Philosophy of Social Science Questions

March 8, 2022
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Philosophy of Social Science Questions

Philosophy of Social Science Questions

Textbook is attached below. Answer the three questions throughly and make sure to completely answer it to make it look like you understood the questions. Write 4 sentences for each question showing you read the text.

Questions

1. According to Rosenberg, empiricists/naturalists like to characterize social sciences as displaying less progress than natural sciences. How do empiricists/naturalists define progress?

2. Rosenberg introduces interpretationism as a view that sees the ultimate aim for social sciences as providing interpretations. What are the subjects of interpretation? In other words, what are things for social sciences to interpret?

3. What does Rosenberg point out as a problem for the social scientists who seek interpretations (such as cultural anthropologists)?

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philosophy of social science, branch of philosophy that examines the concepts, methods, and logic of the social sciences. The philosophy of social science is consequently a metatheoretical endeavour—a theory about theories of social life. To achieve their end, philosophers of social science investigate both the practice of the social sciences and the nature of the entities that the social sciences study—namely, human beings themselves. The philosophy of social science can be broadly descriptive (unearthing the fundamental conceptual tools in social science and relating them to the tools employed in other human endeavours), prescriptive (recommending that a certain approach be adopted by the social sciences so that they can accomplish what the recommender thinks social science ought to accomplish), or some combination of the two.

Historically, many philosophers of social science have taken the basic question of their discipline to be whether the social sciences can be “scientific” in the same way that the natural sciences are. The approach that answers this question affirmatively is called naturalism, whereas that which answers it negatively is known as humanism, though a number of theories attempt to combine these two approaches. Given this framework, the term philosophy of social science is arguably misleading, because it suggests that the discipline is concerned with the social sciences insofar as they are sciences or scientific; thus the term seems to imply naturalism. To avoid this suggestion, practitioners sometimes denominate their field of inquiry: “philosophy of social inquiry” or “philosophy of social studies.” By whatever name the field is called, it ought to be clear that whether or how the study of human social behaviour is scientific is an open question that is part of the business of the philosopher of social sciences to address.

 

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