Reduction in Social Science

Edited by Cory Wright (California State University, Long Beach)
Assistant editor: Caitlin Mace (University of Pittsburgh)
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  1. Econophysics: Making Sense of a Chimera.Adrian K. Yee - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (4):1-34.
    The history of economic thought witnessed several prominent economists who took seriously models and concepts in physics for the elucidation and prediction of economic phenomena. Econophysics is an emerging discipline at the intersection of heterodox economics and the physics of complex systems, with practitioners typically engaged in two overlapping but distinct methodological programs. The first is to export mathematical methods used in physics for the purposes of studying economic phenomena. The second is to export mechanisms in physics into economics. A (...)
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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. Why Macroeconomics Does Not Supervene on Microeconomics.Brian Epstein - 2014 - Journal of Economic Methodology 21 (1):3-18.
    In recent years, the project of providing microeconomic foundations for macroeconomics has taken on new urgency. Some philosophers and economists have challenged the project, both for the way economists actually approach microfoundations and for more general anti-reductionist reasons. Reductionists and anti-reductionists alike, however, have taken it to be trivial that the macroeconomic facts are exhaustively determined by microeconomic ones. In this paper, I challenge this supposed triviality. I argue that macroeconomic properties do not even globally supervene on microeconomic ones. This (...)
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  5. 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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  6. Social Properties (Facts and Entities): Philosophical Aspects.David-Hillel Ruben - 2001 - In International Encyclopaedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences.
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  7. 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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  8. 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 the social sciences, with regard both to particulars and properties. The last chapter addresses the issue of the irreducibility of holistic explanation in the social sciences.
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