Social sciences, philosophy of

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-R047-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved January 19, 2021, from

4. Specific social sciences

Fourth and finally, one might approach the philosophy of the social sciences by studying the philosophical problems that arise specifically within each of the social sciences. Some, although not all, of the social sciences have thrown up philosophical industries all their own. Economics is the most salient example. In many ways, it is the most developed of all the social sciences, and this may be the reason why some of the best-defined controversies in the philosophy of social science arise from within it. Questions about the philosophical foundations of economics touch on the philosophically central issues of rationality, choice and the nature of wants or desires and their connection with action (see Economics, philosophy of; Social choice; Rational choice theory). But other social sciences have also given rise to specific problems, including history, psychology, sociology, and anthropology (see Psychology, theories of; Sociology, theories of; Anthropology, philosophy of).

Citing this article:
Ruben, David-Hillel. Specific social sciences. Social sciences, philosophy of, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-R047-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2021 Routledge.

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