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- DescriptionIn recent years, methodological debates in the social sciences have increasingly focused on issues relating to epistemology. Realism and Sociology makes an original contribution to the debate, charting a middle ground between postmodernism and positivism. Critics often hold that realism tries to assume some definitive account of reality. Against this it is argued throughout the book that realism can combine a strong definition of social reality with an anti-foundational approach to kwledge. The position of realist anti-foundationalism that is argued for is developed and defended via the use of immanent critiques. These deal primarily with post-Wittgensteinian positions that seek to define kwledge and social reality in terms of 'rule-following practices' within different 'forms of life' and 'language games'. Specifically, the argument engages with Rorty's neo-pragmatism and the structuration theory of Giddens. The philosophy of Popper is also drawn upon in a critically appreciative way. While the positions of Rorty and Giddens seek to deflate the claims of 'grand theory', albeit in different ways, they both end up with definitive claims about kwledge and reality that preclude social research. By avoiding the general deflationary approach that relies on reference to 'practices', realism is able to combine a strong social ontology with an anti-foundational epistemology, and thus act as an underlabourer for empirical research.
- Author BiographyJustin Cruickshank is a lecturer in Methodology and the Philosophy of Social Science in the Nottingham Graduate School for Social Research, at Nottingham Trent University. He is the Deputy-Editor of the Journal of Critical Realism.
- Author(s)Justin Cruickshank
- PublisherTaylor & Francis Ltd
- Date of Publication24/01/2007
- SubjectSociology & Anthropology: Professional
- Place of PublicationLondon
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight277 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine11 mm
- Format DetailsB-format paperback
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