New Philosophies of Social Science - William Outhwaite

New Philosophies of Social Science - William Outhwaite

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Realism, hermeneutics and critical theory.

The demise of empiricist philosophies of science has contributed to the current disarray of philosophy in the social sciences. This book argues that a realist analysis of the structures and processes which make up the social world can provide a way out of its present impasse. These processes, ranging from the interpersonal negotiation of meaning to the constraining influence of administrative or market structures, cannot be understood as mere constructs either in the minds of the theorist or of the social factors themselves, since they actually generate the social world as we know it. The author develops some implications of this approach and presents a realist view of some of the principal theoretical traditions and controversies within sociology and other social sciences.