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A REALIST SOCIAL SCIENCE

Peter Manicas

Chapter 10 [of AHPSS] suggested that the differences among theoretical science, applied science, and technology were rapidly being eroded. There is now a growing critical literature which shows that our customary understanding of the distinctions between these is not as straightforward as one might have supposed (Ben-David, 1971; Kuhn, 1977; Mayr, 1982; de Solla Price, 1982). Nevertheless, it is crucial that the distinctions be acknowledged. My aim in this chapter is to defend social science as a theoretical science which, like physical science analogs, seeks to understand the world. This task must be distinguished from other familiar tasks of existing social-scientific practice, especially ‘social ...

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