Theory, Method, and Democracy in the Social Sciences

by Arnold, Robert V.

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis examines the role of difference in methods and concepts in the social sciences. The first chapter presents a summarization and defense of two variants of pluralism, methodological and conceptual, in political science. These pluralisms suggest that there is value in engaging with ostensible incommensurabilities across subfields. The second and third chapters extend the analysis to the rest of the social sciences and show how two individuals, Amartya Sen and Avner Greif, may be seen as embodying some of the virtues of the two pluralisms. In the final chapter, the discussion of social scientific practice is tied to a theory of deliberative democracy; this results in a new vision of methodological discussions as a site of democratic deliberation and a new way of understanding democracy as a process of inquiry into one another's differences.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Ohio University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:methodological pluralism conceptual incommensurability deliberative democracy institutionalism freedom


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.