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Science and Social Science: An Introduction / Edition 1

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More About This Textbook

Overview

Is social science really a science at all, and if so in what sense? This is the first question that any course on the philosophy of the social sciences must tackle. In this brief introduction, Malcolm Williams gives students the grounding that will enable them to discuss the issues involved with confidence. He looks at:

• The historical development of natural science and its distinctive methodology

• the case in favour of an objective science of the social which follows the same rules

• The arguments of social constructionists, interpretative sociologists and others against objectivity and even science itself

• recent developments in natural science - for instance the rise of complexity theory and the increased questioning of positivism - which bring it closer to some of the key arguments of social science.
Throughout, the book is illustrated with short clear examples taken from the actual practice of social science research and from popular works of natural science which will illuminate the debate for all students whatever their background.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Williams (sociology, U. of Plymouth) explores the basic philosophical issues of the role of natural science methodologies in the realm of social science. Intending his work as an introduction to the topic, he looks at the history of science, evaluates notions of value freedom, and explores the role of current complexity studies in both realms. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415194853
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/2/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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