• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10

Epistemology of Social Sciences and International Relations.

Extracts from this document...


Introduction Social sciences, as all sciences, have their own epistemology, methodology and philosophy. Epistemology is the study of the foundations of knowledge and philosophy is the theoretical background of each science. There have been many criticisms about the substance of the social sciences especially from the positivists. They try all the time to convince everybody that a science which has no rules and natural laws can not be called 'science'. Epistemology and philosophy function as repulsion to the attempts of the positivists. They help us to understand and explain that social sciences are not natural sciences with inviolable laws; nevertheless they are a different kind of science that is based on a theoretical background and have to do with human behavior and reaction that can not be determined by any rule. Additionally, in the study of International Relations that is a part of the social sciences the situation is about the same. In which way and in what extend epistemology and philosophy of the social sciences help us to understand the discipline of International Relations? This is a question that will be answered in the continuity of this paper. Epistemology of Social Sciences and International Relations 'Epistemology is the technical term for the theory of knowledge'.1 Knowledge is a very important issue for someone who wants to understand the study of social sciences. ...read more.


Another issue that should be mentioned is the role of the observer. The analysts and social scientists themselves are also human beings. They have their own values, believes, they support certain theories and are part of certain groups of interests. For making an accurate analysis over anything in social sciences someone has to step out of all these and make the observations from a neutral point of view. So the analysts must be very careful and they should not let their personal characteristics to intervene and affect their research. Philosophy of Social Science and International Relations What are we doing when we attempt to study human social life in a systematic way? Can there be an objective knowledge of society when the investigators as well as the subject-matter are all part of the society? These are some questions that rule the philosophy of social sciences. 'Philosophical questions are the kinds of questions we ask when we are being reflexive about our own disciplines'4 The philosophy of social sciences provides to the researchers of this field of study some tools so that they are aware of what they are doing exactly. The first tool is the technical term "ontology", which is the answer to the question: what kinds of things are there in the social world? ...read more.


Conclusion In this paper, there has been an attempt to be explained the contribution of epistemology and philosophy of social sciences to the understanding of the discipline of International Relations. My opinion is that the whole answer is clear. Despite the fact that this is a short paper, there are evidences that their contribution is very significant. To study a science, firstly you have to understand what exactly you are dealing with, in which way you have to analyze your subject and even know the limitations of your science. The knowledge of all these and the knowledge of the studies of other scientists of your field that have been made in the past should be the base for each researcher of social sciences, hence of International Relations. This is however the way of the production of theories. For reaching to a new theory every social scientist has to know the existing theories that try to explain the function of a system. Having them in mind he/she can choose the points of each theory that he/she agrees or disagrees finally develop his/her own theory. In International relations any analyst or even political leader, in order to understand the actions of other states that may have a different political system than theirs, they have to analyze and realize the philosophy of that system. In this way they may react with other political leaders without having misunderstandings. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. In what way have contemporary philosophers and sociologists of science challenged the view that ...

    only incidentally a construct of biology, the worth of a person is determined by his or her righteousness'. He believes by using such an ethical and moral framework, faith and theory would not be compartmentalised, however his work is criticised for itself being a subjective view a science from a Muslim perspective.

  2. Modernity - a philosophical disposition

    This forced transition created a clash of values and world views. The !Kung did not evolve nor adapt gradually from their practice of shared wealth to a system of wage labor but were forced. This forced rapid transition ultimately created feelings of anxiety and dissent or anomie.

  1. Philosophies of Social Science.

    Paul will explore individualism in more detail next week. These notes will move on to focus on the reactions of many sociologists against an emerging world in which individualism was a prevailing doctrine, not least in economic thought and practice. These criticisms of individualism involved major developments of holistic social perspectives.1 In the end, the intention is to enable

  2. The Horror and Sci-fi genres: General Theoretical Approaches.

    the Terminator can also be seen to act as a distinction, highlighting what the future of human family relationships could become. For instance, on occasion the human characters display the very things rationalization acts to suppress. It is Kyle's growing love for Sarah Conner that distinguishes him from the Terminator.

  1. The Philosophy of skateboarding

    world where you think everything happens, and then there's this other world where you've got to get a car, and a job, and a phone, a wife and kids.

  2. Discuss the importance of the biology/society dualism to the gendered body

    This identifies that it is the biology of the different sexes that creates the gendered body. These views frequently favour men and it is to their advantage for example Murdock identifies that biological differences between men and women are the basis of sexual division of labour in society (1965: 124).

  1. What are the points of conversion and the points of departure between science and ...

    In the past medicine has religions and magical elements, today it's more like what we call science. The core aspects of developed medical science knowledge: is investigating particular areas of concern. Employing particular methodologies for example experimentation or observation and there is dualisms such as nature / culture, rational / emotional, physical / mental, objective / subjective.

  2. Analysis of Paul Cobb's 'Where is the mind?'

    In my present situation the only project and investigational work undertaken are the two compulsory pieces in years 10 and 11 for GCSE together with one piece of practice coursework in year 9. Why should it be that with most research indicating the value of such activities, that there is

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work