dunnettreader + methodology   62

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, individual-level descriptions do not always capture all explanatorily salient properties, and (ii) nonreductionistic explanations are mandated when social regularities are robust to changes in their individual-level realization. We characterize the dividing line between phenomena requiring nonreductionistic explanation and phenomena permitting individualistic explanation and give examples from the study of ethnic conflicts, social-network theory, and international-relations theory. - downloaded via iphone to Dbox
positivism  emergence  reductionism  causation-social  critical_realism  epistemology-social  article  methodology  jstor  social_history  causation  downloaded  philosophy_of_social_science  individualism-methodology 
july 2017 by dunnettreader
Videos from conference on Herman Cappelen, Philosophy without Intuitions (OUP, 2012) - School of Advanced Study
Knowledge and Intuitions - A one-day conference with papers on Professor Herman Cappelen's recent publication, Philosophy without Intuitions (OUP, 2012), with Professor Brain Weatherson (Michigan), Dr Ana-Sara Malmgren (Stanford), Professor Jonathan Weinberg (Arizona) and Professor Mark Richard (Harvard), with responses from the author.
epistemology  knowledge  conference  analytical_philosophy  lecture  intuitionism  methodology  video  books  intuitions  evidence  belief  cognition  cognitive_bias 
march 2016 by dunnettreader
Louis Pinto - La philosophie, un « objet » pour le sociologue ? (2013) - Cairn.info
Est-il possible de soumettre la philosophie à un ensemble de démarches usuelles en sociologie, tout en tenant compte de sa spécificité ? Peut-on échapper à l’alternative du réductionnisme externaliste et du renoncement à parler de ce qui est présumé interne ? En quoi une approche sociologique déjouant pareille alternative serait-elle intéressante pour le philosophe ? Pour répondre à de tels questionnements, trois points sont envisagés à travers des illustrations. Le premier point concerne la sociologie (historique) de l’interprétation des textes. Un deuxième point est la façon sociologique d’aborder la question, à laquelle s’attachent traditionnellement les commentateurs, de l’unité et de la cohérence d’une œuvre. Le troisième point est celui du rapport entre classements sociaux et classements théoriques.
downloaded  philosophy_of_social_science  sociology_of_knowledge  methodology  intelligentsia  cultural_capital  social_theory  philosophy_of_science  cultural_authority  article  disciplines  social_capital 
february 2016 by dunnettreader
Cousin and Chauvin - L'économie symbolique du capital social (2012) - Cairn.info
The Symbolic Economy of Social Capital
Drawing on several studies dealing with upper-class sociability (in particular an investigation of Milan’s traditional social clubs and Rotary clubs), this article develops a relational analysis of social capital, i.e. one that is attentive to the distinctive value of the forms taken by social capital. Indeed, unequal conditions of accumulation of social capital give rise to a relation of symbolic domination between the different ways of actualizing it, of maintaining it, and of representing it. We review the main theories of social capital – network analysis and cultural sociology – in an attempt at combining them. We show how they both neglect this relational dimension. Finally, we present the heuristic advantages of an approach sensitive to the fact that the different ways of describing (and legitimizing) social connections are themselves symbolic resources in the accumulation and preservation of social capital. -- downloaded via iPhone to DBOX
social_capital  networks-business  social_theory  inequality-wealth  downloaded  methodological_individualism  status  networks-social  article  civil_society  values  methodology 
february 2016 by dunnettreader
Thierry Hoquet - Paul Feyerabend, anarchiste des sciences (career retrospective) - La Vie des idées - April 2015
Paul Feyerabend ne cessa de critiquer le rationalisme et l’approche abstraite de la philosophie des sciences, enfermée dans son jargon et son logicisme. Quitte à prêter le flanc au relativisme et à passer pour « le pire ennemi de la science » ? -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  French_language  intellectual_history  20thC  post-WWII  philosophy_of_science  epistemology  scepticism  methodology  Feyerabend  Popper  Laktos  Wittgenstein  scientific_method  Galileo  physics  astronomy  Scientific_Revolution  scientific_culture  sociology_of_knowledge  downloaded 
december 2015 by dunnettreader
Paul Newall interview with John Dupré: The Disunity of Science (2006) - The Galilean Library
John Dupré is a professor of philosophy of science in the Department of Sociology and Philosophy at Exeter University in the UK, and also the director of Egenis, the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society. I was able to ask him about several keys areas of his work and relate it to contemporary issues in both science and the philosophy of science. -- Hits all my hot buttons. Anti mathematization of economics and its divorce from empiricism, disdainful of evo-devo psych, the Centre is part of a larger program looking at impacts of genetics and biology, from philosophy through sociology, economics, politics, art and humanities. Pal of Nancy Cartwright, Philip Kitcher and part of the "Stanford School". Author of Darwin's Legacy on Kindle -- downloaded page as pdf to Note
interview  philosophy_of_science  scientific_method  scientific_culture  scientism  methodology  laws_of_nature  empiricism  pragmatism  genetics  evolutionary_biology  molecular_biology  epigenetics  evo_psych  economic_models  mathematization  kindle  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Nicolas Duvoux, interview with Erik Olin Wright - Analytic Marxism and Real Utopias | Books & ideas - 16 November 2012
Erik Olin Wright is a prominent American sociologist and the last president of the American Sociological Association. In this interview, E. O. Wright explains the nature of "analytic Marxism”, which renewed the study of Marxism in the late 1970s and 1980s, and comes back on a more recent project called “ Envisioning Real Utopias”, which focuses on radical emancipatory alternatives to existing social structures. -- downloaded pdf to Note
social_theory  Marxist-analytical  social_sciences-post-WWII  methodology  sociology  classes  class_conflict  capitalism  capitalism-alternatives  Labor_markets  labor  labor_share  cooperation  worker_co-ops  open_source  social_movements  social_order  change-social  change-economic  downloaded 
june 2015 by dunnettreader
Nicolas Duvoux - Interview with Bernard Lahire - La fabrication sociale d’un individu | Nov 2009 - La Vie des idées
Dossier(s) : Pierre Bourdieu et la culture Classes sociales et inégalités : portrait d’une France éclatée -- Mots-clés : éducation | sociologie | littérature | individu | contexte

