CFP: Objectivity in Social Research: Synthese

Submission deadline: November 1, 2019

Topic areas


The focus of the special issue is the objectivity of various forms of social research (survey research, experimental research, qualitative research, etc.).

In the more recent debate on objectivity in science, traditional notions of objectivity have been heavily criticized. Most notably, the influential conception of objectivity as value-freedom has been disputed. Yet, criticism has also been directed at notions like objectivity as emotional detachment, objectivity as replicability, and objectivity as science about the “really real.” In their place, a number of reconstructions of the notion of objectivity have been propounded.

So far the implications of this development have only partly been explored in relation to social research. In this spirit, the special issue invites reflection on what constitutes a suitable conception/suitable conceptions of objectivity in the context(s) of social research and on the extent to which social research may, and should, be objective given the adoption of some specific conception(s) of objectivity.

Appropriate Topics for Submission include, among others:

Should some traditional notion(s) of objectivity be adopted in relation to some or all types of social research? And why/why not?
Should some existing reconstruction(s) of objectivity be espoused or some other alternative conception(s)? And why/why not?
Should the same or different notions of objectivity be applied to different forms of social research and to scientific research in general?
Given some notion of objectivity, is objectivity achievable for some or all types of social research?
Finally, social research, or parts of it, is sometimes regarded as lacking in objectivity compared to natural science research. Do the recent advancements in the debate on objectivity provide grounds for a revision of this view?

Manuscripts should be submitted online through the Synthese Editorial Manager: Please choose the appropriate article type for your submission by selecting “S.I.: Objectivity in Social Research” from the relevant drop-down menu.

For further details on how to prepare the manuscripts, please follow the author guidelines “Instructions for Authors” available on the journal’s website:

For further information, please contact the guest editor(s): and

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