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Based on Daniel Little's popular blog, this book provides an accessible introduction to the latest developments and debates in the philosophy of social science. Each chapter addresses a leading issue in the philosophy of the social sciences today. Little advocates for an 'actor-centred sociology', endorsing the idea of meso-level causation and proposing a solution to the problem of 'mechanisms or powers? The book draws significant conclusions from the facts of complexity and heterogeneity in the social world. The book develops a series of arguments that serve to provide a new framework for the philosophy of social science through deep engagement with social scientists and philosophers in the field.

Topics covered include: - the heterogeneity and plasticity of the social world; - the complexity of social causation; - the nuts and bolts of causal mechanisms; - the applicability of the theory of causal powers to the social world; - the intellectual coherence of the perspective of scientific realism in application to social science. Social scientists who search for general theories a la physics demonstrate a failure to understand several critical aspects of social phenomena: heterogeneity, causal complexity, contingency, path dependency, and plasticity.

An Introduction To The Philosophy Of Social Research - Tim May, Malcolm Williams - Google книги

Finally, he supports Robert K. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students and faculty in the philosophy of social science and in the social sciences. New Directions in the Philosophy of Social Science contains many interesting ideas, which Little presents in an engaging way, and is a welcome addition to the literature. Issues in the Philosophy of Economics 4, 1, Causation in Economics Economic Institutions Economics Imperialism Economics and Cognitive Science Empirical Testing in Economics History of Economics Idealization in Economics Invisible Hand Explanations Laws in Economics Markets Measurement in Economics Models in Economics Naturalism in Economics Rationality in Economics Reduction in Economics Issues in the Philosophy of Economics, Misc Theory in Economics 1, 1, Public Choice Theory Rational Expectations Theory Social Welfare Theory Theory in Economics, Misc Economics and Justice Normative Economics Values in Economics Economics and Ethics, Misc Philosophy of Economics, Misc The Aims of Education Educational Authority Philosophy of Higher Education Lavinia Marin.

Philosophy of Learning Philosophy of Teaching 2, 1, Academic and Teaching Ethics 1, And I would be interested to know what your career plans are at this point.

Philosophy of Social Science

Do you think that the social sciences should discover generalizations about social phenomena, analogous to laws of nature? Are there examples of social generalizations that you find convincing? Your paper should take some account of the arguments against social generalizations in the readings, but of course you are free to come to a different conclusion.

Do the assumptions of individual rationality provide a convincing and comprehensive basis for discovering explanations of social outcomes and patterns? What are the strengths and weaknesses of rational choice theory as a basis for social explanation?

Philosophy of social science

Do Marx's writings provide the basis for a scientific theory of society? What are the main elements of such a theory?


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What are some of the limitations of Marx's theory of capitalist development and capitalist society? How do the arguments considered in the previous readings about the necessary incompleteness of social theory pertain to Marxism?

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Does the concept of social class have relevance to every society? How can we best define social class? Is the concept relevant in a family farming economy? Is it relevant in a hunter-gatherer society? Or is it most relevant to the formative period of capitalism in Great Britain in the nineteenth century?

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In what ways do we need to provide other analytical tools for understanding group behavior beyond the category of class? Discuss the occurrence of social mobilization and collective action in Chinese history. What factors were most important in the mobilization of peasants or urban dwellers in different periods of Chinese social unrest? What are the most convincing theories of peasant rebellion?

About The Philosophy of the Social Sciences

Discuss the factors that are most important in setting the course of China's economic development in the late imperial times. Factors that you might consider could include: population dynamics, features of the state, relationships to powerful external states, the nature of the property system, or the discovery and diffusion of technology. Is China's economic development from to a process that can be explained in terms of a few simple factors? Or it is a more contingent and variable process? Lectures will be presented in the context of a powerpoint presentation on the day's topic.

The presentation will be made available to the class before it is presented. Readings are divided into "Core" readings that everyone should do, and "Extended" readings that advanced students will wish to complete. Class sessions will be organized in two-hour blocks.

The first hour will be devoted to a lecture presentation of the topic, and the second hour will be an organized discussion of these ideas.


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In order to gain the best benefit possible in the discussion period, I will ask groups of students to work together to formulate some questions.