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  1. Joly Agar (2003). G. A. Cohen's Functional Explanation: A Critical Realist Analysis. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 33 (3):291-310.
    Cohen employs in his book Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defense in light of its recent republication. In recent years, Roy Bhaskar has provided a convincing critique of the empiricist philosophy of social science that Cohen employs, and this article tries to provide an assessment of his method from a Bhaskarian perspective. It begins with an exposition of functional explanation, followed by the Bhaskarian critique by demonstrating that functionalism is unworkable because it is dependent on an empiricist account of (...)
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  2. M. Ananth (2001). Explaining Culture: A Naturalistic Approach, by Dan Sperber. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31 (4):563-571.
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  3. Theodore Bach (2012). Gender Is a Natural Kind with a Historical Essence. Ethics 122 (2):231-272.
    Traditional debate on the metaphysics of gender has been a contrast of essentialist and social-constructionist positions. The standard reaction to this opposition is that neither position alone has the theoretical resources required to satisfy an equitable politics. This has caused a number of theorists to suggest ways in which gender is unified on the basis of social rather than biological characteristics but is “real” or “objective” nonetheless – a position I term social objectivism. This essay begins by making explicit the (...)
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  4. Filippo Barbano (1968). Social Structures and Social Functions: The Emancipation of Structural Analysis in Sociology. Inquiry 11 (1-4):40 – 84.
    Starting from R. K. Merton's now classic criticism of 'holistic' functionalism, i.e. of a functionalism which postulates social unity, universality and functional in-dispensability, the author stresses certain implications of this criticism more than they have been stressed hitherto. Classical and holistic functionalism) from H. Spencer, B. Malinowski, A. R. Radcliffe-Brown, etc to T. Parsons, postulates certain total unities (a global culture, an integrated system, etc.) in which each item (existence, actions, structures, etc.) is considered and defined on the grounds of (...)
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  5. Alessandra Basso & Caterina Marchionni (2015). I modelli in economia. Aphex 11.
    The paper reviews the philosophical literature on the epistemology of modelling in contemporary economics. In particular, it focuses on open questions concerning the epistemic role of models, the validity of inferences from the models to the world, and the legitimacy of their use for purposes of explanation, prediction and intervention.
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  6. Mark Battersby & Sharon Bailin (2011). Critical Inquiry: Considering the Context. [REVIEW] Argumentation 25 (2):243-253.
    In this paper we discuss the relevance of considering context for critical thinking. We argue that critical thinking is best viewed in terms of ‘critical inquiry’ in which argumentation is seen as a way of arriving at reasoned judgments on complex issues. This is a dialectical process involving the comparative weighing of a variety of contending positions and arguments. Using the model which we have developed for teaching critical thinking as critical inquiry, we demonstrate the role played by the following (...)
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  7. Frank Benseler, Peter M. Hejl & Wolfram K. Köck (eds.) (1980). Autopoiesis, Communication, and Society: The Theory of Autopoietic Systems in the Social Sciences. Campus.
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  8. Jeroen Van Bouwel & Erik Weber (2002). The Living Apart Together Relationship of Causation and Explanation. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (4):560-569.
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  9. Geoffrey Brennan, Lina Eriksson, Robert E. Goodin & Nicholas Southwood (2013). Explaining Norms. Oxford University Press.
    Norms are a pervasive yet mysterious feature of social life. In Explaining Norms, four philosophers and social scientists team up to grapple with some of the many mysteries, offering a comprehensive account of norms: what they are; how and why they emerge, persist and change; and how and to what extent they themselves serve to explain what we do. Norms, they argue, should be understood in non-reductive terms as clusters of normative attitudes that serve the function of making us accountable (...)
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  10. Michael P. Carroll (1974). The Effects of the Functionalist Paradigm Upon the Perception of Ethnographic Data. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 4 (1):65-74.
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  11. Marchionni Caterina (2008). Explanatory Pluralism and Complementarity. From Autonomy to Integration. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (3).
  12. L. B. Cebik (1971). Concepts, Laws, and the Resurrection of Ideal Types'. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 1 (1):65-81.
  13. G. A. Cohen (2003). Reply to Elster on "Marxism, Functionalism, and Game Theory". In Derek Matravers & Jonathan E. Pike (eds.), Theory and Society. Routledge, in Association with the Open University. 483.
