12 found
  1. Social Emergence: Societies as Complex Systems.R. Keith Sawyer - 2005 - Cambridge University Press.
    Can we understand important social issues by studying individual personalities and decisions? Or are societies somehow more than the people in them? Sociologists have long believed that psychology can't explain what happens when people work together in complex modern societies. In contrast, most psychologists and economists believe that if we have an accurate theory of how individuals make choices and act on them, we can explain pretty much everything about social life. Social Emergence takes a new approach to these longstanding (...)
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  2. Nonreductive Individualism: Part I—Supervenience and Wild Disjunction.R. Keith Sawyer - 2002 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (4):537-559.
    The author draws on arguments from contemporary philosophy of mind to provide an argument for sociological collectivism. This argument for nonreductive individualism accepts that only individuals exist but rejects methodological individualism. In Part I, the author presents the argument for nonreductive individualism by working through the implications of supervenience, multiple realizability, and wild disjunction in some detail. In Part II, he extends the argument to provide a defense for social causal laws, and this account of social causation does not require (...)
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    Nonreductive Individualism Part II—Social Causation.R. Keith Sawyer - 2003 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 33 (2):203-224.
    In Part I, the author argued for nonreductive individualism (NRI), an account of the individual-collective relation that is ontologically individualist yet rejects methodological individualism. However, because NRI is ontologically individualist, social entities and properties would seem to be only analytic constructs, and if so, they would seem to be epiphenomenal, since only real things can have causal power. In general, a nonreductionist account is a relatively weak defense of sociological explanation if it cannot provide an account of how social properties (...)
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  4. The Mechanisms of Emergence.R. Keith Sawyer - 2004 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (2):260-282.
    This article focuses on emergence in social systems. The author begins by proposing a new tool to explore the mechanisms of social emergence: multi agent–based computer simulation. He then draws on philosophy of mind to develop an account of social emergence that raises potential problems for the methodological individualism of both social mechanism and of multi agent simulation. He then draws on various complexity concepts to propose a set of criteria whereby one can determine whether a given social mechanism generates (...)
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  5. Durkheim's Dilemma: Toward a Sociology of Emergence.R. Keith Sawyer - 2002 - Sociological Theory 20 (2):227-247.
    The concept of emergence is a central thread uniting Durkheim's theoretical and empirical work, yet this aspect of Durkheim's work has been neglected. I reinterpret Durkheim in light of theories of emergence developed by contemporary philosophers of mind, and I show that Durkheim's writings prefigure many elements of these contemporary theories. Reading Durkheim as an emergentist helps to clarify several difficult and confusing aspects of his work, and reveals a range of unresolved issues. I identify five such issues, and I (...)
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  6. Improvisation and the Creative Process: Dewey, Collingwood, and the Aesthetics of Spontaneity.R. Keith Sawyer - 2000 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 58 (2):149-161.
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    Response to “Emergence in Sociology”.R. Keith Sawyer - 2012 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 42 (2):270-275.
    Jens Greve has accurately summarized nonreductive individualism (NRI) and has made an important contribution to an ongoing discussion concerning individualism, reductionism, and emergentism. Greve’s primary criticism is of my account of downward causation, and he cites Kim’s critique of Fodor by analogy. I argue that my original paper already addressed Kim’s critique, by drawing on other philosophers of mind that Greve does not engage with, to make an argument for downward causation based on wild disjunction. Further, I argue that Greve (...)
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    The Emergence of Creativity.R. Keith Sawyer - 1999 - Philosophical Psychology 12 (4):447 – 469.
    This paper is an extended exploration of Mead's phrase the emergence of the novel. I describe and characterize emergent systems-complex dynamical systems that display behavior that cannot be predicted from a full and complete description of the component units of the system. Emergence has become an influential concept in contemporary cognitive science [A. Clark Being there, Cambridge: MIT Press], complexity theory [W. Bechtel & R.C. Richardson Discovering complexity, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press], artificial life [R.A. Brooks & P. Maes Artificial (...)
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    The Semiotics of Improvisation: The Pragmatics of Musical and Verbal Performance.R. Keith Sawyer - 1996 - Semiotica 108 (3-4):269-306.
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    Social Explanation and Computational Simulation.R. Keith Sawyer - 2004 - Philosophical Explorations 7 (3):219-231.
    I explore a type of computational social simulation known as artificial societies. Artificial society simulations are dynamic models of real-world social phenomena. I explore the role that these simulations play in social explanation, by situating these simulations within contemporary philosophical work on explanation and on models. Many contemporary philosophers have argued that models provide causal explanations in science, and that models are necessary mediators between theory and data. I argue that artificial society simulations provide causal mechanistic explanations. I conclude that (...)
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    Review: Hedstrom, P. (2005). Dissecting the Social: On the Principles of Analytic Sociology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. [REVIEW]R. Keith Sawyer - 2007 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (2):255-260.
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  12. Situativity and Learning.R. Keith Sawyer & James G. Greeno - 2009 - In Murat Aydede & P. Robbins (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 347--367.