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Department of History and Philosophy of Science


Calculating People is a reading group on current and past social sciences with a special focus on their methodological controversies. All postgraduate researchers are welcome to join, but participants undertake to do the readings ahead of time and endeavour to attend all meetings. The format is in-person with a possibility of a Zoom link if it proves practical.

The meetings take place on Thursdays, 2–3pm in the Board Room. Organised by Anna Alexandrova.

Michaelmas Term 2022

6 October

Vazire, S., Schiavone, S. R., & Bottesini, J. G. (2022). 'Credibility Beyond Replicability: Improving the Four Validities in Psychological Science'. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 31(2), 162–168.

13 October

Birch, J., & Buskell, A. (2022). 'How We Got Stuck: The Origins of Hierarchy and Inequality'. Mind & Language, 37(4), 751–759.

20 October

Strathern, Marilyn. 'A Community of Critics? Thoughts on New Knowledge'. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 12, no. 1 (2006): 191–209.

27 October

Maier, Maximilian, František Bartoš, T. D. Stanley, David R. Shanks, Adam JL Harris, and Eric-Jan Wagenmakers. 'No Evidence for Nudging After Adjusting for Publication Bias'. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119, no. 31 (2022): e2200300119.

And a reply: Hallsworth, Michael (2022). 'Making Sense of the "Do Nudges Work?" Debate'.

3 November

Anna not present

10 November

Mandler, Peter (2019). 'The Language of Social Science in Everyday Life'. History of the Human Sciences 32 (1):66–82.

17 November

Rubin, Ashley T. Rocking Qualitative Social Science: An Irreverent Guide to Rigorous Research. 2021. Chapter 11: Living on the Sharp End.

24 November

Replication controversies: Pownall, Madeleine (2022). 'Is Replication Possible for Qualitative Research?'. PsyArXiv. June 14.

Munger, Kevin (2022). 'Against Replication: Social Science Should Not Try To Be Natural Science'.