Methodological individualism, for which all social phenomena must be explained in terms of what individuals think, choose and do, is widely considered to be true. By challenging key individualist assumptions, Bhargava questions this view and rehabilitates a non-individualist methodology which permits an independent study of social practices and a context-specific inquiry into the beliefs and actions of individuals.
This book will be indispensable to students and scholars of political science, philosophy, sociology, history, and anthropology.
‘…the best … treatment of the dispute about individualism versus holism in social science.' —Ethics
‘…carefully argued, well-organized, with a firm mastery of the relevant literature, and breath-taking from cover to cover.' —Canadian Journal of Philosophy
‘…the most sophisticated and thorough work written from an anti-individualist point of view.'
—The Philosophical Quarterly
‘Anyone who reads it will deepen his or her appreciation of foundational issues and be less susceptible to the glib metatheoretic chatter endemic to the field.' —Contemporary Sociology
‘…one of the most accomplished works critiquing Methodological Individualism…the arguments [are] laid out with exemplary precision and sophistication.' —Indian Express
Rajeev Bhargava Director, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi. He is the author of Individualism in Social Science: Forms and Limits of a Methodology (Clarendon Press, 1992; Oxford University Press, 2008). His edited volumes include Secularism and Its Critics (1998) and Politics and Ethics of the Indian Constitution (2008), both by Oxford University Press.