Research papers and presentations

Published articles and book chapters

"Fallibilism and Ontology in Tuukka Kaidesoja's Critical Realist Social Ontology," Journal of Social Ontology 2015 (link)

"Mechanisms and Method," Philosophy of the Social Sciences 2015 (DOI: 10.1177/0048393115580420)

“Disaggregating Historical Explanation: The Move to Social Mechanisms in the Philosophy of History,” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, July 1, 2013. (link)

“Jon Elster and the social sciences,” Claudio Lopez-Guerra and Julia Maskivker, eds. Democracy, Rationality and Justice. Cambridge University Press (forthcoming). 

“Character and historical interpretation,” Iskra Fileva, ed. Character: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Oxford University Press (forthcoming). 

“Rawls and Economics,” Jon Mandle and David Reidy, eds., A Companion to Rawls, Wiley, 2014.

“Actor-Centered Sociology and the New Pragmatism,” Julie Zahle and Finn Collin, eds., Individualism, Holism, Explanation and Emergence. Springer (2014). 

“Nation, region, and globe: Alternative definitions of place in world history,” Journal of Global Studies (2014). (link)

“More challenges for social mechanisms,” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, August 6, 2012. (link)

“Analytical Sociology and the Rest of Sociology,” Sociologica (2012). (link)

“Responses to Commentators on Analytical Sociology and the Rest of Sociology,” Sociologica (2012) 

“Explanatory Autonomy and Coleman’s Boat,” Theoria (2012). (link)

“Social Mechanisms and Scientific Realism: Discussion of ‘Mechanistic Explanation in Social Contexts’ by Johannes Persson”, Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, February 9, 2012. (link)

“Causal Mechanisms in the Social Realm,” Causality in the Sciences, Phyllis Illari, Federica Russo, Jon Williamson (eds.) (Oxford University Press, 2011) (link)

“Methodological Individualism,” Encyclopedia of Political Theory, Mark Bevier, ed. (Sage, 2010) (link)

“Political Power and Social Class,” SAGE Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science. Jésus Zamora and Ian Jarvie, eds. (2011) (link)

“Action in History and Social Science,” A Companion to the Philosophy of Action, Constantine Sandis and Tim O'Connor, eds. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010) (link)

“Philosophy of Sociology,” Philosophy of the Special Sciences. Fritz Allhoff, ed. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010) (link)

“Institutions, Inequality and Well-being: Distributive Determinants of Rural Development,” Capabilities, Power, and Institutions: Toward a More Critical Development Ethics. Stephen Esquith, ed. (Penn State Press, 2010) (link)

“The Heterogeneous Social,” Philosophy of the Social Sciences: Philosophical Theory and Scientific Practice. Chrysostomos Mantzavinos, ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2009) (link)

“Autobiographical Essay,” The Philosophy of the Social Sciences: 5 Questions. Christoph Schmidt-Petri and Diego Rios, eds. (Vince Press, 2008)

“Eurasian Comparisons,” Social Science History (2008) (link)

“Marxism and Method,” Twentieth-Century Marxism: A Global Introduction, edited by Howard Chados and David Walker (Routledge, 2007) (link)

“Levels of the Social,” The Philosophy of Anthropology and Sociology, edited by Mark Risjord and Stephen Turner (Elsevier Science, 2006) (link)

“Explaining Large-Scale Historical Change,” Philosophy of the Social Sciences (2000) (link)

“Multiple Goals in the Liberal Arts: A Reply to Joseph Wagner,” Interchange (1998)

“Recent Developments in Philosophical Marxism,” Topoi (1996)

“Causal Explanation in the Social Sciences,” Southern Journal of Philosophy (Supplement, 1995) (link)

“Is Anthropology a Science?”, Anthropology Newsletter (1995) (link)

“Current Issues in the Epistemology of Economics” in On the Reliability of Economic Models, edited by D. Little (Kluwer Academic Publishing, 1995) (link)

“On the Reliability of CGE Economic Models” in On the Reliability of Economic Models, edited by D. Little (Kluwer Academic Publishing, 1995) (link)

“Microfoundations of Marxism” in Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science, edited by Michael Martin and Lee McIntyre (MIT Press, 1994)

