Thomas Reid (1710–1796) was the originator of the Scottish philosophy of common sense, an approach that claims reality is objective and knowable, made up of material objects, and understandable by ordinary men. Common sense philosophy developed in opposition to the pervasive skepticism of the period, best exemplified by David Hume. A professor of philosophy at King’s College, Aberdeen, Reid was chosen to be the successor to Adam Smith as the chair of Moral Philosophy at the University of Glasgow. From that position, Reid played an important role in the Scottish Enlightenment as professor, scholar, and correspondent. While Reid was not an economist, he did write on important theoretical and philosophical issues in moral philosophy, the natural sciences and mathematics. Reid may prove additionally interesting to economists for his insightful critique of Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments.
In this chapter, I outline the key tenets of institutional ethnography (IE) as a framework for interpretivist social research. Through drawing not only on the key tenets…
In this chapter, I outline the key tenets of institutional ethnography (IE) as a framework for interpretivist social research. Through drawing not only on the key tenets of IE but also on the key findings and conclusions of the different chapters – empirical and conceptual – that make up the present volume, I argue for a critical reappraisal of IE. Through turning the IE lens of enquiry onto IE itself, I foreground the problematic within IE, and also the need to attend to the standpoint of IE. Finally, I consider the position of IE in terms of theory more broadly, as well as social theory more specifically, through focussing on the ways in which IE can be augmented through the use of other, compatible, theoretical, and/or methodological perspectives such as critical discourse analysis, actor-network theory, semiotics, and participatory and community models of research.