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Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social Sciences

ISBN: 9781412986892 | 1412986893
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Sage Pubns
Pub. Date: 4/2/2013

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This encyclopedia is purposefully interdisciplinary, the goal being to convey a clear sense of how philosophy looks at the social sciences and thereby delineate a detailed picture of how exactly the two are interrelated. Though the theme of this relationship has had its own history and received some academic treatment in the past, there are now fast-developing novel areas at the interface between philosophy and certain modern areas of social-scientific research spawning out of AI and Cognitive Studies and their sub-fields that demand a totally new and rather more complex perspective. It is becoming increasingly apparent that both traditional philosophical branches (like philosophy of mind) as well as traditional social-scientific ones get linked up to each other via such developments in the area of cognition (c.f. evolutionary psychology and genetics) that have outmoded, old-fashioned, rigid divisions between the humanities and social sciences. At the same time, advances in social-scientific research, such as rational choice theory, statistical or stochastic models of decision-making, or mathematical modeling of action, have in turn impacted upon philosophy. The philosophical searchlight has always been turned on the sciences, but whereas the philosophy of the physical and biological sciences is a well-covered field in terms of textbooks, especially in recent years, the philosophical exploration of the social sciences has remained relatively patchy or partitioned into sub-fields of social sciences (e.g. philosophy of economics) without a unified and detailed treatment like the one this encyclopedia proposes to provide.

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