This summer has been the longest break I’ve ever taken from school ever since I was…2. I have never been away from academia for this long ever since I started school. Maybe it was because of the five months of absence that really made my heart grow founder, but today was arguably the best first day of school I have ever had. It was just amazing.
Philosophy of social sciences is simply the combination of all my academic passions rolled into one class. As I sat through the introduction of the class, I found myself falling more and more in love with it. Every topic gripped my uttermost attention. All the quotes, the philosophers, the ideas, they were everything I have thought of, questioned, and wondered for half of my life…and I’m finally going to study them in more depths now. I can’t very well summarize everything that went on today…but here’s a brief description of the class from our syllabus:
“This course aims to develop an understanding of the nature of society and of our knowledge of it, through philosophical examination of the social sciences and through the integration of philosophical and social scientific theory. You should complete this course with a knowledge of central debates concerning the forms of social scientific explanation, the nature of social entities and events, the nature of human action and the forms of our knowledge of its causes and motivations, and the scope and limits of scientific knowledge of society. You should also have learnt, or have sharpened your ability, to analyse the conceptual and normative presuppositions of both social scientific theory and method and of particular arguments made by social scientists.”
This doesn’t even come close to the awesomeness of the class. But it’s the best i can do for now.
My other lecture today was Advanced economic analysis. This class is basically the reason why I fell in love with economics three years ago, and the purpose of putting myself through all those gruelling core classes at Duke. This is what I slaved away doing Consumer theories, producer theories, econometrics, and all the other painful stuff in econ 55, 105, 110, and 139 for. In a nutshell, I’m actually going to use what I have learned to study the more complex models used right now by economists and how they are used in current economic research. The course covers four main topics: behavioral economics, economic growth, experimental economics, and monetary policies. It’s a good coverage of both macro and micro, and most importantly, it actually deals with what economists actually do right now and what the field is really about.
Unfortunately I won’t have another lecture until Thursday…but I’m definitely looking forward to other two classes: History of Economics (covering 250 years, from 17th century merchantilist theory to 20th century neoclassical theories. I have no idea what they are, but that’s why I’m in the class.), and Problems in Analystic Philosophy (also don’t have much idea about this one, but once again, that’s why I want to find out).