Über den Autor
Malcolm Williams is Professor and Director of the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University. Prior to joining Cardiff in 2010, he was Professor of Social Research Methodology and Head of the School of Psychosocial Sciences at the University of Plymouth where he taught for 16 years.
Malcolm has designed and taught modules in the philosophy of social research for 18 years at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. In these he has introduced a number of innovative pedagogic techniques, such as Problem Based Learning and 'Concept Speed Dating', in which students take a key idea and move from table to table attempting to build conceptual links between ideas.
Additionally he has taught many modules and short courses in social theory, research design, questionnaire design, scaling, sampling, scientific method and history of science.
Williams has an extensive publishing record in philosophy of social research, including: Introduction to Philosophy of Social Research (with Tim May, Routledge, 1996), Knowing the Social World (with Tim May, OUP, 1998), Science and Social Science (Routledge, 2000), Making Sense of Social Research (SAGE, 2003), Philosophical Foundations of Social Research (SAGE, 2006), Teaching Quantitative Methods (with Geoff Payne, SAGE, 2011) Objectivity and Subjectivity in Social Research (with Gayle Letherby and John Scott, SAGE, 2012) and The SAGE Handbook of Innovations in Social Research (with W Paul Voght, SAGE, 2014).
Contingency and Necessity
Ethics and Morality
Generalisation and Laws
Individualism and Holism
Interpretation and Meaning
Logic and Truth
Mechanisms and Models
"This is a splendid book, providing a readable and reliable guide to a very large range of topics and literature... the author brings together, as few of us can, the details of research methodology and practice with broader philosophical perspectives and approaches."
- William Outhwaite, Emeritus Professor, Newcastle University
"We need researchers who are philosophically informed rather than philosophically obsessed or philosophically oppressed. With this book Malcolm Williams strikes the exact balance."
- Ray Pawson, Emeritus Professor, University of Leeds
This book is an ideal introduction for any student or social researcher hoping to better understand the philosophical issues that inform social research. Williams is the perfect guide providing short focused introductions to key concepts alongside a persuasive and engaging overview of how we interpret and conduct research.
The book covers everything from core research methods, to ethical concerns and an exploration of the metaphysics of social life, with each entry providing:
Relevant and authoritative, this book is an indispensable introduction to the philosophy of social research.