Naturalism and the Enlightenment ideal : rethinking a central debate in the philosophy of social science

In P. D. Magnus & Jacob Busch (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Science. Palgrave-Macmillan (2010)

The naturalism versus interpretivism debate the in philosophy of social science is traditionally framed as the question of whether social science should attempt to emulate the methods of natural science. I show that this manner of formulating the issue is problematic insofar as it presupposes an implausibly strong unity of method among the natural sciences. I propose instead that what is at stake in this debate is the feasibility and desirability of what I call the Enlightenment ideal of social science. I argue that this characterization of the issue is preferable, since it highlights the central disagreement between advocates of naturalism and interpretivism, makes connections with recent work on the topics of causal inference and social epistemology, while avoiding unfruitful comparisons between the social and natural sciences.
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References found in this work BETA

Explaining the Brain.Carl F. Craver - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
The Fate of Knowledge.Helen Longino - 2002 - Princeton University Press.
Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter K. Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Modeling Mechanisms.Stuart Glennan - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):443-464.

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Well‐Being and Philosophy of Science.Anna Alexandrova - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (3):219-231.

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