Dans cet entretien, le sociologue Bernard Lahire revient sur son parcours intellectuel. Il évoque les différentes étapes d’un travail de relecture des catégories forgées par Pierre Bourdieu et du projet d’élaboration d’une sociologie à l’échelle de l’individu. -- downloaded pdf to Note
social_theory  cultural_capital  classes  Bourdieu  cultural_critique  methodology  self  self-development  downloaded 
april 2015 by dunnettreader
Geoffrey Jones, Marco H.D. van Leeuwen, and Stephen Broadberry - The Future of Economic, Business, and Social History | Scandinavian Economic History Review 60, no. 3 (November, 2012): 225–253
3 leading scholars in the fields of business, economic, and social history review the current state of these disciplines and reflect on their future trajectory. Jones reviews the development of business history since its birth at HBS during the 1920s. He notes the discipline's unique record as a pioneer of the scholarly study of entrepreneurship, multinationals, and the relationship between strategy and structure in corporations, as well as its more recent accomplishments, including exploring new domains such as family business, networks and business groups, and retaining an open architecture and inter-disciplinary approach. Yet Jones also notes that the discipline has struggled to achieve a wider impact, in part because of methodological under-development. He discusses 3 alternative futures for the discipline. (1) which he rejects, is a continuing growth of research domains to create a diffuse "business history of everything." (2) is a re-integration with the sister discipline of economic history, which has strongly recovered from its near-extinction 2 decades ago through a renewed attention to globalization and the Great Divergence between the West and the Rest. (3) which he supports, is that business historians retain a distinct identity by building on their proud tradition of deep engagement with empirical evidence by raising the bar in methodology and focusing on big issues for which many scholars, practitioners and students seek answers. He identifies 4 such big issues related to debates on entrepreneurship, globalization, business and the natural environment, and the social and political responsibility of business.
article  economic_history  economic_sociology  business_history  business-and-politics  business-norms  business_practices  business-ethics  globalization  MNCs  methodology  environment  climate-adaptation  entrepreneurs  CSR  paywall 
april 2015 by dunnettreader
Salerno, Joseph T. "Influence of Cantillon's Essai on the Methodology of J.B. Say: A Comment on Liggio." -The Journal of Libertarian Studies (1985) | Mises Institute
Salerno, Joseph T. "Influence of Cantillon's Essai on the Methodology of J.B. Say: A Comment on Liggio." Journal of Libertarian Studies 7, No. 2 (1985): 305–316. -- One of the most important areas in which Cantillon influenced J. B. Say involves a set of issues which receives no explicit treatment in the Essai. I refer to the distinctive and pathbreaking methodology employed by Cantillon in his treatise. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  intellectual_history  18thC  19thC  France  Cantillon  political_economy  economic_theory  methodology  Say_J-B  downloaded 
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Paul A. Lewis, review essay - Varieties of Emergence: Minds, Markets and Novelty (STUDIES IN EMERGENT ORDER, VOL 4 (2011): 170-192) :: SSRN
King's College London - Department of Political Economy -- This paper is an essay review of Richard Wagner's book, 'Mind, Society and Human Action'. It focuses on the ontological presuppositions of Wagner's account of of the social world (that is, on what Wanger's account presupposes about the nature of social reality). Issue discussed include the following: the nature of emergence and emergent properties; spontaneous order, and the shortcomings of Walrasian general equilibrium theory in modelling it; the significance of the impact of social interaction on peolpe's preferences and dispositions; and the role of novelty and innovation in Wagner's account of the market process. -- Number of Pages in PDF File: 23 -- Keywords: Emergence, complexity, Austrian Economics, ontology, spontaneous order, novelty -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  review  SSRN  philosophy_of_social_science  social_theory  ontology-social  mind  social_order  social_process  preferences  emergence  equilibrium  heterodox_economics  Innovation  complexity  economic_models  utility  behavioral_economics  markets-psychology  markets  methodology  methodology-qualitative  downloaded  EF-add 
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Paul A. Lewis - Certainly Not! A Critical Realist Recasting of Ludwig Von Mises’s Methodology of the Social Sciences (Journal of Economic Methodology (2010), 17(3): 277-99) :: SSRN
King's College London - Department of Political Economy -- This paper focuses on Ludwig von Mises methodological apriorism. It uses Wittgenstein’s private language argument as the basis for a critique of Mises’s claim to have found apodictically certain foundations for economic analysis. It is argued instead that Mises’s methodology is more fruitfully viewed as an exercise in social ontology, the objective of which is to outline key features of the socio-economic world that social scientific research ought to take into account if it is to be fruitful. The implications of this perspective for three key methodological issues, namely the relationship between theory and history, the possibility of naturalism, and the place of Austrian economics within the discipline of economics as a whole, are brought out. -- Number of Pages in PDF File: 22 -- Keywords: Austrian economics; Ludwig von Mises; praxeology; private language -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  SSRN  philosophy_of_social_science  social_theory  ontology-social  Mises  apriori  Wittgenstein  philosophy_of_language  economic_theory  economic_models  heterodox_economics  Austrian_economics  methodology  downloaded  EF-add 
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Paul A. Lewis - Turning to Reality? A Review Essay on Tony Lawson's "Reorienting Economics" (2009) :: SSRN
King's College London - Department of Political Economy -- This essays explores various aspects of Tony Lawson's claim that the discipline of economics would benefit from a more explicit, systematic and sustained concern with ontology, that is with (philosophical analysis of) the nature of (what exists in) the social world, than it has hitherto displayed. -- Number of Pages in PDF File: 13 -- Keywords: Social ontology, critical realism, heterodox economics, Austrian economics. -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  SSRN  social_theory  critical_realism  philosophy_of_social_science  ontology-social  heterodox_economics  Austrian_economics  economic_theory  political_economy  methodology  methodology-qualitative  downloaded  EF-add 
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Daniel Little - Emergentism and generationism | Understanding Society 3014
So Epstein and Page both make use of the methods of agent based modeling, but they disagree about the idea of emergence. Page believes that complex adaptive systems give rise to properties that are emergent and irreducible; whereas Epstein doesn't think the idea makes a lot of sense. Rather, Epstein's view depends on the idea that we can reproduce (generate) the macro phenomena based on a model involving the agents and their interactions. Macro phenomena are generated by the interactions of the units; whereas for Page and Miller, macro phenomena in some systems have properties that cannot be easily derived from the activities of the units. At the moment, anyway, I find myself attracted to Herbert Simon's effort to split the difference by referring to "weak emergence" (link to amazon kindle): - Epstein paper dowmloaded to iPhone
social_theory  emergence  complex_adaptive_systems  complexity  agent-based_models  methodology  methodological_individualism  causation-social  anthropology  historical_sociology  fownloaded  kindle-available 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
George Steinmetz - William Sewell's "Logics of History" as a Framework for an Integrated Social Science | JSTOR: Social Science History, Vol. 32, No. 4 (Winter, 2008), pp. 535-553
This essay surveys the contributions of William H. Sewell Jr.'s "Logics of History" and concludes that the book sketches a compelling agenda for an integrated historical social science. The author first summarizes Sewell's ontological and epistemological claims concerning social structure and event, history and temporality, and sociohistorical causality. The author then discusses five main areas in which ambiguities in Sewell's approach might be clarified or his arguments pushed farther. These concern (1) the relationship between historical event and traumatic event; (2) the idea of the unprecedented event or "antistructure"; (3) the theory of semiosis underlying Sewell's notion of a multiplicity of structures; and (4) the compatibilities and differences between the concepts of structure and mechanism (here the author argues that social structures are the distinctive "mechanisms" of the human or social sciences). Finally, (5) Sewell's call for "a more robust sense of the social" in historical writing locates the "social" mainly at the level of the metafield of power, or what regulation theory calls the mode of regulation; the author suggests a possible integration of this society-level concept with Pierre Bourdieu 's theory of semiautonomous fields. -- This is a Duke journal that only uses jstor for posting abstracts for the entire history of the journal
article  find  libraries  social_theory  historiography  historical_sociology  philosophy_of_social_science  methodology  mechanisms-social_theory  structure  event  causation-social  power  levels_of_analyis  Bourdieu  fields  ontology-social  EF-add 
october 2014 by dunnettreader
Charles Tilly - Contentious Choices [overview of Special Issue: Current Routes to the Study of Contentious Politics and Social Change] | JSTOR: Theory and Society, Vol. 33, No. 3/4 (Jun. - Aug., 2004), pp. 473-481
Articles in this special issue address two choices faced by all analysts of contentious politics: 1) which features of political processes the analysts single out for description and explanation and 2) what sorts of conceptualizations and explanations of those processes they propose. On the first point, the articles split among a) variation and change in actors' strategies as well as consequences of those strategies, b) longer-term transformations of political context and consequences, c) grounding of contention in local circumstances. On the second, they choose among a) very general explanatory frameworks, b) particular causal mechanisms that produce similar effects across a wide variety of political circumstances, and c) explanation by means of careful attachment of episodes to local and regional settings. The articles therefore illustrate broad challenges in current studies of political contention. -- a late methodological essay on approaches to contentious politics and mechanisms, explanation, causation, generalizations etc in Tilly's career -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  social_theory  political_sociology  contention  social_movements  change-social  historical_sociology  philosophy_of_social_science  methodology  mechanisms-social_theory  causation-social  Tilly  downloaded  EF-add 
october 2014 by dunnettreader
Alex Rosenberg - Paul Krugman’s Philosophy of Economics, and What It Should Be » 3:AM Magazine
All the New Classical economists need to defend the dominant “paradigm” in economics against Krugman and other dissenters are the tools he grants them—maximization and equilibrium. -- Rosenberg then goes into Keynes, Knight, Soros re uncertainty and reflexivity. Comes up with too strong a conclusion that since economics is an historical science, you can't make predictions. But there's a big difference between predictions of a long term outcome, or even a specific business cycle and yet have history-confirmed principles that, e.g. fiscal policy should be countercyclical or that a balance sheet recession is unlikely to push prices up, and monetary policy loses traction so it's not going to generate inflation, or a monetary union without a fiscal union and consolidated banking regulation is likely to blow up. Worse, Rosenberg is reiterating the false myth that the Keynesian thinking couldn't explain the 1970s and the New Classicals could. History contradicts the macro implications of EMH, Ricardian equivalence, RBC, etc. Actually it was Friedman monetarism that "explained" the 1970s, and when Friedman theory was attempted in the 1980s it had to be abandoned since it simply didn't work. The New Classicals were initially along for the monetarism ride and consolidated ideologically in academia by ignoring real world failures, which were relatively unimportant during the Great Moderation which they claimed to have produced or at least understood.
