Understanding case studies
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It is probably unfair to begin a review with an attack right off the bat. But I suggest that if it is a friendly attack, maybe it can be seen as acceptable. Wilfrid Sellars, in his well-known account of the aim of philosophy, claims that it is “to see how things in the broadest possible sense hang together, in the broadest possible sense.” Thus, one might expect to find in a book entitled The Philosophy of Case Studies, an account of how the various components of an historical case study “hang together.” This is not to be found here. Instead we have a series of articles that focus on various aspects of case studies, most of them enlightening, but not one that pulls it all together. This is not an objection to the enterprise, just merely to the title. And so to get this off my chest and get on to more important things, I suggest a different title, perhaps Approaches to Historical Case Studies, or perhaps, Difficulties and Intricacies of Creating and Using Historical Case Studies.