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  1. What Can Mechanisms Do for You? Mechanisms and the Problem of Confounders in the Social Sciences.María Jiménez-Buedo & Juan Carlos Squitieri - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 49 (3):210-231.
    The idea that mechanisms are crucially important to differentiate between genuine and spurious causal relations is ubiquitous both in the philosophical and in the social scientific literature. Yet philosophers of the social sciences have seldom attempted to spell out systematically the way in which mechanistic reasoning or evidence are concretely used to deal with spurious association and the problem of confounders in the social sciences. In this paper, we analyze two recent such accounts, proposed by Harold Kincaid and Daniel Steel. (...)
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  • The Psychology of Worldviews: Toward a Non-Reductive Science of Personality.Artur Nilsson - unknown
    Persons are not just mechanical systems of instinctual animalistic proclivities, but also language-producing, existentially aware creatures, whose experiences and actions are drenched in subjective meaning. To understand a human being as a person is to understand him or her as a rational system that wants, fears, hopes, believes, and in other ways imbues the world with meaning, rather than just a mechanical system that is subject to the same chains of cause and effect as other animals. But contemporary personality psychology (...)
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  • A Non-Reductive Science of Personality, Character, and Well-Being Must Take the Person's Worldview Into Account.Artur Nilsson - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
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  • Dynamic and Stochastic Systems as a Framework for Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science.Christian List & Marcus Pivato - manuscript
    Scientists often think of the world (or some part of it) as a dynamical system, a stochastic process, or a generalization of such a system. Prominent examples of systems are (i) the system of planets orbiting the sun or any other classical mechanical system, (ii) a hydrogen atom or any other quantum-mechanical system, and (iii) the earth’s atmosphere or any other statistical mechanical system. We introduce a simple and general framework for describing such systems and show how it can be (...)
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  • Naturalism and the Enlightenment Ideal : Rethinking a Central Debate in the Philosophy of Social Science.Daniel Steel & S. Kedzie Hall - 2010 - In P. D. Magnus & Jacob Busch (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Science. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    The naturalism versus interpretivism debate the in philosophy of social science is traditionally framed as the question of whether social science should attempt to emulate the methods of natural science. I show that this manner of formulating the issue is problematic insofar as it presupposes an implausibly strong unity of method among the natural sciences. I propose instead that what is at stake in this debate is the feasibility and desirability of what I call the Enlightenment ideal of social science. (...)
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  • The Logical Form of Universal Generalizations.Alice Drewery - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (3):373 – 393.
    First order logic does not distinguish between different forms of universal generalization; in this paper I argue that lawlike and accidental generalizations (broadly construed) have a different logical form, and that this distinction is syntactically marked in English. I then consider the relevance of this broader conception of lawlikeness to the philosophy of science.
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  • Social Explanation and Computational Simulation.R. Keith Sawyer - 2004 - Philosophical Explorations 7 (3):219-231.
    I explore a type of computational social simulation known as artificial societies. Artificial society simulations are dynamic models of real-world social phenomena. I explore the role that these simulations play in social explanation, by situating these simulations within contemporary philosophical work on explanation and on models. Many contemporary philosophers have argued that models provide causal explanations in science, and that models are necessary mediators between theory and data. I argue that artificial society simulations provide causal mechanistic explanations. I conclude that (...)
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  • The Problem of External Validity in Experimental Economics.Francesco Guala - 1999 - Social Science Information 38 (4):555-573.
  • Impossible Laws.Robert D'Amico - 1997 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 27 (3):309-327.
  • Nonreductive Individualism Part II—Social Causation.R. Keith Sawyer - 2003 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 33 (2):203-224.
    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 (...)
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  • The Special Science Dilemma and How Culture Solves It.Marion Godman - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):1-18.
    I argue that there is a tension between the claim that at least some kinds in the special sciences are multiply realized and the claim that the reason why kinds are prized by science is that they enter into a variety of different empirical generalizations. Nevertheless, I show that this tension ceases in the case of ‘cultural homologues’—such as specific ideologies, religions, and folk wisdom. I argue that the instances of such special science kinds do have several projectable properties in (...)
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  • Are Social Mechanisms the Antonym of Laws?Amparo Gómez Rodríguez - 2015 - Epistemologia 38 (1):31-46.
    The thesis that in social sciences causal explanations are possible only in terms o mechanisms due to the lack of genuine laws has been increasingly popular among social scientist and philosophers. In this article it is examined whether the explanation by mechanism is necessarily an explanation without laws or, on the contrary, it can involve some kind o laws. To this end it is argued, firstly, that mechanisms are not always the antonym of law insofar as they express propensities and (...)
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  • The Location Problem in Social Ontology.Frank Hindriks - 2013 - Synthese 190 (3):413-437.
    Mental, mathematical, and moral facts are difficult to accommodate within an overall worldview due to the peculiar kinds of properties inherent to them. In this paper I argue that a significant class of social entities also presents us with an ontological puzzle that has thus far not been addressed satisfactorily. This puzzle relates to the location of certain social entities. Where, for instance, are organizations located? Where their members are, or where their designated offices are? Organizations depend on their members (...)
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  • Emergence in Sociology: A Critique of Nonreductive Individualism.J. Greve - 2012 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 42 (2):188-223.
    The emergentist position that R. Keith Sawyer has formulated, nonreductive individualism, contains three propositions. First, that social characteristics must always be realized in individuals; second, that it is nevertheless possible to understand social properties as irreducible; and third, that therefore it is possible to demonstrate how social properties are able to exercise independent causal influences on individuals and their properties. It is demonstrated that Sawyer is not able to meet an objection that Kim has formulated against the analogous position in (...)
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  • Dispositions and Subjunctives.Jesse R. Steinberg - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (3):323 - 341.
    It is generally agreed that dispositions cannot be analyzed in terms of simple subjunctive conditionals (because of what are called “masked dispositions” and “finkish dispositions”). I here defend a qualified subjunctive account of dispositions according to which an object is disposed to Φ when conditions C obtain if and only if, if conditions C were to obtain, then the object would Φ ceteris paribus . I argue that this account does not fall prey to the objections that have been raised (...)
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  • Why Not Naturalistic Psychology?Richard Garrett - 1991 - Philosophia 20 (4):377-385.