This is a comprehensive and authoritative reference collection in the philosophy and methodology of the social sciences. The source materials selected are drawn from debates within the natural sciences as well as social scientific practice. This four volume set covers the traditional literature on the philosophy of the social sciences, and the contemporary philosophical and methodological debates developing at the heart of the disciplinary and interdisciplinary groups in the social sciences. It addresses the needs of (...) researchers and academics who are grappling with the relationship between questions of knowledge construction and the problems of social scientific method. (shrink)
Since the 1950s, Donald T. Campbell has been one of the most influential contributors to the methodology of the social sciences. A distinguished psychologist, he has published scores of widely cited journal articles, and two awards, in social psychology and in public policy, have been named in his honor. This book is the first to collect his most significant papers, and it demonstrates the breadth and originality of his work.
This article provides a concise logical, and as a consequence conceptual, critique of dialectical reasoning and its place in planning and policy in the work of Richard O. Mason and lan I. Mitroff. Based on this critique, a construct called Strategic Forum is presented as an advance of the use of dialectical reasoning in the social and policysciences. The place of Strategic Forum within group decision support systems is discussed.
This Alfred Schutz Memorial Lecture discusses the relationship between the phenomenological life-world analysis and the methodology of the social sciences, which was the central motive of Schutz’s work. I have set two major goals in this lecture. The first is to scrutinize the postulate of adequacy, as this postulate is the most crucial of Schutz’s methodological postulates. Max Weber devised the postulate ‘adequacy of meaning’ in analogy to the postulate of ‘causal adequacy’ (a concept used in jurisprudence) and (...) regarded both as complementary and, in the context of sociological analysis, critical. Schutz extracted the two postulates from the Neokantian epistemology, dismissed the concept of causality, and reduced Weber’s two postulates of adequacy into one, namely, the adequacy of meaning. I discuss the benefits and shortcomings of this reduction. A major problem, in my view, is that Schutz’s reformulation lost the empirical concern that was inherent in Weber’s ‘causal adequacy’. As a result, the models of economics (which shaped Schutz’s conception of social science) are considered to be adequate if they are ‘understandable’ to an everyday actor, even when they are based on the most unrealistic assumptions. To recapture Weber’s empirical orientation I recommend a more restrictive interpretation of the postulate of adequacy that links it to qualitative research and unfolds the critical potential of Schutz’s phenomenological life-world analysis. My second goal is to report on some current developments in German sociology in which a number of approaches explicitly refer to Schutz’s analysis of the life-world and attempt to pursue ‘adequate’ empirical research. This lecture focuses on three approaches: ethnophenomenology, life-world analytic ethnography, and social scientific hermeneutics. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that applied philosophers hoping to develop a stronger role in public policy formation can begin by aligning their methods with the tools employed in the policysciences. I proceed first by characterizing the standard view of policymaking and policy education as instrumentally oriented toward the employment of specific policy tools. I then investigate pressures internal to philosophy that nudge work in applied philosophy toward the periphery of policy debates. I (...) capture the dynamics of these pressures by framing them as the “dilemma dilemma” and the “problem problem.” Seeking a remedy, I turn to the interdisciplinarity of a unique approach to policymaking generally known as the “policysciences.” Finally, I investigate the case of bioethics, an instance where philosophy has made decent headway with policymakers. From this I draw parallels to public policy. I suggest that because the policysciences are essentially analchemist’s brew of academic fields, and because philosophy covers many of the foundational questions associated with these fields, it is only natural that applied philosophers should begin collaborations with other applied academics by adopting the strategies that have so successfully applied in other theoretical fields. (shrink)
This book introduces social scientists to the difference that critical realism can make to theorizing and methodological problems within the contemporary social sciences. The chapters, which cover such topics as cultural studies, feminism, globalization, heterodox economics, education policy, the self, and the "underclass" debate, are arranged in four sections dealing with some of the major topics in contemporary social science: ethics, the consequences of the "linguistic turn", methodology and globalization.
In the growing Prussian university system of the early nineteenth century, "Wissenschaft" (science) was seen as an endeavor common to university faculties, characterized by a rigorous methodology. On this view, history and jurisprudence are sciences, as much as is physics. Nineteenth century trends challenged this view: the increasing influence of materialist and positivist philosophies, profound changes in the relationships between university faculties, and the defense of Kant's classification of the sciences by neo-Kantians. Wilhelm Dilthey's defense of the (...) independence of the methodology of the human sciences (Geisteswissenschaften) from those of the natural sciences (Naturwissenschaften) is as much a return to the ideal of Wissenschaft as a cooperative endeavor as it is a defense of the autonomy of interpretive or hermeneutic methods. The debate between Dilthey and the neo-Kantian Wilhelm Windelband at the close of the century illuminates the development of this dialogue over the nineteenth century. (shrink)
This collection of essays, first published two decades ago, presents central feminist critiques and analyses of natural and social sciences and their philosophies. Unfortunately, in spite of the brilliant body of research and scholarship in these fields in subsequent decades, the insights of these essays remain as timely now as they were then: philosophy and the sciences still presume kinds of social innocence to which they are not entitled. The essays focus on Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hobbes, Rousseau, and (...) Marx; on the 'adversary method' model of philosophic reasoning; on principles of individuation on philosophical ontology and philosophy of language; on individualistic assumptions in psychology; functionalism in sociological and biological theory; evolutionary theory; the methodology of political science; and conceptions of objective inquiry in the sciences. In taking insights of both Liberal and Marxian women's movements into the purportedly most abstract and value-free areas of Western thought, these essays chart sexist and androcentric assumptions, claims and practices in the cognitive, technical cores of Western sciences and their philosophies. They begin to identify the distinctive aspects of women's experiences and locations in male-supremacist social structures which can provide resources needed for the creation of post-androcentric thinking in research, scholarship, and public policy. Such uses of feminist insights remain controversial today, and even among some feminists. These authors were all junior researchers and scholars two decades ago; today many are among the most distinguished senior scholars in their fields. Their work here provides a splendid opportunity for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in philosophy and the social sciences to explore some of the most intriguing and controversial challenges to disciplinary projects and to public policy today. (shrink)
Abstract This paper argues that history of economics has a fruitful, underappreciated role to play in the development of economics, especially when understood as a policy science. This goes against the grain of the last half century during which economics, which has undergone a formal revolution, has distanced itself from its `literary' past and practices precisely with the aim to be a more successful policy science. The paper motivates the thesis by identifying and distinguishing four kinds of reflexivity (...) in economics. The main thesis of this paper is that because these forms of reflexivity are not eliminable, the history of economics must play a constitutive role in economics (and graduate education within economics). An assumption that I clarify in this paper is that the history of economics ought to be part of the subject matter studied by economics when they are interested in policy science. Even if one does not accept the conclusion, the fourfold classification of reflexivity might hold independent interest. The paper is divided in two parts. First, by reflecting on the writings of George Stigler, Paul Samuelson, George and Milton Friedman, I offer a stylized historical introduction to and conceptualization of the themes of this paper. In particular, I identify various historically influential arguments and strategies that reduced the role of history of economics within the economics discipline. In it I also canvass six arguments that try to capture the cost to economics (understood as a science) for sidelining the history of economics from within the discipline. A sub-text of the introduction is that for contingent reasons, post World War II economics evolved into a policy science. Second, by drawing on the work of Kenneth Boulding, in particular, George Soros, Thomas Merton, Gordon Tullock, I distinguish between four species of reflexivity. These are used to then strengthen the argument for the constitutive role of the history of economics within the economics profession. In particular, I argue that so-called Kuhn-losses are especially pernicious when faced with policy choices under so-called Knightian uncertainty. (shrink)
Bunge (2000) distinguishes two main methodological approaches of holism and individualism, and associates with them policy prescriptions of centralism and laissez-faire. He identifies systemism as a superior approach to both the study and management of society. The present paper, seeking to correct and develop this line of thought, suggests a more complex relation between policy and methodology. There are two possible methodological underpinnings for laissez-faire: while writers such as Friedman and Lucas fit Bunge’s pattern, more sophisticated advocates (...) of laissez-faire, such as Smith and Hayek, base their policy prescription in a methodology quite divergent from the individualism Bunge describes. (shrink)
The methodology of the empirical sciences is treated from a set-theoretical point of view. Starting from Tarski's formulation of the methodology of the deductive sciences, a relation between terms, called degree of centrality, is introduced. Epistemic correlation, and therefore the notion of interpretative system, is defined using this relation.
