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Philosophy of Social Science

Edited by Michiru Nagatsu (University of Helsinki)
Assistant editors: Alessandra Basso, Tarna Kannisto, Päivi Seppälä
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  1. added 2016-12-10
    J. Pierce Andrew (forthcoming). Interest Convergence in Advance. Teaching Philosophy.
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  2. added 2016-12-10
    Michael Starks (2016). Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks (2016). Michael Starks.
    This collection of articles was written over the last 10 years and the most important and longest within the last year. Also I have edited them to bring them up to date (2016). The copyright page has the date of this first edition and new editions will be noted there as I edit old articles or add new ones. All the articles are about human behavior (as are all articles by anyone about anything), and so about the limitations of having (...)
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  3. added 2016-12-09
    Ballinger Clint, Why Inferential Statistics Are Inappropriate for Development Studies and How the Same Data Can Be Better Used.
    The purpose of this paper is twofold: -/- 1) to highlight the widely ignored but fundamental problem of ‘superpopulations’ for the use of inferential statistics in development studies. We do not to dwell on this problem however as it has been sufficiently discussed in older papers by statisticians that social scientists have nevertheless long chosen to ignore; the interested reader can turn to those for greater detail. -/- 2) to show that descriptive statistics both avoid the problem of superpopulations and (...)
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  4. added 2016-12-08
    Kathryn J. Norlock (forthcoming). Grading Participation in Advance. Teaching Philosophy.
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  5. added 2016-12-08
    Jane Roland Martin (forthcoming). Renouncing Human Hubris and Reeducating Commonsense. Studies in Philosophy and Education:1-16.
    The thesis of this paper is that we are now in the early stage of a revolution even more transformative than the Copernican. That great upheaval brought about a radical shift in the way men and women conceptualized their place in the universe. The revolution now under way entails a sea change in the way we think about ourselves in relation to the planet we inhabit—itself not a simple matter—and also the reeducation of our attitudes, values, feelings, emotions, patterns of (...)
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  6. added 2016-12-07
    Fairbrother Daniel (forthcoming). Nuts and Bolts, Bells, Whistles, and Rust in the Social Sciences. Philosophy of the Social Sciences:0048393116679409.
    Here I discuss the philosophical contributions to Analytical Sociology and Social Mechanisms, a collection of essays edited by Pierre Demeulenaere. I begin by introducing the idea of a social mechanism and showing that it has already had an impact within empirical analytical sociology. I then discuss some examples of the philosophical work offered in Demeulenaere’s collection in support of this analytical “movement” in the social sciences. I argue that some of these examples demonstrate thin scholarship and only a veneer of (...)
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  7. added 2016-12-07
    Joel Hubick (forthcoming). A Philosophical Response to Plagiarism in Advance. Teaching Philosophy.
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  8. added 2016-12-07
    Andrew Fisher & Jonathan Tallant (forthcoming). Helping Philosophy Students Become Employable in Advance. Teaching Philosophy.
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  9. added 2016-12-06
    Rosa W. Runhardt (forthcoming). Causal Comparability, Causal Generalizations, and Epistemic Homogeneity. Philosophy of the Social Sciences:0048393116681079.
    The issue of causal comparability in the social sciences underlies matters of both generalization and extrapolation. After critiquing two existing interpretations of comparability, due to Hitchcock and Hausman, I propose a distinction between ontological and epistemic comparability. While the former refers to whether two cases are actually comparable, the latter respects that in cases of incomplete information, we need to rely on whatever evidence we have of comparability. I argue, using a political science case study, that in those cases of (...)
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  10. added 2016-12-06
    Forland Tor Egil (2004). The Ideal Explanatory Text in History: A Plea for Ecumenism. History and Theory 43 (3):321-340.
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  11. added 2016-12-05
    Michael Moehler (2016). In Defense of a Democratic Productivist Welfare State. European Journal of Philosophy.
    In this article, I defend a democratic form of the productivist welfare state. I argue that this form of the state can best cope, theoretically and practically, with the diversity of deeply morally pluralistic democratic societies for two reasons. First, the justification of this form of the state rests solely on general facts about human nature, basic human needs, and efficiency considerations in a world of moderately scarce resources. Second, this state does not aim to promote a specific view of (...)
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  12. added 2016-12-05
    Steutel Jan & J. de Ruyter Doret (2011). What Should Be the Moral Aims of Compulsory Sex Education? British Journal of Educational Studies 59 (1):75-86.
