Work of the Fellows: Monographs

Analyzing Concepts in Social Science. Vol. 1, Science, Ideology, and Value

By Abraham Edel (NHC Fellow, 1978–79)

New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1979

From the publisher’s description:

The problem created by diverse and competing modes of conceptual analysis that have been employed in the social disciplines is the topic of this first volume of the Science, Ideology, and Value series. How such conflicts are to be interpreted is the main philosophical task of this book. The introductory essay is an extended philosophical overview of major modes of analysis. Changing modes of analysis are also correlated with changes in the theory of definition. The conclusion is that a creative attitude toward analysis rather than the conflict of hardened schools, is required in contemporary social science.

The first part of the book consists of papers analyzing selected concepts in the social disciplines, both scientific and normative. The second part consists of chapters on theoretical issues of values and methods in analyzing social concepts. Edel treats in particular the controversy over values in social science against claims of a value-free science as a research issue and develops a systematic framework for detecting and locating values in political science, and again to judicial decision.

An introduction to each paper gives the social and philosophical context in which it was written; assesses its modes of analysis in comparison to the lessons of the overview in the introductory essay; and speculates occasionally on the consequences of integrated, more comprehensive modes.

Philosophy / Sociology / Ethics / Social Philosophy /

Edel, Abraham (NHC Fellow, 1978–79). Analyzing Concepts in Social Science. Vol. 1, Science, Ideology, and Value. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1979.