Stephen Turner and the Philosophy of the Social


In this volume, the philosophical writings of Stephen Turner on social science and the social are examined critically in essays by major scholars in philosophy and sociology from all over Europe and the United States. The topics covered include his intellectual trajectory and issues over the concepts of practices, the belief-desire model of action explanation, normativity, and collectivities. These issues form the core of the philosophy of social science and are central to the history of the social sciences. In addition, there are substantive discussions of the relation of cognitive science to economics and Weber, of ethnography, and of the legacy of Talcott Parsons. The volume includes Turner’s response to these essays, which also presents a synthesis and retrospective overview.

With contributions by Christopher Adair-Toteff, Alban Bouvier, David Henderson, John Holmwood, Terence Horgan, Peter Olen, Mark Risjord, Paul Roth, Theodore R. Schatzki, Karsten Stueber, Sam Whimster, Rafał Wierzchosławski and Julie Zahle; as well as Stephen Turner himself.

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Christopher Adair-Toteff, Ph.D. (1992), University of South Florida, is a philosopher and social theorist who has focused on German thinkers, especially Max Weber, Ernst Troeltsch, and Ferdinand Tönnies.
His recent books include Carl Schmitt on Law and Liberalism (Palgrave, 2020) and Raymond Aron’s Philosophy of Political Responsibility (Edinburgh University Press, 2019).
Stephen Turner and the Philosophy of the Social
An Introduction
Christopher Adair-Toteff


 On What There is, Maybe
Turner versus Turner on ‘the Social’
  Paul A. Roth

 Rationality and Interpretive Methodology
Transformations in the Apparent Irrationality Debate
  Mark Risjord

 Practical Normativity
Stephen Turner’s Contribution to the Philosophy of the Social
  Rafał Paweł Wierzchosławski

Practices and Beliefs

 What Is in an Account of Practices?
  Theodore R. Schatzki

 Yes Virginia, Folk Psychological Understanding Really is Explanatory
Towards a Realist Conception of the “Verstehen Bubble"
  Karsten R. Stueber

 Individualistic and Holistic Models of Collective Beliefs and the Role of Rhetoric and Argumentation
The Example of Religious and Political Beliefs
  Alban Bouvier

Intentions and Norms

What Does Normativity “Explain”?
  Peter Olen

You Can’t Always Get What You Want … but You Can Get What You Need
  David Henderson and Terence Horgan

Social Science

 Cognitive Theories and Economic Science
  Sam Whimster

 Interpretivism and Qualitative Research
  Julie Zahle

Sociology, Expertise and Civility Response
  John Holmwood


Normativity, Practices, and the Substrate
  Stephen Turner


Anyone interested in the philosophy of social science or the core problems of discussing the social will find something of interest in this volume.