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Truth and interpretation in Social Science

With particular reference to case studies

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Lingua:  English
Book 1 & 2 are an illustrated discussion of different explanatory, interpretative approaches to social research as well in the enrichment approach of the understanding with case research as its base.
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Book 1 & 2 are an illustrated history-conscious discussion of an array of different explanatory, interpretative approaches to social research as well in the understanding mode, mainly with case research as its base. The presentation refer to a lot of examples and is unique as the three approaches are presented as a whole rather than as competing, mutually exclusive.

Book 1 introduces truth and validity as multi-dimensional concepts. While we have more to talk about then we have words for, we often use words to create images of the world that may have no real reference. Even something has a name does not entail real existence. Reference to analytical generalizations and thus “how to generalize from a single case.

Modes of interpretation, reference, expressivity, effect and translation. Negative practises of interpretation as well as interpretation according to span, level and self-awareness, exaggeration and simplification and finally the serious fun of a playful more positive approach.

  1. Coming To Terms
    1. A crucial event, a learning experience
    2. Looking around for arguments to fit “your” case
    3. Tactical tricks to use in order to circumvent conflicting facts
    4. Words cover only a minute part of the potentially sensible
    5. Induction: From facts to rules
    6. Deduction of the singular from a given rule or a set of rules
  2. Truth
    1. The counterfactual as an inspiration
    2. Do not take it for granted that you know what it means!
    3. Correspondence
    4. Coherence
    5. Correspondence versus coherence and vice versa
    6. Socially related criteria of truth derived from human behaviour
    7. Pragmatism as an antidote to our eagerness to explain
    8. Validity claims
    9. The quest for generalized statements
    10. Generalization by enumeration based on sampling
    11. Generalization by a constructive integration of theories
    12. Analytical generalization
    13. Be careful not to miss the most important point
    14. Truth – not only of question of “either or”, but of level
    15. The concern for reliability
  3. The Opener
    1. Introducing explanation, interpretation, rhetoric and understanding
  4. Modes Of Interpretation
    1. The historical dimension
    2. Meaning
    3. Making sense of the term “interpretation”
    4. Interpretation as a craft – a historical perspective
    5. Interpretation, negative social practices
    6. Interpretation as translation
    7. The challenge of classification – introducing level and span
    8. Some ad hoc interpretations primarily at the minute level
    9. Mid-level interpretations
    10. Minute and mid-level theorizing
    11. Grand-level theorizing
    12. Structuralism, a grand-level epistemological scheme,
    13. Characteristics of interpretative practices across levels
    14. The more pointed horn: Exaggeration and simplification
    15. The softer in all seriousness the more playful approach 4.15
    16. Do not fool your self, play can be serious fun!

Erik Maaloe

Born 1940. M of Sc in Operations Research and Management from Technological University of Denmark. Bachelor of Art in Philosophy of Social Science Methodology. Phd and later Dr Sci (dr merc) from The Aarhus School of Business.

Worked initially as operational analysts at NBRCP in Canada. Later employed at The Building Research Institute as operational analyst, future researcher and experimental psychologist of variation in architecture. – And as a part time teacher of epistemology at The Royal Academy of Denmark. After having received a research grant, a professor at Department of Organisation, The Aarhus School of Business, now Aarhus University. Here he through the years researched, published and taught on systems analysis, future and case research as well as organizational theory. - Guest lecturer and international speaker around the world.

Winner of a few research prices and has written a dozen books, incl The Employee Owner, Towards a Theory of Natural Architecture and hundreds of articles mainly in Danish.