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  13. added 2016-12-05
    Kocka Jurgen (2003). Comparison and Beyond. History and Theory 42 (1):39-44.
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  14. added 2016-12-05
    Reill Peter Hanns (1994). Science and the Construction of the Cultural Sciences in Late Enlightenment Germany: The Case of Wilhelm von Humboldt. History and Theory 33 (3):345.
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  15. added 2016-12-05
    O'Brien George Dennis (1971). Does Hegel Have a Philosophy of History? History and Theory 10 (3):295.
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  16. added 2016-12-04
    Barbara J. Thayer-Bacon (forthcoming). Exploring William James’s Radical Empiricism and Relational Ontologies for Alternative Possibilities in Education. Studies in Philosophy and Education:1-16.
    In A Pluralistic Universe, James argues that the world we experience is more than we can describe. Our theories are incomplete, open, and imperfect. Concepts function to try to shape, organize, and describe this open, flowing universe, while the universe continually escapes beyond our artificial boundaries. For James and myself, the universe is unfinished, a “primal stuff” or “pure experience.” However, James starts with parts and moves to wholes, and I want to start from wholes and move to parts and (...)
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  17. added 2016-12-04
    Emile Bojesen (forthcoming). A New Version of Optimism for Education. Studies in Philosophy and Education:1-10.
    The primary purpose of this paper is to outline the conceptual means by which it is possible to be optimistic about education. To provide this outline I turn to Ian Hunter and David Blacker, after a brief introduction to Nietzsche’s conceptions of optimism and pessimism, to show why certain forms of optimism in education are either intellectually unhelpful or dispositionally helpless in the face of current educational issues. The alternative form of optimism—which I argue is both intellectually and practically helpful—is (...)
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  18. added 2016-12-04
    Stephen R. Grimm (forthcoming). Why Study History? On Its Epistemic Benefits and Its Relation to the Sciences. Philosophy.
    I try to return the focus of the philosophy of history to the nature of understanding, with a particular emphasis on Louis Mink’s project of exploring how historical understanding compares to the understanding we find in the natural sciences. On the whole, I come to a conclusion that Mink almost certainly would not have liked: that the understanding offered by history has a very similar epistemic profile to the understanding offered by the sciences, a similarity that stems from the fact (...)
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  19. added 2016-12-03
    Joanna Haynes & Karin Murris (forthcoming). Intra-Generational Education: Imagining a Post-Age Pedagogy. Educational Philosophy and Theory:1-13.
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  20. added 2016-12-02
    Debra Jackson (2016). Review of Experiential Learning in Philosophy. [REVIEW] Teaching Philosophy 39 (3):372-376.
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  21. added 2016-12-02
    Anders Mcdonald Sookermany (2016). Military Education Reconsidered: A Postmodern Update. Journal of Philosophy of Education 50 (4).
    It is commonly accepted that the nature of military operations is one of such character that no matter how well you prepare there will still be an expectation of having to deal with the unknown and unforeseen. Accordingly, there seem to be reasons for arguing that preparations for the unpredictable should play a critical role in military education. Yet, military education as we know it seems to be characterized by a rather classic modernist view on education, which promotes an environment (...)
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  22. added 2016-12-02
    Matthew J. Barker (2015). Science and Values. Eugenics Archive.
  23. added 2016-11-29
    Brian Besong (forthcoming). Teaching the Debate in Advance. Teaching Philosophy.
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  24. added 2016-11-29
    Johannes Adamsen (2016). Faglighed – kvalitet, æstetik og undervisning. Studier I Pædagogisk Filosofi 5 (1):62-80.
    In mainstream educational trends and in particular in public debate, one might perceive a rather superfi cial/uncritical handling of the concept of ‘subject matter’, a handling which infl uences political decisions considerably. This article sets out to analyze the concept of ‘subject matter’ and makes the point that it is both intimately connected to a one dimensional idea of utility and that it as concept marginalizes teaching’s nature of encounter and dialogue, and hereby narrows ‘school’ to ‘learning’ and to some (...)
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  25. added 2016-11-29
    Aslaug Kristiansen & Harald Victor Knutson (2016). Normativitet: utfordring i psykoterapeutisk og pedagogisk arbeid. Den profesjonelle mellom tvang og frihet. Studier I Pædagogisk Filosofi 5 (1):40-61.
