G. A. Cohen's functional explanation: A critical realist analysis

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 33 (3):291-310 (2003)

Abstract
Cohen employs in his book Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defense in light of its recent republication. In recent years, Roy Bhaskar has provided a convincing critique of the empiricist philosophy of social science that Cohen employs, and this article tries to provide an assessment of his method from a Bhaskarian perspective. It begins with an exposition of functional explanation, followed by the Bhaskarian critique by demonstrating that functionalism is unworkable because it is dependent on an empiricist account of causation.
Keywords functional explanation  empiricist philosophy  causation
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DOI 10.1177/0048393103252778
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