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1 — 50 / 95
  1. added 2020-10-10
    No Strings Attached: Functional and Intentional Action Explanations.Mark Risjord - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3):313.
    Functional explanation in the social sciences is the focal point for conflict between individualistic and social modes of explanation. While the agent thought she was acting for reasons, the functional explanation seems to reveal the hidden strings of the puppet master. This essay argues that the conflict is merely apparent. The erotetic model of explanation is used to analyze the forms of intentional action and functional explanations. Two explanations conflict if either the presuppositions of their respective why-questions conflict or the (...)
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  2. added 2020-10-08
    The Explanatory Potential of Artificial Societies.Till Grüne-Yanoff - 2009 - Synthese 169 (3):539 - 555.
    It is often claimed that artificial society simulations contribute to the explanation of social phenomena. At the hand of a particular example, this paper argues that artificial societies often cannot provide full explanations, because their models are not or cannot be validated. Despite that, many feel that such simulations somehow contribute to our understanding. This paper tries to clarify this intuition by investigating whether artificial societies provide potential explanations. It is shown that these potential explanations, if they contribute to our (...)
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  3. added 2020-10-06
    Do Customs Compete with Conditioning? Turf Battles and Division of Labor in Social Explanation.Todd Jones - 2012 - Synthese 184 (3):407-430.
    We often face a bewildering array of different explanations for the same social facts (e.g. biological, psychological, economic, and historical accounts). But we have few guidelines for whether and when we should think of different accounts as competing or compatible. In this paper, I offer some guidelines for understanding when custom or norm accounts do and don’t compete with other types of accounts. I describe two families of non-competing accounts: (1) explanations of different (but similarly described) facts, and (2) accounts (...)
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  4. added 2020-10-06
    Explanations of Social Phenomena: Competing and Complementary Accounts.Todd Jones - 2008 - Metaphilosophy 39 (4-5):621-650.
    Abstract: Situations that social scientists and others explain by using concepts like "custom" and "norm" often tend to be situations in which many other kinds of explanations (for example, biological, psychological, economic, historical) seem plausible as well. Do these other explanations compete with the custom or norm explanations, or do they complement them? We need to consider this question carefully and not just assume that various accounts are all permissible at different levels of analysis. In this article I describe two (...)
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  5. added 2020-10-05
    Mechanisms and Functional Hypotheses in Social Science.Daniel Steel - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):941-952.
  6. added 2020-10-04
    Scientific Explanation, Necessity Contingency.Erik Weber - 1989 - Philosophica 44.
  7. added 2020-10-04
    From Social Scientific Functionalism to Open Functional Logic.Uwe Becker - 1988 - Theory and Society 17 (6):865-883.
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  8. added 2020-09-30
    Difficulties of the Causal Model in Sociological Explanation.San Roşca - 2008 - Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 7.
  9. added 2020-09-30
    Explanation and Quantification in The Qualitative-Quantitative Distinction in the Social Sciences.P. T. Manicas - 1989 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 112:179-205.
  10. added 2020-09-28
    Functions and Mechanisms in Structural-Modelling Explanations.Guillaume Wunsch, Michel Mouchart & Federica Russo - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1):187-208.
    One way social scientists explain phenomena is by building structural models. These models are explanatory insofar as they manage to perform a recursive decomposition on an initial multivariate probability distribution, which can be interpreted as a mechanism. Explanations in social sciences share important aspects that have been highlighted in the mechanisms literature. Notably, spelling out the functioning the mechanism gives it explanatory power. Thus social scientists should choose the variables to include in the model on the basis of their function (...)
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  11. added 2020-09-28
    Observer and Observed: An Essay in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences.Emily Ellen Robertson - 1981 - Dissertation, Syracuse University
    This dissertation examines the following question: can social scientists construct explanations of social actions which do not draw upon, and are not vulnerable to, participant accounts of the same actions? Chapter I shows that Durkheim's arguments for the affirmative position on this question and Winch's for the negative are inconclusive. Alternative conceptions of a necessary connection between participant and observer accounts of social actions are considered. Special attention is given to the claim that any explanation of human actions must appeal (...)
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  12. added 2020-09-27
    What is a (Social) Structural Explanation?Sally Haslanger - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):113-130.
    A philosophically useful account of social structure must accommodate the fact that social structures play an important role in structural explanation. But what is a structural explanation? How do structural explanations function in the social sciences? This paper offers a way of thinking about structural explanation and sketches an account of social structure that connects social structures with structural explanation.
