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Encyclopedia > Philosophy of social science

Philosophy of social science is the scholarly elucidation and debate of accounts of the nature of the social sciences, their relations to each other, and their relations to the natural sciences (see natural science). For the scientific journal named Science, see Science (journal). ... The term natural science as the way in which different fields of study are defined is determined as much by historical convention as by the present day meaning of the words. ...


In broad terms, the social sciences are those that aim for a rational and systematic understanding of human society. Terms like SOSE (Studies of Society & the Environment) not only refer to social sciences but also studies of the environment. ...


Émile Durkheim sought to define social sciences as those that attend to a special sort of fact, which he called a social fact. In his book The Rules of Sociological Method he said that a social fact can be recognized by "the power of external coercion which it exercises or is capable of exercising over individuals, and the presence of this power may be recognized in its turn either by the existence of some specific sanction or by the resistance offered against every individual effort to violate it." David Émile Durkheim ( April 15, 1858 - November 15, 1917) is known as one of the founders of modern sociology. ...


Within the philosophy of social science, of course, that definition or any other is up for debate. What Durkheim meant to highlight, though, were the formal sanctions such as law, the informal sanctions such as shunning, and the norms of society that both sorts of sanction enforce. Philosophy (from the Greek words philos and sophia meaning love of wisdom) is understood in different ways historically and by different philosophers. ... Law (a loanword from Danish- Norwegian lov), in politics and jurisprudence, is a set of rules or norms of conduct which mandate, proscribe or permit specified relationships among people and organizations, provide methods for ensuring the impartial treatment of such people, and provide punishments for those who do not follow... The shunning of an individual is the act of deliberately avoiding association with him or her. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Philosophy of social science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (425 words)
Philosophy of social science is the scholarly elucidation and debate of accounts of the nature of the social sciences, their relations to each other, and their relations to the natural sciences (see natural science).
In broad terms, the social sciences are those that aim for a rational and systematic understanding of human society.
A competing account of the subject matter of the social sciences is found in Max Weber's Economy and Society in which he proposed that social action in a technical sense he defined was the fundamental building block of social phenomena or, as Durkheim would say, social facts.
Reading List for Philosophy of Social Science (1995 words)
Pratt, Ch.15, The Philosophy of the Social Sciences, Methuen, 1978.
Pratt, Ch.14, The Philosophy of the Social Sciences, Methuen, 1978.
Pratt, Ch.8, The Philosophy of the Social Sciences, Methuen, 1978.
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