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Philosophy of Social Science: A Contemporary Introduction (2022)

Philosophy of Social Science: A Contemporary Introduction (2022)

July 25, 2022 | English | ISBN: 1032075872, 1032075864 | 336 pages | True PDF | 6 MB

Philosophy of Social Science: A Contemporary Introduction examines perennial questions of philosophy through engaging the empirical study of society. Questions of normativity concern the place of values in social scientific inquiry. Questions of naturalism concern the relationship between the natural and the social sciences. And questions of reductionism ask how social institutions relate to the people who constitute them.

This accessible text offers a comprehensive overview of debates in the field, with special attention to new research programs. Topics include the relationship of social policy to social science, interpretive research, cognitive and evolutionary explanations, intentional action explanation, rational choice theory, conventions and social norms, joint intentionality, causal inference, and experimentation.

Detailed examples of social scientific research motivate the philosophical questions and illustrate the important concepts. Treating philosophical commitments as implicit in social science, students of the social sciences will benefit from its application of philosophical argument to methodological and theoretical problems. The text argues that social science transforms philosophical questions, and students of philosophy will benefit from its direct engagement with contemporary debates.

The Second Edition provides updates with the most recent literature and adds two new chapters: one on modeling and one on the role of race and gender in the social sciences.

Key Updates to the Second Edition

A new chapter on “Modeling and Explaining,” which explores how models represent social systems and whether highly idealized models explain
A new chapter on “Race and Other Social Constructions,” capturing much of the recent empirical research and philosophical interest in the social construction of categories like race and gender
Revised and updated chapters throughout, clarifying earlier presentations and bringing discussions from the First Edition into line with new research
Updated annotated Further Reading lists, which now include relevant publications from 2013 to 2022.