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Philosophy of the Social Sciences
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Book description

This volume is a unique contribution to the philosophy of the social sciences, presenting the results of cutting-edge philosophers' research alongside critical discussions by practicing social scientists. The book is motivated by the view that the philosophy of the social sciences cannot ignore the specific scientific practices according to which social scientific work is being conducted, and that it will be valuable only if it evolves in constant interaction with theoretical developments in the social sciences. With its unique format guaranteeing a genuine discussion between philosophers and social scientists, this thought-provoking volume extends the frontiers of the field. It will appeal to all scholars and students interested in the interplay between philosophy and the social sciences.


‘This very interesting collection will provide a new framework for the discussion in the philosophy of the social sciences. Mantzavinos's volume will be a standard reading for any seminar on the philosophy of the social sciences.’

Hans Albert - Heidelberg University

‘Should we take personal identity and other familiar notions for granted? Can an agency status be granted to groups? Should the social sciences really care about character traits or concentrate on situations, intentions, motivations and reasons in the explanation of social action? Why is methodological individualism persistently regarded as solipsistic? Are there social laws or merely social mechanisms? Will the social and cognitive sciences be ever articulated with one another? Should the social sciences aim at interpreting or explaining? Is Verstehen an alternative to - or an ingredient of - explanation? Taking the form of a dialogue between social scientists and philosophers, the book offers a lively contribution to some lasting issues in the philosophy of the social sciences.’

Raymond Boudon - Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques

‘A collection of first rate work by pre-eminent theorists all in top form. Individually and as a whole the essays make substantial contributions to the most fundamental questions in the philosophy of the social sciences: from the nature of group activity and collective agency to distinctions among the various modes of explanation suitable to understanding our social lives.’

Jules L. Coleman - Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld Professor of Jurisprudence and Professor of Philosophy, Yale University

'Overall, this book contributes to reorienting the focus of the philosophy of the social sciences towards the actual theories and practices in the social sciences, thereby yielding some important ontological, methodological and pragmatic insights, many of which are relevant for economics.'

Source: The Journal of Economics and Philosophy

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