Defending laws in the social sciences

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 20 (1):56?83 (1990)
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 sciences. The article ends by arguing that at least some social research is roughly as well as confirmed as good work in evolutionary biology and ecology.
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DOI 10.1177/004839319002000104
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Jesse R. Steinberg (2010). Dispositions and Subjunctives. Philosophical Studies 148 (3):323 - 341.
Alice Drewery (2005). The Logical Form of Universal Generalizations. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (3):373 – 393.

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