The Flight from Reality in the Human Sciences

The Flight from Reality in the Human Sciences In this captivating yet troubling book Ian Shapiro offers a searing indictment of many influential practices in the social sciences and humanities today Perhaps best known for his critique of rationa

  • Title: The Flight from Reality in the Human Sciences
  • Author: Ian Shapiro
  • ISBN: 9780691120577
  • Page: 258
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In this captivating yet troubling book, Ian Shapiro offers a searing indictment of many influential practices in the social sciences and humanities today Perhaps best known for his critique of rational choice theory, Shapiro expands his purview here In discipline after discipline, he argues, scholars have fallen prey to inward looking myopia that results from and perpetIn this captivating yet troubling book, Ian Shapiro offers a searing indictment of many influential practices in the social sciences and humanities today Perhaps best known for his critique of rational choice theory, Shapiro expands his purview here In discipline after discipline, he argues, scholars have fallen prey to inward looking myopia that results from and perpetuates a flight from reality In the method driven academic culture we inhabit, argues Shapiro, researchers too often make display and refinement of their techniques the principal scholarly activity The result is that they lose sight of the objects of their study Pet theories and methodological blinders lead unwelcome facts to be ignored, sometimes not even perceived The targets of Shapiro s critique include the law and economics movement, overzealous formal and statistical modeling, various reductive theories of human behavior, misguided conceptual analysis in political theory, and the Cambridge school of intellectual history As an alternative to all of these, Shapiro makes a compelling case for problem driven social research, rooted in a realist philosophy of science and an antireductionist view of social explanation In the lucid if biting prose for which Shapiro is renowned, he explains why this requires greater critical attention to how problems are specified than is usually undertaken He illustrates what is at stake for the study of power, democracy, law, and ideology, as well as in normative debates over rights, justice, freedom, virtue, and community Shapiro answers many critics of his views along the way, securing his position as one of the distinctive social and political theorists of our time.

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      Published :2020-04-21T19:33:33+00:00


    About “Ian Shapiro

    • Ian Shapiro

      Ian Shapiro is Sterling Professor of Political Science and Henry R Luce Director of the MacMillan Center at Yale University He is known primarily for interventions in debates on democracy and on methods of conducting social science research In democratic theory, he has argued that democracy s value comes primarily from its potential to limit domination rather than, as is conventionally assumed, from its operation as a system of participation, representation, or preference aggregation In debates about social scientific methods, he is chiefly known for rejecting prevalent theory driven and method driven approaches in favor of starting with a problem and then devising suitable methods to study it.



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