In revealing the crucial role to be played by philosophy in the study of the social sciences, this text unearths central philosophical problems underlying the standard ways of thinking about social institutions and social actions, leading the reader to reflect upon the nature of scientific method itself.
Table of ContentsPreface; 1. Introduction: problems of structure and action; 2. Discovering truth: the rationalist way; 3. Positive science: the empiricist way; 4. Ants, spiders and bees: a third way?; 5. Systems and functions; 6. Games with rational agents; 7. Understanding social action; 8. Self and roles; 9. Explaining and understanding; 10. A value-neutral social science?; 11. Rationality and relativism; 12. Conclusion: two stories to tell; Bibliography; Index.