On Definitions of Social Science and Why They Matter

17 March 2021, 12:30 - 14:00

Online event

The work in progress seminars offered an excellent forum for eliciting feedback on one’s work from a cross-disciplinary audience (Dr Christopher Meckstroth, Early Career Fellow 2018-19)

 

This event is part of the CRASSH Fellows Work-in-Progress Seminar Series. All welcome but please email fellowships@crassh.cam.ac.ukto book your place and request readings.

Dr Anna Alexandrova

Conceptions of social science have historically differed in the way they position this type of inquiry relative to natural sciences and humanities. But even when they differ they all assume that social sciences should be defined in contrast with either natural sciences or humanities. I explore an alternative vision that grounds this concept in its social role, rather than in its supposed distinctive method or subject matter.

Anna is the Crausaz Wordsworth Interdisciplinary Fellow in Philosophy, 2020 – 21 and will be at CRASSH in Lent term 2021. Her  research project is titled 'The Possibility of Social Knowledge'.
 
Dr Anna Alexandrova is a Reader in Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. At CRASSH she is the Principal Investigator of the project Expertise Under Pressure, funded by the Humanities and Social Change International Foundation, and was previously one of the Directors of the project Limits of the Numerical, funded by the Independent Social Research Foundation.

The overarching goal ofExpertise Under Pressureis to establish a broad framework for understanding what makes expertise authoritative, when experts overreach, and what realistic demands communities should place on experts.

Before coming to Cambridge, Anna taught at University of Missouri St Louis and studied at University of California, San Diego. She has written on methodology of model-based science, role of rational choice theory in social science, authority of economics and more recently on measurement of well-being, happiness and quality of life. Her bookA Philosophy for the Science of Well-being appeared in 2017 with Oxford University Press. Her current interests are in the ways that AI and automation are changing expertise and knowledge.