economic_history  intellectual_history  economic_theory  macroeconomics  microfoundations  neoclassical_economics  Keynesian  political_economy  philosophy_of_social_science  methodology  monetarism  monetary_policy  fiscal_policy  causation-social  mechanism  systems_theory  complexity  risk-systemic  uncertainty  probability 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
The Works of John Locke, vol. 2 (An Essay concerning Human Understanding Part 2 and Other Writings) [1824 edition] - Online Library of Liberty
Conclusion of the Essay plus some of his important secondary works re epistemology, education plus Elements of Natural Philosophy *--* OF THE CONDUCT of the UNDERSTANDING. *--* SOME THOUGHTS concerning READING AND STUDY for a GENTLEMAN. *--* ELEMENTS of NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. *--* A NEW METHOD of a COMMON-PLACE-BOOK. translated out of the french from the second volume of the bibliotheque universelle. -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  etexts  Liberty_Fund  downloaded  intellectual_history  17thC  18thC  Locke  epistemology  natural_philosophy  education  gentleman  methodology  scientific_method  Republic_of_Letters 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Jon Elster - One Social Science or Many? - 2009 | Scribd
Discusses his version of methodological individualism and aggregated units of analysis as "second best" -- example of household as unit distorts behavior because doesn't capture social dynamics within hiusehold -- ends with appeal to the various social sciences reading classics of history -- jn other wirds, "history is philosophy teaching by example"
paper  Scribd  social_theory  social_sciences-post-WWII  behavioral_economics  methodology-quantitative  methodology  individualism-methodology  Bolingbroke  historical_sociology  history-as_experiment  history-and-social_sciences 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Nancy Cartwright - Evidence Where Rigor Matters.pdf
LSE collection of her work, most from her involvement with Templeton project "God's Law, Nature's Laws, Man's Laws" She had a director role and focused on "man" area. She's especially interested in t...
philosophy_of_science  evidence  epistemology  RCTs  statistics  probability  social_sciences  methodology  downloaded  EF-add  from notes
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Anthony Chemero and Michael Silberstein - After the Philosophy of Mind: Replacing Scholasticism with Science | JSTOR: Philosophy of Science, Vol. 75, No. 1 (January 2008), pp. 1-27
We provide a taxonomy of the two most important debates in the philosophy of the cognitive and neural sciences. The first debate is over methodological individualism: is the object of the cognitive and neural sciences the brain, the whole animal, or the animal—environment system? The second is over explanatory style: should explanation in cognitive and neural science be reductionist‐mechanistic, interlevel mechanistic, or dynamical? After setting out the debates, we discuss the ways in which they are interconnected. Finally, we make some recommendations that we hope will help philosophers interested in the cognitive and neural sciences to avoid dead ends. -- partially a lit survey so good bibliography -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  philosophy_of_science  metaphysics  mind  mind-body  neuroscience  reductionism  mechanism  cognition  ontology  methodology  levels_of_analyis  critical_realism  emergence  individualism-methodology  unit_of_analysis  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Nancy Cartwright on RCTs | LARS P. SYLL - July 2014
I’m fond of science philosophers like Nancy Cartwright. With razor-sharp intellects they immediately go for the essentials. They have no time for bullshit. And neither should we. In Evidence: For Policy — downloadable here — Cartwirght has assembled her papers on how better to use evidence from the sciences “to evaluate whether policies that have been tried have succeeded and to predict whether those we are thinking of trying will produce the outcomes we aim for.” Many of the collected papers center around what can and cannot be inferred from results in well-done randomised controlled trials (RCTs). A must-read for everyone with an interest in the methodology of science -- downloaded pdf to Note
methodology  methodology-quantitative  philosophy_of_science  epistemology  evidence  downloaded 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Ronald J. Allen, Brian Leiter - Naturalized Epistemology and the Law of Evidence :: SSRN - Virginia Law Review, 2001
This paper looks at important developments in epistemology, and demonstrates that naturalized epistemology provides a firm conceptual foundation for much research into law of evidence. These developments in epistemology have not been much noted in legal scholarship, despite their importance in philosophy and their coincidence with some widely shared approaches to evidence scholarship. This article is a partial antidote for the unproductive fascination in some quarters of the legal academy with "postmodern" conceptions of knowledge and truth and to the even more common search by the legal professoriat for algorithms that provide answers to important legal questions, such as Bayesian decision theory or micro-economics. The article argues that the naturalistic turn in epistemology of the past thirty years (especially that branch known as social epistemology) provides the appropriate theoretical framework for the study of evidence, as it does for virtually any enterprise concerned with the empirical adequacy of its theories and the truth-generating capacity of its methodologies. It also provides a way to conceptualize and evaluate specific rules of evidence, and concomitantly explains what most evidence scholars do, regardless of their explicit philosophical commitments. For the great bulk of evidentiary scholars, this article should solidify the ground beneath their feet. -- Number of Pages in PDF File: 78 - large bibliography -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  epistemology-social  analytical_philosophy  evidence  naturalism  sociology_of_knowledge  methodology  decision_theory  law-and-economics  Bayesian  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Alex Langlinais, Brian Leiter - The Methodology of Legal Philosophy [chapter] (2013) :: SSRN - H. Cappelen, T. Gendler, & J. Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology, Forthcoming
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 407 -- This is the revised and penultimate version of this paper. The essay surveys issues about philosophical methodology as they arise in general jurisprudence. Certainly in the Anglophone world and increasingly outside it, H.L.A. Hart’s 1961 book The Concept of Law has dominated the discussion. ...methodological debates typically scrutinize either one of two (related) ... claims in Hart’s classic work. The first is that his theory is both general and descriptive (Hart 1994: 239). The second is that his theory is an exercise in both linguistic analysis and descriptive sociology (Hart 1994: vi). We explicate both ideas, arguing, in particular, that (1) Hart aims to give an essentialist analysis of law and legal systems (a point clearest in those who follow him like J. Raz, J. Dickson and [though less of a follower] S. Shapiro), and (2) we can make sense of the linking of linguistic (and conceptual) analysis and descriptive sociology if we understand "law" as a constructed bit of "social reality" in something like John Searle's sense. The ensuing methodological debates in legal philosophy can then be understood as arguing against either linguistic or conceptual analysis (naturalists like B. Leiter), or against the idea of a purely descriptive jurisprudence (in different ways, J. Finnis, S. Perry, M. Murphy, L. Murphy, R. Dworkin). -- Keywords: H.L.A. Hart, methodology, descriptive jurisprudence, conceptual analysis, John Searle, legal philosophy -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  books  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  methodology  legal_theory  intellectual_history  social_theory  social_sciences-post-WWII  analytical_philosophy  sociology_of_law  concepts  constructivism  Hart  Raz  Dworkin  Finnis  Searle  natural_law  naturalism  positivism-legal  legal_realism  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - Naturalized Jurisprudence and American Legal Realism Revisited (2011 book symposium) :: SSRN - Law and Philosophy, 2011
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 352 -- This is my reply to critics in a symposium issue of the journal Law & Philosophy (2011) devoted to my 2007 book NATURALIZING JURISPRUDENCE: AMERICAN LEGAL REALISM AND NATURALISM IN LEGAL PHILOSOPHY. The critics to whom I respond are: Julie Dickson (Oxford University), Michael Steven Green (College of William & Mary), and Mark Greenberg (University of California, Los Angeles). -- Keywords: legal realism, naturalism, jurisprudence, methodology -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  SSRN  philosophy_of_law  legal_system  legal_theory  legal_realism  positivism-legal  naturalism  methodology  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Keith Topper - In Defense of Disunity: Pragmatism, Hermeneutics, and the Social Sciences | JSTOR: Political Theory, Vol. 28, No. 4 (Aug., 2000), pp. 509-539
Opposes Rorty claim of unity of method of inquiry for both natural and social sciences, though Rorty also advocated diversity of objectives. Topper sees pragmatism and hermeneutics as congenial approaches for social sciences -- didn't download
article  jstor  social_theory  social_sciences  methodology  pragmatism  hermeneutics  bibliography  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Marilyn Silverman and P. H. Gulliver - 'Common Sense' and 'Governmentality': Local Government in Southeastern Ireland, 1850-1922 | JSTOR: The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Mar., 2006), pp. 109-127
Early paradigms in political anthropology identified formal government councils as a subject for cross-cultural comparison (structural functionalism) or as a political resource for goal-orientated actors (transactionalism). Recent concerns with power and regulation can also profit from a focus on local-level government councils by using them to explore the conceptual and empirical linkages between 'common sense' and 'governmentality'. In this article, as a point of entry, we highlight a key moment in the history of Britain's colonial and hegemonic project in Ireland, namely the orderly administrative transition from colony to state which occurred in Ireland after 1919. By constructing a historical narrative of a local government council in the southeast after 1850, and of its material and discursive bases, we show how the actions and ideologies of elite farmers were implicated in this orderly administrative transition and, therefore, how the concepts of governmentality, hegemony, and common sense might be linked. -- interesting discussion of 2nd half of 20thC shift from stucturalist-functionalist to transactionalism to seeing power everywhere but with different focus (Gramsci materialist and production of internally contradictory common sense) and Foucault (more discourse and self formation) with different views of verticality of power. With everything becoming political economic, loss of interest in governmental units that had been central to comparative stucturalist-functionalist system analysis.
article  jstor  social_theory  methodology  lit_survey  structuralist  poststructuralist  historical_change  agency  anthropology  philosophy_of_social_science  levels_of_analyis  Gramsci  Foucault  governmentality  local_government  government_officials  governing_class  political_culture  political_economy  hegemony  Ireland  19thC  20thC  UK_Government  UK_government-colonies  local_politics  bibliography  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Fritz Ringer - Max Weber on Causal Analysis, Interpretation, and Comparison | JSTOR: History and Theory, Vol. 41, No. 2 (May, 2002), pp. 163-178
Max Weber's methodological writings offered a model of singular causal analysis that anticipated key elements of contemporary Anglo-American philosophy of the social and cultural sciences. The model accurately portrayed crucial steps and dimensions of causal reasoning in these disciplines, outlining a dynamic and probabilistic conception of historical processes, counterfactual reasoning, and comparison as a substitute for counterfactual argument. Above all, Weber recognized the interpretation of human actions as a sub-category of causal analysis, in which the agents' visions of desired outcomes, together with their beliefs about how to bring them about, cause them to act as they do. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  social_theory  philosophy_of_social_science  causation-social  counterfactuals  Weber  methodology  historical_change  sociology-process  action-theory  belief  agency  downloaded  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Paul Pierson - Increasing Returns, Path Dependence, and the Study of Politics | JSTOR: The American Political Science Review, Vol. 94, No. 2 (Jun., 2000), pp. 251-267
