- 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
(p. xi) Preface
(p. xi) Preface
This volume results from a collaborative effort in several respects. All but two of the chapters were presented in draft form at a conference at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2010. The contributors made for a lively and thoughtful audience, and I am sure their comments at the conference substantially improved the chapters. After written drafts were submitted, each contributor commented on one or two other contributions in some detail. In addition, Steve Morgan, Christopher Winship, Don Ross, Gary Goertz, and Aviezer Tucker all provided useful comments on the initial proposal that led to significant improvements.
This topics represented in this handbook are shaped by several things. This volume is preceded by another: H. Kincaid and D. Ross, eds., Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Economics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009). As a result, little discussion of economics has been included in this volume. The aim of the volume was to promote philosophy of science in the naturalist vein that engaged with ongoing current controversies in social research (as explained and defended in the introduction), and the chapters included strongly reflect that goal.
I want to thank UAB’s Center for Ethics and Values in the Sciences for support in organizing the conference for the volume, and Peter Ohlin at Oxford University Press for encouragement and advice. (p. xii)