Philosophy of Sociology and Anthropology

Authored by: Mark Risjord

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138825758
eBook ISBN: 9781315410098
Adobe ISBN: 9781315410081


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Myriad philosophical issues arise from the disciplines of sociology and anthropology. Depending on how your university has chosen to carve itself into departments, the faculty members of an Anthropology Department may study symbolism, economic relationships, language, institutional structures, politics, history, and more. Members of the Sociology Department will study these topics with an additional emphasis on institutions, large-scale societies, urban settings, and social change. There are, of course differences. Anthropology, especially in the USA, has traditionally included archeology, human evolution, and the biological variation among humans (physical anthropology) within its scope, while the sociological concern with social structure overlaps with topics studied in psychology, political science, and economics. Indeed, it is difficult to find any topic in the social sciences that anthropologists or sociologists do not study. As a result, almost every chapter of this volume raises an issue in the philosophy of sociology and anthropology. The definitive issues in the philosophy of sociology and anthropology arise from concepts that play distinctive roles in sociology and anthropology. This chapter will discuss two: culture and norm.

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