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PH330 - Philosophy of Social Science

  • Module code: PH330
  • Module name: Philosophy of Social Science
  • Department: Philosophy
  • Credit: 15

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

The social sciences aim to give scientific explanations of certain social phenomena. Such phenomena might consist in individual actions, patterns of behaviour, social institutions, or social changes. Because the way in which they involve human beings, such phenomena don't seem to admit of the types of explanation normally given in the natural sciences. In this module, we will look in particular at three ideas that pose a particular challenge to giving an account of explanation in the social sciences: The idea that the concepts used to describe social phenomena are value-laden, the idea that social phenomena are the result of individuals making choices, and the idea that social phenomena involve individuals acting in groups. We will look at different models of explanation in the social sciences that try to accommodate these challenges, and the implications they have for the understanding of key notions such as rationality, agency and norms.?

Principal learning outcomes

By the end of this module, you should be able to understand some of the key theoretical approaches in philosophy of social science and their connections both to other areas of philosophy as well as to practice in the social sciences. You should be able to apply some of the key theoretical concepts used in contemporary philosophy of social science to analyse social phenomena as well as attempts to study them scientifically. And you should be able to come to articulate your own critical assessment of some key debates, e.g. about the role of values in social science or about whether particular theories in the social sciences provide an adequate picture of human nature.

Timetabled teaching activities

Teaching activities normally comprise 1 hour lecture and 1 hour seminar per week.

Departmental link

http://www.go.warwick.ac.uk/ph330

Other essential notes

Please note that attendance at both lectures and seminars and completion of any unasssessed or required work is a requirement of this module

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
15 CATS (Module code: PH330-15)
A1 (Assessed work only) Assessed Exercises 15%
  2500 word essay 85%
VA (Visiting students only) 100% assessed (part year) visiting 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:

Core

N/A

Optional Core

N/A

Optional
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Philosophy with Intercalated Year (GV18) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Philosophy with Intercalated Year (GV18) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Philosophy (wiith Intercalated year) (V701) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Philosophy with Computer Science (V7G5) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Philosophy with Computer Science (V7G5) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Philosophy, Politics and Economics (with Intercalated year) (V7MF) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Philosophy, Politics and Economics (with Intercalated year) (V7MG) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Philosophy, Politics and Economics (with Intercalated year) (V7MH) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Philosophy, Politics and Economics (with Intercalated year) (V7MI) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Philosophy, Politics and Economics (with Intercalated year) (V7MJ) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Philosophy and Literature with Intercalated Year (VQ73) - Year 2