In this book distinguished theorist and author Shelby D. Hunt analyzes the major controversies in the "philosophy debates" raging throughout the field of marketing. Using an historical approach, Hunt argues against relativism and for scientific realism as a philosophy for guiding marketing research and theory. He also shows how the pursuit of truth and objectivity in marketing research are both possible and desirable. Specific controversies analyzed in the book include: Does positivism dominate marketing research? Does positivism imply quantitive methods? Is relativism an appropriate foundation for marketing research? Does relativism imply pluralism, tolerance, and openness? Should marketing pursue the goal of objective research? An ideal companion to Hunt's classic text, Foundations of Marketing Theory, this volume will be equally useful on its own in any graduate level course on marketing theory.
1. Introduction 2. Natural Philosophy and the Rise of Science: From Plato to Hegel 3. The Development of the Philosophy of Science Discipline: From Classical Realism to Logical Empiricism 4. The Rise and Fall of Historical Relativism in Philosophy of Science 5. Post-Relativistic Philosophy of Science 6. On Science, Qualitative Methods, and Marketing Research 7. On Truth and Marketing Research 8. On Objectivity and Marketing Research 9. On Scientific Realism and Marketing Research