  14. G. A. Cohen (1986). Walt on Historical Materialism and Functional Explanation. Ethics 97 (1):219-232.
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  15. G. A. Cohen (1982). Functional Explanation, Consequence Explanation, and Marxism. Inquiry 25 (1):27 – 56.
    I argued in Karl Marx's Theory of History that the central claims of historical materialism are functional explanations, and I said that functional explanations are consequence explanations, ones, that is, in which something is explained by its propensity to have a certain kind of effect. I also claimed that the theory of chance variation and natural selection sustains functional explanations, and hence consequence explanations, of organismic equipment. In Section I I defend the thesis that historical materialism offers functional or consequence (...)
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  16. Chauncey Downes (1976). Functional Explanations and Intentions. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 6 (3):215-225.
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  17. Kenneth M. Ehrenberg (2009). Defending the Possibility of a Neutral Functional Theory of Law. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 29 (1):91.
    I argue that there is methodological space for a functional explanation of the nature of law that does not commit the theorist to a view about the value of that function for society, nor whether law is the best means of accomplishing it. A functional explanation will nonetheless provide a conceptual framework for a better understanding of the nature of law. First I examine the proper role for function in a theory of law and then argue for the possibility of (...)
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  18. Dorothy M. Emmet (1967). Functionalism in Sociology. In Paul Edwards (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. New York, Macmillan. 3--259.
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  19. Brian Epstein & Patrick Forber (2013). The Perils of Tweaking: How to Use Macrodata to Set Parameters in Complex Simulation Models. Synthese 190 (2):203-218.
    When can macroscopic data about a system be used to set parameters in a microfoundational simulation? We examine the epistemic viability of tweaking parameter values to generate a better fit between the outcome of a simulation and the available observational data. We restrict our focus to microfoundational simulations—those simulations that attempt to replicate the macrobehavior of a target system by modeling interactions between microentities. We argue that tweaking can be effective but that there are two central risks. First, tweaking risks (...)
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  20. H. Fallding (1975). Book Reviews : The Concept of Social Change, A Critique of the Functionalist Theory of Social Change. By ANTHONY D. SMITH. London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, I973. Pp. Ix+I98. $6.25 (Paper). [REVIEW] Philosophy of the Social Sciences 5 (2):223-227.
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  21. David Goddard (1975). Philosophy and Structuralism. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 5 (2):103-123.
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  22. David Henderson (1988). The Importance of Explanation in Quine's Principle of Charity in Translation. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 18 (3):355-369.
  23. John Holmwood (2004). Functionalism and its Critics. In Austin Harrington (ed.), Modern Social Theory: An Introduction. Oup Oxford.
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  24. R. Horton (1973). Paradox and Explanation: A Reply to Mr. Skorupski II. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 3 (1):289-312.
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  25. I. C. Jarvie (1964). Explanation in Social Science. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 15 (57):62-72.
  26. T. Jones (2010). Norms and Customs: Causally Important or Causally Impotent? Philosophy of the Social Sciences 40 (3):399-432.
    In this article, I argue that norms and customs, despite frequently being described as being causes of behavior in the social sciences and ordinary conversation, cannot really cause behavior. Terms like "norms" and the like seem to refer to philosophically disreputable disjunctive properties. More problematically, even if they do not, or even if there can be disjunctive properties after all, I argue that norms and customs still cannot cause behavior. The social sciences would be better off without referring to properties (...)
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  27. Todd Jones (2006). "We Always Have a Beer After the Meeting": How Norms, Customs, Conventions, and the Like Explain Behavior. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36 (3):251-275.
    There are a vast number of ways of explaining human behavior in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation. One family of accounts seeks to explain behavior using terms such as norms, customs, tradition, convention , and culture . Despite the ubiquity of these terms, it is not fully clear how these concepts really explain behavior, how they are related, how they differ, and what they contrast with. In this article, I hope to answer such questions. Key Words: norm • (...)
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  28. Theo J. Kalikow (1976). Konrad Lorenz's Ethological Theory, 1939-1943: 'Explanations' of Human Thinking, Feeling and Behaviour. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 6 (1):15-34.
