1st Edition

The Philosophy of Social Science New Perspectives

By Garry Potter Copyright 2000

    New Perspectives of the Philosophy of Social Science provides a comprehensive history, explanation and critique of empiricism and positivism within the natural and social sciences, as well as an overview of the interpretivist/hermeneutic tradition in social science. Questions concerning the criteria for judging truth and validity, the nature of rationality, social reality and scientificity, unfold in a uniquely accessible dialogue format.

    Students with no previous knowledge of this highly contested field will find themsleves taken on an entertaining and challenging philosophical journey. The dialogue anticipates the most frequently asked questions of such readers, provides clear explanations of all specialised terminology and contextualises contemporary debates. It thus transforms potential confusion into a clear understanding of complex issues. The text shows how the perspectives of earlier traditions persist in modified form, covering poststructuralism, postmodernism, critical theory, feminist epistemology and concludes with a critical realist account of both natural and social science.

    New Perspectives of the Philosophy of Social Science is essential reading for students of social theory and the philosophy of social science. Students across the full range of social science disciplines will find the book of interest. Sociology students will find it a particularly valuable resource.

    1. Importance of Science. 2. Rationalism and Empiricism. 3. Positivism and Its Problems. 4. Expansions of Social Scientific Understanding. 5. Hermeneutics and Science. 6. Feminism and Science. 7. Postmodernism. 8. Hyper-reality and Critical Realism


    Gary Potter