Explanatory pluralism and complementarity: From autonomy to integration

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (3):314-333 (2008)
Abstract
Philosophers of the social sciences are increasingly convinced that macro-and micro-explanations are complementary. Whereas macro-explanations are broad, micro-explanations are deep. I distinguish between weak and strong complementarity: Strongly complementary explanations improve one another when integrated, weakly complementary explanations do not. To demonstrate the explanatory autonomy of different levels of explanation, explanatory pluralists mostly presuppose the weak form of complementarity. By scrutinizing the notions of explanatory depth and breadth, I argue that macro- and micro-accounts of the same phenomenon are more often strongly complementary. This invites a revision of the pluralist position in which integration promotes explanatory progress. Key Words: explanatory pluralism • social science • explanatory depth • explanatory breadth • mechanism.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0048393108319399
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 32,696
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Playing with Networks: How Economists Explain. [REVIEW]Caterina Marchionni - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (3):331-352.
False Models as Explanatory Engines.Frank Hindriks - 2008 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (3):334-360.
Exclusion in Morality.Lei Zhong - 2016 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 93 (2):275-290.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Explanatory Depth.Brad Weslake - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (2):273-294.
Explanations of the Evolution of Sex: A Plurality of Local Mechanisms.Carla Fehr - 2006 - In Stephen H. Kellert, Helen E. Longino & C. Kenneth Waters (eds.), Scientific Pluralism, Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 167-189.
Indispensability Arguments in Favour of Reductive Explanations.Jeroen van Bouwel, Erik Weber & Leen de Vreese - 2011 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (1):33-46.
Explanatory Pluralism in the Medical Sciences: Theory and Practice.Jeroen van Bouwel - 2010 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (5):371-390.
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
61 ( #98,928 of 2,237,285 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #443,963 of 2,237,285 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature