Main Article Content
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the relationship between ‘explanation’ and ‘understanding’ in social studies from three main perspectives: the support of explanation in social studies in the same way as a scientific inquiry; the support of understanding and interpretation of social relations in terms of a ‘meaningful life and meaningful language’; and the support of the coexistence between explanation and understanding as the main method for social inquiry. The way in which the coexistence or the dichotomy between these two accounts is formulated depends upon one’s basic epistemological principle which reflects one of the most controversial topics in the philosophy of social science; that is to say, it involves the debate of whether social researchers can use the method of inquiry in the same way as natural science. Given the foregoing, I argue that both explanation and understanding give significance to social studies and political philosophy whether one account might be considered more than another account. The implication of this study is to provide an adequate account on social realities and political philosophy that we seek to understand.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Apel, K. (1984). Understanding and Explanation: A Transcendental-Pragmatic Perspective. Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press.
Bernstein, R. (1976). The Restructuring of Social and Political Theory. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Burns, T. (2011). Interpreting and Appropriating Texts in the History of Political Thought: Quentin Skinner and poststructuralism. Contemporary Political Theory. 10(3): 313 – 331.
Collingwood, R. G. (1994). Human Nature and Human History. in Martin, M. and McIntyre, L. C. (Eds.). Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science (pp. 163–171). Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press.
Hume, D. (1739). A Treatise of Human Nature [On-line]. Available: https://people.rit.edu/wlrgsh/HumeTreatise.pdf.
Kenny, A. (2006). Wittgenstein. Oxford: Blackwell.
Koselleck, R. (2002). The Practice of Conceptual History: Timing History, Spacing Concepts. California: Stanford University Press.
Koselleck, R. (2004). Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time. Tribe, K. (Trans.) New York: Columbia University Press.
King, G., Keohane, R. O., Verba, S. (1994). Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Limmanee, A. (2542). The Political Explanation and Analysis (in Thai). Bangkok: The Publishing Project of the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University.
Marsh, D. and Stoker, G. (2010). Theory and Methods in Political Science. 3rd edition. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Moon, D. (1977). Understanding and Explanation in Social Science: On Runciman's Critique of Weber. Political Theory. 5(2): 183–198.
Murdock, G. P. (1949). Social Structure. New York: Macmillan.
Outhwaite, W. (1975). Understanding Social Life: The Method Called Verstehen. London: George Allen & Unwin.
Runciman, W. G. (1972). A Critique of Max Weber’s Philosophy of Social Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Salmon, M. H. (1989). Explanation in the Social Sciences. Scientific Explanation: Minnesolta Studies in The Philosophy of Science. 13(1): 384–409.
Schuetz, A. (1953). Common-Sense and Scientific Interpretation of Human Action. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 14(1): 1 – 38.
Taylor, C. (1994). Interpretation and the Sciences of Man. in Martin, M. and McIntyre, L. C. (Eds.). Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science (pp. 181-211). Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press.
Weber, M. (1897). Definition of Sociology [On-line]. Available: https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ge/weber.htm.
Winch, P. (1958/1990). The Idea of a Social Science and its Relation to Philosophy. London: Routledge & Kegal Paul.