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tsuomela : causation   39

Patterns of Refactored Agency
"I’ve found it to be a good general-purpose cognitive tool to try to see the world with agency located in unconventional places. Normally, we like to imagine ourselves as the chief agents in our lives – making choices, taking actions, pursuing our own interests that we have identified for ourselves. There is nothing wrong with this, of course. It’s no doubt much more healthy to think in that way than the inverse – to view yourself, for example, as nothing but a puppet of external forces. But it is not so good to be trapped in a single fictional model of the universe. To understand large systems we need to go beyond the everyday model of agency and think in new ways."
agency  metaphor  causation  free-will  philosophy  psychology  patterns 
april 2013 by tsuomela
UnderstandingSociety: The social world as morphogenesis
"Critical realism has progressed far since Roy Bhaskar's early writings on the subject in A Realist Theory of Science. One of the most important thinkers to have introduced new ideas into the debate is Margaret Archer. Several books in the mid-1990s represented genuinely original contributions to issues about the nature of social ontology and methodology, including especially Realist Social Theory: The Morphogenetic Approach and Culture and Agency: The Place of Culture in Social Theory. "
books  review  social  social-science  causation  philosophy  ontology  micro-meso-macro  critical-realism 
july 2012 by tsuomela
UnderstandingSociety: Organizational failure as a meso cause
"This is a good example of an effort to explain concrete and complex historical outcomes using the theoretical resources of organizational sociology. And the language of causation is woven throughout the narrative. The authors make a credible case for the view that the organizational features they identify caused (or contributed to the cause) of the large instances of military failure they identify." Annotated link
organization  military  failure  micro-meso-macro  causation 
july 2012 by tsuomela
UnderstandingSociety: Does the microfoundations principle imply reductionism?
"So I continue to believe both things: that statements about social entities and powers must be compatible there being microfoundations for these properties and powers
philosophy  social-science  explanation  micro-meso-macro  supervenience  emergence  causation 
may 2012 by tsuomela
UnderstandingSociety: Social subjectivities
"So it seems fairly clear and direct to say that human subjectivity is itself an important cause of a variety of forms of social patterns: forms of collective behavior, the shaping of social practices, and the adjustment and accommodation of the behavior of other actors in society. This seems to have a fairly striking consequence, however: it seems to imply that the ways that we think about society and social relations actually has a substantial effect on the ways in which society plays out. This is a fundamentally different situation from the natural sciences
sociology  social  explanation  subjectivity  psychology  philosophy  causation 
march 2012 by tsuomela
A Pragmatist Theory of Social Mechanisms
Some sociologists have recently argued that a major aim of sociological inquiry is to identify the mechanisms by which cause and effect relationships in the social world come about. This article argues that existing accounts of social mechanisms are problematic because they rest on either inadequately developed or questionable understandings of social action. Building on an insight increasingly common among sociological theorists—that action should be conceptualized in terms of social practices—I mobilize ideas from the tradition of classical American pragmatism to develop a more adequate theory of mechanisms. I identify three kinds of analytical problems the theory is especially well poised to address and then lay out an agenda for future research.
sociology  causation  philosophy  pragmatism  mechanism  theory  understanding  via:understandingsoc 
november 2011 by tsuomela
UnderstandingSociety: Current issues in causation research
Three foci of current research: meaning in explanation, methods for support, ontology of causation.
philosophy  causation  sociology  social  societies  understanding  research  science  explanation  meaning 
september 2011 by tsuomela
Scientific Explanation (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Models: DN Deductive-Nomological (Hempel); SR - Statistical Relevance; CM - Causal Mechanical; unification
philosophy  science  explanation  nature  naturalism  epistemology  methodology  history  causation  model  theory  statistics  deduction 
september 2009 by tsuomela
Daily Kos: State of the Nation
When economic historians look back at this moment, they will see the obvious folly of the Bush tax program, a program the public still nominally supports. By creating a regime of unsustainably low tax rates on the transfer of money from the pool of invested risk, to the pool of personal wealth, it meant that everyone had every incentive to rush the door.
crisis  economics  history  causation  2008 
october 2008 by tsuomela
Evolving Thoughts - Water and reduction
But emergentists hold that not only is there higher causality between emergent phenomena, but emergent phenomena also "downwardly cause" microlevel phenomena to behave differently.
philosophy  science  reductionism  emergence  causation 
march 2007 by tsuomela

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