Social Philosophy

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By Peter T. Manicas

This creation to the philosophy of social technological know-how offers an unique belief of the duty and nature of social inquiry. Peter Manicas discusses the function of causality visible within the actual sciences and gives a reassessment of the matter of clarification from a realist point of view. He argues that the elemental aim of concept in either the ordinary and social sciences isn't really, opposite to frequent opinion, prediction and regulate, or the reason of occasions (including behaviour). as an alternative, idea goals to supply an realizing of the techniques which, jointly, produce the contingent results of expertise. supplying a number of concrete illustrations and examples of severe rules and matters, this available booklet may be of curiosity to scholars of the philosophy of social technology, and social scientists from a variety of disciplines.

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Extra resources for A Realist Philosophy of Social Science: Explanation and Understanding

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Still, as Harr´e notes, even having only the promise is an improvement, simply because the explanation no longer supposes that the outcome results merely from the fact that it was put in water. Nor will we understand the outcome better if we repeat the experiment a hundred times. Rather, we now are directed to consider what it is about salt and water – or opium – such that salt dissolves in water, and opium induces sleep. This shifts the question from the presumption that any law-like regularity from which one can deduce the event to be explained counts as a scientific explanation.

But there is one piece of unfinished business. Explanation and prediction are not symmetrical Of considerable pertinence to the problem of understanding and explanation in the human sciences is the idea that explanation and prediction are symmetrical. This idea must be heartily rejected. As already noted, one often encounters the idea that a good theory makes good predictions. But where this idea is appropriate, it does not mean that some naturally occurring event is thereby predicted. Rather, it concerns the powerful idea, important to accepting a theory as true, that on the basis of the theory, we are able to test our theory and sometimes make new discoveries.

They identify “things” – molecules and atoms, for example, how they are structured, and how they interact. They are, of course, representations, but they are meant to represent reality – as it is in-itself. , 2000). Realist versus instrumentalist conceptions of theoretical terms As a consequence of empiricist commitments, beginning at least with Mach but extending through the heyday of logical empiricism, there has been much debate among philosophers about the function of theoretical terms. For the dominating empiricist view, in contrast to the realist view briefly summarized above, theoretical terms can function without making “existential” commitments.

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