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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 on Zoom. Organised by Christopher Clarke and Anna Alexandrova.

Lent Term 2022

25 January

Goldman, Alvin I. 'Expertise.' Topoi, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 3–10.

1 February

Berk, Richard A., and David A. Freedman. 'Statistical assumptions as empirical commitments.' Law, punishment, and social control: Essays in honor of Sheldon Messinger 2 (2003): 235–254.

8 February

Eva Vivalt, 'How Much Can We Generalize From Impact Evaluations?' Journal of the European Economic Association, Volume 18, Issue 6, December 2020, 3045–3089.

15 February

Herzog, Lisa, and Bernardo Zacka. 'Fieldwork in political theory: Five arguments for an ethnographic sensibility.' British Journal of Political Science 49, no. 2 (2019): 763–784.

22 February

Fleck, Christian. A transatlantic history of the social sciences: Robber barons, the Third Reich and the invention of empirical social research. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011. Introduction and chapter 1

1 March

Nagatsu, Michiru, and Henrik Thorén. 'Sustainability science as a management science.' Global epistemologies and philosophies of science (2021).

8 March

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

15 March