SOC 508 - Philosophy of Social Science
Winter 2022, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Sociology (SOC)
Department: LSA Sociology
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Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Graduate standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/5/22 - 4/19/22 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


This course provides an examination of the intellectual practice of social science research and theory through the writings of social scientists and philosophers. The emphasis is on comparative and institutional forms of social science and theory. It proceeds from the perspective of an “actor-centered” social ontology. The philosophy of social science is a discipline that analyzes the ontology, methodology, modes of explanation, and methods of inquiry of the social sciences. The past twenty years have witnessed an explosion of valuable debate about foundational issues in sociology and other social sciences. The course is based on the assumption that social research and theory will benefit from a better understanding of the conceptual and methodological issues that arise in the conduct of social science research. Central topics will include social ontology, the role of theories of the actor, theories of causal mechanisms and powers, current thinking about institutions and norms, and the theory of critical realism. The course will make use of recent writings by such social scientists as Andrew Abbott, Peter Hedstrom, Neil Fligstein, Doug McAdam, Kathleen Thelen, Chuck Tilly, and Neil Gross as we explore recent debates about the foundations of social science research and theory.


SOC 508 - Philosophy of Social Science
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
8Graduate Standing
M 6:00PM - 9:00PM
1/5/22 - 4/19/22

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