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MET528 (spring 2020): First part of the course

Topics and readings

These topics won’t map cleanly into lectures, but it summarizes what we’ll aim to cover for this part of the course.

For readings not linked to below, I’ll do my best to make the readings available at the start of the course.

  1. Why do we need a philosophy of science? The practical and political problem of Demarcation, and the proposed solution of Karl Popper.
  2. Popper, with some classical challenges
    • * Samir Okasha (2002). Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.
    • * Larry Laudan (1983). “The Demise of the Demarcation Problem.” In Cohen, R. S. & Laudan, L. (Eds.), Physics, Philosophy and Psychoanalysis: Essays in Honor of Adolf Grünbaum, D. Reidel Publishing Company, 111-127.
    • H. M. Collins (1983). The Sociology of Scientific Knowledge: Studies of Contemporary Science. Annual Review of Sociology, 9: 265-285.
  3. Scientific explanations
    • * Joseph Heath (2005). Methodological Individualism. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2005 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)
    • Emile Durkheim (1938). Social Facts. Reprinted in M&M, page 433-440.
    • * Kevin Hoover (2009) Microfoundations and the Ontology of Macroeconomics. in Harold Kincaid and Donald Ross, editors, Oxford Handbook of the Philosoph of Economic Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009; ch. 14, pp. 386-409.
  4. Causality and economic explanations
  5. Statistical and scientific practice