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Profile: Jeroen van Bouwel (University of Ghent)
  1. Anton Froeyman, Laszlo Kosolosky & Jeroen Van Bouwel (forthcoming). Introduction: Social Epistemology Meets the Philosophy of the Humanities. Foundations of Science:1-13.
    From time to time, when I explain to a new acquaintance that I’m a philosopher of science, my interlocutor will nod agreeably and remark that that surely means I’m interested in the ethical status of various kinds of scientific research, the impact that science has had on our values, or the role that the sciences play in contemporary democracies. Although this common response hardly corresponds to what professional philosophers of science have done for the past decades, or even centuries, it (...)
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  2. Jeroen Van Bouwel (forthcoming). Towards Democratic Models of Science. Exploring the Case of Scientific Pluralism. Perspectives on Science.
    Scientific pluralism, a normative endorsement of the plurality or multiplicity of research approaches in science, has recently been advocated by several philosophers (e.g., Kellert et al. 2006, Kitcher 2001, Longino 2013, Mitchell 2009, and Chang 2010). Comparing these accounts of scientific pluralism, one will encounter quite some variation. We want to clarify the different interpretations of scientific pluralism by showing how they incarnate different models of democracy, stipulating the desired interaction among the plurality of research approaches in different ways. Furthermore, (...)
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  3. Anton Froeyman, Laszlo Kosolosky & Jeroen Van Bouwel, Social Epistemology Meets the Philosophy of the Humanities.
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  4. Jeroen Van Bouwel (2014). Explanatory Strategies Beyond The Individualism/Holism Debate. In Julie Zahle & Finn Collin (eds.), Rethinking the Individualism-Holism Debate. Springer. 105-119.
    Starting from the plurality of explanatory strategies in the actual practice of socialscientists, I introduce a framework for explanatory pluralism – a normative endorsement of the plurality of forms and levels of explanation used by social scientists. Equipped with thisframework, central issues in the individualism/holism debate are revisited, namely emergence,reduction and the idea of microfoundations. Discussing these issues, we notice that in recentcontributions the focus has been shifting towards relationism, pluralism and interaction, awayfrom dichotomous individualism/holism thinking and a winner-takes-all approach. (...)
     
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  5. Jeroen Van Bouwel (2014). Pluralists About Pluralism? Versions of Explanatory Pluralism in Psychiatry. In M. C. Galavotti, D. Dieks, W. J. Gonzalez, S. Hartmann, Th Uebel & M. Weber (eds.), New Directions in Philosophy of Science (The Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective Series). Springer. 105-119.
    In this contribution, I comment on Raffaella Campaner’s defense of explanatory pluralism in psychiatry (in this volume). In her paper, Campaner focuses primarily on explanatory pluralism in contrast to explanatory reductionism. Furthermore, she distinguishes between pluralists who consider pluralism to be a temporary state on the one hand and pluralists who consider it to be a persisting state on the other hand. I suggest that it would be helpful to distinguish more than those two versions of pluralism – different understandings (...)
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  6. Jeroen Van Bouwel, Sandra Mitchell, Unsimple Truths. Science, Complexity, and Policy.
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  7. Erik Weber, Jeroen Van Bouwel & Leen De Vreese (2013). Scientific Explanation. Springer.
    When scientist investigate why things happen, they aim at giving an explanation. But what does a scientific explanation look like? In the first chapter (Theories of Scientific Explanation) of this book, the milestones in the debate on how to characterize scientific explanations are exposed. The second chapter (How to Study Scientific Explanation?) scrutinizes the working-method of three important philosophers of explanation, Carl Hempel, Philip Kitcher and Wesley Salmon and shows what went wrong. Next, it is the responsibility of current philosophers (...)
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  8. Jeroen Van Bouwel, Book Review of "Unsimple Truths. Science, Complexity and Policy" by Sandra Mitchell (2009) (Reprint). [REVIEW]
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  9. Jeroen Van Bouwel (2012). Book Review: Sandra Mitchell, Unsimple Truths. Science, Complexity, and Policy. [REVIEW] Science and Education 22 (2):411-418.
  10. Jeroen Van Bouwel, Dealing with Values in Science: Kinds, Roles and/or Procedures.
    In this paper, we inquire how the eternal tension between science and values has been tackled in philosophy of science by analysing three different strategies that have been used: (a) focussing on different kinds of values (e.g. epistemic vs. non-epistemic values) and allowing some of these kinds to be present in science (e.g. epistemic values); (b) stipulating the role values are allowed to play (e.g. an indirect, but not a direct role); and, (c) specifying a social procedure in order to (...)
