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Confronting Variation in the Social and Behavioral Sciences

Downes, Stephen M. (2016) Confronting Variation in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Philosophy of Science, 83 (5). pp. 909-920. ISSN 1539-767X


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I pose problems for the views that human nature should be the object of study in the social and behavioral sciences and that a concept of human nature is needed to guide research in these sciences. I proceed by outlining three research programs in the social sciences, each of which confront aspects of human variation. Next I present Elizabeth Cashdan and Grant Ramsey's related characterizations of human nature. I go on to argue that the research methodologies they each draw on are more productive resources for social scientists than their competing characterizations of human nature.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Downes, Stephen M.s.downes@utah.edu0000-0001-9363-3322
Keywords: human nature, social science, behavioral science, human variation
Depositing User: Stephen M. Downes
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2021 20:48
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2021 20:48
Item ID: 19333
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophy of Science
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle:
Date: 2016
Page Range: pp. 909-920
Volume: 83
Number: 5
ISSN: 1539-767X

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