The Saving Lie

The Saving Lie
Truth and Method in the Social Sciences

F. G. Bailey

2003 | 232 pages | Cloth $65.00
Anthropology | Social Science | General
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Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction: Ideas, Reality, and Saving Lies
Things as They Are...Articulated and Unarticulated Knowledge...Expediency and Morality

PART I. EXPEDIENCY
Chapter 1. A Very Beautiful Theory
Organizations and Markets...Unrealistic Assumptions and Positive Science

Chapter 2. The Coase Recension and Its Lineage
The New Economics of Organization...Holes in the Fence: Contract...Holes in the Fence: Principals...How Holes Are Plugged...Giving Ground

Chapter 3. Gains from Trade
The New Institutional Economics...Gains from Trade...Individual Choice and Imagined Entities...At War 'Twixt Will and Will Not

PART II. MORALITY
Chapter 4. Natural Systems and Moral Systems
General Equilibrium Theory…Structural Functionalism...African Political Systems and The Nuer...A Pattern of Ideas...The Road to Interpretivism

Chapter 5. Imaginative Constructs and Social Reality
Structure in The Nuer...Essences and Wholes...Structure and Environment...A Plurality of Structures

Chapter 6. A Piece of the Action
The Unexamined Life...Political Agendas: Neoclassical Economics...Political Agendas: Structural Functionalism...Change the Question

PART III. AGENCY AND RHETORIC
Chapter 7. Affirming Structure: The Amen Category
Somewhere to Stand...Defining the Situation: Exchanges...Morality as a Weapon...Inclusion and Exclusion

Chapter 8. Contested Structures
The Lintel...Structures in Losa...Motives and Tactics...Unfolding and Compressing...Combative Irony...Humor...Cross-talk…Assertion and Suggestion...Conceptualizing Structure...Agency Models

Conclusion: General Theses and Particular Cases
The Itch for Totality...General Theses and Particular Cases…Knowledge and Know-How...Knowledge and Power...Global and Local Knowledge

References
Index
Acknowledgments