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  11. Jeroen Van Bouwel, Plans of Pluralism: Comments on 'Explanatory Pluralism in Psychiatry'.
    In this paper, I comment on Raffaella Campaner’s (forthcoming) overview of the debate on explanatory pluralism in psychiatry. In her overview, Campaner distinguishes between, on the one hand, pluralists that consider pluralism to be a temporary state and, on the other hand, pluralists that consider it to be a persisting state. I suggest that it would be helpful to distinguish more than those two plans of pluralism, i.e. different understandings of explanatory pluralism both within philosophy of science and psychiatry, namely (...)
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  12. Jeroen Van Bouwel (2012). What is There Beyond Mertonian and Dollar Green Science? Exploring the Contours of Epistemic Democracy. In Robrecht Vanderbeeken, Frederik Le Roy, Christel Stalpaert & Diederik Aerts (eds.), Drunk on capitalism : an interdisciplinary reflection on market economy, art and science. Springer. 35-48.
    The story is sometimes told as follows: Once science was a disinterested activity giving scientists the opportunity to freely solve the puzzle of nature to the benefit of all. Nowadays science seems more and more driven by the search for patents and dollars compelling scientists to follow the logic of capitalism and corporatization. Take-home lesson: science is for sale and we should do everything to reverse this evolution. In this contribution, I want to analyze the narrator’s assumptions implicit in this (...)
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  13. Erik Weber, Jeroen Van Bouwel & Merel Lefevere (2012). The Role of Unification in Explanations of Facts. In Henk de Regt, Samir Okasha & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), EPSA Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer.
    In the literature on scientific explanation, there is a classical distinction between explanations of facts and explanations of laws. This paper is about explanations of facts. Our aim is to analyse the role of unification in explanations of this kind. We discuss five positions with respect to this role, argue for two of them and refute the three others.
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  14. Jeroen van Bouwel (2011). An Atlas for the Social World: What Should It (Not) Look Like? Interdisciplinarity and Pluralism in the Social Sciences. In D. Aerts, B. D'Hooghe, R. Pinxten & I. Wallerstein (eds.), Worldviews, Science and Us: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Worlds, Cultures and Society. World Scientific..
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  15. Jeroen van Bouwel & Erik Weber (2011). Explanation in the Social Sciences. In Ian Jarvie Jesus Zamora Bonilla (ed.), The Sage Handbook of the Philosophy of Social Sciences. Sage.
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  16. Jeroen van Bouwel, Erik Weber & Leen de Vreese (2011). Indispensability Arguments in Favour of Reductive Explanations. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 42 (1):33-46.
    Instances of explanatory reduction are often advocated on metaphysical grounds; given that the only real things in the world are subatomic particles and their interaction, we have to try to explain everything in terms of the laws of physics. In this paper, we show that explanatory reduction cannot be defended on metaphysical grounds. Nevertheless, indispensability arguments for reductive explanations can be developed, taking into account actual scientific practice and the role of epistemic interests. Reductive explanations might be indispensable to address (...)
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  17. Jeroen van Bouwel (2010). Explanatory Pluralism in the Medical Sciences: Theory and Practice. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (5):371-390.
    Explanatory pluralism is the view that the best form and level of explanation depends on the kind of question one seeks to answer by the explanation, and that in order to answer all questions in the best way possible, we need more than one form and level of explanation. In the first part of this article, we argue that explanatory pluralism holds for the medical sciences, at least in theory. However, in the second part of the article we show that (...)
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  18. Jeroen van Bouwel (2010). Why Social Emergence? Discussing the Use of Analytical Metaphysics in Social Theory. In Robrecht Vanderbeeken & Bart D'Hooghe (eds.), Worldviews, Science and Us: Studies of Analytical Metaphysics. World Scientific.
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  19. Jeroen van Bouwel (2009). Causation, Unification, and the Adequacy of Explanations of Facts. Theoria 24 (3):301-320.
    Pluralism with respect to the structure of explanations of facts is not uncommon. Wesley Salmon, for instance, distinguished two types of explanation: causal explanations (which provide insight in the causes of the fact we want to explain) and unification explanations (which fit the explanandum into a unified world view). The pluralism which Salmon and others have defended is compatible with several positions about the exact relation between these two types of explanations. We distinguish four such positions, and argue in favour (...)
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  20. Jeroen Van Bouwel (ed.) (2009). The Social Sciences and Democracy. Palgrave Macmillan.
