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Philosophical Foundations of the Social Sciences Analyzing Controversies in Social Research

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ISBN-10: 0521558913

ISBN-13: 9780521558914

Edition: 1996

Authors: Harold Kincaid

List price: $56.99
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This book argues that behind the diverse methods of the natural sciences lies a common core of scientific rationality that the social sciences can and sometimes do achieve.
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Book details

List price: $56.99
Copyright year: 1996
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 11/24/1995
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

List of figures
Acknowledgments
Preface
Issues and arguments
The naturalist and holist traditions and their detractors
An outline of the argument
Challenges to scientific rationality
Quine and the demise of positivism
Varieties of rationality
Kuhn and shifting standards
Incommensurability
Theory-laden data
Ambiguous criteria
Social constructivism and post-modernist rhetoric
The subtle invasion of values
The symptoms of good science
Causes, confirmation, and explanation
Some a priori objections
Confirmation and qualifications
How can ceteris paribus laws be confirmed and how can they explain?
Ceteris paribus in practice
Inferring causes from non-experimental data
Lawless explanations
Functionalism defended
Functionalism and its critics
What is functionalism?
Confirming functional explanations
Functionalist failures and successes
Optimal Eskimos and Hindu Cows
Marxist accounts of the state
The ecology of organizations
The critics answered
The failures of individualism
The prospects for reduction
Requirements for reduction
Conceptual arguments for and against reducibility
An empirical case against individualism
Claims about explanation and confirmation
Full explanation without reduction?
Is individualism the best explanation?
Are individualist mechanisms necessary?
Individualist evidence and heuristics
A question of ontology?
The truth in individualism
A science of interpretation?
Issues and presuppositions
The right-wing attack
Skeptical hermeneuts
Interpretive successes
Norms and symbols
Economics: a test case
How to think about economics
The supply-and-demand core
Confirming the laws of supply and demand
The central role of supply-and-demand arguments
Assessing neo-classical models
Reduction and microfoundations
Problems and prospects
References
Index