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Philosophy of Social Science

April 3, 2016 | Author: | Posted in philosophy, social sciences

Philosophy of Social Science

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Philosophy of Social Science

For the relatively few years that social science has existed as a field in itself , professionals have debated the intricacies of the practise .The philosophy of social science is to understand human behaviour in society . It is to use known sciences to explain the ways in which human beings act in groups and as societies . Where scientific methods have been successfully used to explain the phenomenon of other naturally occurring events in our world such as weather , chemical reactions [banner_entry_middle]

and seasonal cycles of the planet , these methods and these same criteria for analysis are greatly changed when used to evaluate the human response Social science is the attempt to follow this path of scientific methodology to isolate the components of human behaviour individually and in groups in to understand how it works . Like the science that explains weather , predictions can then be made based on the data collected , analysed and formed into known patterns

Where science aims to collect data in to quantitatively determine outcome of specific circumstances , social science can be far less exact in its results . even in areas of research like medical anthropology social scientists are forced to commit guesswork after straightforward biological studies are exhausted (Johnson and Sargent 1996 .Where science uses consistent data to identify outcomes , social science relies much more heavily on the consensus of its researchers and analysers Any such science that is based on the agreement of its participants will inevitably be faced with some elements of disagreement . In the other sciences , there are methodologies that deal with such disagreements in a way that will result in either the acceptance or dismissal of the alternate view . This is part of the scientific analysis of every aspect of that science . In social science disagreements are often irresolvable using methodology

The reason for this is simple : social scientists and researchers must rely on educated guesswork for a great deal of their conclusive studies A good example of the discrepancies of social science can be found with the research of the Austrian Ice Man : known to his researchers as “Otzi , the Ice Man was found in the Alps and dated to the Bronze Age He carried several odd artifacts with him and after his discovery by two wayward hikers researchers were faced with the task of interpreting these ancient tools without the help of a written account . In particular , a pointed tube-like structure had researchers stumped for some time , and it was eventually discovered that the piece contained a sharper needle inside and was probably used for fine-tuning hunting blades . The misinformation in this case was only discovered after the Ice Man ‘s tool was interpreted : for years , anthropologists had been finding the inner needles of these tools after the outer wooden casing had decomposed , and they were catalogued simply as needles without any idea as to their primary function (Fowler 2001 . Misinterpretations of this kind are devastating to the scientific… [banner_entry_footer]

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