Emory University
University Of Hradec Kralove
  •  1047
    The Philosophy of Social Science: A Contemporary Introduction examines the perennial questions of philosophy by engaging with the empirical study of society. The book offers a comprehensive overview of debates in the field, with special attention to questions arising from new research programs in the social sciences. The text uses detailed examples of social scientific research to motivate and illustrate the philosophical discussion. Topics include the relationship of social policy to social sci…Read more
  •  661
    Inference, Explanation, and Asymmetry
    Synthese (Suppl 4): 929-953. 2018.
    Explanation is asymmetric: if A explains B, then B does not explain A. Tradition- ally, the asymmetry of explanation was thought to favor causal accounts of explanation over their rivals, such as those that take explanations to be inferences. In this paper, we develop a new inferential approach to explanation that outperforms causal approaches in accounting for the asymmetry of explanation.
  •  390
    Methodological triangulation in nursing research
    with Margaret Moloney and Sandra Dunbar
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31 (1): 40-59. 2001.
    Methodological triangulation is the use of more than one method to investigate a phenomenon. Nurse researchers investigate health phenomena using methods drawn from the natural and social sciences. The methodological debate concerns the possibility of confirming a single theory with different kinds of methods. The nursing debate parallels the philosophical debate about how the natural and social sciences are related. This article critiques the presuppositions of the nursing debate and suggests a…Read more
  •  299
    Evolution and the Kantian Worldview
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (S1): 72-84. 2006.
    Nonhuman animals seem to make inferences and have mental representations. Brandom articulates a Kantian (and Hegelian) account of representation that seems to make nonhuman mental content impossible: animals are merely sentient, not sapient. His position is problematic because it makes it impossible to understand how our cognitive capacities evolved. This essay discusses experimental and ethological work on transitive inference. It argues that to fit such evidence within the Kantian framework, t…Read more
  •  267
    The final chapter of the book 'redraws the map', to create a new picture of nursing science based on the following principles: Problems of practice should guide ...
  •  254
    Scientific change as political action: Franz Boas and the anthropology of race
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (1): 24-45. 2007.
    A theory is value-neutral when no constitutive values are part of its content. Nonneutral theories seem to lack objectivity because it is not clear how the constitutive values could be empirically confirmed. This article analyzes Franz Boas’s famous arguments against nineteenth-century evolutionary anthropology and racial theory. While he recognized that talk of "higher civilizations" encoded a constitutive, political value with consequences for slavery and colonialism, he argued against it on e…Read more
  •  213
    The limits of cognitive theory in anthropology
    Philosophical Explorations 7 (3). 2004.
    The cognitive revolution in psychology was a significant advance in our thinking about the mind. Philosophers and social scientists have looked to the cognitive sciences with the hope that the social world will yield to similar explanatory strategies. Dan Sperber has argued for a programme that would conceptualize the entire domain of anthropological theory in cognitive terms. Sperber's 'epidemiology' specifically excludes interpretive, structuralist and functionalist theories. This essay evalua…Read more
  •  208
    Who are ‘We’? Dissolving the Problem of Cultural Boundaries
    Modern Schoolman 84 (2/3): 205-215. 2007.
  •  182
    Reasons, causes, and action explanation
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (3): 294-306. 2005.
    To explain an intentional action one must exhibit the agent’s reasons. Donald Davidson famously argued that the only clear way to understand action explanation is to hold that reasons are causes. Davidson’s discussion conflated two issues: whether reasons are causes and whether reasons causally explain intentional action. Contemporary work on explanation and normativity help disentangle these issues and ground an argument that intentional action explanations cannot be a species of causal explana…Read more
  •  149
    Handbook of Philosophy of Anthropology and Sociology (edited book)
    with Stephen P. Turner
    Elsevier. 2006.
    This volume concerns philosophical issues that arise from the practice of anthropology and sociology. The essays cover a wide range of issues, including traditional questions in the philosophy of social science as well as those specific to these disciplines. Authors attend to the historical development of the current debates and set the stage for future work.
  •  131
    Relativism and the Ontological Turn within Anthropology
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 43 (1): 3-23. 2013.
    The “ontological turn” is a recent movement within cultural anthropology. Its proponents want to move beyond a representationalist framework, where cultures are treated as systems of belief that provide different perspectives on a single world. Authors who write in this vein move from talk of many cultures to many “worlds,” thus appearing to affirm a form of relativism. We argue that, unlike earlier forms of relativism, the ontological turn in anthropology is not only immune to the arguments of …Read more
  •  129
    The politics of explanation and the origins of ethnography
    Perspectives on Science 8 (1): 29-52. 2000.
