This introduction to the philosophy of social science provides an original conception of the task and nature of social inquiry. Peter Manicas discusses the role of causality seen in the physical sciences and offers a reassessment of the problem of explanation from a realist perspective. He argues that the fundamental goal of theory in both the natural and social sciences is not, contrary to widespread opinion, prediction and control, or the explanation of events. Instead, theory aims to provide an understanding (...) of the processes which, together, produce the contingent outcomes of experience. Offering a host of concrete illustrations and examples of critical ideas and issues, this accessible book will be of interest to students of the philosophy of social science, and social scientists from a range of disciplines. (shrink)
Introduction -- Pragmatism and science -- Pragmatic philosophy of science and the charge of scientism -- John Dewey and American psychology -- John Dewey and American social science -- Culture and nature -- Not another epistemology -- Naturalism and subjectivism -- Naturalizing epistemology : recent developments in psychology and the sociology of knowledge -- Democracy -- American democracy : a new spirit in the world -- John Dewey : anarchism and the political state -- Philosophy and politics : a historical (...) approach to Marx and Dewey -- John Dewey and the problem of justice -- Liberalism's discontent : America in search for past that never was -- Why not Dewey? -- The evasion of philosophy -- Democratic hope -- Analytic pragmatism -- Post-modern pragmatism. (shrink)
This ambitious critical history of the variety of disciplines we group together as the social sciences argues that the defining characteristic of social science, both historically and in the present, is ideology. Based originally on a flawed ideal of science, the 'social sciences' have incorporated and refined a set of assumptions about the nature of state and society, assumptions which have been institutionalized with the growth of modern universities. The book is in three main parts. It deals firstly with the (...) history of certain key ides from the early modern period, before exploring the institutional and social features which have shaped the emergence of modern social science. Manicas goes on to reveal the ideological component of mainstream social science, concluding by suggesting and alternative realist philosophy for the future. Rigorous in scholarship and engaging in presentation, the book offers a brilliant combination of wide-ranging historical scholarship and a firm location in the current theoretical dilemmas of the social sciences. (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: Introduction Two Dogmas of Empiricism Pragmatism and Naturalism Indeterminacy of Translation Canonical Notation Naturalistic Epistemology The Objectivity of Science.
The doctrine which needs clarification may be put several ways: "Modern" science, unlike Aristotelian science, does not appeal to "occult powers"; or, the doctrine of final causes is occult and unscientific; or, while modern science, in establishing laws, "explains," Aristotelian science does not. More narrowly, two separate though related claims are being made: Aristotelian science is occult. This charge is leveled at final causes and Aristotelian "powers." Aristotelian science does not explain. This charge is typified by Moliere's famous jibe at (...) "dormitive power." In order to clear away the truths from the half-truths, I will defend the following points. (shrink)