First published in 1983, this book examines the problems of concept
formation in the social sciences, and in particular sociology, from
the standpoint of a realistic philosophy of science. Beginning with
a discussion of positivistic, hermeneutic, rationalist and
realistic philosophies of science, Dr Outhwaite argues that realism
is best able to furnish rational criteria for the choice and
specification of social scientific concepts. A realistic philosophy
of science therefore acts as his reference point for the
dialectical presentation of alternative accounts.
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