The Idea of a Social Science and Its Relation to Philosophy

By Peter Winch | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWO

THE NATURE OF MEANINGFUL BEHAVIOUR

1. Philosophy and Sociology

IN Section 7 of the last chapter I tried to indicate in a general way how philosophy, conceived as the study of the nature of man’s understanding of reality, may be expected to illuminate the nature of human interrelations in society. The discussion of Wittgenstein in Sections 8 and 9 has borne out that presumption. For it has shown that the philosophical elucidation of human intelligence, and the notions associated with this, requires that these notions be placed in the context of the relations between men in society. In so far as there has been a genuine revolution in philosophy in recent years, perhaps it lies in the emphasis on that fact and in the profound working out of its consequences, which we find in Wittgenstein’s work. ‘What has to be accepted, the given, is—so one could say—forms of life.’ (37:II, xi, p. 226e.)

I said earlier that the relation between epistemology and the peripheral branches of philosophy was that the former concerned the general conditions under

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The Idea of a Social Science and Its Relation to Philosophy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface to the Second Edition ix
  • Chapter One - Philosophical Bearings 1
  • Chapter Two - The Nature of Meaningful Behaviour 40
  • Chapter Three - The Social Studies as Science 66
  • Chapter Four - The Mind and Society 95
  • Chapter Five - Concepts and Actions 121
  • Bibliography 137
  • Index 141
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