Social causality

Inquiry 31 (2):151 – 170 (1988)
This paper combines a phenomenological account of the types of causal transaction found in social reality with a critique of two theories, one structuralist and one Marxist, that contravene it. Part I argues that there are three types of causal transaction in social life in addition to physical causal transactions: people bringing about states of affairs by acting, states of affairs bringing about actions by inducing responses, and entities and states of affairs bringing about what makes sense to people to do by making certain factors determine this. It is also contended that social formations and structures cause actions and other social formations/structures only by way of participating in these types of transaction. The conditions under which this occurs are discussed. Part II criticizes Peter Blau's account of structural effects and Jean?Paul Sartre's version of a materialist theory of history, two theories that either advocate or require causal transactions between social structures/ formations which do not reduce to transactions of the types described in Part I. The paper concludes by suggesting that social entities that make actions possible do not thereby cause them.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/00201748808602145
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,879
External links
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

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Dave Elder-Vass (2011). The Causal Power of Discourse. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 41 (2):143-160.
Daniel Steel (2004). Social Mechanisms and Causal Inference. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (1):55-78.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

14 ( #180,136 of 1,725,260 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #349,101 of 1,725,260 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.