The International Union of History and Philosophy of Science organizing the 10th International Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science is at its cross-road: the alternative is mass-performance or creative exchange of ideas. The program is criticized because the thematic center in History and Philosophy of Science has been shifted too far into the realm of micro-fields of Logic and the time reduction for presentation and discussion of papers to 20 minutes should be reconsidered. Several outstanding papers are (...) shortly discussed: Martin-Löw on "Formalized Tarski-Semantics of Type Theory", Hoyningen-Huene on "Feyerabend and Kuhn", Leroux on "Helmholtz and Hertz", and Muller on "Bell meets Dirac". Finally the visiting-program is gratefully appreciated. (shrink)
This paper is an historical study of Tarski's methodology of deductive sciences (in which a logic S is identified with an operator Cn S , called the consequence operator, on a given set of expressions), from its appearance in 1930 to the end of the 1970s, focusing on the work done in the field by Roberto Magari, Piero Mangani and by some of their pupils between 1965 and 1974, and comparing it with the results achieved by Tarski and (...) the Polish school (?o?, Suszko, S?upecki, Pogorzelski, Wójcicki). In the last section of the paper we will then compare these works with some recent developments in algebraic logic: this will lead to a better understanding of the results of the methodology of deductive science, but at the same time will show some intrinsic limits to such an approach to logic. Even if Magari's work on diagonizable algebras and universal algebra and Mangani's axiomatization of MV-algebras and results in model theory are rather famous, the articles on closure operators, published in the 1960s, are almost totally unknown outside Italy (mainly because of a linguistic limitation, the papers we analyse having been written and published in Italian). This paper aims to fill the gap in the literature and to enable the international community to get acquainted with this part of Italian logic. The same applies to some works published in Barcelona (in Catalan) at the end of the 1970s, analysed in the last section. (shrink)
Summary Harry Alpert (1912?1977), the US sociologist, is best-known for his directorship of the National Science Foundation's social science programme in the 1950s. This study extends our understanding of Alpert in two main ways: first, by examining the earlier development of his views and career. Beginning with his 1939 biography of Emile Durkheim, we explore the early development of Alpert's views about foundational questions concerning the scientific status of sociology and social science more generally, proper social science methodology, the (...) practical value of social science, the academic institutionalisation of sociology, and the unity-of-science viewpoint. Second, this paper illuminates Alpert's complex involvement with certain tensions in mid-century US social science that were themselves linked to major transformations in national science policy, public patronage, and unequal relations between the social and natural sciences. We show that Alpert's views about the intellectual foundations, practical relevance, and institutional standing of the social sciences were, in some important respects, at odds with his NSF policy work. Although remembered as a quantitative evangelist and advocate for the unity-of-science viewpoint, Alpert was in fact an urbane critic of natural-science envy, social scientific certainty, and what he saw as excessive devotion to quantitative methods. (shrink)
This volume constitutes a lucid introduction to methodology in social research. It will enable social science researchers trained in a particular field to look beyond and relate to other methodological domains.
