In this, new edition of a classic work—now with a new preface—on the roots of social scientific thinking, Immanuel Wallerstein develops a thorough-going critique of the legacy of nineteenth-century social science for social thought in the new millennium. We have to "unthink"—radically revise and discard—many of the presumptions that still remain the foundation of dominant perspectives today. Once considered liberating, these notions are now barriers to a clear understanding of our social world. They include, for example, ideas built into the concept of "development." In place of such a notion, Wallerstein stresses transformations in time and space. Geography and chronology should not...
The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science
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.
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.
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 ...
Annotation Williams (sociology, U. of Plymouth) explores the basic philosophical issues of the role of natural science methodologies in the realm of social science. Intending his work as an introduction to the topic, he looks at the history of science, evaluates notions of value freedom, and explores the role of current complexity studies in both realms.
This title offers a one-volume introduction to social science methodology, relevant to the disciplines of anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. It is written for beginning students, long-time practitioners and methodologists, and applies to work conducted in qualitative and quantitative styles. It synthesizes the vast and diverse field of methodology in a way that is clear, concise, and comprehensive. While offering a handy overview of the subject, the book is also an argument about how we should conceptualize methodological problems. Tasks and criteria, the author argues - not fixed rules of procedure - best describe the search for methodological adequacy. Thinking about methodology through this lens provides a new framework for understanding work in the social sciences.
Defines key terms in such areas as anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, human geography, cultural studies, and Marxism, and covers concepts, theories, schools of thought, methodologies, issues, and controversies.
The Social Science Encyclopedia, first published in 1985 to acclaim from social scientists, librarians and students, was thoroughly revised in 1996, when reviewers began to describe it as a classic. This third edition has been radically recast. Over half the entries are new or have been entirely rewritten, and most of the balance have been substantially revised. Written by an international team of contributors, the Encyclopedia offers a global perspective on key issues within the social sciences. Some 500 entries cover a variety of enduring and newly vital areas of study and research methods. Experts review theoretical debates from neo-evolutionism and rational choice theory to poststructuralism, and address the great questions that cut across the social sciences. What is the influence of genes on behaviour? What is the nature of consciousness and cognition? What are the causes of poverty and wealth? What are the roots of conflict, wars, revolutions and genocidal violence? This authoritative reference work is aimed at anyone with a serious interest in contemporary academic thinking about the individual in society.