Útěk před realitou v humanitních vědách
[The Flight from Reality in the Human Sciences]
paperback, 272 pp., 1. edition
translation: Znoj, Milan
published: september 2006
recommended price: 270 czk
Ian Shapiro has the ability to captivate both scientists and practical politicians, as evidenced by his book "The Flight from Reality in the Human Sciences?, despite the fact that the topic seems to be entirely scientific. It addresses the question of methodological problems in the social sciences, focusing particularly on political science. Yet his fresh polemics, conducted in the contemporary Anglo-American academia on the nature of social-scientific knowledge, are a treat to read. Shapiro talks about the bastard sons of logical positivism, which he considers to be behaviourism focusing on observable events and logicism indulging in deductive modelling. His polemic on the theory of rational choice is pervasive, especially with regards to the way that it is more and more asserted in the form of micro-economic theory as the model method for research in human behaviour. An equally convincing analysis of the hermeneutical tradition in the humanities follows, stemming from the theory that understanding human behaviour requires methods other than the scrutiny of exterior nature. Shapiro is a knowledgeable and well-versed scholar equipped with lucid and polemic language. The reader need not fear that he will become lost in incomprehensible and pedantic interpretations. The book is thus accessible to all interested in social sciences, and especially students in the relevant field of study should become acquainted with it. The text, however, holds appeal also for experts, as it presents the latest state of discussions and does not exhaust itself by enumerating bygone polemics from last century.