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  13. added 2020-09-27
    Social Explanation and Social Function: An Investigation of the Nature of Functional Explanation for the Social Sciences.Gary Rick Chew - 1999 - Dissertation, The University of Oklahoma
    The main point of this dissertation is to explore the nature of functional explanation and to see how, as an explanatory scheme, it may be adapted to naturalistic explanation in the social sciences. ;Chapter One explicates the main philosophical themes in the study of explanation. In subsequent chapters I endorse a view of explanation that attempts to be consistent with some of the theoretical insights discussed in this chapter, particularly those of Wesley Salmon, Peter Railton, Paul Humphreys, Larry Wright and (...)
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  14. added 2020-09-27
    Evidence and Explanation in Social Science.Gerald Studdert-Kennedy, Russell Keat & John Urry - 1979 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 30 (1):100-104.
  15. added 2020-09-26
    Causally Inefficient Knowledge and Functional Explanation.Harald Grimen - 1994 - Social Science Information 33 (1):117-127.
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  16. added 2020-09-18
    Causal Pluralism Without Levels: Comments on Humphreys.James Bohman - 1996 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 34 (S1):115-127.
  17. added 2020-06-01
    Функциональная и интерактивная устойчивость городских сообществ.Vitalii Shymko - 2019 - Pro|Stranstvo.
    Публикация (#15) из научно-популярного цикла: "Структурная онтология познания с доктором Шимко".
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  18. added 2020-04-20
    The Message of Coronavirus: Playing a Tight String between Science and Ploitics رسالة كورونا: عزفٌ على الوتر المشدود بين العلم والسياسة.Salah Osman - manuscript
    على مدى سنواتٍ طويلة، شغلتني إشكالية العلاقة بين العلم والسياسة، قراءةً وبحثًا وإشرافًا على أطروحات تُعالج هذه العلاقة وتأثيراتها على الكوكب المُثقل بنا وبما كسبت أيدينا. قد تبدو هذه العلاقة للوهلة الأولى علاقة اعتماد متبادل؛ فالبحوث والكشوف العلمية في حاجةٍ إلى تمويل، والتمويل يأتي من قبل الحكومات، أو من قبل أرباب رؤوس الأموال الذين يُهيمنون على سياسات الدول والحكومات؛ كما أن الدول والحكومات في حاجة إلى البحوث والكشوف العلمية لتنفيذ برامجها التنموية والانتصار لأيديولوجياتها. يُمكننا تمثيل هذه العلاقة بين العلم والسياسة (...)
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  19. added 2020-02-20
    Retractions: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.Quan-Hoang Vuong - 2020 - LSE Impact of Social Sciences 2020 (2):1-4.
    Retractions play an important role in research communication by highlighting and explaining how research projects have failed and thereby preventing these mistakes from being repeated. However, the process of retraction and the data it produces is often sparse or incomplete. Drawing on evidence from 2046 retraction records, Quan-Hoang Vuong discusses the emerging trends this data highlights and argues for the need to enforce reporting standards for retractions, as a means of de-stigmatising retraction and rewarding practising integrity in the scholarly record.
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  20. added 2019-09-09
    Two of a Kind: Are Norms of Honor a Species of Morality?Toby Handfield & John Thrasher - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (3):39.
    Should the norms of honor cultures be classified as a variety of morality? In this paper, we address this question by considering various empirical bases on which norms can be taxonomically organised. This question is of interest both as an exercise in philosophy of social science, and for its potential implications in meta-ethical debates. Using recent data from anthropology and evolutionary game theory, we argue that the most productive classification emphasizes the strategic role that moral norms play in generating assurance (...)
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  21. added 2019-08-14
    On Ordered Pluralism.Matthieu Queloz - forthcoming - Australasian Philosophical Review.
    This paper examines Miranda Fricker’s method of paradigm-based explanation and in particular its promise of yielding an ordered pluralism. Fricker’s starting point is a schism between two conceptions of forgiveness, Moral Justice Forgiveness and Gifted Forgiveness. In the light of a hypothesis about the basic point of forgiveness, she reveals the unity underlying the initially baffling plurality and brings order into it, presenting a paradigmatic form of forgiveness as explanatorily basic and other forms as derivative. The resulting picture, she claims, (...)
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  22. added 2019-07-29
    The Role of Power in Social Explanation.Torsten Menge - 2018 - European Journal of Social Theory 21 (1):22 - 38.
    Power is often taken to be a central concept in social and political thought that can contribute to the explanation of many different social phenomena. This article argues that in order to play this role, a general theory of power is required to identify a stable causal capacity, one that does not depend on idiosyncratic social conditions and can thus exert its characteristic influence in a wide range of cases. It considers three promising strategies for such a theory, which ground (...)
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  23. added 2019-06-05
    Book Reviews : The Concept of Social Change, A Critique of the Functionalist Theory of Social Change. By ANTHONY D. SMITH. London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, I973. Pp. Ix+I98. $6.25. [REVIEW]Harold Fallding - 1975 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 5 (2):223-227.
  24. added 2018-12-07
    Revealing Social Functions Through Pragmatic Genealogies.Matthieu Queloz - 2020 - In Rebekka Hufendiek, Daniel James & Raphael Van Riel (eds.), Social Functions in Philosophy: Metaphysical, Normative, and Methodological Perspectives. London: Routledge. pp. 200-218.
    There is an under-appreciated tradition of genealogical explanation that is centrally concerned with social functions. I shall refer to it as the tradition of pragmatic genealogy. It runs from David Hume (T, 3.2.2) and the early Friedrich Nietzsche (TL) through E. J. Craig (1990, 1993) to Bernard Williams (2002) and Miranda Fricker (2007). These pragmatic genealogists start out with a description of an avowedly fictional “state of nature” and end up ascribing social functions to particular building blocks of our practices (...)
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  25. added 2018-08-29
    Modéliser le social. Méthodes fondatrices et évolutions récentes.Franck Varenne - 2011 - Paris, France: Dunod.
    Cet ouvrage très pédagogique informe les étudiants sur les méthodes quantitatives les plus classiques comme les plus récentes en sciences sociales, et notamment sur les différentes pratiques de modélisation et de simulation informatique des systèmes sociaux (sciences sociales computationnelles ou modèles informatiques).
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  26. added 2018-06-01
    Philosophie der Soziologie.Simon Lohse & Jens Greve - 2017 - In Simon Lohse & Thomas A. C. Reydon (eds.), Grundriss Wissenschaftsphilosophie. Die Philosophien der Einzelwissenschaften. Hamburg, Deutschland: pp. 543-582.
    Die Einleitung unseres Kapitels bietet eine grundsäzliche Charakterisierung der Soziologie und zeichnet einige wichtige historische Entwicklungslinien der Philosophie der Soziologie (PdS) nach. Im Hauptteil werden zentrale ontologische sowie ausgewählte explanatorische Themen der PdS vorgestellt. Im Schlussteil sollen einige aktuelle Diskussionen umrissen werden.
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  27. added 2018-06-01
    Robert Merton and Dorothy Emmet: Deflated Functionalism and Structuralism.Stephen P. Turner - 2014 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 44 (6):817-836.
    Dorothy Emmet, in two books, one of which was based on extensive personal contact with Robert Merton and Columbia sociology, provides the closest thing we have to an authorized philosophical defense of Merton. It features a deflationary account of functionalism which dispenses with the idea of general teleological ends. What it replaces it with is an account of “structures” that have various consequences and that are maintained because, on Emmet’s account, of the mutual reinforcement of motives produced by the structure.
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  28. added 2018-06-01
    Cause, the Persistence of Teleology, and the Origins of the Philosophy of Social Science.Stephen Turner - 2003 - In Stephen P. Turner and Paul Roth (ed.), Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of the Social Sciences. pp. 21-42.
    The subject of this chapter is the complex and confusing course of the discussion of cause and teleology before and during the period of Mill and Comte, and its aftermath up to the early years of the twentieth century in the thinking of several of the major founding figures of disciplinary social science. The discussion focused on the problem of the sufficiency of causal explanations, and particularly the question of whether some particular fact could be explained without appeal to purpose. (...)
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  29. added 2018-06-01
    The End of Functionalism. Parsons, Merton and Their Heirs.Stephen P. Turner - 1993 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 23 (2):228-242.
  30. added 2018-03-21
    Open Data, Open Review and Open Dialogue in Making Social Sciences Plausible.Quan-Hoang Vuong - 2017 - Nature: Scientific Data Updates 2017.
