Erotetic contextualism, data-generating procedures, and sociological explanations of social mobility
Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (1):38-54 (2004)
Critics of the erotetic model of explanation question its ability to discriminate significant from spurious explanations. One response to these criticisms has been to impose contextual restrictions on a case-by-case basis. In this article, the author argues that these approaches have overestimated the role of interests at the expense of other contextual aspects characteristic of social-scientific explanation. For this reason, he shows how procedures of measuring occupational status and social mobility affected different aspects of one explanation that Peter Blau and Otis Dudley Duncan offered in their sociological classic, The American Occupational Structure. He uses the findings from this case study to meet objections to the erotetic model. Key Words: explanation • social science • erotetic • why-question • context
|Keywords||contrast explanation erotetic pragmatic measurement sociology|
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