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Statistically Motivated

Why Unitary Social Science? by Ramakrishna Mukherjee (Delhi: Primus Books), 2012; pp 132, Rs 695.

Ramakrishna Mukherjee’s book definitely invites a new rethinking on the theory and methodology of social sciences and humanities in the present context of heightened knowledge production and the incumbent confusions it has created. This is especially so when disciplinary “mergers” are occurring at present in the Occident with a never seen before intensity. Under the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary labels, disciplines and sub-disciplines belonging to strangest species are hybridising with great gusto, most often creating disfigured epistemic monsters. In this context Ramakrishna Mukherjee’s intellectual intervention in the form of this book is very welcome. The book to some extent puts the disordered state of affairs in the realm of social sciences and humanities into better perspective.

The book is divided into four chapters with the first one “Scientia and Discrete Human (Social) Sciences” forming the introduction to his analysis. As an important scholar in statistics-based social analysis, his approach to social sciences to a great extent is influenced by this discipline. Statistics and its method constitute the core of his analytic perspective. For him statistics with its enumerative analysis can help the social sciences to take a correct perspective amidst the flood of “subjectively” inflected data with which they are beleaguered at present.

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