Graduate studies at Western
Synthese 97 (2):183 - 207 (1993)
|Abstract||This article disputes the common view that social science explanations depend on discovery of lawlike generalizations from which descriptions of social outcomes can be derived. It distinguishes between governing and phenomenal regularities, and argues that social regularities are phenomenal rather than governing. In place of nomological deductive arguments, the article maintains that social explanations depend on the discovery of causal mechanisms underlying various social processes. The metaphysical correlate of this argument is that there are no social kinds: types of social entities that share a common casual constitution giving rise to strong regularities of behavior. The article turns next to a consideration of the character of social causation and argues for a microfoundational interpretation of social causation: social causal powers are embodied in the constraints and opportunities that institutions present to individual agents. Finally, it is noted that these arguments have consequences for the credibility of social predictions: it is argued that predictions in social science are generally unreliable.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Gary Goertz (2012). Descriptive-Causal Generalizations : "Empirical Laws" in the Social Sciences? In Harold Kincaid (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science. Oxford University Press.
Erik Weber (2007). Social Mechanisms, Causal Inference, and the Policy Relevance of Social Science. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (3):348-359.
Thomas Brante (2008). Explanatory and Non-Explanatory Goals in the Social Sciences: A Reply to Reiss. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (2):271-278.
Francis Schrag (1983). Social Science and Social Practice. Inquiry 26 (1):107 – 124.
Harold Kincaid (1990). Defending Laws in the Social Sciences. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 20 (1):56?83.
Lee C. McIntyre (2000). Reduction, Supervenience, and the Autonomy of Social Scientific Laws. Theory and Decision 48 (2):101-122.
Daniel Steel (2004). Social Mechanisms and Causal Inference. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (1):55-78.
John R. Searle (1991). Intentionalistic Explanations in the Social Sciences. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 21 (3):332-344.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads12 ( #101,187 of 739,318 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #61,243 of 739,318 )
How can I increase my downloads?