Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science

Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science

Paperback Bradford Books

Edited by Michael Martin, Edited by Lee C. McIntyre

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  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Format: Paperback | 813 pages
  • Dimensions: 178mm x 252mm x 42mm | 1,402g
  • Publication date: 26 April 1994
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge, Mass.
  • ISBN 10: 0262631512
  • ISBN 13: 9780262631518
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: bibliography, index
  • Sales rank: 777,751

Product description

This is the first comprehensive anthology in the philosophy of social science to appear since the late 1960s. Covering all of the major areas in the discipline, it will serve as the standard source for scholarship in the field and could be used as the basis for an entire course.The anthology offers one complete, convenient, and well-chosen selection of readings, plus three specially commissioned articles that encompass the entire range of topics in the field and cover both sides of currently hot debates about explanation, methodological individualism, and the special sciences. The introductions to each section provide a map through the discipline.Michael Martin is Professor of Philosophy at Boston University. Lee C. McIntyre is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Colgate University.Sections cover: Explanation, Prediction, and Laws. Interpretation and Meaning. Rationality. Functional Explanation. Reductionism, Individualism, and Holism. Objectivity and Values. Problems of the Special Sciences.Commissioned articles: Taylor on Interpretation and the Sciences of Man Michael Martin. Microfoundations of Marxism, D. Little. Evidential Constraints: Pragmatic Empiricism in Archaeology, A. Wylie.

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Author information

Lee McIntyre is a Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University. He is the author of Laws and Explanation in the Social Sciences: Defending a Science of Human Behavior.

Table of contents

Part 1 Introduction: are the social sciences really inferior?, Fritz Machlup; what would an adequate philosophy of social science look like?, Brian Fay and J. Donald Moon. Part 2 Explanation, prediction and laws: the function of general laws in history, Carl G. Hempel; the theory of complex phenomena, F.A. Hayek; a possible distinction between traditional scientific disciplines and the study of human behaviour, Michael Scriven; psychology as philosophy, Donald Davidson; general laws and explaining human behaviour, Brian Fay; defending laws in the social sciences, Harold Kincaid; complexity and social scientific laws, Lee C. McIntyre; reflexive predictions, George D. Romanos. Part 3 Interpretation and meaning: human nature and human history, R.G. Collingwood; the rationale of actions, William Dray; interpretation and the sciences of man, Charles Taylor; thick description - toward an interpretive theory of culture, Clifford Geertz; hermeneutics and the hypothetico-deductive method, Dagfinn Follesdal; another look at the doctrine of Verstehen, Jane Roland Martin; Taylor on interpretation and the sciences of man, Michael Martin. Part 4 Rationality: some problems about rationality, Steven Lukes; the status of rationality assumptions in interpretation and in the explanation of action, Dagfinn Follesdal; the nature and scope of rational-choice explanation, Jon Elster; the principle of charity and the problem of irrationality (translation and the problem of irrationality), David K. Henderson. Part 5 Functional explanation: the logic of functional analysis, Carl G. Hempel; function and cause, R.P. Dore; functional explanation - in Marxism, G.A. Cohen, in social science, Jon Elster; assessing functional explanations in the social sciences, Harold Kincaid. Part 6 Reductionism, individualism and holism: social facts, Emile Durkheim; historical explanation in the social sciences, J.W.N. Watkins; methodological individualism reconsidered, Steven Lukes; methodological individualism and social explanation, Richard W. Miller; microfoundations of Marxism, Daniel Little; reduction, explanation and individualism, Harold Kincaid; social science and the mental, Alan J. Nelson. Part 7 Objectivity and values: "objectivity" in social science and social policy, Max Weber; neutrality in political science, Charles Taylor; the value-oriented bias of social inquiry, Ernest Nagel; the philosophical importance of the Rosenthal effect, Michael Martin; psychology constructs the female, Naomi Weisstein; reasoning about ourselves - feminist methodology in the social sciences, Alison Wylie; a method for critical research, Donald E. Comstock. Part 8 Problems of the special sciences: the methodology of positive economics, Milton Friedman; if economics isn't science, what is it?, Alexander Rosenberg; actions, reasons and causes, Donald Davidson; special sciences (or the disunity of science as a working hypothesis), Jerry Fodor. (Part contents).