The Practical Import of Political Inquiry

  • Brian Caterino

Part of the Political Philosophy and Public Purpose book series (POPHPUPU)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Brian Caterino
    Pages 49-72
  3. Back Matter
    Pages 105-117

About this book


This book examines a basic problem in critical approaches to political and social inquiry: in what way is social inquiry animated by a practical intent? This practical intent is not external to inquiry as an add-on or a choice by the inquirer, but is inherent to the process of inquiry. The practical intent in inquiry derives from the connection between social inquiry and the participant’s perspective. The social inquirer, in order to grasp the sense of those who are the subject of inquiry, has to adopt the perspective of the participant in the social world. Caterino opposes the view that research is an autonomous activity distinct from or superior to a participant’s perspective. He argues that since the inquirer is on the same level as the participant, all inquiry should be considered mutual critique in which those who are addressed by inquiry have an equal right and an equal capacity to criticize addressors.

Brian Caterino is an independent researcher who works in public media. He is the co-editor of Making Political Science Matter (2006) with Sanford Schram and has published in a variety of journals.  His most recent article “Lowering the Basement Floor” appeared in New Political Science.


Social Inquiry Political Theory Social Sciences Academia Political Philosophy

Authors and affiliations

  • Brian Caterino
    • 1
  1. 1.RochesterUSA

Bibliographic information