The history and philosophy of social science
A landmark in its field, this book attains the most exacting scholarlystandards whilst making the history of the social sciences enjoyable to read.Scott Gordon provides a magisterial review of the historical development of the social sciences. He examines the problems which confronted the greatthinkers in their attempts to construct systematic theories of socialphenomena. At the same time, he presents an authoritative survey of themajor writers in the fields of economics, sociology and political science.Separate chapters are devoted to particular topics of special significance suchas the nature of sociality, the idea of harmonious order, the conflict betweenprogress and perfection, the methodology of history and the relation betweenbiology and the social sciences. In the concluding chapter, the authorexamines the main lines of thought that have developed in the philosophy of science since the breakdown of logical empiricism, and he shows how thescientific investigation of social phenomena differs from the methodologies of the physical and biological sciences.This bold new synthesis of the different traditions in the social sciences isat once a major contribution and a superb overview.
is a Distinguished Professor at the Department of Economicsand a Professor at the History and Philosophy of Science Department, IndianaUniversity. He is also Professor of Economics at Queens University, Canada.He is the author of
Welfare, Justice and Freedom
(1980) and of numerousjournal articles and has spent a lifetime researching questions in the historyand methodology of the social sciences.