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Social mechanisms and explaining how: A reply to Kimberly Chuang

Publiceringsår: 2012
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 37-41
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective
Volym: 1
Nummer: 9
Dokumenttyp: Artikel


Kimberly Chuang’s detailed and very helpful reply to my article (2012a) concerns Jon Elster’s struggle to develop a mechanistic account that sheds light on explanation in social science. I argue that a problem exists with Elster’s current conception of mechanistic explanation in social contexts. Chuang (2012) defends Elster’s conception against my critique. I still believe I have identified a problem with Elster’s conception. In this reply I want to recapitulate briefly Elster’s idea, as I understand it, and then use some of Chuang’s critical points to advance the position I advocate.



  • Philosophy and Religion
  • Social Sciences
  • Science General
  • causal explanation
  • Elster
  • social explanation
  • mechanistic explanation


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  • Formas and Lund university

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