David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (2):283-299 (2004)
In this piece the author takes issue with Mario Bunges claims that conceptual and semiotic systems have "compositions, environments and structures, but no mechanisms." Structures, according to Bunge, can never be mechanisms in conceptual and semiotic systems. Contra this the author argues that in social systems, social structures (which are concept-dependent and reproduced and/or transformed, at least in part, semiotically), can be mechanisms in the sense that such structures are one of the processes in a concrete system that makes itwhat it is. As such, not only may conceptual and semiotic systems have mechanisms, but they may also themselves be considered some of the mechanisms that make the social what it is. As such, they can be said to possess powers and liabilities that neither reside at lower levels nor are explainable in terms of the lower level. To hold out the prospect of social explanation by conceptual and/or semiotic mechanisms does not represent an attempt to decouple these systems from material factors. What it does mean is that conceptual and/or semiotic systems can, potentially at least, play a role in social explanation; and themselves be subject to explanation. Key Words: mechanisms social structures cause explanation realism emergence reductionism.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Zenonas Norkus (2005). Mechanisms as Miracle Makers? The Rise and Inconsistencies of the "Mechanismic Approach" in Social Science and History. History and Theory 44 (3):348–372.
Similar books and articles
Daniel Steel (2004). Social Mechanisms and Causal Inference. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (1):55-78.
Mario Bunge (2004). How Does It Work?: The Search for Explanatory Mechanisms. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (2):182-210.
R. Keith Sawyer (2004). The Mechanisms of Emergence. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (2):260-282.
Erik Weber (2007). Social Mechanisms, Causal Inference, and the Policy Relevance of Social Science. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (3):348-359.
Renate Mayntz (2004). Mechanisms in the Analysis of Social Macro-Phenomena. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (2):237-259.
Julian Reiss (2007). Do We Need Mechanisms in the Social Sciences? Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (2):163-184.
Panagiotis Oulis (2010). Nature and Main Kinds of Psychopathological Mechanisms. Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences 3 (2):27-34.
Slava Sadovnikov (2004). Systemism, Social Laws, and the Limits of Social Theory: Themes Out of Mario Bunge's: The Sociology-Philosophy Connection. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (4):536-587.
Arthur L. Stinchcombe (1991). The Conditions of Fruitfulness of Theorizing About Mechanisms in Social Science. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 21 (3):367-388.
Karl-Dieter Opp (2005). Explanations by Mechanisms in the Social Sciences. Problems, Advantages and Alternatives. Mind and Society 4 (2):163-178.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads14 ( #118,966 of 1,099,961 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #304,128 of 1,099,961 )
How can I increase my downloads?