    : At the turn of the twentieth century, comparative studies of human culture (ethnology) gave way to studies of the details of individual societies (ethnography). While many writers have noticed a political sub-text to this paradigm shift, they have regarded political interests as extrinsic to the change. The central historical issue is why anthropologists stopped asking global, comparative questions and started asking local questions about features of particular societies. The change in questio…Read more
  •  55
    Many epistemologists take Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) to be “fundamental.” For instance, Lycan (1988, 128) writes that “all justified reasoning is fundamentally explanatory reasoning.” Conee and Feldman (2008, 97) concur: “fundamental epistemic principles are principles of best explanation.” Call them fundamentalists. They assert that nothing deeper could justify IBE, as is typically assumed of rules of deductive inference, such as modus ponens. However, logicians account for modus p…Read more
  •  49
    Is there such a thing as a language?
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 22 (2): 163-190. 1992.
    ‘There is no such thing as a language,’ Donald Davidson tells us. Though this is a startling claim in its own right, it seems especially puzzling coming from a leading theorizer about language. Over the years, Davidson’s important essays have sparked the hope that there is a route to a positive, nonskeptical theory of meaning for natural languages. This hope would seem to be dashed if there are no natural languages. Unless Davidson’s radical claim is a departure from his developed views, the Dav…Read more
  •  43
    Inferentialist-Expressivism for Explanatory Vocabulary
    In Ondřej Beran, Vojtěch Kolman & Ladislav Koreň (eds.), From rules to meanings. New essays on inferentialism, Routledge. 2018.
    In this essay, we extend earlier inferentialist-expressivist treatments of traditional logical, semantic, modal, and representational vocabulary (Brandom 1994, 2008, 2015; Peregrin 2014) to explanatory vocabulary. From this perspective, Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) appears to be an obvious starting point. In its simplest formulation, IBE has the form: A best explains why B, B; so A. It thereby captures one of the central inferential features of explanation. An inferentialist-expressiv…Read more
  •  39
    No strings attached: Functional and intentional action explanations
    Philosophy of Science 66 (3): 313. 1999.
    Functional explanation in the social sciences is the focal point for conflict between individualistic and social modes of explanation. While the agent thought she was acting for reasons, the functional explanation seems to reveal the hidden strings of the puppet master. This essay argues that the conflict is merely apparent. The erotetic model of explanation is used to analyze the forms of intentional action and functional explanations. Two explanations conflict if either the presuppositions of …Read more
  •  33
    Norms and explanation in the social sciences
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (2): 223-237. 1998.
  •  31
    Meaning, belief, and language acquisition
    Philosophical Psychology 9 (4): 465-475. 1996.
    A very plausible and common view of meaning supposes that linguistic meaning is to be understood in terms of speakers' intentions. This program proposes to analyse the meaning of a sentence in terms of what speakers mean by or in uttering it; and this speaker meaning in turn is to be analysed in terms of the speaker's intentions. This essay argues that intention-based semantics cannot provide an adequate analysis of linguistic meaning: not because of contrived counterexamples, nor because it con…Read more
  •  25
    Relativism and the social scientific study of medicine
    Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 18 (2): 195-212. 1993.
    Does the social scientific study of medicine require a commitment to relativism? Relativism claims that some subject (e.g., knowledge claims or moral judgments) is relative to a background (e.g., a culture or conceptual scheme) and that judgments about the subject are incommensurable. Examining the concept of success as it appears in orthodox and nonorthodox medical systems, we see that judgments of success are relative to a background medical system. Relativism requires the social scientific st…Read more
  •  20
    When IRBs Disagree: Waiving Parental Consent for Sexual Health Research on Adolescents
    with Judith Greenberg
    IRB: Ethics & Human Research 24 (2): 8. 2002.
  •  19
    Philosophy and the mirror of nature: Thirtieth-anniversary edition
    Nursing Philosophy 11 (3): 209-211. 2010.
    No Abstract
  •  18
    Further reflections on the sensible foundation: Replies to Leavitt and Griffin
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 22 (4): 665-672. 1991.
  •  18
    Metaphysics, method, and the exact sciences
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 24 (3): 493-499. 1993.
  •  17
    Relativism and the possibility of criticism
    Cogito 12 (2): 155-160. 1998.
  •  16
    Uncovers the methodological principles that govern interpretive change
  •  14
    Models of culture
    In Harold Kincaid (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science, Oxford University Press. pp. 387. 2012.