“Development Traps in Traditional and Modern China” in Culture, Politics, and Economic Growth: Experiences of East Asia, edited by Richard Harvey Brown (Studies in Third World Societies, 1993)

“Evidence and Objectivity in the Social Sciences,” Social Research 60:2 (1993) (link)

“On the Scope and Limits of Generalizations in the Social Sciences,” Synthese 97:2 (1993) (link)

“Jon Elster” in New Horizons in Economic Thought: Appraisals of Leading Economists, edited by Warren Samuels (Edward Elgar Publishing, 1992) (link)

“New Perspectives on the Chinese Rural Economy,” Republican China (1992)

“Rational-Choice Models and Asian Studies,” Journal of Asian Studies 50 (1991) (link)

“Socialist Morality: Towards a Political Philosophy for Democratic Socialism” Social Philosophy & Policy 6 (1989); also in Socialism, edited by Ellen Frankel Paul (Basil Blackwell, 1989)

“Marxism and Popular Politics: The Microfoundations of Class Struggle,” Canadian Journal of Philosophy Supplementary Volume 15 (1989) (link)

“Testing the Testers: A Reply to Barbara Sands and Ramon Myers' Critique of G. William Skinner's Regional Systems Approach to China” (coauthored with Joseph Esherick), Journal of Asian Studies 48 (1989)

“Collective Action and the Traditional Village,” Journal of Agricultural Ethics 1 (1988)

“Dialectics and Science in Marx's Capital,” Philosophy of the Social Sciences 17 (1987) (link)

“The Scientific Standing of Capital,” Review of Radical Political Economics 17 (1986) (link)

“Historical Materialism and Capital,” Topoi 5 (1986)

“Does Marx Have a Theory of Capitalism?”, The Social Science Journal 22 (1985)

“Reflective Equilibrium and Justification,” Southern Journal of Philosophy 22 (1984) (link)

“Abstraction and Theory: Marx's Method for Social Science,” Southern Journal of Philosophy 20 (1982) (link)

“Rationality, Ideology, and Morality in Marx's Social Theory,” Social Praxis 8 (1981)

“Countervailing Tendencies and Falsifiability in Capital,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 42 (1981) (link)

Unpublished lectures, talks, and bibliographies ...

Philosophy of the Social Sciences ...

The Heterogeneous Social (PowerPoint)

New Developments in the Chinese Social Sciences

Epistemological Issues in Economic History

Levels of Explanation in Social Science (PowerPoint)

Kin, Class and Identity: Microfoundations for Social Identities (PowerPoint)

ICPSR Lecture: Causal Realism (PowerPoint)

ICPSR Lecture: Philosophy of Social Science (PowerPoint)

New Philosophy of History ...

Towards a New Philosophy of History

Key questions for the philosophy of history

Historical Concepts, Social Ontology, Macrohistory

Social Kinds and Comparative Research (PowerPoint)

Causal Mechanisms in Historical Sociology

Causation in Meso-History

Causation in Meso-History (PowerPoint)

Transportation as a Large Historical Factor

Transportation as a Large Historical Factor (PowerPoint)

Mentalités, Identities, and Practices

Plasticity of the Social

The Involution Debate

Loud Voices in the China Field: The Involution Debate (powerpoint)

Much of this is now included in New Contributions to the Philosophy of History.

Globalization and development ...

Towards a Global Civil Society

Well-being and Poverty in the Developing World

Rural Development and Inequality

Democracy and Development

Alternative Development Strategies for Third-World Poverty

Poverty-first Strategies of Economic Development

Normative Constraints on Economic Development Theory

Equality and International Justice: Comments on Satz

Putting the Poor First

Many of these themes are developed in The Paradox of Wealth and Poverty: Mapping the Ethical Dilemmas of Global Development

Encyclopedia articles ...

Causal mechanisms



Exogenous and endogenous variables

Ethnography, ethnology, ethnomethodology


False consciousness


Hermeneutic explanation

Inequality measurement; Gini coefficient


Marxism, communism, and women

Philosophy of economics

Philosophy of history

Philosophy of social science

Scientific realism

scientific social knowledge


Book Reviews