Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. William Outhwaite
    Pages 1-4
  3. William Outhwaite
    Pages 19-44
  4. William Outhwaite
    Pages 45-60
  5. William Outhwaite
    Pages 61-76
  6. William Outhwaite
    Pages 77-91
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 120-137

About this book


The demise of empiricist philosophies of science has contributed to the current disarray of philosophy in the social sciences. This book argues that a realist analysis of the structures and processes which make up the social world can provide a way out of its present impasse. These processes, ranging from the interpersonal negotiation of meaning to the constraining influence of administrative or market structures, cannot be understood as mere constructs either in the minds of the theorist or of the social factors themselves, since they actually generate the social world as we know it. The author develops some implications of this approach and presents a realist view of some of the principal theoretical traditions and controversies within sociology and other social sciences.


critical theory hermeneutics philosophy realism social science sociology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of SussexUK

About the authors

WILLIAM OUTHWAITE is Professor of Sociology, Newcastle University, UK. His previous publications include Understanding Social Life (1975, 2nd edition 1986) and Concept Formation in Social Science (1983).

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title New Philosophies of Social Science
  • Book Subtitle Realism, Hermeneutics and Critical Theory
  • Authors Brecht Deseure
  • Series Title Contemporary Social Theory
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Macmillan Publishers Limited 1987
  • Publisher Name Palgrave, London
  • eBook Packages Palgrave Social & Cultural Studies Collection Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-333-36314-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-0-333-36315-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-349-18946-5
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages VIII, 145
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Additional Information Previously published under the imprint Palgrave
  • Topics Sociological Theory
  • Buy this book on publisher's site