First published in 1983, this book examines the problems of concept formation in the social sciences, and in particular sociology, from the standpoint of a realistic philosophy of science. Beginning with a discussion of positivistic, hermeneutic, rationalist and realistic philosophies of science, Dr Outhwaite argues that realism is best able to furnish rational criteria for the choice and specification of social scientific concepts. A realistic philosophy of science therefore acts as his reference point for the dialectical presentation of alternative accounts.

chapter |3 pages


chapter 1|13 pages

Concepts of science

chapter 2|32 pages

Concepts in science

chapter 3|37 pages


chapter 5|15 pages

Concepts of society