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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.
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.
This volume of the Boston Studies is a distillation of one of the most creative and important movements in contemporary social theory. The articles repre sent the work of the so-called 'Praxis' group in Yugoslavia, a heterogeneous movement of philosophers, sociologists, political theorists, historians, and cul tural critics, united by a common approach: that of social theory as a critical and scientific enterprise, closely linked to questions of contemporary practical life. As the introductory essay explains, in its history and analysis of the development of this group, the name Praxis focuses on the heart of Marx's social theory - the conception of human beings as creative, productive makers and shapers of their own history. The journal Praxis, which appeared regularly in Yugoslavia at Zagreb, and also in an International Edition for many years, is the source of many of these articles. The journal had to suspend publication in 1975 because of political pressures in Yugoslavia. Eight members of the group were dismissed from their University posts in Belgrade, after a long struggle in which their colleagues stood by them staunchly. Yet the creativity and productivity of the group continues, by those in Belgrade and elsewhere. Its contributions to the social sciences, and to the very conception of social science as critical and applied theory, remain vivid, timely and innovative. The importance of the theoretical work of the Praxis group is perhaps at its height now.
the first comprehensive anthology in the philosophy of social science to appear since the late 1960s
This 1996 book argues that behind the diverse methods of the natural sciences lies a common core of scientific rationality.
"Studies in the Methodology of Natural and Social Sciences" explore from the point of view of philosophy, philosophy of science, methodology and semantics the methods of pretheoretical (empirical) measurement, theory construction, and methods of measurement that are already based on scientific theories. This exploration targets both the natural and the social sciences. In the field of natural sciences, subject to theoretical and metatheoretical analyses are Huygens' experimental and computational methods for determining the acceleration of gravity, the methods of constructing a thermometer, and Newtonian mechanics. With respect to the field of social science, it analyzes Marx's methods of theory construction presented in his work in the area of economics, the methodological approaches employed in David Ricardo's theory of value, sociological Grounded Theory, Rational Choice Theory, and Historical Sociology. A significant attention is given to the philosophical reconstruction of the categories employed in the measurement methods and in the methods of construction of the analyzed theories.

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