    In this article we wish to discuss different normative dilemmas that teachers and psychotherapists meet in their work with the student and the patient. We argue that crucial for a good practice is not the actual choice between normativity and freedom, between generalized or authorized standards and individual dialogue. Rather it is the professional’s continuous reflection on the form and quality of the interactions with the pupil and the patient, and the preservation of the balance between personal ethos and professional (...)
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  26. added 2016-11-29
    Merete Wiberg (2016). Pædagogik, normativitet og videnskab. Studier I Pædagogisk Filosofi 5 (1):1-2.
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  27. added 2016-11-29
    Odin Fauskevåg (2016). Lesing som anerkjennelse – den manglende dimensjonen i PISAs begrep om leseferdighet. Studier I Pædagogisk Filosofi 5 (1):18-39.
    This article discusses the PISA framework’s concept of leading. The main argument is that PISA’s cognitive approach to literacy only to a small extent captures the normative dimension of reading. Consequently, the test fails to reflect key aspects of literacy, such as identity, identity formation and the ability to participate in society on a deeper level. The argument is based on a normative or moral conception of meaning and reading comprehension, based on Hegel’s concept of recognition.
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  28. added 2016-11-29
    Ingerid S. Straume (2016). Pedagogikk, betydningstap og selvrefleksjonens grunnlag. Studier I Pædagogisk Filosofi 5 (1):3-17.
    The thesis explored in this essay is that contemporary educational thought has suffered a loss of significance, manifested when our language and concepts fail to be experienced as signifiers of commitment. A certain reluctance can be observed, among academics and others, against the notion of defending any cause or idea – with notable exceptions such as “respect for difference”. One may of course contest that a special kind of commitment is needed in education; but problems emerge when the educational values (...)
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  29. added 2016-11-29
    Merete Wiberg (2016). Dannelsesbegrebets rolle som regulativ ide i teoretisk pædagogik – Dannelsesbegrebet og den pædagogiske forskning. Studier I Pædagogisk Filosofi 5 (1):81-95.
    In this paper, it will be argued that the concept of ‘Bildung’ has a twofold role in pedagogical research. On the one hand, it holds a position for conceptual analysis and discussions of how a pedagogical relation is established between an individual and the world. In this sense, it belongs to theoretical pedagogics. Humboldt concepts of receptivity and self-determination and Klafki’s theory of categorial pedagogy are central contributions to this discussion. On the other hand, the concept of Bildung has a (...)
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  30. added 2016-11-29
    Bjørn Christensen (2016). Anmeldelse af Axel Honneths Das Recht der Freiheit - Grundriss einer demokratischen Sittlichkeit. Studier I Pædagogisk Filosofi 5 (1):97-103.
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  31. added 2016-11-29
    Toby E. Huff (1975). Discovery and Explanation in Sociology: Durkheim on Suicide. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 5 (3):241-257.
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  32. added 2016-11-28
    Lyn Horn (forthcoming). Promoting Responsible Research Conduct: A South African Perspective. Journal of Academic Ethics:1-14.
    A great deal of effort has gone into developing capacity in the sphere of human research protection programmes in South Africa and Africa over the last decade or more, by several international organisations. However the promotion of the broader agenda of research integrity or ‘RCR’ has lagged behind. From a global perspective South Africa and other African countries are actively involved in research endeavours and collaborations across a very broad spectrum of scientific fields. For this research to fulfil its potential (...)
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  33. added 2016-11-28
    Tyler John, Joseph Millum & David Wasserman (2016). How to Allocate Scarce Health Resources Without Discriminating Against People with Disabilities. Economics and Philosophy:1-26.
    One widely used method for allocating health care resources involves the use of cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) to rank treatments in terms of quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) gained. CEA has been criticized for discriminating against people with disabilities by valuing their lives less than those of non-disabled people. Avoiding discrimination seems to lead to the ’QALY trap’: we cannot value saving lives equally and still value raising quality of life. This paper reviews existing responses to the QALY trap and argues that all (...)
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  34. added 2016-11-28
    David Morrison‐Love (2016). Towards a Transformative Epistemology of Technology Education. Journal of Philosophy of Education 50 (4).
    Technology Education offers an authentic and invaluable range of skills, knowledge, capabilities, contexts and ways of thinking for learners in the 21st century. However, it is recognised that it occupies a comparatively less defined and more fragile curricular position than associated, but longer established, subjects such as Mathematics and Science. While recognising that no single factor lies behind such a condition, this paper draws upon thinking in the philosophy of technology, technology education and the ontology of artefacts to argue that (...)
