciences lies a common core of scientific rationality.
This book provides students with a concise introduction to the philosophy of methodology. The book stands apart from existing methodology texts by clarifying in a student-friendly and engaging way distinctions between philosophical positions, paradigms of inquiry, methodology and methods. Building an understanding of the relationships and distinctions between philosophical positions and paradigms is an essential part of the research process and integral to deploying the methodology and methods best suited for a research project, thesis or dissertation. Aided throughout by definition boxes, examples and exercises for students, the book covers topics such as: - Positivism and Post-positivism - Phenomenology - Critical Theory - Constructivism and Participatory Paradigms - Post-Modernism and Post-Structuralism - Ethnography - Grounded Theory - Hermeneutics - Foucault and Discourse This text is aimed at final-year undergraduates and post-graduate research students. For more experienced researchers developing mixed methodological approaches, it can provide a greater understanding of underlying issues relating to unfamiliar techniques.
It is argued that the conception of social science emerging today is one that involves a synthesis of radical constructivism and critical realism. The crucial challenge facing social science is a question of its public role: growing reflexivity in society has implications for the social production of knowledge and is bringing into question the separation of expert systems from other forms of knowledge.
What is social science? Does social scientific knowledge differ from other kinds of knowledge, such as the natural sciences and common sense? What is the relation between method and knowledge? This concise and accessible book provides a critical discussion and comprehensive overview of the major philosophical debates on the methodological foundations of the social sciences. From its origins in the sixteenth century when a new system of knowledge was created around the idea of modernity, the author shows how the philosophy of social science developed as a reflection on some of the central questions in modernity. Visions of modernity have been reflected in the self-understanding of the social sciences. From the positivist dispute on explanation vs. understanding to controversies about standpoint to debates about constructivism and realism, Delanty outlines the major shifts in the philosophy of social science. He argues that social science is an intellectual framework for the transformation of the social world. The new edition is updated and expanded throughout with the latest developments in the field, including a new chapter on feminist standpoint epistemology, and additional material on neo-positivism, pragmatism, and reflexivity. This is one of the most ambitious and wide-ranging texts in recent years on debates on method and the contemporary situation of social science. It is of interest to undergraduate students and postgraduates as well as to professional researchers with an interest in the philosophy of the social sciences and social theory.
Taking an unorthodox look at the key philosophical assumptions in the social sciences, this work contends that social scientists such as anthropologists and sociologists ought not to leave philosophy to philosophers who have little expertise in or knowledge of the social sciences.

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