Empiricism, Explanation and Rationality

An Introduction to the Philosophy of the Social Sciences

By Len & Roger Doyal & Harris

© 2009 – Routledge

200 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415847377
pub: 2013-10-19
US Dollars$48.95
Hardback: 9780415474573
pub: 2008-08-15
US Dollars$180.00

About the Book

Originally published in 1986. All students of social science must confront a number of important philosophical issues. This introduction to the philosophy of the social sciences provides coherent answers to questions about empiricism, explanation and rationality. It evaluates contemporary writings on the subject which can be as difficult as they are important to understand. Each chapter has an annotated bibliography to enable students to pursue the issues raised and to assess for themselves the arguments of the authors.


'A superb book…absolutely first class. The text is extremely clear and cogent and discusses some of the very complex issues involved in an exceedingly accessible, yet very sophisticated way.'Anthony Giddens

'…an excellent introduction to the philosophy of the social sciences.'Richard J Bernstein

Table of Contents

  1. The problems of empiricism. 2 Explanation in the natural sciences. 3 Explanation in the social sciences. 4 The social character of actions and persons. 5 Freedom, self-understanding & ideology. 6 Rationality, language and relativism. 7 What is wrong with relativism?. 8 Social structure and its moral evaluation. Bibliography. Index

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: History & Philosophy of Science

History and Philosophy of Science reprints a distinguished selection of important texts published in this field over the last century. This set presents a unique opportunity to gain comprehensive coverage of all aspects of the history and philosophy of science.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / General