The Rational And The Social Rle Social Theory

The Rational and the Social  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: James Robert Brown
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : un
Pages : 206
View: 3860

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Book Description:
To paraphrase Marx, sociologists have only interpreted science; the point is to improve it. The Rational and the Social attempts both. It begins by sketching recent sociological approaches to science, notably the strong programme – Bloor’s ‘science of science’ and Barnes’s ‘finitism’ – and that of the ‘anthropologists in the lab’, Collins and Latour and Woolgar. The author argues that although sociological accounts are valuable in many respects, when morals are drawn about the structure and epistemology of science, they are badly flawed. In rejecting the sociological theory of science, it is not necessary to conclude that science develops without reference to the social. James Robert Brown argues for an alternative account. He proposes a novel way of viewing the history of science as a source of evidence for how to do good science and argues that the most important aspect of methodology is that it is comparative. Rival theories are evaluated by comparison and the contribution of the social to this process is inevitable and should be acknowledged. This is the challenge to science.


Rationality And The Social Sciences Rle Social Theory

Rationality and the Social Sciences  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: S.I. Benn
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : un
Pages : 422
View: 7074

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Book Description:
The concepts of rationality that are used by social scientists in the formation of hypotheses, models and explanations are explored in this collection of original papers by a number of distinguished philosophers and social scientists. The aim of the book is to display the variety of the concepts used, to show the different roles they play in theories of very different kinds over a wide range of disciplines, including economics, sociology, psychology, political science and anthropology, and to assess the explanatory and predictive power that a theory can draw from such concepts.


Choice Rationality And Social Theory Rle Social Theory

Choice  Rationality and Social Theory  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Barry Hindess
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : un
Pages : 138
View: 1351

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Book Description:
Choice, Rationality and Social Theory is a powerful rebuttal of the remarkably influential theories underlying 'rational choice analysis'. Rational choice analysis maintains that social life is principally to be explained as the outcome of rational choices on the part of individual actors. Adherents of this view include not only philosophers, political scientists and sociologists, but also prominent politicians in Western governments – notably of the United Kingdom and the United States. Rational choice analysis is said to be rigorous, capable of great technical sophistication, and able to generate powerful explanations on the basis of a few, relatively simple theoretical assumptions. Barry Hindess argues that the theory is seriously deficient, first, because there are important actors in the modern world other than human individuals, and second, because it says nothing about those processes of deliberation that play an important part in actors' decisions. The use of highly questionable assumptions about actors and their rationality has the effect of closing off important areas of intellectual inquiry and ignoring the reality of certain forms of thought and the social conditions on which they depend. These points are established through detailed examination of the concepts of the actor and of rationality – providing an overall argument that constitutes a serious challenge to any adherent of rational choice analysis.


Rationality And The Social Sciences Rle Social Theory

Rationality and the Social Sciences  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: S.I. Benn
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 422
View: 403

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Book Description:
The concepts of rationality that are used by social scientists in the formation of hypotheses, models and explanations are explored in this collection of original papers by a number of distinguished philosophers and social scientists. The aim of the book is to display the variety of the concepts used, to show the different roles they play in theories of very different kinds over a wide range of disciplines, including economics, sociology, psychology, political science and anthropology, and to assess the explanatory and predictive power that a theory can draw from such concepts.


Choice Rationality And Social Theory Rle Social Theory

Choice  Rationality and Social Theory  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Barry Hindess
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 138
View: 1235

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Book Description:
Choice, Rationality and Social Theory is a powerful rebuttal of the remarkably influential theories underlying 'rational choice analysis'. Rational choice analysis maintains that social life is principally to be explained as the outcome of rational choices on the part of individual actors. Adherents of this view include not only philosophers, political scientists and sociologists, but also prominent politicians in Western governments – notably of the United Kingdom and the United States. Rational choice analysis is said to be rigorous, capable of great technical sophistication, and able to generate powerful explanations on the basis of a few, relatively simple theoretical assumptions. Barry Hindess argues that the theory is seriously deficient, first, because there are important actors in the modern world other than human individuals, and second, because it says nothing about those processes of deliberation that play an important part in actors' decisions. The use of highly questionable assumptions about actors and their rationality has the effect of closing off important areas of intellectual inquiry and ignoring the reality of certain forms of thought and the social conditions on which they depend. These points are established through detailed examination of the concepts of the actor and of rationality – providing an overall argument that constitutes a serious challenge to any adherent of rational choice analysis.


