Interpretive Social Science: An Anti-Naturalist Approach

ISBN : 9780198832959

Mark Bevir; Jason Blakely
224 ページ
156 x 234 mm

In this book Mark Bevir and Jason Blakely set out to make the most comprehensive case yet for an 'interpretive' or hermeneutic approach to the social sciences. Interpretive approaches are a major growth area in the social sciences today. This is because they offer a full-blown alternative to the behavioralism, institutionalism, rational choice, and other quasi-scientific approaches that dominate the study of human behavior. In addition to presenting a systematic case for interpretivism and a critique of scientism, Bevir and Blakely also propose their own uniquely 'anti-naturalist 'notion of an interpretive approach. This anti-naturalist framework encompasses the insights of philosophers ranging from Michel Foucault and Hans-Georg Gadamer to Charles Taylor and Ludwig Wittgenstein, while also resolving dilemmas that have plagued rival philosophical defenses of interpretivism. In addition, working social scientists are given detailed discussions of a distinctly interpretive approach to methods and empirical research. The book draws on the latest social science to cover everything from concept formation and empirical inquiry to ethics, democratic theory, and public policy. An anti-naturalist approach to interpretive social science offers nothing short of a sweeping paradigm shift in the study of human beings and society. This book will be of interest to all who seek a humanistic alternative to the scientism that overwhelms the study of human beings today.


1 Introduction
2 Philosophical Roots
3 Philosophical Debates
4 Concept Formation
5 Methods
6 Synchronic Empirical Research
7 Historical Sociologies
8 Ethics and Democracy
9 Public Policy


Mark Bevir is Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley. He is also Professor of Governance, United Nations University (MERIT), and Distinguished Research Professor, College of Arts and Humanities, Swansea University. His publications include The Making of British Socialism (Princeton University Press, 2011), Governance: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2012), and A Theory of Governance (University of California Press, 2013). ; Jason Blakely is Assistant Professor of Political Science, Pepperdine University. He is the author of Alasdair MacIntyre, Charles Taylor, and the Demise of Naturalism (University of Notre Dame Press, 2016). He has published in numerous academic journals such as The Review of Politics, Political Studies, Polity, and Interpretation, as well as in popular venues such as The Atlantic, America Magazine, and The Washington Post.