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.
- Social theory
- Theoretical methods