The Hermeneutic Imagination Rle Social Theory

The Hermeneutic Imagination  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Josef Bleicher
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : un
Pages : 180
View: 7205

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Book Description:
In his previous book, Contemporary Hermeneutics, Josef Bleicher offered an introduction to the subject, locating it mainly within the philosophy of social science, and looking at the profound impact it is having on a wide range of intellectual pursuits. This book follows on from this and expounds the author's view that the development of the hermeneutic imagination is an indispensable condition for reflexive sociological work and emancipatory social practice. Dr Bleicher examines the various approaches to sociology – empiricist, functionalist, structuralist, interpretive, critical – by reference to a hermeneutic paradigm, and shows how the hermeneutic imagination leads to a redirection in sociology, away from scientistic presuppositions and towards an awareness of the dialogue which links the subject and object in the study of social phenomena. He argues that by allowing the hermeneutic imagination to develop, it is possible to counter the steering of social processes on the basis of technocratic imperatives, and to provide a rational anticipation of a better future.


Sociology And The Demystification Of The Modern World Rle Social Theory

Sociology and the Demystification of the Modern World  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: John Rex
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : un
Pages : 282
View: 922

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Book Description:
Professor Rex’s controversial book concerns not only those who are professional sociologists but all thinking people who live in the modern world. One of the objects of sociology is to give ‘power to the people’, to make a contribution to the understanding of political problems. Rex writes from a deep conviction that sociology is a subject whose insights should be made available to the great mass of the people, so that they may liberate themselves from the mystification of social reality that is continually and routinely presented to them through the media, by those who exercise power and by those who have influence. The book is dedicated to St Augustine and Franz Fanon, both of whom, Rex points out, were conscious of living in an age which was embarking on a new barbarism, but had the courage to use their intellects to help understand the possibility of a better future. Rex continues in this tradition, and his main preoccupations are reflected in the present book. It includes a discussion of the problem of social knowledge, an analysis of the basic problems of theory building, and, with the aid of concepts derived from Max Weber, an attempt to understand the major problems of the first, second and third worlds. The author also looks at social structures and moral perspectives, and discusses the vocation of a sociologist in a collapsing civilisation. The book is certain to stimulate debate, both in sociological and political fields and more generally, and is also a serious contribution to the discussion of the methodology and purposes of sociology.


Agency And Structure Rle Social Theory

Agency and Structure  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Piotr Sztompka
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 328
View: 3948

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Book Description:
A striking feature of the human condition is its dual, contradictory, inherently split character; on the one hand, autonomy and freedom; on the other, constraint and dependence on social structure. This volume addresses this central problem of the linkage between human action and social structure in sociological and social science theory. Contributions cover several different approaches to the agency-structure problematic, and represent the work of a number of leading international sociologists. Their efforts point to a reorientation of social theory, both on philosophical and methodological levels.


Social Theory And Political Practice Rle Social Theory

Social Theory and Political Practice  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Brian Fay
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : un
Pages : 120
View: 4026

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Book Description:
This book examines the question of how our knowledge of social life affects, and ought to affect, our way of living it. In so doing, it critically discusses two epistemological models of social science – the positivist and the interpretive – from the viewpoint of the political theories which, it is argued, are implicit in these models; moreover, it proposes a third model – the critical – which is organised around an explicit account of the relation between social theory and practical life. The book has the special merit of being a good overview of the principal current ideas about the relation between social theory and political practice, as well as an attempt at providing a new and more satisfactory account of this relationship. To accomplish this task, it synthesises work from the analytic philosophy of social science with that of the neo-Marxism of the Frankfurt school.


Sociological Theory In Use Rle Social Theory

Sociological Theory in Use  RLE Social Theory  PDF
Author: Kenneth Menzies
Publisher: Routledge
Category : Social Science
Languages : un
Pages : 260
View: 7251

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Book Description:
Central to most sociologists’ self-image is the claim that their theories are based on research. However, using a random sample of 680 articles appearing in major American, British and Canadian journals, Dr Menzies shows that in some areas of sociology the wide gap between theory and research means that much of sociological theory is virtually untested. He explains how theory is embodied in eight particular types of research, critically examines these research theories, and contrasts them with the positions of modern theorists. The sample of journal articles also permits a comparison of British, American and Canadian sociology. By contrasting on how researchers us theories, Dr Menzies is able to reassess several theories. For instance, symbolic interactionist research uses embedded causal claims and stands in a dialectical relationship to other sociological research, while the research version of conflict theory depends on external causes to explain social change. The implications of using statistical techniques like factor analysis and regression are also considered in relation to the form of explanation.