Philosophy & Methodology of the Social Sciences

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Edited by: Mark J. Smith

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Abstract

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.

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  • Knowing, the Known and Knowledge of the Social: An Introduction to the Philosophy and Methodology of the Social Sciences
    MarkJ.Smith

    Why focus on knowing, the known and knowledge? By thinking about different kinds of knowing we are pinpointing appropriate procedures through which we can produce authentic knowledge. The knowledge produced can be seen as authentic in a number of ways. If the procedures involve a specified and clearly prescribed set of steps on predefined objects of analysis, then the authenticity is established through the production of authoritative knowledge. If the authenticity is only established through the acquisition of knowledge that is true to life, then a different conception of validity is at work. Knowing is an active process based also on certain presumptions as to what ...

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