Spring 2016 - SA 358 C100

The Philosophy of the Social Sciences (SA) (4)

Class Number: 2308

Delivery Method: Distance Education


  • Course Times + Location:

    Distance Education

  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150 or 201W.



An analysis of the nature of explanation in the social sciences: 'mind' and action, positivist and interpretive modes of explanation, sociological and historical explanation, objectivity, forms of relativism, the concept of rationality.


This course will give you the opportunity to learn about the philosophy of the social sciences—what it is and why it matters—and to explore the history of what counts as social knowledge and theories about how it should be produced. The course uses a case study to explore complex philosophical and methodological issues in the social sciences.


  • Assignment 1 10%
  • Assignment 2 10%
  • Assignment 3 10%
  • Assignment 4 10%
  • Assignment 5 40%
  • Online Participation 20%





Northern Frontier - Northern Homeland: The Report Of The MacKenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry (2nd Ed.), Berger

ISBN: 9781553657330

Decolonizing Methodologies: Research And Indigenous Peoples (2nd Ed.), Smith

ISBN: 9781848139503

Centre for Online and Distance Education Notes:

Additional Course Fee: $40

Students requiring accommodation as a result of a disability must contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities.

Students are responsible for following all exam policies and procedures (e.g., missing an exam due to illness) available here.

This course outline was accurate at the time of publication but is subject to change. Please check your course details in your online delivery method, such as Canvas.

Students will only have access to Canvas starting the first day of classes. For any students who registered after classes start, Canvas access should be granted within 1 business day.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html