Explaining phenomena is one of the main activities in which scientists engage. This book proposes a new philosophical theory of scientific explanation by developing and defending the position of explanatory pluralism with the help of the notion of 'explanatory games'. Mantzavinos provides a descriptive account of the explanatory activity of scientists in different domains and shows how they differ from commonsensical explanations offered in everyday life by ordinary people and also from explanations offered in religious contexts. He also shows how (...) an evaluation and a critical appraisal of explanations put forward in different social arenas can take place on the basis of different values. Explanatory Pluralism provides solutions to all important descriptive and normative problems of the philosophical theory of explanation as illustrated in sophisticated case studies from economics and medicine, but also from mythology and religion. (shrink)
Naturalistic Hermeneutics proposes the position of the unity of the scientific method and defends it against the claim to autonomy of the human sciences. Mantzavinos shows how materials that are 'meaningful', more specifically human actions and texts, can be adequately dealt with by the hypothetico-deductive method, the standard method used in the natural sciences. The hermeneutic method is not an alternative method aimed at the understanding and the interpretation of human actions and texts, but it is the same as the (...) hypothetico-deductive method applied to meaningful materials. The central thesis advocated by Mantzavinos is, thus, that there is no fundamental methodological difference between natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Advanced students and professionals across philosophy, social and political theory, and the humanities will find this a compelling and controversial book. (shrink)
This volume is a unique contribution to the philosophy of the social sciences, presenting the results of cutting-edge philosophers' research alongside critical discussions by practicing social scientists. The book is motivated by the view that the philosophy of the social sciences cannot ignore the specific scientific practices according to which social scientific work is being conducted, and that it will be valuable only if it evolves in constant interaction with theoretical developments in the social sciences. With its unique format guaranteeing (...) a genuine discussion between philosophers and social scientists, this thought-provoking volume extends the frontiers of the field. It will appeal to all scholars and students interested in the interplay between philosophy and the social sciences. (shrink)
Two interlocutors, Philip Pettit and a student, are exchanging views on liberal political and economic philosophy during lunch at Prospect House, the faculty club of Princeton. The dialogue begins with clarifications of the notion of liberty, and, against objections of the student, Pettit introduces and defends his own conception of freedom as non-domination rather than as non-interference. It proceeds with an exchange of arguments regarding the different kinds of institutional settings that entrench liberty and all the other things valued by (...) humans. The interlocutors reach a preliminary consensus that in order to substantiate the republican ideal of freedom as non-domination in concrete institutional realities, two things are required: the establishment of a mixed constitution – so that no single, unconstrained body can exercise lawmaking and other government functions – as well as eternal vigilance on the part of the citizens. The second part of the dialogue deals with a major challenge to the republican political philosophy expressed by the student: the issue of non-domination in markets, which is diagnosed as an important lacuna in republican thought. (shrink)
English summary: C. Mantzavinos offers a theory of how the institutional framework of a society emerges and how markets within institutions work. He shows that both social institutions, defined as the rules of the game, and exchange processes can be analyzed along a common theoretical structure. Mantzavinos's proposal is that a problem-solving model of individual behaviour inspired by the cognitive sciences provides such a unifying theoretical structure. Integrating the latest scholarship in economics, sociology, political science, law, and anthropology, the author (...) offers a genuine political economy showing how social institutions affect economic outcomes. His book was first published in English by Cambridge University Press. German description: C. Mantzavinos entwickelt eine Theorie der Entstehung des institutionellen Rahmens einer Gesellschaft und der Funktionsweise von Markten innerhalb dieses Rahmens. Er zeigt, dass sowohl Institutionen, d.h. Spielregeln, als auch Austauschprozesse mit Hilfe einer gemeinsamen theoretischen Struktur analysiert werden konnen. Als gemeinsame vereinheitlichende Struktur schlagt er ein kognitionswissenschaftlich inspiriertes Problemlosungsmodell individuellen Verhaltens vor. Indem er neueste Erkenntnisse aus Okonomik, Soziologie, Politikwissenschaften, Rechtswissenschaft und Anthropologie integriert, entwickelt der Autor eine genuin politische Okonomie, die zeigt, wie soziale Institutionen okonomische Ergebnisse beeinflussen.Das englische Original ist unter dem Titel Individuals, Institutions, and Markets bei Cambridge University Press erschienen.Die Institutionenanalyse hat jungst Fortschritte in der Ausweitung ihrer Domane gemacht und sich Fragen des Wissens und der Kognition zugewandt. Dieses Buch zahlt zu den ersten und einzigen, die dieses wichtige Thema systematisch behandeln. Ausserdem umfasst es sowohl die Diskussion und Analyse dieses Themas als auch die eher traditionelle institutionelle Analyse. Es ist ein Meilenstein und wird als Referenzmass fur kunftige Forschung dienen.Avner Greif, Stanford University. (shrink)
The central thesis is, thus, that there is no fundamental methodological difference between natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. The English edition of this work was published by Cambridge University Press.