Read e-book online A Realist Philosophy of Social Science: Explanation and PDF

By Peter T. Manicas

ISBN-10: 0521861403

ISBN-13: 9780521861403

This advent to the philosophy of social technology presents an unique notion of the duty and nature of social inquiry. Peter Manicas discusses the position of causality noticeable within the actual sciences and gives a reassessment of the matter of rationalization from a realist point of view. He argues that the basic aim of conception in either the ordinary and social sciences isn't, opposite to common opinion, prediction and regulate, or the reason of occasions (including behaviour). as an alternative, idea goals to supply an realizing of the procedures which, jointly, produce the contingent results of expertise. supplying a bunch of concrete illustrations and examples of serious rules and concerns, this obtainable e-book should be of curiosity to scholars of the philosophy of social technological know-how, and social scientists from a number of disciplines.

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Extra info for A Realist Philosophy of Social Science: Explanation and Understanding

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More important for us is the effort in this chapter to undermine the bad metaphysics of what is too often taken for granted in talk about theory and the goals of science. A key theme will be to show that celestial mechanics is a very poor example for the sciences, social and physical. What a theory is Despite much talk to the contrary, no real theory in the physical sciences can be fully expressed as a deductive system, with axioms and deductions therefrom. The idea has a long legacy dating at least from Descartes, from Newton’s great work, and from the still older idea that mathematics is the ideal of knowledge (Harr´e, 1970: 8).

Critically, it also shifts the problem of explanation to the question of the nature of salt and of water – a theoretical question for science, and as we have noted, the answer to which can provide genuine understanding. The physicist David Bohm wrote: “Clearly . . the concept of a causal relationship implies more than just regular association, in which one set of events precedes another in time. ). Moreover, the concept that is needed and overlooked entirely by concentrating on events as causes, is the idea that things have causal properties by virtue of their nature.

But I can find no preferable alternative. Causal processes require causal mechanisms. See also Machamer, Darden and Craver, 2000; Bunge, 2003. 24 A Realist Philosophy of Social Science nothing of the structures of atoms and could have had no conception of the underlying foundation of the table. We have that understanding. The periodic table, as we now know, is a portrayal of the rhythms of the filling of the energy levels of atoms” (Atkins, 2003: 160). Thus, to round out his superb account, for hydrogen, with its single electron, all the orbitals of a given shell have exactly the same energy.

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A Realist Philosophy of Social Science: Explanation and Understanding by Peter T. Manicas


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