- Introduction: Doing Philosophy of Social Science
- Micro, Macro, and Mechanisms
- Mechanisms, Causal Modeling, and the Limitations of Traditional Multiple Regression
- Process Tracing and Causal Mechanisms
- Descriptive-Causal Generalizations: “Empirical Laws” in the Social Sciences?
- Useful Complex Causality
- Partial Explanations in Social Science
- Mechanistic Social Probability: How Individual Choices and Varying Circumstances Produce Stable Social Patterns
- The Impact of Duhemian Principles on Social Science Testing and Progress
- Philosophy and the Practice of Bayesian Statistics in the Social Sciences
- Sciences of Historical Tokens and Theoretical Types: History and the Social Sciences
- RCTs, Evidence, and Predicting Policy Effectiveness
- Bringing Context and Variability Back into Causal Analysis
- The Potential Value of Computational Models in Social Science Research
- Models of Culture
- The Evolutionary Program in Social Philosophy
- Cultural Evolution: Integration and Skepticism
- Coordination and the Foundations of Social Intelligence
- Making Race Out of Nothing: Psychologically Constrained Social Roles
- A Feminist Empirical and Integrative Approach in Political Science: Breaking Down the Glass Wall?
- Social Constructions of Mental Illness
- Cooperation and Reciprocity: Empirical Evidence and Normative Implications
- Evaluating Social Policy
- Values and the Science of Well-Being: A Recipe for Mixing
Abstract and Keywords
This article discusses the thesis that human intelligence in evolutionary history led from the need to meet the needs of social interactions. The evolution of human coordination capacities was not simply a single ascent up one complexity gradient. Social intelligence hypotheses are intended as accounts of the early coevolution of sociality and intelligence that facilitated team reasoning in small family bands. A major application of global game theory has been to speculative crises in financial markets. Self-construction decreases the loss of private information in imitation cascades. Primates and other social animals are equipped by basic and nonmysterious biological devices and behavioral dispositions to coordinate, at least in the statistical sense relevant to the selection of mixed strategies without backward induction. But capacities for easy coordination are potential barriers to specialization of labor and to efficient exploitation of private information.
Don Ross is Professor of Economics and Dean of Commerce at the University of Cape Town, and a research fellow in the Center for Economic Analysis of Risk at Georgia State University. His main areas of research include the experimental economics of nonstandard consumption patterns, the philosophical foundations of economics and game theory, naturalistic philosophy of science, and trade and industry policy in Africa. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including Economic Theory and Cognitive Science: Microexplanation (The MIT Press, 2005) and Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized (Oxford University Press, 2007, with James Ladyman). He is coeditor (with Harold Kincaid) of The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Economics (Oxford University Press, 2009).
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