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NATURALISM AND SOCIAL SCIENCE — A POST-EMPIRICIST PHILOSOPHY OF SOCIAL SCIENCE

Thomas is less effective on the first criterion . Naturalism is no well-developed theory in the book , but rather a blueprint for a large number of widely separated arguments theme. Moreover, the use of Thomas the recent philosophy of science is sometimes off target , in that it provides evidence to bear on the problems they are tangentially related . It recognizes the central themes of the post – empiricist philosophy of science ( critical observation of the distinction theory , focus on the holistic nature of scientific knowledge , and attention to the meaning and reference ) , but sometimes he uses these results without precision or power . Finally , Thomas actually not throw a broader vision of the country , which can serve .

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As a framework for the organization of more specific arguments. Thomas raises a number of issues , ranging from the relationship between an action and its significance for the role of paradigms in the social sciences . It is impossible to respond in detail to all these concerns, and in all cases the interests of these issues is uneven. Questions of meaning and value in the middle of the Thomas case, however , so in what follows will first briefly criticized his handling of these issues . One of the main techniques Thomas tries a specific problem with the philosophy of the social sciences to solve arguments in a different context in analytic philosophy . This approach sometimes leads to arguments miss its target. Two examples illustrate this problem : First, Thomas tries the problem of meaning in the social sciences with recent theories about the meaning of scientific language concern . ” Having formulated in a language the importance of the apparent scientific theories platitude also encourages the convergence between the philosophy of science and hermeneutical philosophy of the social sciences , which emphasize the significant role in the social sciences ” ( p. 83) . seems unlikely to shed much light but precisely because it takes no account of possible differences between the social and natural sciences this comparison . meanings that are central to the issue verstehen mainly meanings of action and not meanings term. , and secondly , Thomas argues that specifying a language elementary observation in science lead to the rejection of the idea that the reports of the actor have a special status ( 94-5 ) . But the farthest lien theory states that there are reasons to give the interpretation of the actions of the agent are not affected by epistemological concerns about the state of observation reports. special status I do not mean that the treatment of Thomas sense misses the point entirely . His analysis of the meanings ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’ successfully connected to the hermeneutical theory and the development of the idea that the meanings of the actors are among the causal factors that a naturalistic theory to consider is useful. Too often , however, Thomas tries specific problems in the social sciences more general interests of analytic philosophy are inconclusive assimilate . Now a discussion about the value of Thomas . Thomas says that the values ​​are inseparable from the social sciences , but they play a cognitive ( that is , the truth – provision ) rather than an emotional role . ” Compliance with its values ​​is an additional selection criterion of social science theory” (121 ) His position is based on Quine ‘s idea that scientific theory is basically undetdetermined by empirical evidence : . Given sub – determination theory , the values ​​of science are an additional restriction that is acceptable to limit the range of accepted theories . This treatment should be investigated further , however, because it threatens to diminish . Cognitive content of the social sciences scientific theories to be true , then they should be selected based on criteria that support the truth of the theory of the claim. Considerations value does not affect the claim to truth of a theory. Therefore, the fact that a theory saiislies value – laden criteria no additional mandate to be true think adding . So the conclusion that social science is inseparable from the commitment value seems to imply that the less tightly bound to the truth that science . cognitive Thomas could answer that ! ) Non- relevant factors always play a role in the choice of the theory , so that the value commitments are no better or worse than others . effect of this line of thought , however, to increase , rather than improving the objectivity of ol social sciences. to the subjectivity of all knowledge In this case, my objection is that Thomas can admit , too rational power of the social sciences to the conclusion it is inextricably value judgments . The draft Thomas is precious, and serves as an appropriate response to the hermeneutical and phenomenological theories of the social sciences . In addition, Thomas certainly right to think that the recent development of the philosophy of science have implications for the theory of the effects in the social sciences that have not yet discussed . Advances in the philosophy of the social sciences is often hampered by the use of long philosophical beliefs ; discredit the general theory of science ( as evidenced by the continuing effects of verificationism by the influence of behaviorism ) . Studies like this can be used to reduce them . His book does not reach the wealth of social science methodology , or the imagination and vision that we would like Weber , but it adds to the literature discussion will justify .

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