It is increasingly common for social scientists to describe political processes as "path dependent." The concept, however, is often employed without careful elaboration. This article conceptualizes path dependence as a social process grounded in a dynamic of "increasing returns." Reviewing recent literature in economics and suggesting extensions to the world of politics, the article demonstrates that increasing returns processes are likely to be prevalent, and that good analytical foundations exist for exploring their, causes and consequences. The investigation of increasing returns can provide a more rigorous framework for developing some of the key claims of recent scholarship in historical institutionalism: Specific patterns of timing and sequence matter; a wide range of social outcomes may be possible; large consequences may result from relatively small or contingent events; particular courses of action, once introduced, can be almost impossible to reverse; and consequently, political development is punctuated by critical moments or junctures that shape the basic contours of social life. -- cited by more than 100 jstor articles! -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  social_theory  methodology  political_change  political_economy  historical_sociology  historical_change  institutions  institutional_economics  contingency  path-dependency  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Charles Tilly - Observations of Social Processes and Their Formal Representations | JSTOR: Sociological Theory, Vol. 22, No. 4 (Dec., 2004), pp. 595-602
Distinctions between quantitative and qualitative social science misrepresent the actual choices confronting analysts of observations concerning social processes. Analysts regularly (if not always self-consciously) choose between adopting and avoiding formal representations of social processes. Despite widespread prejudices to the contrary, formalisms are available and helpful for all sorts of social scientific evidence, including those commonly labeled as qualitative. Available formalisms vary in two important regards: (1) from direct to analogical representation of the evidence at hand; and (2) from numerical to topological correspondence between formalism and evidence. Adoption of formalisms facilitates the identification of erroneous arguments, hence the correction of analytic errors and the production of more adequate explanations. -- see bibliography on jstor information page -- didn't download
article  jstor  social_theory  methodology  narrative  statistics  bibliography  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Tim Büthe - Taking Temporality Seriously: Modeling History and the Use of Narratives as Evidence | JSTOR: The American Political Science Review, Vol. 96, No. 3 (Sep., 2002), pp. 481-493
Social scientists interested in explaining historical processes can, indeed should, refuse the choice between modeling causal relationships and studying history. Identifying temporality as the defining characteristic of processes that can be meaningfully distinguished as "history," I show that modeling such phenomena engenders particular difficulties but is both possible and fruitful. Narratives, as a way of presenting empirical information, have distinctive strengths that make them especially suited for historical scholarship, and structuring the narratives based on the model allows us to treat them as data on which to test the model. At the same time, this use of narratives raises methodological problems not identified in recent debates. I specify these problems, analyze their implications, and suggest ways of solving or minimizing them. There is no inherent incompatibility between-but much potential gain from-modeling history and using historical narratives as data. -- over 100 references and frequently cited -- didn't download
article  jstor  social_theory  historical_sociology  causation-social  narrative  methodology  bibliography  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Bruce Caldwell :: George Soros: Hayekian? - Journal of Economic Methodology [Soros special issue] - Volume 20, Issue 4 - Taylor & Francis Online
pages 350-356 -- downloaded pdf to Note -- This paper examines many similarities in the methodological and ontological views of George Soros and Friedrich Hayek. Keywords: George Soros, Friedrich Hayek, Karl Popper, methodology, scientism, knowledge, equilibrium
article  economic_theory  ontology-social  methodology  scientism  scientific_method  epistemology-social  equi  Austrian_economics  Hayek  Soros  Popper  downloaded 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
Eric D. Beinhocker : Reflexivity, complexity, and the nature of social science - Journal of Economic Methodology [Soros special issue] - Volume 20, Issue 4 - Taylor & Francis Online
pages 330-342 -- downloaded pdf to Note -- In 1987, George Soros introduced his concepts of reflexivity and fallibility and has further developed and applied these concepts over subsequent decades. This paper attempts to build on Soros's framework, provide his concepts with a more precise definition, and put them in the context of recent thinking on complex adaptive systems. The paper proposes that systems can be classified along a ‘spectrum of complexity’ and that under specific conditions not only social systems but also natural and artificial systems can be considered ‘complex reflexive.’ The epistemological challenges associated with scientifically understanding a phenomenon stem not from whether its domain is social, natural, or artificial, but where it falls along this spectrum. Reflexive systems present particular challenges; however, evolutionary model-dependent realism provides a bridge between Soros and Popper and a potential path forward for economics.
article  philosophy_of_science  philosophy_of_social_science  epistemology  methodology  complexity  Soros  reflexivity  intentionality  evolution-as-model  Popper  scientific_method  downloaded  EF-add  systems-complex_adaptive  systems-reflexive  systems_theory  economic_theory  economic_models  EMH  rationality-economics  rational_expectations  information-markets  cognition  cognition-social  falsification  neuroscience  uncertainty  laws_of_nature  covering_laws  causation  explanation  prediction 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
Anwar Shaikh : On the role of reflexivity in economic analysis - Journal of Economic Methodology [Soros special issue] - Volume 20, Issue 4 - Taylor & Francis Online
pages 439-445 -- downloaded pdf to Note -- Soros' theory of reflexivity is meant to apply to a variety of social processes. In economics, it implies that many processes will be subject to “boom-bust” patterns in which expected outcomes deviate for a considerable time from the actual path, and that the actual path in turn deviates from the underlying fundamentals. This is in sharp contrast to the reigning notions in orthodox economics. The hypothesis of Rational Expectations (RE) requires that the views of all participants will converge to a “single set correct of expectations” and the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) posits that actual outcomes deviate from equilibrium in a random manner save for occasional exogenous shocks. In this paper I show that Soros' argument is similar to the classical and Keynesian notions of equilibration as a turbulent process in which actual and expected variables gravitate around some fundamental value. But Soros makes the important further contribution of emphasizing that the fundamental value itself will generally be affected, but not fully determined, by (diverse) expectations and actual outcomes. I demonstrate that Soros' theory of reflexivity can be formalized and that the resulting system is stable in in the sense that expected and actual variables will gravitate around a possibly moving fundamental value. The paper ends with a discussion of an alternate economic paradigm in which the principle of reflexivity would be central.
article  intellectual_history  19thC  20thC  economic_theory  macroeconomics  economic_models  classical_economics  Keynesianism  equilibrium  fundamentals  capital_markets  EMH  rationality-economics  rational_expectations  information-markets  reflexivity  uncertainty  financial_economics  financial_system  philosophy_of_social_science  methodology  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
Alex Rosenberg :: Reflexivity, uncertainty and the unity of science - Journal of Economic Methodology [Soros special issue] - Volume 20, Issue 4 - Taylor & Francis Online
The paper argues that substantial support for Soros' claims about uncertainty and reflexivity in economics and human affairs generally are provided by the operation of both factors in the biological domain to produce substantially the same processes which have been recognized by ecologists and evolutionary biologists. In particular predator prey relations have their sources in uncertainty – i.e. the random character of variations, and frequency dependent co-evolution – reflexivity. The paper argues that despite Soros' claims, intentionality is not required to produce these phenomena, and that where it does so, in the human case, it provides no basis to deny a reasonable thesis of the methodological or causal unity of science. The argument for this conclusion is developed by starting with a biological predator/prey relation and successively introducing intentional components without affecting the nature of the process. Accepting the conclusion of this argument provides substantial additional inductive support for Soros' theory in its economic application. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  philosophy_of_science  philosophy_of_social_science  evolutionary_biology  reflexivity  scientific_method  epistemology  uncertainty  methodology  randomness  Soros 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
George Soros - Fallibility, reflexivity, and the human uncertainty principle - Journal of Economic Methodology [Soros special issue] - Volume 20, Issue 4 - Taylor & Francis Online
Lead article for special issue devoted to Soros and epistemology in social sciences more broadly compared with natural sciences and Popper's version of falsibility in scientific method -- He's making progress in formalizing his theory and putting it in context of other theorists - sees his fallibility and reflexivity combination as major factor in "Knightian uncertainty" - Downloaded pdf to Note
article  philosophy_of_social_science  philosophy_of_science  epistemology  scientific_method  falsification  deduction  Popper  Soros  uncertainty  economic_theory  economic_models  financial_economics  capital_markets  FX  EMH  rationality-economics  rational_expectations  complexity  equilibrium  reflexivity  ontology-social  free_will  financial_crisis  financial_system  fallibility  downloaded  EF-add  fundamentals  methodology  cognition  agency  intentionality 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
Peter Bearman, Robert Faris and James Moody - Blocking the Future: New Solutions for Old Problems in Historical Social Science | JSTOR: Social Science History, Vol. 23, No. 4 (Winter, 1999), pp. 501-533
Good bibliography for recent work in history and sociology on networks, events selection for explanation, creation of bounded "cases" within which network analysis applied to events, not just social relations, can produce explanation -- opens with focus on meaning rather than causation, though speculate that historical processes less subject to contingency than most historians believe -- see jstor information page for multiple cites to the article
article  jstor  social_theory  historiography  historical_sociology  historical_change  methodology  event  networks  networks-social  contingency  agency-structure  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
Charles Tilly, review essay - Three Visions of History and Theory | JSTOR: History and Theory, Vol. 46, No. 2 (May, 2007), pp. 299-307
Reviewed work(s): (1) History and Social Theory by Peter Burke; (2) Remaking Modernity: Politics, History, and Sociology by Julia Adams; Elisabeth S. Clemens; Ann Shola Orloff; (3) The Oxford Handbook of Contextual Political Analysis by Robert E. Goodin; Charles Tilly
books  reviews  social_theory  historiography  historical_sociology  methodology  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
Claude Fischer - Inventing the Social Network | Boston Review Dec 2013
Nice history of how networks became a big thing in social sciences - Americans do network—as they did before they knew they were networking. Only now, thanks to the metaphor from the academic lab, we rely on considerably more technology and tutoring, and do so with far greater self-consciousness.
social_theory  sociology  anthropology  social_sciences  methodology  networks 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
Aaron Beim: The Cognitive Aspects of Collective Memory | Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 30, No. 1 (Winter 2007), pp. 7-26
The Cognitive Aspects of Collective Memory
Aaron Beim
Symbolic Interaction
Vol. 30, No. 1 (Winter 2007) (pp. 7-26)
Downloaded pdf to Note

