Changing Social Science: Critical Theory and Other Critical Perspectives

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SUNY Press, Jun 30, 1983 - Social Science - 220 pages
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Changing Social Science is both a description of and prescription for the current unease in the social sciences. It brings together articles by philosophers, sociologists, and political scientists who advocate changing the way social science is conceived and practiced. Focusing on the thought of past and present critics and proponents of critical inquiry—especially on the critical theory of Jürgen Habermas and on the disciplines of political science and sociology—collaborators on this volume support a critical form of social and political inquiry, outline its main characteristics, and examine its foundations, options, and unresolved problems.

The book is divided into section on reflexivity, methodology and explanation, and criticism and advocacy. From an introductory overview of the collection of articles and an account of the central issues in critical inquiry, discussions ensue on the methodological inadequacies and political implications of naturalist approaches to social and political inquiry; the nature and foundations of interpretive approaches to social science; the role, nature, and limits of causal explanations and causal theories of human action; the role of values in research and theory; and defenses and criticisms of the normative aspirations of both Habermas's critical theory and of critical social science in general.
 

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Contents

The Idea of a Critical Social Science
3
The Ontological Presuppositions and Political Consequences of a Social Science
31
Mutual Knowledge
53
Method and Explanation
71
Fact and Method in the Social Sciences
73
General Laws and Explaining Human Behavior
103
Criticism and Advocacy
129
The Critical Project of Jurgen Habermas
131
Habermas on the Foundations of Ethics and Political Theory
157
Political Ethics and Critical Theory
171
Notes
189
Author Index
211
Subject Index
215
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About the author (1983)

Daniel R. Sabia, Jr. is Assistant Professor, Department of Government and International Studies, at the University of South Carolina.

Jerald T. Wallulis is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina.

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