EXPLANATIONS OF HUMANS AND SOCIETY
Scientific explanations for human behavior have tremendous authority. They influence medicine, law, and perhaps most importantly, how we understand ourselves and each other. But what constitutes a good explanation for the behavior of human individuals or social groups? In this course, we will investigate the history and philosophy of scientific explanations of human behavior, loosely interpreted. Drawing from debates in biology, psychology, economics, and epidemiology, we will inquire as to what, if anything, makes these scientific models and explanations true, good, or useful, and for whom. In evaluating explanations, we'll draw on history and philosophy of science, feminist epistemology, and philosophy of language. Students of all intellectual backgrounds are welcome in this course.