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  29. Pawel Kawalec (2006). Przyczyna i Wyjaśnianie: Studium Z Filozofii i Metodologii Nauk. Wydawnictwo KUL.
    Przedmowa Problematyka związana z zależnościami przyczynowymi, ich modelowaniem i odkrywa¬niem, po długiej nieobecności w filozofii i metodologii nauk, budzi współcześnie duże zainteresowanie. Wiąże się to przede wszystkim z dynamicznym rozwojem, zwłaszcza od lat 1990., technik obli¬czeniowych. Wypracowane w tym czasie sieci bayesowskie uznaje się za matematyczny język przyczynowości. Pozwalają one na daleko idącą auto¬matyzację wnioskowań, co jest także zachętą do podjęcia prób algorytmiza¬cji odkrywania przyczyn. Na potrzeby badań naukowych, które pozwalają na przeprowadzenie eksperymentu z randomizacją, standardowe metody ustalania zależności przyczynowych (...)
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  30. Lansana Keita (2006). Practical Rationality in Social Science Explanation: A Reply to Terrence Kelly. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36 (2):219-226.
    Terrence Kelly argues for a theory of practical rationality to explain and handle the issue of residential segregation in the United States. Kelly claims that theories of "racism as irrational" and rational choice are not explanatorily adequate in this regard. I argue that the theory of practical rationality is also not adequate because by allowing agents to offer accounts of their calculated behaviour, it allows little appraisal of the behaviour itself. I argue instead that better explanations could be offered by (...)
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  31. Terrence Kelly (2004). Practical Rationality in Social Scientific Explanation: The Case of Residential Segregation. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (1):3-19.
    Residential segregation according to race remains fairly entrenched in parts of the United States despite the fact that public attitudes toward racial integration have become dramatically more positive. This incongruity is often explained in terms of the irrationality of agents, whereby the agents’ support of integration is undermined by systematic/unconscious racism. The author argues that such accounts present an implausible model of practical rationality and places too great a justificatory burden on the critic/observer perspective. As an alternative, he suggests the (...)
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  32. Harold Kincaid (1990). Assessing Functional Explanations in the Social Sciences. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:341 - 354.
    Functionalism is a dominant but widely criticized perspective in social theory; my goal in this paper is to help clarify what functionalists claim, identify what would count as evidence for those claims and evaluate some standard criticisms. Functionalism relies essentially on functional explanations of the form "A exists in order to B." I point out problems with previous accounts of such explanations, offer an improved account, and discuss in detail evidence that might confirm such explanations and its difficulties. I (...)
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  33. Harold Kincaid (1990). Defending Laws in the Social Sciences. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 20 (1):56?83.
    This article defends laws in the social sciences. Arguments against social laws are considered and rejected based on the "open" nature of social theory, the multiple realizability of social predicates, the macro and/or teleological nature of social laws, and the inadequacies of belief-desire psychology. The more serious problem that social laws are usually qualified ceteris paribus is then considered. How the natural sciences handle ceteris paribus laws is discussed and it is argued that such procedures are possible in the social (...)
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  34. Marvin Kirsh (2013). Determining the Determined State : The Sizing of Size From Aside/the Amassing of Mass by a Mass. Philosophical Papers and Review 4 (4):49-65.
    A philosophical exploration is presented that considers entities such as atoms, electrons, protons, reasoned (in existing physics theories) by induction, to be other than universal building blocks, but artifacts of a sociological struggle that in elemental description is identical with that of all processes of matter and energy. In a universal context both men and materials, when stressed, struggle to accomplish/maintain the free state. The space occupied by cognition, inferred to be the result of the inequality of spaces, is an (...)
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  35. John Lemos (2009). In Defense of Organizational Evolution: A Reply to Reydon and Scholz. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 39 (3):463-474.
    Organizational ecology applies Darwinian principles of natural selection to understand the evolution of new forms of organizations over time. The idea here is that there are different forms of human organizations, such as different business organizations, religious organizations, political organizations, etc. The growth of new forms of organizations within each of these fields is to be understood in terms of a struggle for existence among organizations with different traits. In a recent article, Reydon and Scholz (2009) argue that this Darwinian (...)
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  36. Joseph Margolis (1968). II. Taylor on the Reduction of Teleological Laws. Inquiry 11 (1-4):118-124.
