The Philosophy of Social Science: An Introduction
Cambridge University Press, 1994 - Philosophy - 268 pages
This new interdisciplinary textbook by Martin Hollis offers an exceptionally clear and concise introduction to the philosophy of social science. It 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. Is the aim to explain the social world after the manner of the natural world, or to understand it from within? Writing in his characteristically clear and incisive prose, Martin Hollis reveals the crucial role to be played by philosophy in the study of the social sciences.
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Introduction problems of Structure and Action
Discovering truth the rationalist way
Positive science the empiricist way
Ants Spiders and Bees a third way?
Systems and functions
Games with Rational Agents
Understanding social action
Self and roles
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action actors analysis answer basic become behaviour beliefs called causal causes Chapter claims concepts depends determinism distinction economic effect empirical ethics example existence expectations experience explanation external facts Figure forces functional further give given hold holism human idea identify individual inference instance institutions interpretation involved Jack Jill keep knowledge language laws least less logic matter meaning mechanical merely method mind moral nature necessity norms notion objective observation offers particular perhaps philosophical physical play players Positive possible practices predictions preferences present probability problem question rational agents Rational Choice Rational Choice theory reason reflection relations relativism remains roles rules scientific scientists seems sense simply social sciences society statements strategy structure suggestion theory thought tion true truth turn understanding universal whole