First published in 1983, this book examines the problems of concept formation in the social sciences, and in particular sociology, from the standpoint of a realistic philsophy of science. Beginning with a discussion of positivistic, hermeneutic, rationalist and realistic philsophies of science, Dr Outhwaite argues that realism is best able to furnish rational criteria for the choice and specification of social scientific concepts. A realistic philosophy of science therefore acts as his reference point for the dialectical presentation of alternative accounts.
1. Concepts of Science 2. Concepts in Science 3. Constitution 4. Max Weber and Concept Formation in Sociology 5. Concepts of Society