Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (2):163-184 (2007)

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Abstract
A recent movement in the social sciences and philosophy of the social sciences focuses on mechanisms as a central analytical unit. Starting from a pluralist perspective on the aims of the social sciences, I argue that there are a number of important aims to which knowledge about mechanisms—whatever their virtues relative to other aims—contributes very little at best and that investigating mechanisms is therefore a methodological strategy with fairly limited applicability. Key Words: social science • mechanisms • explanation • critical realism • methodology.
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DOI 10.1177/0048393107299686
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References found in this work BETA

Science, Truth, and Democracy.Philip Kitcher - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
Review of M Aking Things Happen.Eric Hiddleston - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (4):545-547.
Representing and Intervening.Ian Hacking - 1984 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 35 (4):381-390.

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Citations of this work BETA

Causation in the Social Sciences: Evidence, Inference, and Purpose.Julian Reiss - 2009 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 39 (1):20-40.
Justice, Feasibility, and Social Science as It Is.Emily McTernan - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (1):27-40.
Causation in the Sciences: An Inferentialist Account.Julian Reiss - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (4):769-777.
Causal Explanation: Recursive Decompositions and Mechanisms.Michel Mouchart & Federica Russo - 2011 - In Phyllis McKay Illari, Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (eds.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press.

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