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Philosophy of Social Science The Philosophical Foundations of Social Thought



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Palgrave Macmillan
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Questions About This Book?

What version or edition is this?

This is the 2nd edition with a publication date of 12/15/2010.

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any CDs, lab manuals, study guides, etc.


The 10th anniversary edition of this highly regarded text continues to give a comprehensive introduction to philosophical problems in the social sciences. New commentary is given on each chapter, exploring developments in the field and offering fresh perspectives on classic ideas. This book remains essential reading for all social theory students.

Author Biography

Ted Benton is Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex, UK, where he teaches in the areas of social theory, philosophy of social science, and environment and society. He is the author of Philosophical Foundations of the Three Sociologies. The Rise and Fall of Structural Marxism and Natural Relations, Ecology, Animal Rights and Social Justice. Ian Craib was Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex, UK, until his death in 2002. He was a highly respected and prominent sociologist, and the author of numerous books, including Modern Social Theory: From Parsons to Habermas and Classical Social Theory.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition
Introduction to the First Edition
Empiricism and Positivism in Science
Some Problems of Empiricism and Positivism
Science, Nature and Society: Some Alternatives to Empiricism
Interpretive Approaches 1: Instrumental Rationality
Interpretive Approaches 2: Rationality as Rule-Following: Cultures, Traditions and Hermeneutics
Interpretive Approaches 3: Critical Rationality
Critical Realism and the Social Sciences
Feminism, Knowledge and Society
Post-Structuralism and Postmodernism
Conclusion: In Defence of Philosophy
Critical Engagements With Recent Developments
Appendix I: Personal Conclusions
Appendix II: Obituary for Professor Ian Craib

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