"This is a very attractive book. It is exceedingly well written. It is well organised; filled with interesting examples; and is quite comprehensive in scope. It contains any number of illuminating observations. Most importantly, its subject is significant, it keeps this subject in focus throughout, and it proposes its own distinctive approach to it." Brian Fay, Wesleyan University
"Raises so many fascinating and important questions in the philosophies of the social sciences." Marthe Atwater Chandler, Ethics
From the Back Cover
This book is a critical introduction to the philosophy of social science, providing a clear description and provocative account of many of the methods and ideals that guide research and teaching in the social sciences.
Root describes how theories are constructed and tested, how facts are predicted or explained, data collected and categorized, causes identified and findings presented in the social sciences and explains why, though the methods are intended to be value-free, they end up being partisan. Along with the description and criticism of the present philosophy of the social sciences, the book offers an alternative philosophy for the social sciences - based on ideals and methods for research and teaching that favor one conception of the good over others.