Methodology for the Human Sciences addresses the growing need for a comprehensive textbook that surveys the emerging body of literature on human science research and clearly describes procedures and methods for carrying out new research strategies. It provides an overview of developing methods, describes their commonalities and variations, and contains practical information on how to implement strategies in the field. In it, Donald Polkinghorne calls for a renewal of debate over which methods are appropriate for the study of human beings, proposing that the results of the extensive changes in the philosophy of science since 1960 call for a reexamination of the original issues of this debate.
The book traces the history of the deliberations from Mill and Dilthey to Hempel and logical positivism, examines recently developed systems of inquiry and their importance for the human sciences, and relates these systems to the practical problems of doing research on topics related to human experience. It discusses historical realism, systems and structures, phenomenology and hermeneutics, action theory, and the implications recent systems have for a revised human science methodology.
Donald E. Polkinghorne is Emeritus Professor and Chair of Counseling Psychology at the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Narrative Knowing and the Human Sciences and Practice and the Human Sciences: The Case for a Judgment-Based Practice of Care, both also published by SUNY Press.