The Philosophy of the Social Sciences

February 28, 2008

"The philosophy of the social sciences" can refer to either a philosophical argument for something called "social sciences", which may or may not yet exist, or the philosophical foundations of what are normally called "social sciences". Patrick Baert recently published a good book with the same title as Robert Bishop's, dedicated to the former. Bishop tries to do both and partly succeeds. Bishop writes in the spirit of Charles Taylor, someone endlessly worried that the fullness of humanity cannot be conveyed by "science". Like Taylor, he translates this worry into analytically clear, sometimes boring terms. Thus, the problem of free will looms large for Bishop, but his treatment won't send you to the barricades.

Who is it for? Conscientious yet politically timid students whom Bishop probably teaches at the alma mater of US evangelist Billy Graham.

Presentation: Reliable summaries and questions at the end of each chapter.

Would you recommend it? It's not my cup of tea.

The Philosophy of the Social Sciences

Author: Robert C. Bishop
Edition: First
Publisher: Continuum
Pages: 403
Price: £19.99
ISBN 9780826489524

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