10 found
  1.  9
    Residuality and Inconsistency in the Interpretation of Socio-Theoretical Systems.Christoforos Bouzanis & Stephen Kemp - 2019 - Sociological Theory 37 (3):282-292.
    This article addresses the interpretation and criticism of theoretical systems. Its particular focus is on how to assess the success of theories in dealing with some specific phenomenon. We are interested in how to differentiate between cases where a theory offers an unsatisfactory acknowledgment of a specified phenomenon and those where a theory offers a deeper, more systematic understanding. We address these metatheoretical issues by developing Parsons’s analysis of positive and residual categories in various respects, including a focus on mutual (...)
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  2. Rethinking Social Criticism: Rules, Logic and Internal Critique.Stephen Kemp - 2003 - History of the Human Sciences 16 (4):61-84.
    The ‘cultural turn’ in social thought, and the rise of interpretive modes of social analysis, have raised the issue of how social criticism can legitimately be undertaken given the central role of actors’ understandings in constituting social reality. In this article I examine this issue by exploring debates around Winch’s interpretive approach. I suggest that Winch’s arguments usefully identify problems with external criticism, that is, criticism that attempts to contrast actors’ beliefs with the social world as it really is. However, (...)
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  3.  23
    Toward a Monistic Theory of Science: The `Strong Programme' Reconsidered.Stephen Kemp - 2003 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 33 (3):311-338.
    This article considers the `Strong Programme' account of scientific knowledge from a fresh perspective. It argues that insufficient attention has been paid to the Strong Programme's monistic intent, that is, its aim to unify considerations of instrumental adequacy and social interests in explanations of the development of scientific knowledge. Although sharing the judgment of many critics that the Strong Programme approach is flawed, the article diverges from standard criticisms by suggesting that the best alternative is not a dualistic framework but (...)
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  4.  16
    Questioning Contingency in Social Life: Roles, Agreement and Agency.Stephen Kemp & John Holmwood - 2012 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 42 (4):403-424.
    Structure/agency theories presuppose that there is a unity to structure that distinguishes it from the (potential) diversity of agents' responses. In doing so they formally divide the robust social processes shaping the social world (structure) from contingent agential variation (agency). In this article we question this division by critically evaluating its application to the concept of role in critical realism and structural functionalism. We argue that Archer, Elder-Vass and Parsons all mistakenly understand a role to have a singular structural definition (...)
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  5.  27
    Realism, Regularity and Social Explanation.Stephen Kemp & John Holmwood - 2003 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 33 (2):165–187.
    This article explores the difficulties raised for social scientific investigation by the absence of experiment, critically reviewing realist responses to the problem such as those offered by Bhaskar, Collier and Sayer. It suggests that realist arguments for a shift from prediction to explanation, the use of abstraction, and reliance upon interpretive forms of investigation fail to demonstrate that these approaches compensate for the lack of experimental control. Instead, it is argued that the search for regularities, when suitably conceived, provides the (...)
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  6.  88
    Response to My Critics.Stephen Kemp - 2003 - History of the Human Sciences 16 (4):101-105.
  7.  6
    Unpredictability and Nonlinearity in Complexity Theory: A Critical Appraisal.Stephen Kemp - 2009 - Emergence: Complexity and Organization 11 (1).
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  8.  3
    The Two Stories of the Habitus/Structure Relation and the Riddle of Reflexivity: A Meta‐Theoretical Reappraisal.Christoforos Bouzanis & Stephen Kemp - forthcoming - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour.
    Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, EarlyView.
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  9.  39
    Saving the Strong Programme? A Critique of David Bloor’s Recent Work.Stephen Kemp - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (4):707-720.
    This article critically appraises David Bloor’s recent attempts to refute criticisms levelled at the Strong Programme’s social constructionist approach to scientific knowledge. Bloor has tried to argue, contrary to some critics, that the Strong Programme is not idealist in character, and it does not involve a challenge to the credibility of scientific knowledge. I argue that Bloor’s attempt to deflect the charge of idealism, which calls on the self-referential theory of social institutions, is partially successful. However, I suggest that although (...)
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  10.  18
    Concepts, Anomalies and Reality: A Response to Bloor and Fehér.Stephen Kemp - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 38 (1):241-253.
    In this article I respond to the defences of the Strong Programme put forward by David Bloor and Márta Fehér in this issue. I dispute the claim that it is attention to only limited parts of the Strong Programme framework that allows me to argue that this approach: leads to weak idealism, undermines the idea that theories have varying levels of instrumental success, and challenges the theoretical claims of scientific actors. Rather, I argue that these problematic positions are entailed by (...)
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