The recent drastic developmentof agriculture, together with the growingsocietal interest in agricultural practices andtheir consequences, pose a challenge toagricultural science. There is a need forrethinking the general methodology ofagricultural research. This paper takes somesteps towards developing a systemic researchmethodology that can meet this challenge – ageneral self-reflexive methodology that forms abasis for doing holistic or (with a betterterm) wholeness-oriented research and providesappropriate criteria of scientific quality.From a philosophy of research perspective,science is seen as an interactive learningprocess with both (...) a cognitive and a socialcommunicative aspect. This means, first of all,that science plays a role in the world that itstudies. A science that influences its ownsubject area, such as agricultural science, isnamed a systemic science. From thisperspective, there is a need to reconsider therole of values in science. Science is notobjective in the sense of being value-free.Values play, and ought to play, an importantrole in science – not only in form ofconstitutive values such as the norms of goodscience, but also in the form of contextualvalues that enter into the very process ofscience. This goes against the traditionalcriterion of objectivity. Therefore, reflexive objectivity is suggested as a newcriterion for doing good science, along withthe criterion of relevance. Reflexiveobjectivity implies that the communication ofscience must include the cognitivecontext, which comprises the societal,intentional, and observational context. Inaccordance with this, the learning process ofsystemic research is shown as a self-reflexivecycle that incorporates both an involved actorstance and a detached observer stance. Theobserver stance forms the basis for scientificcommunication.To this point, a unitary view of science asa learning process is employed. A secondimportant perspective for a systemic researchmethodology is the relation between the actual,different, and often quite separate kinds ofscience. Cross-disciplinary research ishampered by the idea that reductive science ismore objective, and hence more scientific, thanthe less reductive sciences of complex subjectareas – and by the opposite idea thatreductive science is necessarilyreductionistic. Taking reflexive objectivity asa demarcator of good science, an inclusiveframework of science can be established. Theframework does not take the establisheddivision between natural, social, and humanscience as a primary distinction of science.The major distinction is made between theempirical and normative aspects of science,corresponding to two key cognitive interests.Two general methodological dimensions, thedegree of reduction of the research world andthe degree of involvement in the researchworld, are shown to span this framework. Theframework can form a basis fortransdisciplinary work by way of showing therelation between more and less reductive kindsof science and between more detached and moreinvolved kinds of science and exposing theabilities and limitations attendant on thesemethodological differences. (shrink)
This paper focuses on Ludwig von Mises methodological apriorism. It uses Wittgenstein's private language argument as the basis for a critique of Mises's claim to have found apodictically certain foundations for economic analysis. It is argued instead that Mises's methodology is more fruitfully viewed as an exercise in social ontology, the objective of which is to outline key features of the socio-economic world that social scientific research ought to take into account if it is to be fruitful. The implications (...) of this perspective for three key methodological issues, namely the relationship between theory and history, the possibility of naturalism, and the place of Austrian economics within the discipline of economics as a whole, are brought out. (shrink)
This paper extends the work of Toulmin on argumentation and Rescher on modal logic by combining them into a single framework. The result is a powerful tool for analyzing the structure and dynamics of arguments. In particular, it allows us to construct a novel model of dialectical reasoning. The model is capable of handling both qualitative and quantitative aspects of dialectical reasoning. The qualitative aspect pertains to the fact that there is a dramatic shift in the structure of an argument (...) during a dialectic. The quantitative aspect pertains to the fact that there is a radical shift in the underlying axiomatic structure which governs the credibilities of the components of the argument. (shrink)
Is a policy-friendly philosophy of science possible? In order to respond this question, I consider a particular instance of contemporary philosophy of science, the semantic view of scientific theories, by placing it in the broader methodological landscape of the integration of philosophy of science into STS (Science and Technology Studies) as a component of the overall contribution of the latter to science policy. In that context, I defend a multi-disciplinary methodological integration of the special discipline composing STS against (...) a reductionist interdisciplinary unification, arguing that if STS wants to contribute to policy advising by constructing narratives of science practice feasible for science policy both in terms of descriptive completeness and intelligibility, then it must avoid the explanatory reductionism tendencies of special disciplines in interdisciplinary contexts. This would favour, at the same time, a relaxation of esoteric language. On this basis, it seems that the semantic view is one right candidate among other approaches in the philosophy of science for facilitating the integration of the methodologically different contributions to STS toward policy objectives. In fact, besides offering a more realistic and descriptively complete picture of science practice with respect to its predecessor in the philosophy of science, namely the syntactic view, the semantic view is also able to capture some aspects of science practice that elude even sociological approaches to STS, thus inviting different perspective on the same subject matter. (shrink)
