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Symposium on explanations and social ontology 2: explanatory ecumenism and economics imperialism

Symposium on explanations and social ontology 2: explanatory ecumenism and economics imperialism In a series of insightful publications, Philip Pettit and Frank Jackson have argued for an explanatory ecumenism that is designed to justify a variety of types of social scientific explanation of different “grains”, including structural and rational choice explanations. Their arguments are put in terms of different kinds of explanatory information; the distinction between causal efficacy, causal relevance and explanatory relevance within their program model of explanation; and virtual reality and resilience explanation. The arguments are here assessed from the point of view of the illumination they are able to cast on the issue of economics imperialism, the project of privileging rational choice as a unifying basis for explanations. While the Jackson–Pettit arguments turn out to be helpful in specifying some of the ontological and pragmatic constraints on economics imperialism, they are also shown to conflate distinct dimensions in the purported explanantia (such as small grain and particular grain, and the macro and the existentially quantified) and thereby to miss an important class of individualist causal process explanations of social phenomena. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Economics & Philosophy Cambridge University Press

Symposium on explanations and social ontology 2: explanatory ecumenism and economics imperialism

Economics & Philosophy , Volume 18 (2): 23 – Apr 1, 2003

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References (26)

Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Copyright
© 2002 Cambridge University Press
ISSN
1474-0028
eISSN
0266-2671
DOI
10.1017/S0266267102002031
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In a series of insightful publications, Philip Pettit and Frank Jackson have argued for an explanatory ecumenism that is designed to justify a variety of types of social scientific explanation of different “grains”, including structural and rational choice explanations. Their arguments are put in terms of different kinds of explanatory information; the distinction between causal efficacy, causal relevance and explanatory relevance within their program model of explanation; and virtual reality and resilience explanation. The arguments are here assessed from the point of view of the illumination they are able to cast on the issue of economics imperialism, the project of privileging rational choice as a unifying basis for explanations. While the Jackson–Pettit arguments turn out to be helpful in specifying some of the ontological and pragmatic constraints on economics imperialism, they are also shown to conflate distinct dimensions in the purported explanantia (such as small grain and particular grain, and the macro and the existentially quantified) and thereby to miss an important class of individualist causal process explanations of social phenomena.

Journal

Economics & PhilosophyCambridge University Press

Published: Apr 1, 2003

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