Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/130455
Title: Relevance and Irrelevance as Concepts in the Philosophy and Sociology of Social Science
Authors: Alatas, S.F. 
Issue Date: 1998
Source: Alatas, S.F. (1998). Relevance and Irrelevance as Concepts in the Philosophy and Sociology of Social Science. Relevance and Irrelevance as Concepts in the Philosophy and Sociology of Social Science. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Examines postcolonial concerns with the problem of the relevance of the social sciences to the Third World as a legitimate line of inquiry in the philosophy & sociology of the social sciences, discussing two types of approaches to the question of the reliability of knowledge claims: epistemological & sociological. It is suggested that the critique of the social sciences as they are practiced in the Third World cannot be adequately made on epistemological grounds alone. Sociological approaches to the question of what constitutes reliable & objective knowledge have informed a great number of theoretical works on the state of the social sciences in the Third World. Here, the sociological approach is extended to reveal that the question of reliability claims to knowledge has been supplanted by that of relevant knowledge. While the problem of irrelevance had long been recognized in assessments of the theoretical & practical uses of Western social science, neither irrelevance nor relevance has been adequately defined & conceptualized. This is attempted by adding a political & phenomenological dimension to the sociological approach, in which the definition & criteria of irrelevance & relevance are established.
Source Title: Relevance and Irrelevance as Concepts in the Philosophy and Sociology of Social Science
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/130455
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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