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Department of History and Philosophy of Science


Calculating People is a reading group on history and philosophy of social sciences. This term we concentrate on the changing practices in contemporary social sciences: the credibility revolution, the challenge of description and explanation of complex and politically sensitive phenomena, and interdisciplinarity. All are welcome to join, but participants undertake to do the readings ahead of time and endeavour to attend all meetings.

The meetings take place on Tuesdays, 2–3pm UK time in the Board Room and on Zoom. Organised by Christopher Clarke and Anna Alexandrova.

Easter Term 2022

3 May

Catherine Herfeld, 'Progress in economics' (with Marcel Boumans) in Yafeng Shan (ed.): New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress, Routledge Studies in the Philosophy of Science, New York and London: Routledge.

10 May

Nancy Cartwright, 'Rigor vs the need for evidential diversity'.

17 May

Naftali Weinberger, TBA

24 May

Guillermo Trejo and Sandra Ley (2018), 'Why Did Drug Cartels Go to War in Mexico? Subnational Party Alternation, the Breakdown of Criminal Protection, and the Onset of Large-Scale Violence', Comparative Political Studies 51 (7): 900–937.

31 May

Shan and Williamson, 'Applying Evidential Pluralism to the Social Sciences'.

7 June

Peter Mandler (2019), 'The language of social science in everyday life', History of the Human Sciences 32 (1):66–82.

14 June

Tom Boesche (2022), 'Reassessing Quasi-experiments: Policy Evaluation, Induction, and SUTVA', British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73:1, 1–22.

21 June