BeeQuiet's Reviews > The Idea of a Social Science and Its Relation to Philosophy

The Idea of a Social Science and Its Relation to Philosophy by Peter Winch
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
9240362
's review
May 05, 12

bookshelves: academic

The Idea of a Social Science has become one of the seminal works in sociology. At the time of its publication, sociologists had by and large been fighting for the recognition of sociology as a true 'science' in the same league as biology and chemistry. What Winch did, was to turn this idea on its head.

Instead of claiming that rigorous standards of objectivity and testing in line with classic scientific principles were key to the future of sociology, Winch drew closer parallels with philosophy. He famously posits in this book that to attempt to understand humans as objects, as things interacting with each other with no sense of agency, was to not understand them at all. This was the stance from which he constructed his argument, drawing largely from the works of Wittgenstein.

Sociology has moved on a long way since the publication of this book, and so did Winch himself. Indeed in a preface written for a later edition of the book, he made it clear that he had learned to think differently on the matters he had written about with such passion. Nonetheless, this is still a very important book to sociology, and we no doubt owe a certain amount to Winch for shaking the ivory tower for us.
likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Idea of a Social Science and Its Relation to Philosophy.
sign in »

No comments have been added yet.