Scientific Discovery in the Social Sciences

  • Mark Addis
  • Peter C. R.  Lane
  • Peter D.  Sozou
  • Fernand Gobet

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 413)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Fernand Gobet, Mark Addis, Peter C. R. Lane, Peter D. Sozou
    Pages 1-7
  3. Methods of Scientific Discovery

  4. Discovery in Practice

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 85-85
    2. Catherine Greene
      Pages 87-102
  5. Formalising Theories in Social Science

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 139-139
    2. Maria Dimarogkona, Mark Addis, Petros Stefaneas
      Pages 141-154
    3. Mark Addis, Fernand Gobet, Peter C. R. Lane, Peter D. Sozou
      Pages 155-171
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 191-192

About this book


This volume offers selected papers exploring issues arising from scientific discovery in the social sciences. It features a range of disciplines including behavioural sciences, computer science, finance, and statistics with an emphasis on philosophy.

The first of the three parts examines methods of social scientific discovery. Chapters investigate the nature of causal analysis, philosophical issues around scale development in behavioural science research, imagination in social scientific practice, and relationships between paradigms of inquiry and scientific fraud. The next part considers the practice of social science discovery. Chapters discuss the lack of genuine scientific discovery in finance where hypotheses concern the cheapness of securities, the logic of scientific discovery in macroeconomics, and the nature of that what discovery with the Solidarity movement as a case study. The final part covers formalising theories in social science. Chapters analyse the abstract model theory of institutions as a way of representing the structure of scientific theories, the semi-automatic generation of cognitive science theories, and computational process models in the social sciences.

The volume offers a unique perspective on scientific discovery in the social sciences. It will engage scholars and students with a multidisciplinary interest in the philosophy of science and social science.


Abstract model theory Automatic Generation of Scientific Theories Automatic generation of scientific theories Computational discovery Formalising Social Science Theories Formalizing theories in social science Fraud and Paradigms Hypotheses Big Data Imagination in Scientific Discovery Logic of Scientific Discovery Rate-based process models Theory Laden The nature of scientific discovery That-What Theory of institutions

Editors and affiliations

  • Mark Addis
    • 1
  • Peter C. R.  Lane
    • 2
  • Peter D.  Sozou
    • 3
  • Fernand Gobet
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social ScienceLondon School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of HertfordshireHatfieldUK
  3. 3.Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social ScienceLondon School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK
  4. 4.Department of Psychological SciencesUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

Bibliographic information