Engineering science is a scientific discipline that from the point of view of epistemology and the philosophy of science has been somewhat neglected. When engineering science was under philosophical scrutiny it often just involved the question of whether engineering is a spin-off of pure and applied science and their methods. We, however, hold that engineering is a science governed by its own epistemology, methodology and ontology. This point is systematically argued by comparing the different sciences with respect to (...) a particular set of characterization criteria. (shrink)
Possibilities haunt history. The force of our explanations of events turns on the alternative possibilities those explanations suggest. It is these possible worlds that give us our understanding; and in human affairs, we decide them by practical rather than theoretical judgment. In this widely acclaimed account of the role of counterfactuals in explanation, Geoffrey Hawthorn deploys extended examples to defend his argument. His conclusions cast doubt on existing assumptions about the nature and place of theory, and indeed of the possibility (...) of knowledge itself, in the human sciences. (shrink)
Reflexivity is an essential part of the research process. It provides the perspective necessary for successful interpretation of field research and the development of insightful conclusions. In their new overview of the problems of reflexivity and interpretation Alvesson and Sk[um]oldberg have provided an invaluable guide to this central aspect of research methodology. The authors review and critically discuss the major intellectual streams, and highlight their problems and possibilities in empirical work - hermeneutics, critical theory, postmodernism and poststructuralism, discourse analysis, (...) geneaology and feminism. Possible implications of different kinds of empirical work are explored. A large part of the book is devoted to the development and exemplification of a reflexive methodology. This draws upon insights of how culture, language, selective perception, subjective forms of cognition, ideology all, in complicated way, permeate scientific activity. The book makes explicit the links between techniques used in empirical research and different research traditions, making possible a theoretically-informed approach to qualitative research. The text helps researchers avoid the pitfall of naivete whilst pointing the way to a more open-minded, creative interaction between theoretical frameworks and empirical research. (shrink)
The Politics of Constructionism presents a broadranging and critical overview of the many themes of social constructionism and its relevance to contemporary social and political issues. Clearly structured and bringing together leading international contributors from across the social sciences, it offers an invaluable may through this rich body of literature. Major questions and topics explored in its critique and application of constructionist ideas include the theory and practice of scientific method, the development of social and political policy, the (...) use of social science statistical methods, self-identity and the politics of collective identities, and technological advances in reproductive medicine. Drawing on insights from psychology, sociology, politics, philosophy, cultural, gender, and social studies, The Politics of Constructionism links the discourse of constructionism to the wider social and political world and offers much to suggest that, contrary to the final impoverishment claimed by some of postmodernism, social science is witnessing the beginning of a new enrichment. It will be essential reading for all students and academics interested in social constructionism and contemporary issues and debates across the social sciences. (shrink)
Acknowledgments -- Preface -- Editor's introduction -- Wittgenstein, Kuhn, and natural science : science : a perspicuous presentation -- Kuhn : the Wittgenstein of the sciences? -- Kuhn on incommensurability : inhabiting the standard reading -- Wittgenstein on incommensurability : the view from "inside" -- Values : another kind of incommensurability? -- Does Kuhn have a model of science? -- Inter-section : a schematic elicitation of Wittgensteinian criteria -- Wittgenstein, Winch, and "human science" : social science -- The ghost (...) of Winch's ghost -- Psychiatry -- The hard case of (severe cases of) schizophrenia -- Extreme aversive emotions -- Economics -- Wittgenstein contra Friedman -- Cognitive science -- "Dissolving" the hard problem of consciousness back into ordinary life -- Conclusions -- Concluding summary -- Interview with Rupert Read (conducted by the editor) -- Bibliography -- Index. (shrink)
Which form of explanation is adequate for the humans sciences? Mahajan argues that social reality can be perceived in different ways--hermeneutic understanding, narrative, reason action and causal explanation--and each alters our perception of reality. A new chapter on poststructuralist and postmodern theories brings this important book up-to-date with current thinking.
