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PhD Philosophy of the Social Sciences - 2013-14

30 October

Social science poised between the humanities and the natural sciences

13 November

See below

The audio for each session can be accessed through the 'class meeting' column. In the case of 30 October, the first five minutes consists of the students introducing their research interests.

For 13 November, we shall consider a set of questions concerning the future of social science that arise from the recent revival of 'biologism':

1. What are the differences between between the biologism of the 19c and 20c and the versions that are likely to flourish in the 21c?

2. How are these differences likely to contribute to the redefinition of political ideologies?

3. What role will major formative institutions such as the state, the market, the health system and the education system play in this transformation?

4. What are the likely implications of these changes for what it means to be 'human' in the 21c? Will it still be the central value category of society?

I have circulated two of my books that provide some background, The New Sociological Imagination and Humanity 2.0. Also, you might wish to read this recent piece that discusses the ideological shift from 'left-right' to 'up-down', and well as refresh your memory about the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which is now 65 years old. Is it due for an upgrade? To get a sense of those who think that it might need an upgrade, consider the programme at this conference, where I will be speaking next month.