While these conceptions [from research to date] provide powerful frameworks for thinking about group remembrance, they describe exclusively institutional manifestations of collective memory. There are two characteristics of current collective memory research that account for this phenomenon. First, collective memory researchers assume that collective memory is collective only if it is institutionalized; they argue implicitly that collective memory is discernible only in institutionalized objects. Second, collective memory analyses conflate the production of the object and its reception. Objects are analyzed both in terms of their development as cultural objects (Griswold 1986) and in terms of their representativeness of the memory of a given population.

While these conceptions of collective memory are insightful, they preclude the analysis of both collective memory sui generis and the mechanisms of collective memory’s production and reception. I contend that we can undertake these types of analysis by including the cognitive processes that produce schemata that define the past.
article  jstor  social_theory  social_psychology  cognition  collective_memory  lit_survey  bibliography  methodology  institutionalization  sociology-process  symbolic_interaction  culture  cognition-social  cultural_objects  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2013 by dunnettreader
Gary Alan Fine and Aaron Beim - Intro to issue: Interactionist Approaches to Collective Memory | Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 30, No. 1 (Winter 2007), pp. 1-5
Introduction: Interactionist Approaches to Collective Memory Gary Alan Fine and Aaron Beim Symbolic Interaction Vol. 30, No. 1 (Winter 2007) (pp. 1-5) Downloaded pdf to Note [M]uch of the analytic value in the concept of collective memory is found in its reification.A reified notion of the group mind allows us to analyze patterns of social thought that adhere at a level of social life that transcends the individual, just as long as such a strategy does not neglect the individuals and groups that are conse- quential in establishing memory through reputation work. Although a substantive focus that reifies memory flattens out individual or even group-level behavior, it can reveal behavior patterns that affect individuals and groups even in the absence of their intentions. Ultimately, collective memory is produced through symbolic interaction. Even if collective memory is treated as a reified concept, interactionism is a necessary para- digm for examining how that objectification operates. The articles in this special issue isolate mechanisms of that process.
article  jstor  social_theory  symbolic_interaction  collective_memory  sociology-process  cognition-social  public_opinion  media  institutionalization  methodology  levels_of_analyis  reputation  cultural_objects  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2013 by dunnettreader
Gary Alan Fine : The Sad Demise, Mysterious Disappearance, and Glorious Triumph of Symbolic Interactionism | Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 19 (1993), pp. 61-87
Very useful intellectual history and status of sociology theory streams, research programs,cross boundary links, borrowings etc-- downloaded pdf to Note The Sad Demise, Mysterious Disappearance, and Glorious Triumph of Symbolic Interactionism Gary Alan Fine Annual Review of Sociology Vol. 19, (1993) (pp. 61-87) Page Count: 27 Symbolic interactionism has changed over the past two decades, both in the issues that practitioners examine and in its position within the discipline. Once considered adherents of a marginal oppositional perspective, confronting the dominant positivist, quantitative approach of mainstream sociology, symbolic interactionists find now that many of their core concepts have been accepted. Simultaneously their core as an intellectual community has been weakened by the diversity of interests of those who self-identify with the perspective. I examine here four processes that led to these changes: fragmentation, expansion, incorporation, and adoption. I then describe the role of symbolic interactionism in three major debates confronting the discipline: the micro/macro debate, the structure/agency debate, and the social realist/interpretivist debate. I discuss six empirical arenas in which interactionists have made major research contributions: social coordination theory, the sociology of emotions, social constructionism, self and identity theory, macro-interactionism, and policy-relevant research. I conclude by speculating about the future role of interactionism.
article  jstor  intellectual_history  lit_survey  20thC  social_theory  pragmatism  Mead  constructivism  microfoundations  methodology  causation-social  agency-structure  networks  organizations  self  identity  emotions  sociology  society  social_sciences-post-WWII  postmodern  feminism  meaning  symbolic_interaction  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2013 by dunnettreader
Daniel Little - Understanding Society: Power elites after fifty years - July 2009
[Re cimplaints that Mills didn't provide empirical evidence] Regrettably, we don't have a direct ability to carry out this experiment. But we might consider a test case invoking an important decision and a large number of "stakeholders", large and small: the current effort to reform the health care system in the United States. Will this issue be resolved in a fully democratic way, with the interests of all elements of society being represented fairly in the outcome? Or will a relatively small group of corporations, political interests, and professions be in a position to invisibly block reforms that would be democratically selected? And if this is in fact the case, then doesn't that speak loudly in support of the power elite hypothesis?

