This volume is a unique contribution to the philosophy of the social sciences, presenting the results of cutting-edge philosophers' research alongside critical discussions by practicing social scientists. The book is motivated by the view that the philosophy of the social sciences cannot ignore the specific scientific practices according to which social scientific work is being conducted, and that it will be valuable only if it evolves in constant interaction with theoretical developments in the social sciences. With its unique format guaranteeing a genuine discussion between philosophers and social scientists, this thought-provoking volume extends the frontiers of the field. It will appeal to all scholars and students interested in the interplay between philosophy and the social sciences.
Professor Mantzavinos holds the Chair of Economics and Philosophy at Witten/Herdecke University, Germany. He is the author of Wettbewerbstheorie (1994), Individuals, Institutions, and Markets (Cambridge, 2001) and Naturalistic Hermeneutics (Cambridge, 2005).
Introduction C. Mantzavinos; Part I. Basic Problems of Sociality: 1. Language and social ontology John R. Searle; Comment: De Rerum Natura: dragons of obliviousness and the science of social ontology Mark Turner; 2. Shared agency Michael E. Bratman; Comment: Where is the social? Pierre Demeulenaere; 3. The reality of group agents Philip Pettit; Comment: A note on group agents Diego Rios; Part II. Laws and Explanation in the Social Sciences: 4. Physicalism and the human sciences David Papineau; Comment: Reductionism in the human sciences: a philosopher's game Robert G. Shulman and Ian Shapiro; 5. Complexity and explanation in the social sciences Sandra Mitchell; Comment: Conditional knowledge: an oxymoron? James Alt; 6. The heterogeneous social: new thinking about the foundations of the social sciences Daniel Little; Comment: Causal mechanisms and generalizations Jack Knight; 7. What is this thing called 'efficacy'? Nancy Cartwright; Comment: Randomized controlled trials and public policy Gerd Gigerenzer; Part III. How Philosophy and the Social Sciences Can Enrich Each Other: Three Examples: 8. Why do people cooperate as much as they do? James Woodward; Comment: Putting the problem of social order into perspective Werner Guth and Hartmut Kliemt; 9. Situations against virtues: the situationist attack on virtue theory Ernest Sosa; Comment: Do people have character-traits? Steven Lukes; 10. What kind of problem is the hermeneutic circle? C. Mantzavinos; Comment: Going in circles David-Hillel Ruben; Epilogue C. Mantzavinos.