Reductionism

Authored by: Harold Kincaid

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138825758
eBook ISBN: 9781315410098
Adobe ISBN: 9781315410081

10.4324/9781315410098.ch10

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Abstract

My mandate in this chapter is to write about reductionism in the social sciences. Given this task my focus is on how reductionism plays out in actual social research. This does not mean that I am not going to discuss reductionism in the philosophy of the social sciences. On my naturalist Quinean view (Kincaid 1996), philosophy of social science and social science are continuous in a strong sense. Arguments in the philosophy of social science ultimately have to be tied to empirical social science; empirical social science in turn often invokes many philosophical arguments.

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