Systemism, social laws, and the limits of social theory: Themes out of Mario bunge’s: The sociology-philosophy connection

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (4):536-587 (2004)

Slava Sadovnikov
York University
The four sections of this article are reactions to a few interconnected problems that Mario Bunge addresses in his The Sociology-Philosophy Connection , which can be seen as a continuation and summary of his two recent major volumes Finding Philosophy in Social Science and Social Science under Debate: A Philosophical Perspective . Bunge’s contribution to the philosophy of the social sciences has been sufficiently acclaimed. (See in particular two special issues of this journal dedicated to his social philosophy: "Systems and Mechanisms. A Symposium on Mario Bunge’s Philosophy of Social Science," Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34, nos. 2 and 3.) The author discusses therefore only those solutions in Bunge’s book that seem most problematic, namely, Bunge’s proposal to expel charlatans from universities; his treatment of social laws; his notions of mechanisms, "mechanismic explanation," and systemism; and his reading of Popper’s social philosophy. Key Words: theory • laws • mechanism • explanation • Popper.
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DOI 10.1177/0048393104269199
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