    Nowadays, protecting trust in social sciences also means engaging in open community dialogue, which helps to safeguard robustness and improve efficiency of research methods. The combination of open data, open review and open dialogue may sound simple but implementation in the real world will not be straightforward. However, in view of Begley and Ellis’s (2012) statement that, “the scientific process demands the highest standards of quality, ethics and rigour,” they are worth implementing. More importantly, they are feasible to work on (...)
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  31. added 2018-03-17
    An Evolutionary Psychology Model of Ego, Risk, and Cognitive Dissonance.Baruch Feldman - manuscript
    I propose a novel model of the human ego (which I define as the tendency to measure one’s value based on extrinsic success rather than intrinsic aptitude or ability). I further propose the conjecture that ego so defined both is a non-adaptive by-product of evolutionary pressures, and has some evolutionary value as an adaptation (protecting self-interest). I explore ramifications of this model, including how it mediates individuals’ reactions to perceived and actual limits of their power, their ability to cope with (...)
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  32. added 2018-02-22
    G. A. Cohen's Functional Explanation.Agar Joly - 2003 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 33 (3):291-310.
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  33. added 2018-02-17
    Explaining Norms (Paperback).Geoffrey Brennan, Lina Eriksson, Robert E. Goodin & Nicholas Southwood - 2013 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Norms are a pervasive yet mysterious feature of social life. In Explaining Norms, four philosophers and social scientists team up to grapple with some of the many mysteries, offering a comprehensive account of norms: what they are; how and why they emerge, persist and change; and how they work.
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  34. added 2018-02-17
    Explaining Culture: A Naturalistic Approach, by Dan Sperber. [REVIEW]Mahesh Ananth - 2001 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31 (4):563-571.
  35. added 2017-11-08
    Rationality and Transitivity in Social Explanation: Logical-Mathematical Aspects.Ioan Biriș - 2015 - Balkan Journal of Philosophy 7 (1):65-70.
    The term “rationality” is applied to many different things, from beliefs and preferences to decisions and choices, actions and behaviors, people, collectivities, andinstitutions. Therefore this paper will limit its considerations only to social preferences and choices in order to clarify the role of rationality in social explanation. The paper will focus on degrees of rationality, calling upon the concept of transitivity for help.
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  36. added 2017-04-07
    Trivers-Willard Rules for Sex Allocation.Judith L. Anderson & Charles B. Crawford - 1993 - Human Nature 4 (2):137-174.
    We present a quantitative model of sex allocation to investigate whether the simple “rules of thumb” suggested by Trivers and Willard (1973) would really maximize numbers of grandchildren in human populations. Using demographic data from the !Kung of southern Africa and the basic assumptions of the Trivers-Willard hypothesis, we calculate expected numbers of grandchildren based on age- and sex-specific reproductive value. Patterns of parental investment that would maximize numbers of expected grandchildren often differ from the Trivers-Willard rules. In particular, the (...)
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  37. added 2017-01-27
    Two Uses of Functional Explanation in Scientific Knowledge Socialized.B. Dajka - 1988 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 108:365-374.
  38. added 2017-01-20
    Making the Family Functional: The Case for Legalized Same-Sex Domestic Partnerships.Larry A. Hickman - 1999 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 29 (2):231-247.
    This essay argues that "the family" should be understood in functional terms:whatever functions as a family should have the legal status of a family. Theauthor's argument thus avoids two extreme positions. The first is the position ofthe hard-line "platonic" essentialists who, on grounds of nature, supernature, orcultural history, argue that a family unit must comprise heterosexual partners.The second is the position of the radical relativist, who argues that there are noessences whatsoever or that essences are purely arbitrary. Treating the family (...)
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  39. added 2017-01-20
    Functional Foibles and the Analysis of Social Change.Marvin B. Scott - 1966 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 9 (1-4):205 – 214.
    Functional analysis is the major theoretical perspective of contemporary sociology. Although many fruitful studies of social structure have resulted from the application of this perspective, it has been notably sterile in coping with questions of social change. Two major shortcomings of the functionalist view of change are here examined. The first type of shortcoming might be called 'evolutionary hangovers'. Under this heading we may include 'functional ahistoricism' and a 'commitment to progress'. The second major shortcoming refers to weaknesses of functional (...)
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  40. added 2017-01-19
    Historical Materialism, Dispositions, and Functional Explanation.Steven Walt - 1986 - Ethics 97 (1):196-218.
