Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science

The Qualitative-Quantitative Distinction in the Social Sciences

Editors: Glassner, B., Moreno, Jonathan (Eds.)

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About this book

Without of course adopting a Platonic metaphysics, the eighteenth-century philosophes were Grecophiles who regarded the Athenian philosophers as their intellectual forbearers and mentors. So powerful was their identification with c1assification that ancient ideas were taken as keys to the design of the modem world, but usually the ideas were taken separately and as divided from their systematic context. The power of number was an idea the En­ lightenment thinkers deployed with their legendary passion and vigor, particularly as an instrument for social reconstruction. It is no exaggemtion to say that the role of quantities in contemporary social scientific theorizing cannot be understood with any depth absent a recollection of the philosophes' axial development of the notion of quantification. It is a commonplace that for the philosophes progress required releasing human abilities to have power over nature. Aprerequisite for this power was knowledge of the underlying causes of natural events, knowledge that required quantitative precision. Enlightenment thinkers were sufficiently aware of themselves as products of their time to appreciate the importance of a liberal social environment to the knowledge enterprise; the supposition that the reverse is also the case, that enhanced knowledge could advance social conditions, came easily.

Table of contents (10 chapters)

  • Introduction: Quantification and Enlightenment

    Glassner, Barry (et al.)

    Pages 1-12

  • The Law of Quality and Quantity, or What Numbers Can and Can’t Describe

    Caws, Peter

    Pages 13-28

  • The Qualitative Significance of Quantitative Representation

    Smith, Charles W.

    Pages 29-42

  • ‘Objectivity’ and Rapport

    Lidz, Charles W.

    Pages 43-56

  • Telling Convincing Stories: A Plea for Cautious Positivism in Case-Studies

    Silverman, David

    Pages 57-77

Buy this book

eBook $189.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-017-3444-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $239.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-277-2829-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $239.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-8460-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Qualitative-Quantitative Distinction in the Social Sciences
Editors
  • B. Glassner
  • Jonathan Moreno
Series Title
Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science
Series Volume
112
Copyright
1989
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
eBook ISBN
978-94-017-3444-8
DOI
10.1007/978-94-017-3444-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-90-277-2829-6
Softcover ISBN
978-90-481-8460-6
Series ISSN
0068-0346
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VII, 236
Topics