In this article we distinguish between philosophical bioethics (PB), descriptive policy orientated bioethics (DPOB) and normative policy oriented bioethics (NPOB). We argue that finding an appropriate methodology for combining empirical data and moral theory depends on what the aims of the research endeavour are, and that, for the most part, this combination is only required for NPOB. After briefly discussing the debate around the is/ought problem, and suggesting that both sides of this debate are misunderstanding one another (...) (i.e. one side treats it as a conceptual problem, whilst the other treats it as an empirical claim), we outline and defend a methodological approach to NPOB based on work we have carried out on a project exploring the normative foundations of paternal rights and responsibilities. We suggest that given the prominent role already played by moral intuition in moral theory, one appropriate way to integrate empirical data and philosophical bioethics is to utilize empirically gathered lay intuition as the foundation for ethical reasoning in NPOB. The method we propose involves a modification of a long-established tradition on non-intervention in qualitative data gathering, combined with a form of reflective equilibrium where the demands of theory and data are given equal weight and a pragmatic compromise reached. (shrink)
This classic undergraduate treatment examines the deductive method in its first part and explores applications of logic and methodology in constructing mathematical theories in its second part. Exercises appear throughout.
There are realist philosophers and social scientists who believe in the indispensability of social ontology. However, we argue that certain pragmatist outlines for inquiry open more fruitful roads to empirical research than such ontologizing perspectives. The pragmatist conceptual tools in a Darwinian vein—concepts like action, habit, coping and community—are in a particularly stark contrast with, for instance, the Searlean and Chomskian metaphysics of human being. In particular, we bring Searle’s realist philosophy of society and mind under critical survey in this (...) paper and contrast it with a pragmatist, sociologizing approach. Drawing from Dewey, James, and recent antirepresentationalism, we propose for research work a methodological relationalism of its own kind, altogether detached from the ontologies of society and mind. (shrink)
The reigning picture of special sciences, what we will term the ‘received’ view, grew out of the work of writers, such as Jerry Fodor, William Wimsatt, and Philip Kitcher, who overturned the Positivist’s jaundiced view of these disciplines by looking at real cases from the biological sciences, linguistics, psychology, and economics, amongst other areas.1 Central to the received view is the ontological claim that the ‘multiple realization’ of properties is widespread in the special sciences which we may (...) frame thus. (shrink)
Lakatos, I. History of science and its rational reconstructions.--Clark, P. Atomism vs. thermodynamics.--Worrall, J. Thomas Young and the "rufutation" of Newtonian optics.--Musgrave, A. Why did oxygen supplant phlogiston?--Zahar, E. Why did Einstein's programme supersede Lorentz's?--Frické, M. The rejection of Avogadro's hypotheses.--Feyerabend, P. On the critique of scientific reason.
This dichotomy is discussed. First, by means of a short historical review, two theses are pointed out: (a) Originally scientific knowledge was regarded as a hermeneutical issue. (b) The separation into two methodological and scientific cultures is rather a ‘modern’ phenomenon. It was accomplished not before the 19th century as a product of the rise and final succes of the empirist-positivist paradigm for the so-called exact (natural) sciences and the analytic methodology. Further it is argued, that this separation (...) turned out to be an unproductive one: The traditional logical positivist philosophy of science failed in integrating the interpretive practice of the humanities. On the other hand hermeneutical methodology failed in explicating its principles in a way, that could satisfy modern analytic standards. So it remained deficient in founding the postulated methodological autonomy of the humanities. However, the more the positivist background of the traditional philosophy of science crumbles, the more interest the methodological intuitions of hermeneutists seem to obtain. Finally, a new possibility to explicate the concept of interpretation by means of analytical instrumentary is drawn out: The so-called structuralist view of scientific theories (J. D. Sneed, W. Stegmüller e.a.) seems to explicate properly just that feature of hermeneutical interpretation, which remained unintelligible for the traditional philosophy of science. So some realistic chance appears to mediate the alleged systematic antithesis and to eliminate that methodological dichotomy. Last but not least, a number of new philosophical theories, not coming from hermeneutical side, are mentioned, in which the concept of interpretation is already used in a presystematic, i.e. an implicit and vague, sense. So to explicate that concept seems to me to be a necessary philosophical task at the present time. (shrink)