  21. Jeroen Van Bouwel (2009). The Problem with(Out) Consensus : The Scientific Consensus, Deliberative Democracy and Agonistic Pluralism. In , The Social Sciences and Democracy. Palgrave Macmillan.
  22. Jeroen Van Bouwel (2009). Understanding in Political Science: The Plurality of Epistemic Interests. In Henk De Regt, Sabina Leonelli & Kai Eigner (eds.), Scientific Understanding: Philosophical Perspectives. University of Pittsburgh Press.
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  23. Jeroen Van Bouwel (2009). Where the Epistemic and the Political Meet : An Introduction to the Social Sciences and Democracy. In , The Social Sciences and Democracy. Palgrave Macmillan.
  24. Erik Weber & Jeroen Van Bouwel (2009). Causation, Unification, and the Adequacy of Explanations of Facts. Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 24 (3):301-320.
    Pluralism with respect to the structure of explanations of facts is not uncommon. Wesley Salmon, for instance, distinguished two types of explanation: causal explanations (which provide insight in the causes of the fact we want to explain) and unification explanations (which fit the explanandum into a unified world view). The pluralism which Salmon and others have defended is compatible with several positions about the exact relation between these two types of explanations. We distinguish four such positions, and argue in favour (...)
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  25. Jeroen Van Bouwel (2008). Explanatory Pluralism. In Edward Fullbrook (ed.), Pluralist Economics. Distributed in the Usa Exclusively by Palgrave Macmillan.
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  26. Jeroen van Bouwel (2008). Tony Lawson's Criticisms of Mainstream Economics. In Edward Fullbrook (ed.), Pluralist Economics. Distributed in the Usa Exclusively by Palgrave Macmillan.
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  27. Jeroen van Bouwel & Erik Weber (2008). A Pragmatist Defense of Non-Relativistic Explanatory Pluralism in History and Social Science. History and Theory 47 (2):168–182.
    Explanatory pluralism has been defended by several philosophers of history and social science, recently, for example, by Tor Egil Førland in this journal. In this article, we provide a better argument for explanatory pluralism, based on the pragmatist idea of epistemic interests. Second, we show that there are three quite different senses in which one can be an explanatory pluralist: one can be a pluralist about questions, a pluralist about answers to questions, and a pluralist about both. We defend the (...)
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  28. Jeroen Van Bouwel & Erik Weber (2008). De-Ontologizing the Debate on Social Explanations: A Pragmatic Approach Based on Epistemic Interests. [REVIEW] Human Studies 31 (4):423-442.
    In a recent paper on realism and pragmatism published in this journal, Osmo Kivinen and Tero Piiroinen have been pleading for more methodological work in the philosophy of the social sciences—refining the conceptual tools of social scientists—and less philosophically ontological theories. Following this de-ontologizing approach, we scrutinize the debates on social explanation and contribute to the development of a pragmatic social science methodology. Analyzing four classic debates concerning explanation in the social sciences, we propose to shift the debate away from (...)
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  29. Erik Weber & Jeroen Van Bouwel (2007). Assessing the Explanatory Power of Causal Explanations. In Johannes Persson & Petri Ylikoski (eds.), Rethinking Explanation. Springer.
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  30. Jeroen Van Bouwel (2006). The Idea of Social Mechanisms in Social Scientific Explanations. In John Arlsdale (ed.), Advances in Social Psychology Research. Nova Science Publishers.
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  31. Jeroen Van Bouwel (2005). The Division of Labour in the Social Sciences Versus the Politics of Metaphysics. Questioning Critical Realism's Interdisciplinarity. Graduate Journal of Social Science 2 (2):32-39.
    Some scholars claim that Critical Realism promises well for the unification of the social sciences, e.g., "Unifying social science: A critical realist approach" in this volume. I will first show briefly how Critical Realism might unify social science. Secondly, I focus on the relation between the ontology and methodology of Critical Realism, and unveil the politics of metaphysics. Subsequently, it is argued that the division of labour between social scientific disciplines should not be metaphysics-driven, but rather question-driven. In conclusion, I (...)
     
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  32. Erik Weber & Jeroen Van Bouwel (2005). Coping with Inconsistencies: Examples Form the Social Sciences. Logic and Logical Philosophy 14 (1):89-101.
    In this paper we present two case studies on inconsistencies in the social sciences. The first is devoted to sociologist George Caspar Homans and his exchange theory. We argue that his account of how he arrived at his theory is highly misleading, because it ignores the inconsistencies he had to cope with. In the second case study we analyse how John Maynard Keynes coped with the inconsistency between classical economic theory and real economic conditions in developing his path-breaking theory.
