David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 184 (3):407-430 (2012)
We often face a bewildering array of different explanations for the same social facts (e.g. biological, psychological, economic, and historical accounts). But we have few guidelines for whether and when we should think of different accounts as competing or compatible. In this paper, I offer some guidelines for understanding when custom or norm accounts do and don’t compete with other types of accounts. I describe two families of non-competing accounts: (1) explanations of different (but similarly described) facts, and (2) accounts which seem to differ but are really different parts or versions of the same underlying explanation. I argue that, while many types of apparent competitors don’t really compete with customs, there are some that do. I also describe some of the central problems, which suggest that custom accounts will compete poorly with their rivals.
|Keywords||Explanation Causation Levels Custom Norm Social science Disjunction|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Jaegwon Kim (1998). Mind in a Physical World: An Essay on the Mind-Body Problem and Mental Causation. MIT Press.
Sigmund Freud (2011). Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Broadview Press.
Carl F. Craver (2007). Explaining the Brain: Mechanisms and the Mosaic Unity of Neuroscience. Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press.
James Woodward (2003). Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation. Oxford University Press.
Jaegwon Kim (2005). Physicalism, or Something Near Enough. Princeton University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Todd Jones (2008). Explanations of Social Phenomena: Competing and Complementary Accounts. Metaphilosophy 39 (4-5):621-650.
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.
Todd Jones (1997). Unification, Reduction, and Non-Ideal Explanations. Synthese 112 (1):75-96.
Ruth Berger (1998). Understanding Science: Why Causes Are Not Enough. Philosophy of Science 65 (2):306-332.
Doug Mann (1999). The Limits of Instrumental Rationality in Social Explanation. Critical Review 13 (1-2):165-189.
Kareem Khalifa (2011). Contrastive Explanations as Social Accounts. Social Epistemology 24 (4):263-284.
Matthew Haug (2011). Explaining the Placebo Effect: Aliefs, Beliefs, and Conditioning. Philosophical Psychology 24 (5):679 - 698.
Todd Jones (2007). What's Done Here—Explaining Behavior in Terms of Customs and Norms. Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (3):363-393.
William Bechtel & Cory D. Wright (2009). What is Psychological Explanation? In P. Calvo & J. Symons (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Psychology. Routledge 113--130.
Michael Strevens (2004). The Causal and Unification Approaches to Explanation Unified—Causally. Noûs 38 (1):154–176.
Eric Barnes (1994). Explaining Brute Facts. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:61 - 68.
David Henderson (2010). Explanation and Rationality Naturalized. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 40 (1):30-58.
Kareem Khalifa (2012). Inaugurating Understanding or Repackaging Explanation? Philosophy of Science 79 (1):15-37.
Erik Weber & Jeroen Van Bouwel (2002). Symposium on Explanations and Social Ontology 3: Can We Dispense with Structural Explanations of Social Facts? Economics and Philosophy 18 (2):259-275.
Added to index2012-01-03
Total downloads7 ( #304,000 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?