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The Orders of Discourse

Philosophy, Social Science, and Politics

John G. Gunnell

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In this insightful book, distinguished political scientist John G. Gunnell explores the relationship between social science and philosophy, and the range of problems that have attended this relationship. Gunnell argues that social science has turned to philosophy, especially to areas such as the philosophy of science and other sites of philosophical foundationalism, in search of cognitive identity and the grounds for normative and empirical judgment. Gunnell's emphasis is on political and social theory and the theoretical constitution of social phenomena. The Orders of Discourse will be of interest to political theorists, political philosophers, and social scientists. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 272Size: 5 3/4 x 9
978-0-8476-9202-6 • Hardback • August 1998 • $126.00 • (£85.00)
978-0-8476-9203-3 • Paperback • August 1998 • $44.00 • (£29.95)
978-1-4616-4502-3 • eBook • August 1998 • $41.00 • (£27.95)
John G. Gunnell is distinguished professor of political science at SUNY, Albany. He is the author of The Descent of Political Theory: The Genealogy of an American Vocation.
Chapter 1 Preface
Chapter 2 Introduction
Chapter 3 Metapractices
Chapter 4 Conventional Objects
Chapter 5 Relativism
Chapter 6 Theoretical Realism
Chapter 7 Interpretation
Chapter 8 Speaking Politically
Chapter 9 References
Chapter 10 Index
Orders of Discourse is a dense . . . and challenging book, nearly breathtaking in its scope.
James F. Pontuso, Institute of United States Studies; Perspectives on Political Science


This book presents the most systematic and powerful statement of John Gunnell's Wittgenstein-inspired critique of the epistemological project of validating political theory and the social sciences.
John Horton, Keele University; Political Science


In a number of chapters Gunnell shows how various metapractices have claimed far too much for themselves and have consequently impeded progress or right understanding in the practices on which they reflect.
Review of Politics


This interesting and provocative book marks the culmination of Gunnell's work in recent years on the relationship between philosophy and social science.
International Science Review


Sobering and provocative book.
Ethics: An International Journal of Social, Political, and Legal Philosophy


Worth reading even if only for its synoptic accounts of virtually every contemporary theorist of note. Highly recommended...
D.H. Rice, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; CHOICE, April 1999


Clearly written, densely argued.
Journal of American Politics


An interesting book.
Economics and Philosophy


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