Reduction in Social Science

Edited by Cory Wright (California State University, Long Beach)
Assistant editor: Caitlin Mace (California State University, Long Beach)
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  1. Is There Such a Thing as a Social Science?Robert Vinten - 2016 - Dokos 17:53-86.
    This paper looks at the centrality of action in social disciplines and examines the implications of this for whether social disciplines can be called scientific. Various reasons for calling social disciplines scientific are examined and rejected: (1) the claim that social disciplines are reducible to natural scientific ones, (2) the claim, from Donald Davidson, that reasons for action are to be construed in causal terms, (3) the claim that social disciplines employ, or should employ, the methodologies of the natural sciences. (...)
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  2. Beyond Supervenience and Construction.David-Hillel Ruben - 2015 - Journal of Social Ontology 1 (1):121-141.
    If reduction of the social to the physical fail, what options remain for understanding their relationship? Two such options are supervenience and constructivism. Both are vitiated by a similar fault. So the choices are limited: reduction after all, or emergence.
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  3. Methodological Individualism and Holism in Political Science: A Reconciliation.Christian List & Kai Spiekermann - 2013 - American Political Science Review 107 (4):629-643.
    Political science is divided between methodological individualists, who seek to explain political phenomena by reference to individuals and their interactions, and holists (or nonreductionists), who consider some higher-level social entities or properties such as states, institutions, or cultures ontologically or causally significant. We propose a reconciliation between these two perspectives, building on related work in philosophy. After laying out a taxonomy of different variants of each view, we observe that (i) although political phenomena result from underlying individual attitudes and behavior, (...)
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  4. Social Properties (Facts and Entities): Philosophical Aspects.David-Hillel Ruben - 2001 - In International Encyclopaedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences.
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  5. Structural Explanation in Social Theory.Frank Jackson & Philip Pettit - 1992 - In K. Lennon & D. Charles (eds.), Reduction, Explanation, and Realism. Oxford University Press. pp. 97--131.
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  6. The Metaphysics of the Social World.David Hillel Ruben - 1985 - London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
    A careful elaboration and defence of holism in the philosophy of social science, with regard to both particulars and properties.The last chapter addresses the issue of the irreducibility of holistic explanation in social science.
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