Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.647832
Title: A phenomenological critique of the idea of social science
Author: Tuckett, J. D. F.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2772 9942
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access through EThOS:
Access through Institution:
Abstract:
Social science is in crisis. The task of social science is to study “man in situation”: to understand the world as it is for “man”. This thesis charges that this crisis consists in a failure to properly address the philosophical anthropological question “What is man?”. The various social scientific methodologies who have as their object “man” suffer rampant disagreements because they presuppose, rather than consider, what is meant by “man”. It is our intention to show that the root of the crisis is that social science can provide no formal definition of “man”. In order to understand this we propose a phenomenological analysis into the essence of social science. This phenomenological approach will give us reason to abandon the (sexist) word “man” and instead we will speak of wer: the beings which we are. That we have not used the more usual “human being” (or some equivalent) is due to the human prejudice which is one of the major constituents of this crisis we seek to analyse. This thesis is divided into two Parts: normative and evaluative. In the normative Part we will seek a clarification of both “phenomenology” and “social science”. Due to the various ways in which “phenomenology” has been invented we must secure a simipliciter definition of phenomenology as an approach to philosophical anthropology (Chapter 2). Importantly, we will show how the key instigators of the branches of phenomenology, Husserl, Scheler, Heidegger, and Sartre, were all engaged in this task. To clarify our phenomenology we will define the Phenomenological Movement according to various strictures by drawing on the work of Schutz and his notion of provinces of meaning (Chapter 3). This will then be carried forward to show how Schutz’s postulates of social science (with certain clarifications) constitute the eidetic structure of social science (Chapter 4). The eidetic structures of social science identified will prompt several challenges that will be addressed in the evaluative Part. Here we engage in an imperial argument to sort proper science from pseudo-science. The first challenge is the mistaken assumption that universities and democratic states make science possible (Chapter 5). Contra this, we argue that science is predicated on “spare time” and that much institutional “science” is not in fact science. The second challenge is the “humanist challenge”: there is no such thing as nonpractical knowledge (Chapter 6). Dealing with this will require a reconsideration of the epistemic status that science has and lead to the claim of epistemic inferiority. Having cut away pseudo-science we will be able to focus on the “social” of social science through a consideration of intersubjectivity (Chapter 7). Drawing on the above phenomenologists we will focus on how an Other is recognised as Other. Emphasising Sartre’s radical re-conception of “subject” and “object” we will argue that there can be no formal criteria for how this recognition occurs. By consequence we must begin to move away from the assumption of one life-world to various life-worlds, each constituted by different conceptions of wer.
Supervisor: Fitzgerald, Timothy Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.647832  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Phenomenology ; Religious Studies ; Social Science ; Research Excellence Framework ; Naturalism ; Philosophical Anthropology ; Philosophy of Social Science ; Religion Research ; Social sciences ; Philosophy and social sciences
Share: