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  1. Malcolm Williams (2011). Contingent or Necessary? A Response to Stephen Norrie. Social Epistemology 25 (2):167 - 172.
    Social Epistemology, Volume 25, Issue 2, Page 167-172, April 2011.
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  2. Malcolm Williams (2011). Contingent Realism—Abandoning Necessity. Social Epistemology 25 (1):37-56.
    In recent years, realism?particularly critical realism?has become an important philosophical and methodological foundation for social science. A key feature is that of natural necessity, but this coexists alongside an acceptance of contingency in the social world. I argue in this paper that there cannot be any natural necessity in the social world, but rather the real nature of the social world is that it is contingent. This need not lead to an abandonment of realism, and indeed I argue that a (...)
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  3. Malcolm Williams (2009). Social Objects, Causality and Contingent Realism. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 39 (1):1-18.
    This paper is a realist argument for the existence of “social objects”. Social objects, I argue, are the outcome states of a contingent causal process and in turn posses causal properties. This argument has consequences for what we can mean by realism and consequences for the development of a realist methodology. Realism should abandon the notion of natural necessity in favour of a view that the “real” nature of the social world is contingent and necessity is only revealed in outcome (...)
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  4. Malcolm Williams (2006). Can Scientists Be Objective? Social Epistemology 20 (2):163 – 180.
    Objectivity and value freedom have often been conflated in the philosophical and sociological literature. While value freedom construed as an absence of social and moral values in scientific work has been discredited, defenders of value freedom bracket off methodological values or practices from social and moral ones. In this paper I will first show how values exist along a continuum and argue that science is and should be value based. One of these values is necessarily objectivity for science to be (...)
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  5. Malcolm Williams (ed.) (2006). Philosophical Foundations of Social Research Methods. Sage.
    Philosophical considerations and positions underlie all of the natural and social sciences. In the latter case philosophical foundations and their emergent issues have a profound impact on methodology and empirical practice. Design decisions will usually depend on philosophical perspectives or assumptions, such as the very fundamental decision to employ a quantitative design or an interpretive design. The 'philosophy of social research' is thus a subset of the philosophy of social science, but also an important subject area that spans methodology and (...)
     
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  6. Malcolm Williams (2005). Situated Objectivity. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 35 (1):99–120.
    This paper is a re-examination of the issue of objectivity in sociology. Though it begins from the premise that objectivity is a necessary precondition for a minimally scientific sociology, it sides with subjectivists who claim that values are ever present in investigation. Values are shown to exist along a continuum in investigation. The paper develops the argument that objectivity is a value itself and is nested in other values that will take on a contextual character dependent upon disciplines. Two brief (...)
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  7. Malcolm Williams (2000). Science and Social Science: An Introduction. Routledge.
    Is social science really a science at all, and if so in what sense? This is the first real question that any course on the philosophy of the social sciences must tackle. In this brief introduction, Malcolm Williams gives the students the grounding that will enable them to discuss the issues involved with confidence.
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  8. Malcolm Williams (1999). Single Case Probabilities and the Social World: The Application of Popper's Propensity Interpretation. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 29 (2):187–201.
    This paper is a re-examination of Popper’s propensity interpretation of probability in respect of its potential methodological value in social science. A long standing problem for the frequency interpretation of probability is that whilst it is able to treat both aggregate and individual phenomena as having measurable properties, it cannot explain the ontological relationship between such concrete individual cases and aggregates. Popper’s interpretation treats single cases as both real, but also as realisations of a propensity to occur. The frequency and (...)
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  9. Tim May & Malcolm Williams (eds.) (1998). Knowing the Social World. Open University Press.
  10. Malcolm Williams (1998). The Social World as Knowable. In Tim May & Malcolm Williams (eds.), Knowing the Social World. Open University Press. 5--21.
     
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