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How autonomous are social scientific explanations?

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How do explanations given in terms of groups and their social properties relate to explanations given in terms of individuals and their non-social properties? Three options:

(A) Sometimes social-level explanations are better than the best individual-level explanations; sometimes not;

(B) Social-level explanations are never better than the best individual-level explanations (indeed typically the latter is better than the former)

(C) Typically neither is better than the other; instead they compliment each other

(B) is also known as methodological individualism, which is normally rejected in the literature in favour of holist (A) or pluralist©. This is a mistake, I think. I argue for (B) in both its weak and strong versions.

This talk is part of the CamPoS (Cambridge Philosophy of Science) seminar series.

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