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Philosophical Foundations of Social Research Methods (SAGE Benchmarks in Social Research Methods) [Hardcover]

Malcolm Williams

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Book Description

December 15, 2005 1412903823 978-1412903820 Four-Volume Set
Philosophical considerations and positions underlie all of the natural and social sciences. In the latter case philosophical foundations and their emergent issues have a profound impact on methodology and empirical practice. Design decisions will usually depend on philosophical perspectives or assumptions, such as the very fundamental decision to employ a quantitative design or an interpretive design. The 'philosophy of social research' is thus a subset of the philosophy of social science, but also an important subject area that spans methodology and method.

The articles making up this timely collection are the best exemplars of key positions in a very wide disciplinary field. The selection is designed to begin each section with an 'entry level' article to introduce the reader to the topic area and to ground the approach a research problem. Topics covered include science and art in the history of social research, positivism and antipositivism, language and the linguistic turn, realism and anti-realism, theory and theory choice, logic and models, prediction and laws, interpretation, probability and complexity.

With the study of the philosophical foundations of methods and methodology gaining increasing priority in university courses, this will be a valuable resource for academics and researchers across the social sciences.


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About the Author

Malcolm Williams is Professor and Director at the Cardiff School of Social Sciences.  His interests are primarily in the area of research methods and methodology and he has published extensively in these areas.  His particular interests are in objectivity, causailty and probability, representation and the pedagogy of quantitative methods.

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