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  35. added 2016-11-27
    Alfred Gierer (2008). Was ist der Mensch? In D. Ganten, V. Gerhardt, J. Nida-Rümelin & J. C. Heilinger (eds.), Was ist der Mensch? Humanprojekt der BBAW. De Gruyter 103-105.
    Der Text ist eines von achtzig Kurzessays zum Thema „Was ist der Mensch“, zu denen unsere Arbeitsgruppe „Humanprojekt“ der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften eingeladen hat. So genau Aussagen inhaltlicher Naturwissenschaft oft sind, auf der metatheoretischen Ebene bleibt die Gesamtheit unseres Wissens, und damit auch die Stellung des Menschen in der Natur deutungsfähig und deutungsbedürftig; sie ist mit verschiedenen, natürlich nicht mit allen, philosophischen, kulturellen und religiösen Interpretationen vereinbar; erkenntnislogisch gesehen dürfen und können wir wählen. Worum es dabei eigentlich geht, ist (...)
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  36. added 2016-11-25
    Galen Barry (forthcoming). The Nozick Game. Teaching Philosophy 40 (1).
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  37. added 2016-11-25
    Sean Blenkinsop, Ramsey Affifi, Laura Piersol & Michael De Danann Sitka-Spruce (forthcoming). Shut-Up and Listen: Implications and Possibilities of Albert Memmi’s Characteristics of Colonization Upon the “Natural World”. Studies in Philosophy and Education:1-17.
    This paper begins by exploring the anti-colonial work of Tunisian scholar Albert Memmi in his classic book The Colonizer and the Colonized and determining whether the characteristics of colonization that he names can be successfully applied to the current relationship between modern humans and the “natural world”. After considering what we found to be the five key characteristics: manufacturing the colonial, alienation and unknowability, violence, psychological strategies, and language, history, and metaphor we draw clear parallels, through selected examples, to the (...)
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  38. added 2016-11-24
    Cass R. Sunstein (2016). Historical Explanations Always Involve Counterfactual History. Journal of the Philosophy of History 10 (3):433-440.
    _ Source: _Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 433 - 440 Historical explanations are a form of counterfactual history. To offer an explanation of what happened, historians have to identify causes, and whenever they identify causes, they immediately conjure up a counterfactual history, a parallel world. No one doubts that there is a great deal of distance between science fiction novelists and the world’s great historians, but along an important dimension, they are playing the same game.
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  39. added 2016-11-24
    Yemima Ben-Menahem (2016). If Counterfactuals Were Excluded From Historical Reasoning.. Journal of the Philosophy of History 10 (3):370-381.
    _ Source: _Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 370 - 381 The argument of this paper is that counterfactuals are indispensable in reasoning in general and historical reasoning in particular. It illustrates the role of counterfactuals in the study of history and explores the connection between counterfactuals and the notions of historical necessity and contingency. Entertaining alternatives to the actual course of events is conducive to the assessment of the relative weight and impact of the various factors that combine to bring (...)
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  40. added 2016-11-24
    Alistair Miller (2016). Levinas: Ethics or Mystification? Journal of Philosophy of Education 50 (4).
    The metaphysical ethics of Levinas appeals to many philosophers of education because it seems to promise ethics and social justice without recourse to moral norms, ‘totalising’ political systems or religious belief. However, the notion that the subject can be detached from its worldly being—that one can posit a primordial metaphysical pre-conscious pre-phenomenal self which stands in ethical relation to a primordial metaphysical pre-conscious pre-phenomenal Other—is highly questionable. From an empirical perspective, our experience of the world and of ourselves can only (...)
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  41. added 2016-11-24
    Daniel Woolf (2016). Concerning Altered Pasts: Reflections of an Early Modern Historian. Journal of the Philosophy of History 10 (3):413-432.
    _ Source: _Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 413 - 432 This essay provides an extended commentary on Richard Evans’ book _Altered Pasts_ from the perspective of a historian of a much earlier period, the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The essay considers much of the literature discussed by Evans, explores the “scope” and “range” of counterfactual arguments, and offers suggestions as to how and when legitimate counterfactual historical thinking itself came into being. The essay also argues that the problems inherent in (...)
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  42. added 2016-11-24
    Aviezer Tucker (2016). Historiographic Counterfactuals and the Philosophy of Historiography. Journal of the Philosophy of History 10 (3):333-348.