  41. added 2016-12-09
    Why Inferential Statistics Are Inappropriate for Development Studies and How the Same Data Can Be Better Used.Ballinger Clint - manuscript
    The purpose of this paper is twofold: -/- 1) to highlight the widely ignored but fundamental problem of ‘superpopulations’ for the use of inferential statistics in development studies. We do not to dwell on this problem however as it has been sufficiently discussed in older papers by statisticians that social scientists have nevertheless long chosen to ignore; the interested reader can turn to those for greater detail. -/- 2) to show that descriptive statistics both avoid the problem of superpopulations and (...)
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  42. added 2016-07-04
    The Function of Morality.Nicholas Smyth - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (5):1127-1144.
    What is the function of morality? On this question, something approaching a consensus has recently emerged. Impressed by developments in evolutionary theory, many philosophers now tell us that the function of morality is to reduce social tensions, and to thereby enable a society to efficiently promote the well-being of its members. In this paper, I subject this consensus to rigorous scrutiny, arguing that the functional hypothesis in question is not well supported. In particular, I attack the supposed evidential relation between (...)
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  43. added 2016-02-08
    Functionalist Response-Dependence Avoids Missing Explanations.D. J. Bradley - 2011 - Analysis 71 (2):297-300.
    I argue that there is a flaw in the way that response-dependence has been formulated in the literature, and this flawed formulation has been correctly attacked by Mark Johnston’s Missing Explanation Argument (1993, 1998). Moving to a better formulation, which is analogous to the move from behaviourism to functionalism, avoids the Missing Explanation Argument.
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  44. added 2016-01-27
    Morality or “False Consciousness”? How Moral Naturalists Can Answer Thrasymachus’s Challenge.Andrés Luco - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Research 41:371-400.
    In Book I of Plato’s Republic, Thrasymachus famously maintains that ideas of morality and justice are nothing more than an ideology indoctrinated in “the weaker” to benefit “the stronger.” This is Thrasymachus’s challenge to morality: the thesis that some social arrangements, including some moral norms, are products of ‘false consciousness.’ False consciousness occurs when a dominant social group shapes the beliefs and desires of a subordinate group in such a way that the subordinates act for the benefit of the dominants, (...)
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  45. added 2015-10-19
    Rational Analysis, Intractability, and the Prospects of ‘as If’-Explanations.Iris van Rooij, Cory D. Wright, Johan Kwisthout & Todd Wareham - 2018 - Synthese 195 (2):491-510.
    Despite their success in describing and predicting cognitive behavior, the plausibility of so-called ‘rational explanations’ is often contested on the grounds of computational intractability. Several cognitive scientists have argued that such intractability is an orthogonal pseudoproblem, however, since rational explanations account for the ‘why’ of cognition but are agnostic about the ‘how’. Their central premise is that humans do not actually perform the rational calculations posited by their models, but only act as if they do. Whether or not the problem (...)
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  46. added 2015-09-08
    On Purposeful Systems.Russell L. Ackoff & Fred E. Emery - 1976 - Philosophy of Science 43 (3):456-458.
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  47. added 2015-09-04
    The Growth of Knowledge in Social Science and Humanities.Rinat M. Nugayev - 2007 - Voprosi Filosofii (The Problems of Philosophy) (8):58-69.
    Criteria of the growth of knowledge proposed in modern philosophy of science are considered. It is argued that the model of growth that fits the peculiarities of social sciences&humanities is provided by the methodology of scientific research programmes. Yet one has to correct some drawbacks. The author concludes that the real growth of knowledge consists in the growth of causal explanations and in the corresponding growth of empirical content of the theories from superseeding scientific research programmes. -/- Key words: R.Rorty, (...)
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  48. added 2015-05-04
    Social Selection, Agents' Intentions, and Functional Explanation.K. Brad Wray - 2002 - Analyse & Kritik 24 (1):72-86.
    Jon Elster and Daniel Little have criticized social scientists for appealing to a mechanism of social selection in functional explanations of social practices. Both believe that there is no such mechanism operative in the social world. I develop and defend an account of functional explanation in which a mechanism of social selection figures centrally. In addition to developing an account of social selection, I clarify what functional hypotheses purport to claim, and re-examine the role of agents, intentions in functional explanations (...)
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  49. added 2015-04-22
    Explanation in Social Science. [REVIEW]I. C. Jarvie - 1964 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 15 (57):62-72.
  50. added 2015-03-19
    A Note on Mandelbaum's ‘G. A. Cohen's Defense of Functional Explanation’.S. Walt - 1983 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 13 (4):483-485.
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