  37. Hugh V. Mclachlan (1976). Functionalism, Causation and Explanation. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 6 (3):235-240.
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  38. Alex C. Michalos (1972). Book Review:Causation and Functionalism in Sociology Wsevolod W. Isajiw. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 39 (1):86-.
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  39. Peter A. Munch (1976). The Concept of 'Function' and Functional Analysis in Sociology. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 6 (3):193-213.
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  40. Philip Pettit (1996). Functional Explanation and Virtual Selection. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (2):291-302.
    Invoking its social function can explain why we find a certain functional trait or institution only if we can identify a mechanism whereby the playing of the function connects with the explanandum. That is the main claim in the missing-mechanism critique of functionalism. Is it correct? Yes, if functional explanation is meant to make sense of the actual presence of the trait or institution. No, if it is meant to make sense of why the trait or institution is resilient: why (...)
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  41. Douglas V. Porpora (1980). Operant Conditioning and Teleology. Philosophy of Science 47 (4):568-582.
    This paper defends the relevance of Taylor's (1964) critique of S-R behaviorism to Skinner's model of operant conditioning. In particular, it is argued against Ringen (1976) that the model of operant conditioning is a nonteleological variety of explanation. Operant conditioning is shown unable, on this account, to provide a parsimonious and predictive explanation of the behavior of higher level organisms. Finally, it is shown that the principle of operant conditioning implicitly assumes a teleological capacity, the admission of which renders the (...)
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  42. Vernon Pratt (1975). A Biological Approach to Sociological Functionalism. Inquiry 18 (4):371 – 389.
    The rationale for the common rejection of classical societal functionalism is that it entails treating a society as an intelligent purposer, capable of directing its own internal organization in furtherance of survival. But a more acceptable alternative account of the origins of a society's functional organization is conceivable: the individual unconsciously recognizes the needs of his group and directs his behaviour so that they are met. The plausibility of this explanation hangs on whether selection between groups occurs to any significant (...)
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  43. Wójcicki Ryszard (2007). Review of Paweł Kawalec, Przyczyna I Wyjaśnianie. Studium Z Metodologii I Filozofii Nauki, Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL. Polish Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):147-149.
    Review of Paweł Kawalec, Przyczyna i wyjaśnianie. Studium z metodologii i filozofii nauki, Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL.
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  44. M. I. Sanduk, Does Society Exhibit Same Behaviour of Plasma Fluid?
    Both society and plasma (ionized gas) fluid are composed of active, interactive, and free, individuals. These individuals are responded to any internal and external effects (fields for plasma), and exhibit collective behaviour. According to this structure, there are a wide range of similarities between the plasma fluid and the society. The nature of fluidity of plasma arises from the interaction of its free interactive charges, so the society may behave as a fluid owing to the free interactive individuals. This fluid (...)
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  45. Justin Schwartz (1993). Functional Explanation and Metaphysical Individualism. Philosophy of Science 60 (2):278-301.
    G. A. Cohen defends and Jon Elster criticizes Marxist use of functional explanation. But Elster's mechanical conception of explanation is, contrary to Elster's claims, a better basis for vindication of functional explanation than Cohen's nomological conception, which cannot provide an adequate account of functional explanation. Elster also objects that functional explanation commits us to metaphysically bizarre collective subjects, but his argument requires an implausible reading of methodological individualism which involves an unattractive eliminativism about social phenomena.
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  46. T. W. Settle (1969). Causation and Functionalism in Sociology By Wsevolod W. Isajiw. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1968. Pp. Vii, 158. 25s. [REVIEW] Dialogue 8 (01):165-167.
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  47. Raimo Tuomela (1984). Social Action-Functions. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 14 (2):133-147.
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  48. Philippe Van Parijs (1979). Functional Explanation and the Linguistic Analogy. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 9 (4):425-443.
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  49. S. Walt (1983). A Note on Mandelbaum's 'G. A. Cohen's Defense of Functional Explanation'. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 13 (4):483-485.
  50. Arno Wouters (2006). What Functions Explain: Functional Explanation and Self-Reproducing Systems. [REVIEW] Acta Biotheoretica 54 (1):55-59.
    Review of Peter Mc. Laughlin *What Functions Explain" (2001).
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