Faculty by courtesy

Daniel E. Little

Professor of Sociology; Professor of Public Policy (by courtesy); Chancellor Emeritus, University of Michigan-Dearborn

Daniel Little is a professor of sociology at UM-Ann Arbor, with a courtesy appointment at the Ford School and research appointments in the Center for Chinese Studies, ICPSR, and the Center for Complex Systems. The former chancellor of UM-Dearborn, where he is also a professor of philosophy, Little is a philosopher of the social sciences with extensive interdisciplinary experience and a developed interest in Chinese history and politics. His recent books include The Paradox of Wealth and Poverty: Mapping the Ethical Dilemmas of Global Development (2003), New Contributions to the Philosophy of History (2010), New Directions in the Philosophy of Social Science (2016), and A New Social Ontology of Government (2020). Little received his undergraduate degrees in mathematics and philosophy from University of Illinois in 1971 and his PhD in philosophy from Harvard University in 1977.

Educational background

  • PhD in philosophy, Harvard University (1977)
  • BA in mathematics and philosophy, University of Illinois (1971)

Current research

  • Organizational causes of disaster
  • Government decision-making in high-energy physics
  • Twentieth-century challenges to the philosophy of history

Recent publications

  • A New Social Ontology of Government (Palgrave, 2020)
  • “The continuing need for unmasking,” The American Sociologist (2020)
  • “Are organizations adaptive?”, Social Functions: Their metaphysics, explanatory power, and normative dimension, edited by Rebekka Hufendiek, Daniel James, and Raphael van Riel (Routledge, 2020)
  • “Social Ontology De-dramatized,” Philosophy of the Social Sciences (2020)
  • “Organizations as actors: Microfoundations of organizational intentionality,” Philosophy of the Social Sciences (2020)
  • “Meanings and mechanisms: An actor-centered approach to historical explanation”, Explanation in Action Theory and Historiography: Causal and Teleological Approaches, edited by Gunnar Schumann (Routledge, 2019)