The philosophy of the social sciences considers the underlying explanatory powers of the social (or human) sciences, such as history, economics, anthropology, politics, and sociology. The type of questions covered includes the methodological (the nature of observations, laws, theories, and explanations) to the ontological — whether or not these sciences can explain human nature in a way consistent with common-sense beliefs. This Handbook is a major, comprehensive look at the key ideas in the field, is guided by several principles. The first is that the philosophy of social science should be closely connected to, and informed by, developments in the sciences themselves. The second is that the volume should appeal to practicing social scientists as well as philosophers, with the contributors being both drawn from both ranks, and speaking to ongoing controversial issues in the field. Finally, the volume promotes connections across the social sciences, with greater internal discussion and interaction across disciplinary boundaries.
Metaphysics in science / Richard Healey -- Models and theories / Margaret Morrison -- Natural kinds / Muhammad Ali Khalidi -- Probability / Antony Eagle -- Representation in science / Mauricio Suarez -- Reduction / Andreas Huttemann and Alan C. Love -- Science and non-science / Sven Ove Hansson -- Scientific concepts / Hyundeuk Cheon and Edouard Machery -- Scientific explanation / Bradford Skow -- Scientific progress / Alexander Bird -- Scientific realism / Timothy D. Lyons -- Scientific theories / Hans Halvorson -- Values in science / Heather Douglas -- Part III. New directions. After Kuhn / Philip Kitcher -- Astronomy and astrophysics / Sibylle Anderl -- Challenges to evolutionary theory / Denis Walsh -- Complexity theory / Michael Strevens -- Computer simulation / Johannes Lenhard -- Data / Aidan Lyon -- Emergence / Paul Humphreys -- Empiricism and after / Jim Bogen -- Mechanisms and mechanical philosophy / Stuart Glennan -- Philosophy and cosmology / Claus Beisbart --
The Philosophy of Social Science: A Contemporary Introduction examines the perennial questions of philosophy by engaging with the empirical study of society. The book offers a comprehensive overview of debates in the field, with special attention to questions arising from new research programs in the social sciences. The text uses detailed examples of social scientific research to motivate and illustrate the philosophical discussion. Topics include the relationship of social policy to social science, interpretive research, action explanation, game theory, social scientific accounts of norms, joint intentionality, reductionism, causal modeling, case study research, and experimentation.
How should we theorize about the social world? How can we integrate theories, models and approaches from seemingly incompatible disciplines? Does theory affect social reality? This state-of-the-art collection addresses contemporary methodological questions and interdisciplinary developments in the philosophy of social science. Facilitating a mutually enriching dialogue, chapters by leading social scientists are followed by critical evaluations from philosophers of social science. This exchange showcases recent major theoretical and methodological breakthroughs and challenges in the social sciences, as well as fruitful ways in which the analytic tools developed in philosophy of science can be applied to understand these advancements. The volume covers a diverse range of principles, methods, innovations and applications, including scientific and methodological pluralism, performativity of theories, causal inferences and applications of social science to policy and business. Taking a practice-orientated and interactive approach, it offers a new philosophy of social science grounded in and relevant to the emerging social science practice.
The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science is an outstanding guide to the major themes, movements, debates, and topics in the philosophy of social science. It includes thirty-seven newly written chapters, by many of the leading scholars in the field, as well as a comprehensive introduction by the editors. Insofar as possible, the material in this volume is presented in accessible language, with an eye toward undergraduate and graduate students who may be coming to some of this material for the first time. Scholars too will appreciate this clarity, along with the chance to read about the latest advances in the discipline. The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science is broken up into four parts. Historical and Philosophical Context Concepts Debates Individual Sciences Edited by two of the leading scholars in the discipline, this volume is essential reading for anyone interested in the philosophy of social science, and its many areas of connection and overlap with key debates in the philosophy of science.
