In recent years, the Austrian School has been an influential contributor to the social sciences. Yet most of the attempts to understand this vital school of thought have remained locked into a polemical frame. The Philosophy of the Austrian School challenges this approach through a philosophically grounded account of the School's methodological, political, and economic ideas. Raimondo Cubeddu acknowledges important differences between the key figures in the School--Menger, Mises and Hayek-- but also finds important parallels between these thinkers. The theory (...) of subjective value and the theory of spontaneous order, which both rest on ideas about the limitations of human knowledge, are the most important of these parallels. Drawn together, these theories represent one of the most original avenues of research in the social sciences and a major reformulation of liberal ideology. (shrink)
The first step in education's long road to respectability lay in the ability of its proponents to demonstrate that it was worthy of collaborating with traditional disciplines in the syllabus of higher learning. The universities where the infant discipline of education was promoted benefited from scholars who engaged in teaching and research with enthusiasm and preached the gospel of scientific education. These schools-Teachers College/Columbia University, the University of Chicago, and Stanford University-gained a reputation as oases of pedagogical knowledge. Soon, public (...) and private colleges alike introduced professional academic programs for the preparation of teachers. Foremost among the subjects for these programs was education philosophy, with its long history and the impeccable credentials of its ancient and modern expositors. Although the principal focus of this study is the history of educational philosophy in colleges and universities, it also recognizes educational philosophy's antecedents. Chapters cover ancient roots, Christian educational theory, educational theory and the modern world, philosophy and education in early America, development of philosophies of education, disciplinary maturity for educational philosophy, and prospects. There is a bibliography and an index. (shrink)
This book defends the prospects for a science of society. It argues that behind the diverse methods of the natural sciences lies a common core of scientific rationality that the social sciences can and sometimes do achieve. It also argues that good social science must be in part about large-scale social structures and processes and thus that methodological individualism is misguided. These theses are supported by a detailed discussion of actual social research, including theories of agrarian revolution, organizational ecology, social (...) theories of depression, and supply-demand explanations in economics. Professor Kincaid provides a general picture of explanation and confirmation in the social sciences and discusses the nature of scientific rationality, functional explanation, optimality arguments, meaning and interpretation, the place of microfoundations in social explanation, the status of neo-classical economics, the role of idealizations and non-experimental evidence, and other specific controversies. (shrink)
If you are looking for a clear, concrete overview on social constructionist research and analysis, look no further than Constructing the Social. This timely volume pools the talents of many leading psychologists and sociologists, who in each case ground theory into practical examples. Contributors demonstrate that human beings are principally social agents rather than passive reactors that process information. Each contributor analyzes the historical and cultural contexts implicit in a wide range of key issues including anxiety, the family, intelligence, aging, (...) and depression. Constructing the Social is an invaluable resource for psychologists, sociologists, and other researchers across the social sciences who seek to understand the implications of social constructionist theory. (shrink)
This accessible and engaging text explores the relationship between philosophy, science and physical geography. It addresses an imbalance that exists in opinion, teaching and to a lesser extent research, between a philosophically enriched human geography and a perceived philosophically ignorant physical geography. Science, Philosophy and Physical Geography , challenges the myth that there is a single self-evident scientific method, that can and is applied in a straightforward manner by physical geographers. It demonstrates the variety of alternative philosophical perspectives. Furthermore it (...) emphasizes the difference that the real world geographical context and the geographer make to the study of environmental phenomenon. This includes a consideration of the dynamic relationship between human and physical geography. Finally, it demonstrates the relevance of philosophy for both an understanding of published material and for the design and implementation of studies in physical geography. Key themes such as global warming, species and evolution and fluvial geomorphology are used to provide illustrations of key concepts in each chapter. Further reading is provided at the end of each chapter. (shrink)
This book is concerned with the role of economic philosophy ("ideas") in the processes of belief-formation and social change. Its aim is to further our understanding of the behavior of the individual economic agent by bringing to light and examining the function of non-rational dispositions and motivations ("passions") in the determination of the agent's beliefs and goals. Drawing on the work of David Hume and Adam Smith, the book spells out the particular ways in which the passions come to affect (...) our ordinary understanding and conduct in practical affairs and the intergenerational and interpersonal transmission of ideas through language. Concern with these problems, it is argued, lies at the heart of an important tradition in the British moral philosophy. This emphasis on the non-rational nature of our belief-fixation mechanisms has important implications: it helps to clarify and qualify the misleading claims often made by utilitarian, Marxist, Keynesian, and neo-liberal economic philosophers, all of whom stress the overriding power of ideas to shape conduct, policy, and institutions. (shrink)
