Focusing on the disciplines of economics, sociology, political science, and history, this book examines how American social science came to model itself on natural science and liberal politics. Professor Ross argues that American social science receives its distinctive stamp from the ideology of American exceptionalism, the idea that America occupies an exceptional place in history, based on her republican government and wide economic opportunity. Professor Ross shows how each of the social science disciplines, while developing their inherited intellectual traditions, responded to change in historical consciousness, political needs, professional structures, and the conceptions of science available to them. This is a comprehensive book, which looks broadly at American social science in its historical context and to demonstrate the central importance of the national ideology of American exceptionalism to the development of the social sciences and to American social thought generally.
The Social Science Encyclopedia, first published in 1985 to acclaim from social scientists, librarians and students, was thoroughly revised in 1996, when reviewers began to describe it as a classic. This third edition has been radically recast. Over half the entries are new or have been entirely rewritten, and most of the balance have been substantially revised. Written by an international team of contributors, the Encyclopedia offers a global perspective on key issues within the social sciences. Some 500 entries cover a variety of enduring and newly vital areas of study and research methods. Experts review theoretical debates from neo-evolutionism and rational choice theory to poststructuralism, and address the great questions that cut across the social sciences. What is the influence of genes on behaviour? What is the nature of consciousness and cognition? What are the causes of poverty and wealth? What are the roots of conflict, wars, revolutions and genocidal violence? This authoritative reference work is aimed at anyone with a serious interest in contemporary academic thinking about the individual in society.
Presents a clear and structured analysis of the Philosophy of Social Science across each of its main disciplines: Anthropology, Sociology, History, Economics and Geography. Using a range of examples from specific social sciences, the book both identifies the practical and theoretical procedures involved in the identification of the object and, at the same time, raises questions about the very objectivity of these procedures in analyzing the object.
Is knowledge what counts in today's society? How does knowledge shape social change? Do we trust experts less now than in the past? How do we decide which knowledge counts and which experts to trust? Knowledge and the Social Sciences: Theory, Method, Practice looks at the role of the social sciences in explaining and exploring what has been called the explosion of knowledge in the contemporary world. It takes as its starting point the claim that all forms of knowledge, including the social sciences, must be understood in their social context. It argues that the social sciences both describe and transform what they study and introduces students to some of the key concepts and arguments that are essential for further study in the social sciences. In a radical and practical introduction to ways of thinking and knowing in the social sciences, this text investigates the origins and consequences of different types of knowledge in areas of social change both in everyday thinking and in more academic fields, in medical science, religious belief systems and the environment and political responses to environmental change. These issues are explored in th context of the emergence of what has
The philosophy of the social sciences considers the underlying explanatory powers of the social (or human) sciences, such as history, economics, anthropology, politics, and sociology. The type of questions covered includes the methodological (the nature of observations, laws, theories, and explanations) to the ontological — whether or not these sciences can explain human nature in a way consistent with common-sense beliefs. This Handbook is a major, comprehensive look at the key ideas in the field, is guided by several principles. The first is that the philosophy of social science should be closely connected to, and informed by, developments in the sciences themselves. The second is that the volume should appeal to practicing social scientists as well as philosophers, with the contributors being both drawn from both ranks, and speaking to ongoing controversial issues in the field. Finally, the volume promotes connections across the social sciences, with greater internal discussion and interaction across disciplinary boundaries.
Philosophy of Social Science provides a tightly argued yet accessible introduction to the philosophical foundations of the human sciences, including economics, anthropology, sociology, political science, psychology, history, and the disciplines emerging at the intersections of these subjects with biology. Philosophy is unavoidable for social scientists because the choices they make in answering questions in their disciplines force them to take sides on philosophical matters. Conversely, the philosophy of social science is equally necessary for philosophers since the social and behavior sciences must inform their understanding of human action, norms, and social institutions. The fifth edition retains from previous editions an illuminating interpretation of the enduring relations between the social sciences and philosophy, and reflects on developments in social research over the past two decades that have informed and renewed debate in the philosophy of social science. An expanded discussion of philosophical anthropology and modern and postmodern critical theory is new for this edition.
What is social science? Does social scientific knowledge differ from other kinds of knowledge, such as the natural sciences and common sense? What is the relation between method and knowledge? This concise and accessible book provides a critical discussion and comprehensive overview of the major philosophical debates on the methodological foundations of the social sciences. From its origins in the sixteenth century when a new system of knowledge was created around the idea of modernity, the author shows how the philosophy of social science developed as a reflection on some of the central questions in modernity. Visions of modernity have been reflected in the self-understanding of the social ...