With the advantage of fifty years of perspective, I think two observations can be made about Mills's book. First, he seems to have diagnosed a very important thread in the sociological reality of power in America -- albeit in a way that is more intuitive and less empirical than contemporary sociologists would prefer. And second, he illustrates a profoundly important ability to exercise his sociological imagination: to arrive at a way of looking at contemporary society that allows us to make sense of many of the observations that press upon us.
social_theory  methodology  US_politics  20thC  21stC  power  elites  EF-add 
november 2013 by dunnettreader
G. William Domhoff - Interlocking Directorates in the Corporate Community (updated October 2013) | Who Rules America
Describes concepts and research methods for identifying interlocking governance and ownership relations in the corporate community -- used in the new study (separate bookmark) - Interlocks and Interactions Among the Power Elite: The Corporate Community, Think Tanks, Policy-Discussion Groups, and Government by G. William Domhoff, Clifford Staples, & Adam Schneider - August 2013
US_economy  global_economy  business  corporate_governance  power  elites  public_policy  networks  1-percent  NGOs  nonprofit  databases  methodology  social_capital  EF-add 
november 2013 by dunnettreader
G. William Domhoff - Basics of Studying Power (2005)| Who Rules America
Intro to the "power research" section of Domhoff website Who Rules America - Nice overview of the methods used to infer the presence of various dimensions of "power" - he adopts Mann's 4 networks theory as orientation for his class dominance approach to modern societies - bibliography
social_theory  methodology  power  elites  networks  public_policy  classes  capitalism  politics-and-money  historical_sociology  bibliography  EF-add 
november 2013 by dunnettreader
Larry Summers - Scientific Illusion in Empirical Macroeconomics (1991)
JSTOR: The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 93, No. 2 (Jun., 1991), pp. 129-148 -- downloaded pdf to Note -- It is argued that formal econometric work, where elaborate technique is used to apply theory to data or isolate the direction of causal relationships when they are not obvious a priori, virtually always fails. The only empirical research that has contributed to thinking about substantive issues and the development of economics is pragmatic empirical work, based on methodological principles directly opposed to those that have become fashionable in recent years.
article  jstor  economic_theory  economic_models  macroeconomics  empiricism  positivism  statistics  methodology  econometrics  social_theory  epistemology  ontology-social  downloaded  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
Christian Reus-Smit: Beyond metatheory? - Special Issue End of IR Theory? I European Journal of International Relations September 2013
Christian Reus-Smit, School of Political Science and International Studies, University of Queensland, 54 Walcott St, Brisbane, St Lucia QLD 4072, Australia. Email: c.reussmit@uq.edu.au --- doi: 10.1177/1354066113495479 European Journal of International Relations September 2013 vol. 19 no. 3 589-608 --- Metatheory is out of fashion. If theory has a purpose, we are told, that purpose is the generation of practically relevant knowledge. Metatheoretical inquiry and debate contribute little to such knowledge and are best bracketed, left aside for the philosophers. This article challenges this all-too-common line of reasoning. First, one can bracket metatheoretical inquiry, but this does not free one’s work, theoretical or otherwise, of metatheoretical assumptions. Second, our metatheoretical assumptions affect the kind of practically relevant knowledge we can produce. If our goal is the generation of such knowledge, understanding how our metatheoretical assumptions enable or constrain this objective is essential. Today, the most sustained articulation of the ‘bracket metatheory thesis’ is provided by analytical eclecticists, who call on the field to leave behind metatheoretical debate, concentrate on concrete puzzles and problematics, and draw selectively on insights from diverse research traditions to fashion middle-range theoretical explanations. Yet by forgoing metatheoretical reflection, analytical eclecticists fail to see how their project is deeply structured by epistemological and ontological assumptions, making it an exclusively empirical-theoretic project with distinctive ontological content. This metatheoretical framing significantly impedes the kind of practically relevant knowledge eclecticist research can generate. Practical knowledge, as both Aristotle and Kant understood, is knowledge that can address basic questions of political action — how should I, we, or they act? Empirical-theoretic insights alone cannot provide such knowledge; it has to be integrated with normative forms of reasoning. As presently conceived, however, analytical eclecticism cannot accommodate such reasoning. If the generation of practical knowledge is one of the field’s ambitions, greater metatheoretical reflection and a more expansive and ambitious form of eclecticism are required. --- Keywords:
analytical eclecticism, epistemology, International Relations theory, metatheory, ontology, practical knowledge --- uploaded to Dropbox
article  IR_theory  empiricism  eclecticism  metatheory  practical_knowledge  epistemology  ontology-social  social_theory  methodology  downloaded  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
Larry J. Griffin: Narrative, Event-Structure Analysis, and Causal Interpretation in Historical Sociology (1993)
JSTOR: American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 98, No. 5 (Mar., 1993), pp. 1094-1133 -- Recent developments in historical sociology emphasize the centrality of temporality to analysis and explanation. Narrative uses temporal order to organize information about events and to foster their understanding but is insufficiently systematic to substitute for sociological explanation. This article illustrates a new interpretative heuristic for the computer- assisted analysis of qualitative narrative sequences, "event-structure analysis,"that infuses narrative with greater rigor and explicitness. Through the analysis of a lynching that took place in Mississippi in 1930, this article shows how event-structure analysis can be used to build replicable and generalizable causal interpretations of events.
article  jstor  social_theory  historical_sociology  methodology  narrative  quantitative_methods  bibliography  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Gad Prudovsky: Can we Ascribe to Past Thinkers Concepts They had no Linguistic Means to Express? (1997)
JSTOR: History and Theory, Vol. 36, No. 1 (Feb., 1997), pp. 15-31 -- downloaded pdf to Note -- This article takes a clear-cut case in which a historian (Alexander Koyré) ascribes to a writer (Galileo) a concept ("inertial mass") which neither the writer nor his contemporaries had the linguistic means to express. On the face of it the case may seem a violation of a basic methodological maxim in historiography: "avoid anachronistic ascriptions!" The aim of the article is to show that Koyré's ascription, and others of its kind, are legitimate; and that the methodological maxim should not be given the strict reading which some writers recommend. More specifically, the conceptual repertoire of historical figures need not be reconstructed solely in terms of the social and linguistic conventions of their time and place.
article  jstor  intellectual_history  historiography  methodology  language  concepts  history_of_science  philosophy_of_science  Cambridge_School  downloaded  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Pamela A. Popielarz and Zachary P. Neal: The Niche as a Theoretical Tool (2007)
JSTOR: Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 33 (2007), pp. 65-78, C-1a, C-2a, 79-84 --- For several decades, the concept of the niche has enriched sociological theory. The niche represents the position or function of an entity, such as an organization or population of organizations, within a larger community environment. Using the concept of the niche allows researchers to go beyond classifying entities to understanding (a) their life chances under different and changing environmental conditions and (b) how they interact under the competitive conditions induced by a finite environment. We briefly review the intellectual history of the niche concept as it came from bioecology to sociology. The bulk of the article reviews the two major streams of sociological research that use the niche concept: the population ecology of organizations and McPherson's ecology of affiliation. Finally, we survey commonalities between these approaches and highlight new directions, including applications that take the niche concept well beyond its origins in organizational studies.
article  jstor  social_theory  methodology  organizations  networks  competition  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Elisabeth S. Clemens: Toward a Historicized Sociology: Theorizing Events, Processes, and Emergence (2007)
JSTOR: Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 33 (2007), pp. 527-549 --- This item contains 135 reference(s). --- Downloaded pdf to Note --- Since the 1970s, historical sociology in the United States has been constituted by a configuration of substantive questions, a theoretical vocabulary anchored in concepts of economic interest and rationalization, and a methodological commitment to comparison. More recently, this configuration has been destabilized along each dimension: the increasing autonomy of comparative-historical methods from specific historical puzzles, the shift from the analysis of covariation to theories of historical process, and new substantive questions through which new kinds of arguments have been elaborated. Although the dominant responses have centered on methodological elaboration and epistemological debate, greater attention to historical process also informs new strategies for defining cases and framing puzzles, thereby highlighting different categories of empirical questions: social caging, group formation, and multiple orders. The most striking shift is from the imagery of systems-and-crises, which highlighted revolution and state-building, to multidimensional understandings of emergence and destabilization.
article  jstor  social_theory  historical_sociology  methodology  emergence  downloaded  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Wesley Phoa, Sergio M. Focardi and Frank J. Fabozzi: How Do Conflicting Theories about Financial Markets Coexist?
JSTOR: Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Spring, 2007), pp. 363-391