Richard Harvey Brown's pioneering explorations in the philosophy of social science and the theory of rhetoric reach a culmination in Social Science as Civic Discourse . In his earlier works, he argued for a logic of discovery and explanation in social science by showing that science and art both depend on metaphoric thinking, and he has applied that logic to society as a narrative text in which significant action by moral agents is possible. This new work is at once (...) a philosophical critique of social theory and a social-theoretical critique of politics. Brown proposes to redirect the language and the mission of the social sciences toward a new discourse for a humane civic practice. (shrink)
This book provides a distinctive and rich conception of methodology within international studies. From a rereading of the works of leading Western thinkers about international studies, Hayward Alker rediscovers a 'neo-Classical' conception of international relations which is both humanistic and scientific. He draws on the work of classical authors such as Aristotle and Thucydides; modern writers like Machiavelli, Vico, Marx, Weber, Deutsch and Bull; and post-modern writers like Havel, Connolly and Toulmin. The central challenge addressed is how to integrate 'positivist' (...) or 'falsificationist' research styles within humanistic or interpretive ones. The author argues that appropriate, philosophically informed reformulations of conventional statistical and game-theoretic analyses are possible, and describes a number of humanistic methodologies for international relations, including argumentation analysis, narrative modeling, computational models of political understanding and reconstructive analysis. (shrink)
Concept and theory formation in the social sciences, by A. Schutz.--Is it a science? by S. Morgenbesser.--Knowledge and interest, by J. Habermas.--Sociological explanation, by T. Burns.--Methodological individualism reconsidered, by S. Lukes.--The problem of rationality in the social world, by A. Schutz.--Concepts and society, by E. Gellner.--Symbols in Ndembu ritual, by V. Turner.--Telstar and the Aborigines or La pensée sauvage, by E. Leach.--Groote Eylandt totemism and Le totémisme aujourd'hui, by P. Worsley.--Bibliography (p. 225-228).
Is history more than (in Boswell's words) a `chronological series of remarkable events'? Does it have a pattern? Is it fraught with `meaning'? Can we discern its trends? What determines its course? In short, can a substantial and coherent philosophy of history be devised that offers answers to these questions? These issues, which have intrigued -and bedeviled - historians for centuries, are explored in this thoughtful book.
In this book Keith Graham examines the philosophical assumptions behind the ideas of group membership and loyalty. Drawing out the significance of social context, he challenges individualist views by placing collectivities such as committees, classes or nations within the moral realm. He offers a new understanding of the multiplicity of sources which vie for the attention of human beings as they decide how to act, and challenges the conventional division between self-interest and altruism. He also offers a systematic account (...) of the different ways in which individuals can identify with or distance themselves from the groups to which they belong. His study will be of interest to readers in a range of disciplines including philosophy, politics, sociology, law and economics. (shrink)
This book shows through accessible argument and numerous examples how understanding moral philosophy can improve economic analysis, how moral philosophy can benefit from economists' analytical tools, and how economic analysis and moral philosophy together can inform public policy. Part I explores rationality and its connections to morality. It argues that in defending their model of rationality, mainstream economists implicitly espouse contestable moral principles. Part II concerns welfare, utilitarianism and standard welfare economics, while Part III considers important moral notions that are (...) left out of standard welfare economics, such as freedom, rights, equality, and justice. Part III also emphasizes the variety of moral considerations that are relevant to evaluating policies. Part IV then introduces technical work in social choice theory and game theory that is guided by ethical concepts and relevant to moral theorizing. Chapters include recommended readings and the book includes a glossary of relevant terms. (shrink)
Economists and other social scientists in this century have often supported economic arguments by referring to positions taken by philosophers of science. This important new book looks at the reliability of this practice and, in the process, provides economists, social scientists, and historians with the necessary background to discuss methodological matters with authority. Redman first presents an accurate, critical, yet neutral survey of the modern philosophy of science from the Vienna Circle to the present, focusing particularly on logical positivism, sociological (...) explanations of science (Polanyi, Fleck, Kuhn), the Popper family, and the history of science. She then deals with economic methodology in the twentieth century, looking at a wide range of methodological positions, especially those supported by positions from the philosophy of science. She considers the myth of the feasibility of falsification in economics and, within the context of its significance for economics, discusses the interpretation of Kuhn's philosophy of science as consensus and the danger such a view represents to science. Appendices review the history of the is-ought dispute and list economists whose first works deal with methodological topics. Comprehensive, readable, and accessible to those with little background knowledge, Redman's book will appeal to a wide range of social scientists and philosophers of science. (shrink)