by fiatadmin on December 23, 2019

Margarita Mooney

Session 1: Framing the Debate


Philip Gorski. 2013. “Beyond the Fact-Value Distinction: Ethical Naturalism and the Social Sciences” Society. 50: 543-553.

Bellah, Robert N.  Beyond Belief.  New York:  Harper & Row, 1970.  Chapter 15, “Between Religion and Social Science,” pp. 237-59.

Richard Osmer, Practical Theology: An Introduction. Eerdmans. “Intro: Four Tasks of Practical Theology”


Max Weber, “Science as a Vocation”

Max Weber, “On Objectivity in Social Science”

Session 2:  Human Personhood and Critical Realism in the Social Sciences

Required Reading

Smith, What is a Person, pp. 1-90


Margaret S. Archer, The Reflexive Imperative in Late Modernity (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012), Introduction, Ch. 1.

Margaret S. Archer, Being Human: The Problem of Agency, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001). Chp. 1

Sayer, Introduction to Critical Realism, Chp. 1

Session 3  Critical Realism and American Sociology

Required Reading

Porpora, Reconstructing Sociology, Chps. 1, 3, 5, 6

Session 4: Virtue Ethics and Social Sciences


Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue, Prologue to 2010 edition, all of Chp. 1, Chp. 2 (until page 11); Chp 8, pp. 103-108 [on the character of generalizations in social science]; and all of Chapter 9, Nietzche or Aristotle [on the question of whether all social norms are just taboos].

Blaine J. Fowers. “An Aristotelian Analysis of the Structure of Human Action.”  Pp. 70-84 in The Wiley handbook of theoretical and philosophical psychology: Methods, approaches and new directions for social science. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons. 2015.

Blaine Fowers. 2010. “Instrumentalism and Psychology: Beyond Using and Being Used.” Theory and Psychology. Vol 20 (1) 102-104.


Blaine J. Fowers, Christine O. Mollicab and Erin N. Procacci. “Constitutive and instrumental goal orientations and their relations with eudaimonic and hedonic well being.” The Journal of Positive Psychology Vol. 5, No. 2, March 2010, 139–153.

Session 5: Vulnerability and Suffering


Alasdair MacIntyre, Dependent Rational Animals, Chapters 7-11.

Talal Asad, Formation of the Secular. Chapter 2 “Thinking about Agency and Pain.” (pp. 67-99) 

Stanley Hauerwas, Suffering Presence, Introduction and Chp. 1,”Reflections on Suffering, Death and Medicine” (pp. 1-37)

Session 6: Theological Critiques of Social Science


Augusto Del Noce, Crisis of Modernity. Chapter 1 “The Idea of Modernity” pp. 1-18; Chapter 5 “Secularization and the Crisis of Modernity” pp. 73-86; Chapter 6 “Towards a New Totalitarianism” pp. 87-91, Chapter 8 “The Death of the Sacred” pp. Pp. 118-136

John Milbank, Theology and Social Theory (Preface to the 2nd Edition)

Bengt Rasmusson. “John Milbank and the Deconstruction of the Secular.” unpublished article.

Session 7: Human Flourishing and Personalism

Note: October 29 is spring break at Princeton University


Christian Smith To Flourish or Destruct: A Personalist Theory of Human Goods, Motivations, Failure and Evil. University of Chicago Press, 2015.  Chapters 2 (Rethinking Motivations), 6 (Flourishing) and 7 (Evil).


BF Skinner, “What is Man?” Chp. 9 in Beyond Freedom and Dignity 

Jacques Maritain, Education at the Crossroads .  Chapter 1 “The Aims of Education” 

Session 8: Personalism

Kevin Schmeising. “A History of Personalism.” Unpublished research paper.

Max Scheler. “Man and History.” Chapter IV, pp. 65-93 in Philosophical Perspectives. Translated from the German by Oscar A. Haac. Boston: Beacon Press, 1958.

Emmanuel Mounier, Personalism. London: Routledge and Kegan, 1952. pp. vii-p. 32. “Informal Introduction to the Personal Universe,” “Embodied Existence”, and “Communication.”

Session 9:  Interpretation in Social Science


Reed, I. (2011), “Meaning” in Interpretation and Social Knowledge (Chicago: University of Chicago Press).

Geertz, C. (1973): “Thick Description”, pp. 3-30 in The Interpretation of Cultures. Selected Essays. New York: Basic Books.

Taylor, C. (1985): “Self-Interpreting Animals”, pp. 45-76 in Human Agency and Language. Philosophical Papers 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Butler, J (1988) Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory Theatre Journal, Vol. 40, No. 4 (Dec.,1988), pp. 519-531


Foucault, M (1977) “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History” in Language, Counter-Memory and Practice. [ed. D.F. Bouchard. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Sayer, A (2000).”Postmodern/realist encounters” in Realism and Social Science, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Session 10:  Narratives in the Social Sciences


Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue. Ch.15, “Virtues, Unity of Life and the Concept of a Tradition.” 

Paul Ricoeur, “Life in Quest of Narrative.” Chp. 2 (pp. 20-33) in On Paul Ricoeur: Narrative and Interpretation (edited by David Wood).

Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1992): 1-45.


George Steinmetz. 2004. “Odious Comparisons: Incommensurability, the Case Study and Small Ns in Sociology.” Sociological Theory. 22:3, pp. 371-400.

Paul Ricoeur, “Can Fictional Narratives Be True?” in Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, ed, Analecta Husserliana, Vol. XIV, 3-19.

Christian Smith, Moral, Believing Animals: Human Personhood and Culture, (New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), Ch. 4.

Donald E. Polkinghorne, Narrative Knowing and the Human Sciences (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1988), Ch. 6-7.

Session 11:  Ontologies and Methodologies of Social Sciences


Danermark, B. Ekström, M. Jakobsen, L. Karlsson. J.C. (1997) “Critical Methodological Pluralism” in Explaining Society: An Introduction to Critical Realism in the Social Sciences. London: Routledge. [150 – 176]

Pawson, Evidence-Based Policy. Chapter 2 “Realist Methodology: The Building Blocks of Evidence” pp. 16-37.

Edwards, P., O’Mahoney, J. and Vincent, S. eds. 2014. “Critical Realism, Research Techniques and Research Designs.” Chapter 2 in Putting Critical Realism into Practice: A Guide to Research Methods in Organization Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.