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  33. Erik Weber, Jeroen Van Bouwel & Robrecht Vanderbeeken (2005). Forms of Causal Explanation. Foundations of Science 10 (4):437-454.
    In the literature on scientific explanation two types of pluralism are very common. The first concerns the distinction between explanations of singular facts and explanations of laws: there is a consensus that they have a different structure. The second concerns the distinction between causal explanations and uni.cation explanations: most people agree that both are useful and that their structure is different. In this article we argue for pluralism within the area of causal explanations: we claim that the structure of a (...)
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  34. Jeroen Van Bouwel (2004). Explanatory Pluralism in Economics: Against the Mainstream? Philosophical Explorations 7 (3):299 – 315.
    Recent pleas for more heterodoxy in explaining economic action have been defending a pluralism for economics. In this article, I analyse these defences by scrutinizing the pluralistic qualities in the work of one of the major voices of heterodoxy, Tony Lawson. This scrutiny will focus on Lawson's alternatives concerning ontology and explanation to mainstream economics. Subsequently, I will raise some doubts about Lawson's pluralism, and identify questions that will have to be addressed by heterodox economists in order to maintain the (...)
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  35. Jeroen van Bouwel (2004). Individualism and Holism, Reduction and Pluralism: A Comment on Keith Sawyer and Julie Zahle. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (4):527-535.
    Commenting on recent articles by Keith Sawyer and Julie Zahle, the author questions the way in which the debate between methodological individualists and holists has been presented and contends that too much weight has been given to metaphysical and ontological debates at the expense of giving attention to methodological debates and analysis of good explanatory practice. Giving more attention to successful explanatory practice in the social sciences and the different underlying epistemic interests and motivations for providing explanations or reducing theories (...)
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  36. Jeroen Van Bouwel (2004). Questioning Structurism as a New Standard for Social Scientific Explanations. Graduate Journal of Social Science 1 (2):204-226.
    As the literature on Critical Realism in the social sciences is growing, it is about time to analyse whether a new, acceptable standard for social scientific explanations is being introduced. In order to do so, I will discuss the work of Christopher Lloyd, who analysed contributions of social scientists that rely on (what he called) a structurist ontology and a structurist methodology, and advocated a third option in the methodological debate between individualism and holism. I will suggest modifications to three (...)
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  37. Jeroen Van Bouwel (2003). Critical Realism and Methodological Pluralism in the Social Sciences. Philosophica 71:13-38.
    The question of whether Critical Realism has committed an "ontological fallacy" in revealing the "epistemic fallacy" in social scientific research is addressed. An overview of Critical Realism's treatment of the connection between epistemology & ontology, which culminated in the unveiling of the epistemic fallacy, is provided. Critical Realism's understanding of explanation as it applies to social scientific inquiry is then explored to determine whether such thought has committed the ontological fallacy. The presence of the ontological fallacy within the thinking of (...)
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  38. Jeroen Van Bouwel (2003). Ontology and Methodology in Contemporary Philosophy of Social Science: Status Quaestionis. Philosophica 71.
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  39. Jeroen Van Bouwel (2003). When Unveiling the Epistemic Fallacy Ends with Committing the Ontological Fallacy. On the Contribution of Critical Realism to the Social Scientific Explanatory Practice. Philosophica 71.
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  40. Jeroen van Bouwel & Erik Weber (2002). Remote Causes, Bad Explanations? Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 32 (4):437–449.
  41. Jeroen van Bouwel & Erik Weber (2002). The Living Apart Together Relationship of Causation and Explanation: A Comment on Jean Lachapelle. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (4):560-569.
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  42. Erik Weber & Jeroen Van Bouwel (2002). Symposium on Explanations and Social Ontology 3: Can We Dispense with Structural Explanations of Social Facts? Economics and Philosophy 18 (2):259-275.
    Some social scientists and philosophers (e.g., James Coleman and Jon Elster) claim that all social facts are best explained by means of a micro-explanation. They defend a micro-reductionism in the social sciences: to explain is to provide a mechanism on the individual level. The first aim of this paper is to challenge this view and defend the view that it has to be substituted for an explanatory pluralism with two components: (1) structural explanations of P-, O- and T-contrasts between social (...)
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  43. Jeroen Van Bouwel (2001). Book Review of Jean-Michel Berthelot (dir.)(2001) Epistemologie des sciences sociales. [REVIEW] Ethiek and Maatschappij 4 (4):64-66.
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