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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Michael Forman
TIAS 503
Tacoma Campus

Evidence and Action

Examines the theoretical formulations of public action. Analyzes how different ways of understanding and validating knowledge define the perception of alternative courses of action. Explores the practical consequences of theoretical choices.

Class description

This course explores the construction and validation of claims in the human studies. It both looks at the epistemological foundations of the human studies and at the way these disciplines come to shape public discourse.

Student learning goals

to understand how claims in the social sciences are constructed

to understand how different conceptions of knowledge are embodied in the claims of the human studies

to understand how conceptions of evidence shape public discourse

to prepare a research project of your own

to assess how the framing of your research reflects assumptions about both society and knowledge

General method of instruction

Lecture and discussion

Recommended preparation

This is a course in the philosophy of social science. If you have little background in philosophy, I urge you to read "Sophie's World" by Jostein Gaarder before the term starts.

Class assignments and grading

There will be four types of assignments: critical-interpretive essays, classroom presentation, review of the literature on a topic of your choice, very short in-class final.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Michael Forman
Date: 11/15/2008