Realism, Philosophy and Social Science re-states some of the more important issues in social science, including agency, emancipation, knowledge, science and method.The authors are brought together by a realist understanding of the relation between the material and the ideational; a focus on social and historical specificity; a critical engagement with Marxism; and, and understanding that the relationship between social sciences and philosophy must be kept in careful balance. They examine the nature of the relationship between social science and philosophy and address the sort of work social science should do and the role and sorts of claims that an accompanying philosophy should engage in. In taking this position, they adopt a broadly defined scientific realist position.The authors are more specific in their aim, recognising the weaknesses of scientific realism, particularly in the most recent work of Roy Bhaskar. The chapters therefore support aspects of the critical realist approach to social science, but also provide a critique of some of its problematic aspects.

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