The Metaphysics of the Social World

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9780710098269: The Metaphysics of the Social World
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Written in the analytical tradition of Quine, Chisholm, Putnam and Popper, this study applies the techniques of general metaphysics to an analysis of the social world. David-Hillel Ruben bases his book on four main propositions: that metaphysical individualism concerning social objects is false; that social objects are not wholes whose parts are human individuals; that social properties are not reducible to mental properties; and that methodological individualism gives a false view of explanation in the social sciences. Dr Ruben makes the distinction between individualism as a metaphysical and as a methodological doctrine; he considers individualism as a metaphysical doctrine about the nature and structure of social reality, before going on to assess it from the point of view of the methodology of the social sciences. His arguments criticize both metaphysical and methodological individualism in social science and support a non-reductive approach to social entities and explanation in the social sciences.

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Review:

an interesting and careful book....In its care and philosophical sophistication, The Metaphysics of the Social World is worlds away from the old individualist debate....>>>> (Philosophy)

The arguments are pleasingly analytic...Ruben's careful, patient analyses provide a substantial challenge to philosophers sympathetic to individualism.>>>> (Times Higher Education Supplement)

Ruben's clear, careful and pointed arguments should disturb much dogmatic slumber....Ruben himself proceeds with clarity, caution and nuance...The corrective offered to the common casualness of individualists about their duties of argument is a model of analytical philosophy...I warmly applaud so sharp and courteous an exercise of analytical philosophy...Faced with thinking so distilled, subtle and precise, individualists will have to take the book seriously and will be hard put to reply.>>> (Mind)

Any graduate seminar on holism and individualism should have this book on its reading list.>>>> (Canadian Philosophical Reviews)

This book is lucidly written, and packed with arguments set out with great care: in this respect the book is a model of analytic philosophy and it should be read by everyone interested in the philosophy of social sciences.>>>> (The Philosophical Quarterly)

Reading this book one gets a strong sense that the range of options in social philosophy is richer, more complex, and more dependent on abstract metaphysical thinking than is often supposed. At the same time, its clarity and conciseness suit it admirably for teaching purposes. (The British Journal For The Philosophy Of Science)

an interesting and careful book....In its care and philosophical sophistication, The Metaphysics of the Social World is worlds away from the old individualist debate.... (Philosophy)

The arguments are pleasingly analytic...Ruben's careful, patient analyses provide a substantial challenge to philosophers sympathetic to individualism. (Times Higher Education Supplement)

Ruben's clear, careful and pointed arguments should disturb much dogmatic slumber....Ruben himself proceeds with clarity, caution and nuance...The corrective offered to the common casualness of individualists about their duties of argument is a model of analytical philosophy...I warmly applaud so sharp and courteous an exercise of analytical philosophy...Faced with thinking so distilled, subtle and precise, individualists will have to take the book seriously and will be hard put to reply. (Mind)

Any graduate seminar on holism and individualism should have this book on its reading list. (Canadian Philosophical Reviews)

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9780389209041: The Metaphysics of the Social World

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ISBN 10:  038920904X ISBN 13:  9780389209041
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1990
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Ruben, David-Hillel
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