Methodology for the Human Sciences: Systems of Inquiry

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SUNY Press, 1983 M01 1 - 349 pages
Methodology for the Human Sciences addresses the growing need for a comprehensive textbook that surveys the emerging body of literature on human science research and clearly describes procedures and methods for carrying out new research strategies. It provides an overview of developing methods, describes their commonalities and variations, and contains practical information on how to implement strategies in the field. In it, Donald Polkinghorne calls for a renewal of debate over which methods are appropriate for the study of human beings, proposing that the results of the extensive changes in the philosophy of science since 1960 call for a reexamination of the original issues of this debate.

The book traces the history of the deliberations from Mill and Dilthey to Hempel and logical positivism, examines recently developed systems of inquiry and their importance for the human sciences, and relates these systems to the practical problems of doing research on topics related to human experience. It discusses historical realism, systems and structures, phenomenology and hermeneutics, action theory, and the implications recent systems have for a revised human science methodology.

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Contents

The Original Debate
15
Positivism
16
The AntiPositivist Response
20
The Recurring Debate
51
Summary
56
The Received View of Science
59
The Vienna Circle
60
Theoretical Networks
71
Causal Explanations
173
Acausal Explanations
183
Linguistic Accounts
192
Practical Reasoning
195
ExistentialPhenomenological and Hermeneutic Systems
201
The ExistentialPhenomenological System of Inquiry
203
Hermeneutics Interpretation
215
Interpretation and the Human Sciences
237

The Human Sciences and the Deductive System of Inquiry
87
Pragmatic Science
93
Criticism of the Received View
94
Sciences as Expressions of Various World Outlooks
103
Historical Realism
116
Systems and Structures
135
Structuralism and Human Systems
152
Systems Inquiry and Methodology
166
Human Action
169
The Nature of Human Action
170
Human Science Research
241
The Nature of Knowledge
242
Use of Linguistic Data
258
Concluding Remarks
279
The Term Human Science
283
Notes
291
Bibliography
325
Index
343
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About the author (1983)

Donald E. Polkinghorne is Emeritus Professor and Chair of Counseling Psychology at the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Narrative Knowing and the Human Sciences and Practice and the Human Sciences: The Case for a Judgment-Based Practice of Care, both also published by SUNY Press.

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