67Do the Social Sciences Vindicate Race's Reality?Philosophers' Imprint 21 (21). 2021.Many humanists and social scientists argue—if not assume—that race's centrality in social-scientific research provides an empirical justification for its reality as a constructed kind. In this paper, we first regiment these arguments, and then show that they face significant challenges. Specifically, race-concepts' social-scientific success is compatible with race being neither constructed nor real.
48Is Social Ontology Prior to Social Scientific Methodology?Philosophy of the Social Sciences 49 (3): 171-189. 2019.In this article I examine “Ontology Matters!” (OM!) arguments. OM! arguments conclude that ontology can contribute to empirical success in social science. First, I capture the common form between different OM! arguments. Second, I describe quantifier variance as discussed in metaontology. Third, I apply quantifier variance to the common form of OM! arguments. I then present two ways in which ontology is prior to social science methodology, one realist and one pragmatic. I argue that a pragmatic …Read more
32Predictive Success and Non-Individualist Models in Social SciencePhilosophy of the Social Sciences 47 (2): 145-161. 2017.The predictive inadequacy of the social sciences is well documented, and philosophers have sought to diagnose it. This paper examines Brian Epstein’s recent diagnosis. He argues that the social sciences treat the social world as entirely composed of individual people. Instead, social scientists should recognize that material, non-individualistic entities determine the social world, as well. First, I argue that Epstein’s argument both begs the question against his opponents and is not sufficientl…Read more
14Instrumentalizing and Naturalizing Social Ontology: Replies to Lohse and LittlePhilosophy of the Social Sciences 51 (1): 24-39. 2021.This article addresses Simon Lohse’s and Daniel Little’s responses to my article “Is Social Ontology Prior to Social Scientific Methodology?.” In that article, I present a pragmatic and deflationary view of the priority of social ontology to social science methodology where social ontology is valued for its ability to promote empirical success and not because it yields knowledge of what furnishes the social world. First, in response to Lohse, I argue that my view is compatible with a role for on…Read more
St. Lawrence UniversityDepartment of PhilosophyLecturer
University of Missouri, Columbia
Department of Philosophy
Canton, New York, United States of America