Scientific realism has been advanced as an interpretation of the natural sciences but never the behavioral sciences. This exciting book introduces a novel version of scientific realism--Measured Realism--that characterizes the kind of theoretical progress in the social and psychological sciences that is uneven but indisputable. Trout proposes a theory of measurement--Population-Guided Estimation--that connects natural, psychological, and social scientific inquiry. Presenting quantitative methods in the behavioral sciences as at once successful and regulated by the world, Measuring the Intentional World will engage philosophers of science, historians of science, sociologists of science, and scientists interested in the foundations of their own disciplines.
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J.D. Trout is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Parmly Hearing Institute at Loyola University in Chicago. He is co-author of The Theory of Knowledge: A Thematic Introduction (OUP, 1998) and co-editor of Contemporary Materialism (with Paul Moser) and The Philosophy of Science (with Richard Boyd and Philip Gasper).
"There is much of value in Trout's book. The careful sorting out of often confused realist claims is welcome. His recognition that the social sciences sometimes have measurement and testing procedures akin to those of the natural sciences is also a welcome antidote to the long tradition of arguing about their scientific status without looking at what they actually do. Trout's claim that assessments of realism issues require carefully looking at specific theories seems to me particularly valuable."--Philosophical Review
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