The traditional vision of the role science should play in policy making is of a two stage process of scientists first finding out the facts, and then policy makers making a decision about what to do about them. We argue that this two stage process is a fiction and that a distinction must be drawn between pure science and science in the service of public policy. When science is transferred into the policy realm, its claims to (...) truth get undermined because we must abandon the open-ended nature of scientific inquiry. When we move from the sphere of science to the sphere of policy, we pick an arbitrary point in the open-ended scientific process, and ask our experts to give us the answer. The choice of the endpoint, however, must always be arbitrary and determined by non-scientific factors. Thus, the two stages in the model of first finding the facts, and then making a decision about what to do, cannot be clearly separated. The second stage clearly affects the first. This conclusion will have implications about existing scientific policy institutions. For example, we advocate that the environmental assessment process be radically overhauled, or perhaps even let go. It will be our position that ultimately a better model for the involvement of scientists in public policy debates is that of being participants in particular interest groups (“hired guns”), rather than as supposedly unbiased consultants to decision-makers. (shrink)
Science and technology (S&T) policy studies has explored the relationship between the structure of scientific research and the attainment of desired outcomes. Due to the difficulty of measuring them directly, S&T policy scholars have traditionally equated “outcomes” with several proxies for evaluation, including economic impact, and academic output such as papers published and citations received. More recently, scholars have evaluated science policies through the lens of Public Value Mapping, which assesses scientific programs against societal values. Missing from these (...) approaches is an examination of the social activities within the scientific enterprise that affect research outputs and outcomes. We contend that activities that significantly affect research trajectories take place at the levels of individual researchers and their communities, and that S&T policy scholars must take heed of this activity in their work in order to better inform policy. Based on primary research of two scientific communities—ecologists and sustainability scientists—we demonstrate that research agendas are actively shaped by parochial epistemic and normative concerns of the scientists and their disciplines. S&T policy scholarship that explores how scientists balance these concerns, alongside more formal science policies and incentive structures, will enhance understanding of why certain science policies fail or succeed and how to more effectively link science to beneficial social outcomes. (shrink)
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 method. The articles making up this timely collection are the best exemplars of key positions in a very wide disciplinary field. The selection is designed to begin each section with an 'entry level' article to introduce the reader to the topic area and to ground the approach a research problem. Topics covered include science and art in the history of social research, positivism and antipositivism, language and the linguistic turn, realism and anti-realism, theory and theory choice, logic and models, prediction and laws, interpretation, probability and complexity. With the study of the philosophical foundations of methods and methodology gaining increasing priority in university courses, this will be a valuable resource for academics and researchers across the social sciences. (shrink)
Abstract Recent criticisms of intuition from experimental philosophy and elsewhere have helped undermine the authority of traditional conceptual analysis. As the product of more empirically informed philosophical methodology, this result is compelling and philosophically salutary. But the negative critiques rarely suggest a positive alternative. In particular, a normative account of concept determination—how concepts should be characterized—is strikingly absent from such work. Carnap's underappreciated theory of explication provides such a theory. Analyses of complex concepts in empirical sciences illustrates and (...) supports this claim, and counteracts the charge explication is only suitable for highly mathematical, axiomatic contexts. Explication is also defended against the influential criticism it is “philosophically unilluminating”. Content Type Journal Article Category Original paper in Philosophy of Science Pages 1-19 DOI 10.1007/s13194-011-0027-5 Authors James Justus, Philosophy Department, Florida State University and University of Sydney, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA Journal European Journal for Philosophy of Science Online ISSN 1879-4920 Print ISSN 1879-4912. (shrink)
The paper starts with the assumption that the Precautionary Principle (PP) is one of the most important elements of the concept of sustainability. It is noted that PP has entered international treaties and national law. PP is widely referred to as a central principle of environmental policy. However, the precise content of PP remains largely unclear. In particular it seems unclear how PP relates to science. In section 2 of the paper a general overview of some historical and systematic (...) features of PP are presented. In section 3 a specific case is discussed in greater detail. It is claimed that the escape of farmed salmon from fish cages in the Sea, and its eventual invasion of the breeding places of the wild salmon up the rivers, must be regarded a proper case for applying PP. Yet there is no single PP-strategy. Instead, four different strategies are presented, and all of them can be regarded precautionary strategies in the light of PP. The choice between these strategies is based upon personal values. In section 4 of the paper a general analysis is given which relates these different value perspectives to basic differences in risk aversion, which in turn are related to differing conceptions of nature and/or society. In the concluding section 5 some general consequences of the foregoing analysis are outlined. (shrink)