Nonreductive individualism part II—social causation

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 33 (2):203-224 (2003)
Abstract
In Part I, the author argued for nonreductive individualism (NRI), an account of the individual-collective relation that is ontologically individualist yet rejects methodological individualism. However, because NRI is ontologically individualist, social entities and properties would seem to be only analytic constructs, and if so, they would seem to be epiphenomenal, since only real things can have causal power. In general, a nonreductionist account is a relatively weak defense of sociological explanation if it cannot provide an account of how social properties can participate in causal relations. In this article, the author extends NRI to address this weakness and provides an account of social causation that he refers to as supervenient causation. Key Words: individualism • collectivism • social realism • social causation.
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