Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Social Inquiry After Wittgenstein and KuhnLeaving Everything as It Is$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

John Gunnell

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231169400

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231169400.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Wittgenstein & Social Theory

Wittgenstein & Social Theory

(p.35) 2 Wittgenstein & Social Theory
Social Inquiry After Wittgenstein and Kuhn

John G. Gunnell

Columbia University Press

This chapter provides a summary of how Wittgenstein's work addresses the practices of the social and human sciences, beginning with an examination of Peter Winch's The Idea of a Social Science. Winch's text captures the general significance of Wittgenstein's work for conceptualizing the theory and practice of social inquiry. Social phenomena are inherently related to forms of social life, and Wittgenstein's work establishes a theoretical account of the nature of conventional phenomena. The chapter distinguishes between first-order/constructive/presentational and second-order/reconstructive/representational forms of inquiry, the distinction of which is considered as the pivotal difference between the natural and the human sciences. In addition, the chapter further elaborates on the concepts of interpretation and understanding.

Keywords:   Ludwig Wittgenstein, Peter Winch, social science, human science, social inquiry, first-order inquiry, second-order inquiry, interpretation

Columbia Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .