The Philosophical Foundations of Social Work

The Philosophical Foundations of Social Work

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Author/Contributor(s): Reamer, Frederic G
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Date: 09/06/2022
Binding: Paperback
Condition: NEW

Social work rests on complex philosophical assumptions that should be central to practice, education, and training. In this book, Frederic G. Reamer explores how these issues bear on the purpose, methods, and perspectives of social work and their far-reaching implications for practice and scholarship.


Reamer examines major themes across the domains of moral and political philosophy, logic, epistemology, and aesthetics. He raises questions such as: How can ethical theories inform social workers' moral judgments? In what ways are canons of inductive and deductive logic relevant to social workers' thinking about their work? To what extent can scientific inquiry help social workers understand the nature and effect of their interventions? How can concepts related to aesthetics shed light on the nature of social work? Reamer's nuanced inquiry never loses sight of the concrete applications of philosophy to social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities, or to broader goals of social change.


This second edition of The Philosophical Foundations of Social Work is revised and updated throughout to address contemporary challenges. It focuses especially on newer thinking about the role of non-Western philosophical perspectives and the relevance of philosophy to social workers' commitments to multiculturalism, feminism, and antiracism.