Philosophy of education has an honored place in the history of Western philosophical thought. Its questions are as vital now, both philosophically and practically, as they have ever been. In recent decades, however, philosophical thinking about education has largely fallen off the philosophical radar screen. Philosophy of education has lost intimate contact with the parent discipline to a regrettably large extent--to the detriment of both. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Education is intended to serve as a general introduction to key issues in the field, to further the philosophical pursuit of those issues, and to bring philosophy of education back into closer contact with general philosophy. Distinguished philosophers and philosophers of education, most of whom have made important contributions to core areas of philosophy, turn their attention in these 28 essays to a broad range of philosophical questions concerning education. The chapters are accessible to readers with no prior exposure to philosophy of education, and provide both surveys of the general domain they address, and advance the discussion in those domains in original and fruitful ways. Together their authors constitute a new wave of general philosophers taking up fundamental philosophical questions about education--the first such cohort of outstanding general philosophers to do so (in English) in a generation.
This exciting new Handbook offers a comprehensive overview of the contemporary state of the field in feminist philosophy. The editors' introduction and forty-five essays cover feminist critical engagements with philosophy and adjacent scholarly fields, as well as feminist approaches to current debates and crises across the world. Authors cover topics ranging from the ways in which feminist philosophy attends to other systems of oppression, and the gendered, racialized, and classed assumptions embedded in philosophical concepts, to feminist perspectives on prominent subfields of philosophy. The first section contains chapters that explore feminist philosophical engagement with mainstream and marginalized histories and traditions, while the second section parses feminist philosophy's contributions to numerous philosophical subfields, for example metaphysics and bioethics. A third section explores what feminist philosophy can illuminate about crucial moral and political issues of identity, gender, the body, autonomy, prisons, among numerous others. The Handbook concludes with the field's engagement with other theories and movements, including trans studies, queer theory, critical race, theory, postcolonial theory, and decolonial theory. The volume provides a rigorous but accessible resource for students and scholars who are interested in feminist philosophy, and how feminist philosophers situate their work in relation to the philosophical mainstream and other disciplines. Above all it aims to showcase the rich diversity of subject matter, approach, and method among feminist philosophers.
Contemporary philosophy of science analyzes psychology as a science with special features, because this discipline includes some specific philosophical problems – descriptive and normative, structural and dynamic. Some of these are particularly relevant both theoretically (casual explanation) and practically (the configuration of the psychological subject and its relations with psychiatry). Two central aspects in this book are the role of causality, especially conceived as intervention or manipulation, and the characterization of the psychological subject. This requires a clarification of scientific explanations in terms of causality in psychology, because characterizations of causality are quite different in epistemological and ontological terms. One of the most influential views is James Woodward’s approach to causality as intervention, which entails an analysis of its characteristics, new elements and limits. This means taking into account the structural and dynamic aspects included in causal cognition and psychological explanations. Psychology seen as special science also requires us to consider the scientific status of psychology and the psychological subject, which leads to limits of naturalism in psychology.
This handbook covers the history of philosophy of biology then moves on to evolutionary theory. It continues with discussions of molecular biology and ecology, and covers biology and ethics as well as biology and religion.
Assertions belong to the family of speech acts that make claims regarding how things are. They include statements, avowals, reports, expressed judgments, and testimonies - acts which are relevant across a host of issues not only in philosophy of language and linguistics but also in subdisciplines such as epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, ethics, and social and political philosophy. Over the past two decades, the amount of scholarship investigating the speech act of assertion has increased dramatically, and the scope of such research has also grown. The Oxford Handbook of Assertion explores various dimensions of the act of assertion: its nature; its place in a theory of speech acts, and in semantics and meta-semantics; its role in epistemology; and the various social, political, and ethical dimensions of the act. Essays from leading theorists situate assertion in relation to other types of speech acts, exploring the connection between assertions and other phenomena of interest not only to philosophers but also to linguists, psychologists, anthropologists, lawyers, computer scientists, and theorists from communication studies.