Avoiding philosophy as a trump-card in sociological writing. A study from the discourse of evidence-based healthcare

Benet Reid*

*Corresponding author for this work

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    1 Citation (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)369-387
    Number of pages19
    JournalSocial Theory and Health
    Volume15
    Issue number4
    Early online date27 Mar 2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

    Keywords

    • EBHC
    • Health
    • Philosophy
    • Social theory
    • Theoretical methods

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