There are many conflicting interpretations of security prices and price determination in financial markets. They range from academic theories based on efficient markets and rational expectations hypotheses, to more traditional methods of fundamental analysis, to theories of "value" and "growth" investing, to chart-reading and technical analysis, to notions such as "reflexivity." These interpretations are logically inconsistent with each other, but they seem to coexist, sometimes even on the same trading desk. In this paper, we seek to formulate an explanation for this strange coexistence, using some tools from critical theory to understand how financial markets operate. Structuralism is used to analyze various kinds of narratives appearing in the financial literature, which are intended to have explanatory force, and appearance of sometimes contradictory elements in such narratives; poststructuralism is used to explain the way in which contradictory interpretations coexist. We discuss some practical implications for security valuation, option valuation, trading strategies, market risk management, and volatility estimation.

Downloaded pdf to Note
article  economic_models  financial_system  capital_markets  social_theory  methodology  structuralist  postmodern  narrative  risk  profit  downloaded  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Intro: An Inquiry into History, Big History, and Metahistory [eScholarship] | Cliodynamics 2:1 2011
Author: Krakauer, David, Santa Fe Institute; Gaddis, John L, Yale University; Pomeranz, Kenneth L, Univ.Calif.Irvine Describes each paper in special issue, many downloaded to Note
historiography  social_history  methodology  big_history  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Infinite Monkeys: The Limits of Probability Theory | Fixing the Economists
Everything comes down to this: do you believe that the future mirrors the past? Or, put another way: do you believe in deterministic laws that govern the universe and can be understood by human beings? Everyone can answer that question themselves. It is a metaphysical question that borders on the theological — and it really goes all the way back to the debate between Erasmus and More on the existence of free will. Again, everything comes down to this. No matter how deep you dig into probability theory you will not find any other question and so you can save yourself a great deal of time by pondering this question in pure form rather than getting caught up in the nuances of probability theory.

