There is No Such Thing as a Social Science: In Defence of Peter Winch
Ashgate Publishing Limited, Dec 28, 2012 - Social Science - 156 pages
The death of Peter Winch in 1997 sparked a revived interest in his work with this book arguing his work suffered misrepresentation in both recent literature and in contemporary critiques of his writing. Debates in philosophy and sociology about foundational questions of social ontology and methodology often claim to have adequately incorporated and moved beyond Winch's concerns. Re-establishing a Winchian voice, the authors examine how such contentions involve a failure to understand central themes in Winch's writings and that the issues which occupied him in his Idea of a Social Science and its Relation to Philosophy and later papers remain central to social studies.
The volume offers a careful reading of the text in alliance with Wittgensteinian insights and alongside a focus on the nature and results of social thought and inquiry. It draws parallels with other movements in the social studies, notably ethnomethodology, to demonstrate how Winch's central claim is both more significant and more difficult to transcend than sociologists and philosophers have hitherto imagined.