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Palgrave Macmillan

Philosophy of Social Science

The Philosophical Foundations of Social Thought

Edition 2nd edition
ISBN 9780230242593
Publication Date December 2010
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Traditions in Social Theory

Philosophers and social scientists share a common goal: to explore fundamental truths about ourselves and the nature of the world in which we live. But in what ways do these two distinct disciplines inform each other and arrive at these truths? The 10th anniversary edition of this highly regarded text directly responds to such issues as it introduces students to the philosophy of social science.

While staying true to the writing of the late Ian Craib, this perennial text has been brought up to date by Ted Benton. This new edition includes previously unpublished personal insights from both authors, incorporates new commentaries on classic content and features an additional chapter on recent developments in the field.

The book:
• Addresses critical issues relating to the nature of social science
• Interrogates the relationship between social science and natural science
• Encompasses traditional and contemporary perspectives
• Introduces and critiques a wide range of approaches, from empiricism and positivism to post structuralism and rationalism.

Written in an engaging and student-friendly style, the book introduces key ideas and concepts while raising questions and opening debates. A cornerstone text in the Traditions in Social Theory series, this book remains essential reading for all students of social theory.

TED BENTON Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex, UK. He is the esteemed author of many books, including Philosophical Foundations of the Three Sociologies, The Rise and Fall of Structural Marxism and Natural Relations: Ecology, Animal Rights and Social Justice.

IAN CRAIB was Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex, UK, until his death in 2002. He was a prominent sociologist and the author of numerous books, including Modern Social Theory: From Parsons to Habermas and Classical Social Theory.


Preface to the Second Edition
Introduction to the First Edition
Empiricism and Positivism in Science
Some Problems of Empiricism and Positivism
Science, Nature and Society: Some Alternatives to Empiricism
Interpretive Approaches 1: Instrumental Rationality
Interpretive Approaches 2: Rationality as Rule-Following: Cultures, Traditions and Hermeneutics
Interpretive Approaches 3: Critical Rationality
Critical Realism and the Social Sciences
Feminism, Knowledge and Society
Post-Structuralism and Postmodernism
Conclusion: In Defence of Philosophy 
Commentary on Recent Developments
Appendix I: Personal Conclusions
Appendix II: Obituary for Professor Ian Craib
Glossary
Bibliography
Index

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Reviews

Reviews for the 1st Edition:
'Informative, comprehensive and accessible to a wide audience: this is how Benton and Craib's introduction to the philosophy of social science compares with current manuals in the field.' - British Journal of Sociology
'Laudably clear and concise...a first rate collaboration with a seamless quality.' - Choice
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