Exploring the concept of causal power in a critical realist tradition

Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 37 (1):63–87 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This article analyses and evaluates the uses of the concept of causal power in the critical realist tradition, which is based on Roy Bhaskar's philosophy of science. The concept of causal power that appears in the early works of Rom Harré and his associates is compared to Bhaskar's account of this concept and its uses in the critical realist social ontology. It is argued that the concept of emergence should be incorporated to any adequate notion of causal power. The concept of emergence used in Bhaskar and other critical realists’ works is shown to be ambiguous. It is also pointed out that the concept of causal power should be analysed in an anti-essentialist way. Ontological and methodological problems that vitiate Bhaskar's transcendental account of the concept of causal power are examined. Moreover, it is argued that the applications of the concept of causal power to mental powers, reasons, and social structures in the critical realist social ontology are problematic. The paper shows how these problems might be avoided without giving up the concept of causal power and the notion of structural social causation

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,311

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Causal laws and singular causation.Brian Ellis - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (2):329-351.
The Causal Power of Discourse.Dave Elder-Vass - 2011 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 41 (2):143-160.
Postmodern Education and the Concept of Power.Thomas Aastrup Rømer - 2011 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 43 (7):755-772.
What can causal claims mean?Walter Ott - 2009 - Philosophia 37 (3):459-470.
The Hermeneutics of the Causal Powers of Meaningful Objects.Amit Ron - 2010 - Journal of Critical Realism 9 (2):155-171.
Fate and humanity.Xunwu Chen - 2010 - Asian Philosophy 20 (1):67 – 77.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
44 (#312,692)

6 months
4 (#305,365)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Tuukka Kaidesoja
University of Helsinki

Citations of this work

The Ontic Account of Scientific Explanation.Carl F. Craver - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver R. Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the Special Sciences: The Case of Biology and History. Springer Verlag. pp. 27-52.
Elder-Vass on the Causal Power of Social Structures.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2014 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 44 (6):774-791.
Social structure and social relations.Dave Elder-Vass - 2007 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 37 (4):463–477.
Bhaskar and Bunge on Social Emergence.Tuukka Kaidesoja - 2009 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 39 (3):300-322.

View all 20 citations / Add more citations