Core 1. The Structure of Social Knowledge

(3 credits; 30 hours plus conferences; 15-20 students per offering)


Proposed Course Outline

1. Introduction to the problem:

2. Descartes and the birth of modern epistemology:

Readings: Descartes, Discourse on Method (selections); Spinoza, Ethics (selections)

3. Is there an "Order" in Nature? Hume's challenge:

Reading: David Hume, Treatise on Human Nature (selections)

4. Vico and the introduction of "social" knowledge

Reading: The New Science of Giovanni Battista Vico (selections)

5. "We know of only one science, the science of history"

Reading: Karl Marx, The German Ideology (Part One)

6. Knowledge as Experience.

Reading: John Dewey, Art as Experience

7. Knowledge as Social Representation

Readings: Emile Durkheim, Sociology and Philosophy; Karl Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia

8. The Nature and Scope of Scientific Knowledge

Readings: K. Popper, Logic of Scientific Discovery; T. Kuhn, Structure of Scientific Revolutions; David Bloor, Knowledge and Social Imagery; P. Feyerabend, Against Method

9. Knowledge and Power

Readings: Michel Foucault, Power/Knowledge; Bruno Latour and Steven Woolgar, Laboratory Life; Evelyn Fox Keller, Reflections on Gender and Science; Donna Haraway, Primate Visions

10. The Political Economy of the Production of Knowledge

Reading: Fritz Machlup, Knowledge: Its Creation, Distribution and Scientific Significance. Princeton University Press, 1984.


Preliminary Bibliography

Berger, P. & T. Luckmann. The Social Construction of Reality. New York: Pelican Books, 1984.

Bhaskar, R. The Possibility of Naturalism: A Philosophical Critique of the Contemporary Human Sciences, 2d ed,. Harvester Press,1979.

Bloor, David. Knowledge and Social Imagery. London: Routledge,1976.

Bourdieu, Pierre. An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

Descartes, Rene. Discourse on Method. New York: Liberal Arts Press, trans.1956.

Durkheim, Emile. Sociology and Philosophy. New York: Free Press, trans.1974.

Dewey, John. Art as Experience. New York: Perigee Books, 1980 [1934].

Dewey, John. Logic: The Theory of Inquiry. New York: Irvington, 1982 [1938].

Feyerabend, Paul. Against Method. London: New Left Books, 1975.

Feyerabend, Paul. "Poppers Objective Knowledge & The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes," in Problems of Empiricism, Philosophical Papers, Vol. 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,1985.

Foucault, Michel. Power/Knowledge. New York: Pantheon, 1980.

Garfinkel, A. Forms of Explanation: Rethinking the Questions in Social Theory. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981.

Geertz, Clifford. "From the Native Point of View," in The Interpretation of Culture. New York: Harper Collins, 1983.

Geertz, Clifford. Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology. New York: Basic Books, 1983.

Harding, S. & M. Hintikka, eds. Discovering Reality: Feminist Perspectives on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1983.

Haraway, Donna. Primate Visions. New York: Routledge, 1989.

Harding, S. Whose Science? Whose Knowledge? Milton Keynes: Open University Press, 1991.

Hollis, M. The Philosophy of Social Science: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Hume, David. Treatise on Human Nature. New York: Dutton, 1964.

Keller, Evelyn Fox. Reflections on Gender and Science. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985.

Kuhn, Thomas. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970.

Latour, Bruno & Steven Woolgar. Laboratory Life. Los Angeles: Sage, 1979.

Machlup, Fritz. Knowledge: Its Creation, Distribution and Economic Significance. Princeton: Princeton University Press,1984.

Machlup, Fritz. "Are the Social Sciences Really Inferior," Southern Economic Journal, 17, 1961.

Mannheim, Karl. Ideology and Utopia. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1970 [1936].

Manicas, P.T. A History and Philosophy of the Social Sciences. Oxford: Blackwell, 1987.

Martin, M. & L.C. McIntyre, eds. Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1994.

Marx, Karl. German Ideology (trans.). New York: International Publishers, 1972.

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. Phenomenology of Perception. London: Routledge, 1962.

Popper, Karl. Logic of Scientific Discovery. London: Hutchinson, 1959.

Popper, Karl. Objective Knowledge. London: RKP, 1972.

Schutz, A. "Concept and Theory Formation in the Social Sciences," in D. Emmet & A. MacIntyre, eds., Sociological Theory and Philosophical Analysis. New York: Macmillan.

Searle, J.R.. The Construction of Social Reality. London: Penguin, 1995.

Vico, Giambattista. The New Science of Giovanni Battista Vico, (trans). Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1970.