In this lucid and engaging analysis of the nature of society, Roger Trigg examines the scientific basis of social science and shows that philosophical presuppositions are a necessary starting point for the study of society. This second edition contains three new chapters that demonstrate the relationship of the philosophy of social science to politics, and takes into account recent developments including the impact of rational choice theory, and attacks on the possibility of reason by postmodernists.Themes in the book include the relation of individual to society, the basis of our understanding of other societies, and the character of social reality. Is there such a thing as society? What of the threat of relativism? These and other questions are examined in depth, but with a clarity that introduces the issues to those new to the subject.