Ponder: Why not believe in global warming? Why not think vaccinations cause autism? Why collect traffic stop data?

Reading: What is obvious? by Paul Lazarsfeld.

  1. The Craft of Research
  2. Methods Belong to Everyone
  3. Epistemology: Ways of Knowing
  4. Rationalism, Empiricism, and Kant
  5. The Norms of Science
  6. The Development of Science — Democritus to Newton
  7. Exploration, Printing, and Modern Science
  8. Science, Money, and War
  9. The Development of Social Science: From Newton to Rousseau
  10. Early Positivism: Qu├ętelet, Saint-Simon, Comte
  11. Technology and Science
  12. Social Science Failures
  13. The Varieties of Positivism
  14. Later Positivism: The Vienna Circle
  15. Instrumental Positivism
  16. The Reaction against Positivism
  17. About Numbers and Words: The Quantitative/Qualitative Split
  18. Ethics and Social Science

Examples and Illustrations


Emic/Etic Distinctions by James Lett

Least You Should Know

  1. A definition of "science" … objective, logical, and systematic method of analysis of phenomena devised to permit accumulation of reliable knowledge
  2. Name and explain the three "norms of science" … objective, method, reliable
  3. The embeddedness of "methods" in epistemology
  4. The difference between deduction and induction
  5. The meaning of "empirical" and "positivism"
  6. Be able to say something about humanism, hermeneutics, and phenomenology

Food for Thought

Themes introduced here (e.g., rationalism vs. empiricism) are echoed over and over in the study of human beings:




Social Theory




idealism (Hegel)




materialism (Marx)

Concepts, terms, vocabulary

Comte (12-3)
Condorcet (11)
constructivism (3.2)
deduction (9)
dualism (9)
empiricism (3)
epistemology (3.4)
experiment (8)
hermeneutics (21-2)
humanism (3, 20)
hypothetico-deductive model
of science (9)
induction (9)
metaphysics (5-6)
phenomenology (22-3)
positivism (3)
Qu├ętelet (12)
rationalism (3-4)
reliable (6)
Rousseau (12)
social contract (12)
tabula rasa (4)
Vienna Circle (18)
Voltaire (11)