    _ Source: _Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 333 - 348 Philosophers and historians debate not only the correct analysis of historiographic counterfactuals and their possible utilities for historiography and its philosophy but whether they can be more than speculative. This introduction presents the articles in the special issue on historiographic counterfactuals, show how they hang together and what are the main agreements and disagreements among the authors. Finally, it argues that the debate over historiographic counterfactuals spills over now into the (...)
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  43. added 2016-11-24
    Alexander Maar (2016). Applying D. K. Lewis’s Counterfactual Theory of Causation to the Philosophy of Historiography. Journal of the Philosophy of History 10 (3):349-369.
    _ Source: _Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 349 - 369 A theory of causation suitable for historiography must accommodate the many types of causal claims historians make. In this paper, I examine the advantages of applying D. K. Lewis’s counterfactual theory of causation to the philosophy of historiography. I contend that Lewis’s possible world semantics offers a superior framework for making sense of historical causation, and that it lays the foundation for historians to look at history as causal series of (...)
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  44. added 2016-11-24
    Gavriel D. Rosenfeld (2016). The Ways We Wonder “What If?”. Journal of the Philosophy of History 10 (3):382-411.
    _ Source: _Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 382 - 411 In this essay, I seek to refine our understanding of historical counterfactuals by classifying them into a new typology. After providing a systematic definition of counterfactuals, I divide them up into five different categories: causal, emotive, temporal, spatial, and manneristic. Within each of these categories, I identify eighteen different types of counterfactuals, which I classify with descriptive names and illustrate with specific examples from recent works of historiography. The different types (...)
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  45. added 2016-11-24
    Richard J. Evans (2016). Response. Journal of the Philosophy of History 10 (3):457-467.
    _ Source: _Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 457 - 467 This reply to the critiques by Daniel Woolf, Cass R. Sunstein and Daniel Nolan of my book _Altered Pasts: Counterfactuals in History_, takes each of their contributions in turn, and reasserts the centrality to counterfactual history of positing definite, long term alternative timelines rather than a vague claim that things might have turned out differently to the way they actually did. Such alternate timelines have no claim to either truth or (...)
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  46. added 2016-11-23
    Italo Testa (forthcoming). The Authority of Life. The Critical Task of Dewey's Social Ontology. Journal of Speculative Philosophy.
    In this paper I will first reconstruct a Deweyan model of social ontology, based on the process of habituation. Habit ontology leads to a social philosophy which is not merely descriptive, since it implies a critical re-description of the social world. I will argue that a habit-modeled social ontology is critical insofar as it includes an account of social transformation and of the inevitability of social conflict. Such an understanding is based on a diagnosis of social pathologies of our life (...)
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  47. added 2016-11-23
    Italo Testa (2016). Dewey’s Social Ontology: A Pragmatist Alternative to Searle’s Approach to Social Reality. International Journal of Philosophical Studies:1-23.
    Dewey’s social ontology could be characterized as a habit ontology, an ontology of habit qua second nature that offers us an account of intentionality, social statuses, institutions, and norms in terms of habituations. Such an account offers us a promising alternative to contemporary intentionalist and deontic approaches to social ontology such as Searle’s. Furthermore, it could be the basis of a social ontology better suited to explain both the maintenance and the transformation of social reality. In the first part I (...)
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  48. added 2016-11-21
    Antoinette Baujard & Muriel Gilardone (forthcoming). Sen is Not a Capability Theorist†. Journal of Economic Methodology:1-19.
    This paper aims to clarify the status of capability in Sen’s idea of justice. Sen’s name is so widely associated with the concept of capability that commentators often assume that his contribution to the study of justice amounts to a capability theory, albeit underdeveloped. We argue that such a reading is misleading. Taking Sen’s reticence about operationalization seriously, we show that his contribution is inconsistent with a capability theory. Instead, we defend the idea that the capability approach plays a heuristic (...)
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  49. added 2016-11-19
    Weili Zhao (forthcoming). Review of Derek R. Ford, Communist Study: Education for the Commons. [REVIEW] Studies in Philosophy and Education:1-7.
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  50. added 2016-11-19
    Rebecca Loader & Joanne Hughes (forthcoming). Balancing Cultural Diversity and Social Cohesion in Education: The Potential of Shared Education in Divided Contexts. British Journal of Educational Studies:1-23.
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