The philosophy of social sciences raises a series of foundational questions having to do with how we can arrive at empirically and theoretically supported understandings of social and individual behavior. What is involved in explaining social outcomes and patterns? How do agents cause outcomes? What roles do social entities such as structures, organizations, or moral systems play in social causation?

My blog, UnderstandingSociety, addresses a series of topics in the philosophy of social science. What is involved in "understanding society"? The blog is an experiment in writing a book, one idea at a time.  In order to provide a bit more coherence for the series of postings, I've organized a series of threads that link together the postings relevant to a particular topic.  These can be looked at as virtual "chapters".  This list of topics and readings can serve as the core of a semester-long discussion of the difficult philosophical issues that arise in the human sciences.  It roughly parallels the topics I cover in the course I teach in the philosophy of social science at the University of Michigan.

Look at this web document as a web-based, dynamic monograph on the philosophy of social science; and look at this list of threads as one possible route through some foundational issues in the philosophy and methodology of social science.

© Daniel Little 2011