Avoiding philosophy as a trump-card in sociological writing. A study from the discourse of evidence-based healthcare
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In this article I explore a situation where health sociologists encounter pure-philosophical reasoning in the fabric of social life. Accounts of the relationship between philosophy and sociology tend to be framed in abstract theory, so there is a need for practical ways to anchor philosophical reasoning in sociological writing. I consider the use of philosophies as strategic tools for socially grounded understanding, rather than rhetorical trump-cards which bypass socio-political questions. I present my understanding in two stages: first, I discuss my example topic of Evidence-Based Healthcare (EBHC), reviewing some philosophical contributions by writers in that discourse. These niche-writings I contextualise briefly in relation to other academic meetings between philosophy and sociology. Second, I offer three philosophical perspectives on the topic of EBHC, and outline their significance for understanding it sociologically. I conclude that to navigate the difficult ground where philosophy and sociology meet, sociologists can entrain pure-philosophical argumentation to the purpose of critical, socially situated understandings.
Reid , B 2017 , ' Avoiding philosophy as a trump-card in sociological writing. A study from the discourse of evidence-based healthcare ' Social Theory and Health , vol. 15 , no. 4 , pp. 369-387 . https://doi.org/10.1057/s41285-017-0033-6
Social Theory and Health
© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created accepted version manuscript following peer review and as such may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at: https://doi.org/10.1057/s41285-017-0033-6
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