An Introduction To The Philosophy Of Social Research (Social by M. Williams

By M. Williams

This can be an available advent to the philosophy of social study which relates philosophical principles to genuine examine perform. The publication makes powerful use of illustrations from the united kingdom, US and Europe to ascertain particular difficulties and broader concerns. The publication is meant for undergraduate and postgraduate classes in social examine tools inside of sociology, social coverage, politics, social psychology, human geography; philosophy of social technological know-how and social conception classes; and as a private reference for pro researchers.

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Extra resources for An Introduction To The Philosophy Of Social Research (Social Research Today, 9)

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That such attempts must fail was vividly illustrated by Bertrand Russell in the story of the chicken who was fed every day of his life until the day he had his neck wrung (1980:35). The expectation of food, which had hitherto arrived every day, was dramatically unfulfilled! Such a foundation for science appears rather shaky when we consider that no inductive argument is “safe”. Not even the sun rising tomorrow is a certainty. It might well be objected that these issues are pointless if the sun does not put in an appearance tomorrow.

Previously, social thinkers had often confined themselves to general observations about human nature. The seventeenth century had witnessed an emergence of thinkers who, in their attempts to better understand the physical world, began to place at least some emphasis on theory testing. Francis Bacon (1561–1626) and later Isaac Newton (1642– 1727), were claiming an empirical basis for their statements about how the world was and how it might be investigated. Following this, there was a growing realization, particularly after Newton, that the “language” of science was essentially mathematical.

However, what was unique in Popper’s formulations was his insistence upon characterizing science as a search for disconfirming instances. A scientific theory, as opposed to a “pseudoscientific” theory, is one open to falsification. Here, it is stated in the specification of the theory what will count as crucial tests. If the theory fails these tests, it is falsified. Now, the logical positivists had allowed that theories may be falsified. The difference between them and Popper lies in their idea that if a theory passes the tests, it is confirmed, whereas Popper maintained that all this meant was that the theory was not falsified on that occasion.

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