Philosophy of Social Research
3rd edition

By John A. Hughes
Dec 1997
Pearson Education / Longman
ISBN: 0582311055
232 pages, Illustrated
$77.50 Paper original


This fully revised, updated and extended edition of a successful text, introduces some of the important philosophical issues arising from social research practices and historical research in the social sciences. Since its initial publication the field of social research and philosophy has been widely debated, and this expanded version incorporates the most recent discussion and theories.

In this edition John Hughes and Wes Sharrock carefully analyze the research implications of the great sociological thinkers, and stress that depending upon the researcher's philosophical leanings, there are a range of possible interpretations of the 'facts' uncovered by the researcher.

1. Editor's Preface
2. Preface
3. The Philosophy of Social Research
4. The Positivist Orthodoxy
5. Positivism and the Language of Social Research
6. Positivism and the Conception of Science
7. The Interpretative Alternative
8. Lay vs Scientific Conceptions
9. Language, Reality and Rationality
10. The Evaporation of Meaning; Conclusion
11. Index

• Examines the nature of laws and generalizations, measurement, the treatment of objectivity and subjectivity, relativism and the model of science implied.
• Features a new chapter which investigates the philosophy of positivism.
• Includes new expositions of Foucault, Derrida and the post-empiricist efforts to sustain the spirit of positivism.
• Incorporates two new chapters, both responding to the issues surrounding the foregrounding of language in social science.

Lecturers comments on previous editions:

`Excellent overall introduction to methodology.'

`It puts research methods into a broader theoretical framework, grounds technical issues in their wider theoretical and philosophical context.'

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