Rethinking objectivity in social science

Social Epistemology 18 (2 & 3):109 – 122 (2004)
By presenting a number of concrete examples, this paper aims at soliciting a reflection on how social phenomena become the 'objects of a science' by being classified in specific ways, to answer specific questions, in different social sciences. This is in view of arguing that the objectivity of the procedures by which social scientific objects are identified and classified can only be assessed in relation to the actual questions addressed and formulated about these objects - rather than by referring back to some ideal standard or protocol of objective inquiry. This also goes against the practice, often endorsed by social scientific literature, of fixing a model for what social objects are to be like (scientific or philosophical, under some description or other) and the distortingly 'normative' idea of social scientific objectivity which derives from such practice. The objects of social scientific inquiry are complex in a specific sense, and a plural identification of those objects in the context of the widest array of methods of description, classification and analysis is to be pursued.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/0269172042000249246
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,890
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

33 ( #96,466 of 1,725,413 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #268,739 of 1,725,413 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.