Plus a great Keynes quote re Newton and alchemy
economic_models  social_theory  methodology  probability  Keynes  EF-add 
july 2013 by dunnettreader
Lawless, Rivkin et al: Conservation of Information: Reverse engineering dark social systems 2010
Structure and Dynamics: eJournal of Anthropological and Related Sciences

A broad appeal for a new theory of interdependence, 'iota', has been requested for the science of complexity in a special issue of Science, for social network analysis by the National Academy of Sciences, for effects-based operations by the US military, and for modernizing the fields of law and economics. We have proposed a new theory of 'iota' for organizations and systems that already appears to exhibit some validity. It is expressed in a physics of 'iota' (e.g., bistability) that includes Fourier pairs for social uncertainty and Lotka-Volterra-like equations for population effects in social systems. Unlike traditional social science, it assumes that despite the tension between self and collective organizational processes, perfect organizations and social systems become dark, but that purposively dark systems emit more light in the form of unique information (e.g., gangs, terrorists, high-security systems). To reverse engineer dark social systems (DSS), our theory replaces methodological individualism with a physics of social 'iota'. But the many challenges in applying 'iota' to control theory or to metrics for organizational performance make this high-risk research.
social_theory  networks  methodology  complexity  game_theory  EF-add 
july 2013 by dunnettreader
If this paper is not about Hirschman, what is it about? It is some reflections on two intertwined themes. One is the strange history of development economics, or more specifically the linked set of ideas that I have elsewhere (Krugman 1993) called "high development theory". This set of ideas was and is highly persuasive as at least a partial explanation of what development is about, and for a stretch of about 15 years in the 1940s and 1950s it was deeply influential among both economists and policymakers. Yet in the late 1950s high development theory rapidly unravelled, to the point where by the time I studied economics in the 1970s it seemed not so much wrong as incomprehensible. Only in the 1980s and 1990s were economists able to look at high development theory with a fresh eye and see that it really does make a lot of sense, after all.

The second theme is the problem of method in the social sciences. As I will argue, the crisis of high development theory in the late 1950s was neither empirical nor ideological: it was methodological. High development theorists were having a hard time expressing their ideas in the kind of tightly specified models that were increasingly becoming the unique language of discourse of economic analysis. They were faced with the choice of either adopting that increasingly dominant intellectual style, or finding themselves pushed into the intellectual periphery. They didn't make the transition, and as a result high development theory was largely purged from economics, even development economics.

The irony is that we can now see that high development theory made perfectly good sense after all. But in order to see that, we need to adopt exactly the intellectual attitude Hirschman rejected: a willingness to do violence to the richness and complexity of the real world in order to produce controlled, sillymodels that illustrate key concepts.This paper, then, is a meditation on economic methodology, inspired by the history of development economics, in which Albert Hirschman appears as a major character. I hope that it is clear how much I admire his work; he is not a villain in this story so much as a tragic hero. 
economic_models  development  20thC  modernization  methodology 
july 2013 by dunnettreader
UnderstandingSociety: Causal inference and random trials | June 2013
Nancy Cartwright re causation, this time in medical and social interventions.
Her current book Evidence-Based Policy: A Practical Guide to Doing It Better (with Jeremy Hardie) provides a different critical perspective on causal inference, this time in the context of social policy reasoning. 

, C&H take issue with the conviction that random controlled trials  (RCT) -- the gold standard of causal inference and experiment in clinical medicine -- provide a basis for expecting that a given policy intervention will have similar effects in the future. Their book can be read as a critique of an excessively statistical understanding of social causality, without realistic analysis of the underlying mechanisms and processes.

RCT evidence shows only that the policy worked on the circumstances tested in the study. Instead, they argue that we need to offer evidence about two additional considerations: whether the "causal principle" associated with P will remain the same in new circumstances; and whether the associated conditions necessary for the operation of this principle will be present in the new circumstances.

Cartwright doesn't put her case in these terms, but I would say that the heart of her intuition is that social outcomes are different from medical outcomes because of their inherent causal heterogeneity.
social_theory  causation  RCT  methodology 
june 2013 by dunnettreader
Eric Grinaviski: The Relational Sociology of Rational-Choice Theory » Duck of Minerva
The idea that rational action requires taking others perspectives—that role playing is crucial for social action—is a key concept in much of sociological thought. To take one example from pragmatic thought, think about the overlap between game theory and George H. Mead’s Mind, Self, and Society. The ideas of perspective taking in game theory is the play between the I and the me. For Mead, thinking occurred in a dialogue between my mental representation of what others would do (the me, or others collective attitudes and likely actions) and my response to the me (the I). In other words, what is captured in an extensive form game is the internal conversation of gestures that lies at the heart of Mead’s social psychology.

The same is true in rational choice theory. If I successfully navigate society, then society is ‘in me’ because I can accurately guess what others are going to do in response to my actions; I have internalized the generalized other (and many specific others as well).

Comment from PTJ [snipped]:
 I read Mead as going through that whole exercise in order to demonstrate the fundamental inadequacy of starting with individuals in order to explain social arrangements; instead, we ought to start with relational/transactions flows and patterns. Which is what I am suggesting we might want to do, instead of building in autonomous individuals at the ground floor of our conceptions the way that decision-theoretic accounts do.Your strategy seems to be to show how constitutively autonomous individuals are interconnected. I'd prefer to start someplace else.

Eric response to PTJ [snipped]:
. I have the entirely opposite reaction to Mead. And, the difference in our interpretation is important. If individuals always rightly interpreted social gestures, then of course the importance of the 'individual' drops out strictly speaking because perfect cognition makes cognition uninteresting. Neat features happen when individuals are wrong.
social_theory  IR  methodology  rational_choice 
june 2013 by dunnettreader

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