Individualism and holism, reduction and pluralism: A comment on Keith Sawyer and Julie Zahle

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (4):527-535 (2004)

Authors
Jeroen Van Bouwel
University of Ghent
Abstract
Commenting on recent articles by Keith Sawyer and Julie Zahle, the author questions the way in which the debate between methodological individualists and holists has been presented and contends that too much weight has been given to metaphysical and ontological debates at the expense of giving attention to methodological debates and analysis of good explanatory practice. Giving more attention to successful explanatory practice in the social sciences and the different underlying epistemic interests and motivations for providing explanations or reducing theories (which ask for different kinds of explanatory information to be found on the social or on the individual level) might lead to real progress in the debate on methodological individualism, and away from the unending battles of (metaphysical) intuitions. Key Words: methodological individualism • nonreductive materialism • pluralism • pragmatics of explanation.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0048393104269198
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 42,401
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Mind-Body Causation and Explanatory Practice.Tyler Burge - 1993 - In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press.
Nonreductive Individualism: Part I—Supervenience and Wild Disjunction.R. Keith Sawyer - 2002 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (4):537-559.
Nonreductive Individualism Part II—Social Causation.R. Keith Sawyer - 2003 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 33 (2):203-224.
Nonreductive Individualism. Part I—Supervenience and Wild Disjunction.Sawyer R. Keith - 2002 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (4):537-559.
Can a Reductionist Be a Pluralist?Daniel Steel - 2004 - Biology and Philosophy 19 (1):55-73.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

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.
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.
Methodological Individualism, Explanation, and Invariance.Daniel Steel - 2006 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36 (4):440-463.
When Local Models Fail.Brian Epstein - 2008 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (1):3-24.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Nonreductive Individualism Part II—Social Causation.R. Keith Sawyer - 2003 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 33 (2):203-224.
Nonreductive Individualism: Part I—Supervenience and Wild Disjunction.R. Keith Sawyer - 2002 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (4):537-559.
Emergence in Sociology: A Critique of Nonreductive Individualism.Jens Greve - 2012 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 42 (2):188-223.
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.
The Mechanisms of Emergence.R. Keith Sawyer - 2004 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (2):260-282.
Ten Modes of Individualism--None of Which Works--And Their Alternatives.Mario Bunge - 2000 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 30 (3):384-406.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
55 ( #145,426 of 2,255,328 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #301,400 of 2,255,328 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature