Cognitive value commitments in formal theoretical sociology

Sociological Theory 18 (3):475-481 (2000)
Abstract
This paper aims to communicate some of the value commitments that characterize my approach to formal model building in theoretical sociology. It does this through a narrative method, an autobiographical account of shifts in intellectual interests through various phases of my career: from history to philosophy, from philosophy to sociology, from sociology to mathematics and back, followed by several long-term formal theoretical research programs. One of these, pertaining to the formal representation of institutionalized social action systems, is described in terms of its linkage to interpretive sociology, while also noting its limitations from a theoretical science point of view. By interweaving intellectual biography and intellectual history, the paper also provides some contextual background for appreciating the work of the other contributors to this symposium
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