Response to R. Keith Sawyer

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 43 (2):246-256 (2013)
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R. Keith Sawyer rightly claimed that the formulation of several cross-level regularities does not disprove the “autonomy” of sciences. Nevertheless, first, this autonomy becomes gradual because cross-level regularities narrow the scope for strong emergence and, second, these examples do not disprove the metaphysical premises of Kim’s critique. Sawyer and I concur on the thesis according to which the proof of strong emergence is in part an empirical question. However, it also depends on the concept of individualism applied whether a description or explanation can count as reducible or not. Even if some of the examples given might leave open the possibility of strong emergence, to generalize, to consider relations or to point to the unpredictability of social processes do not prove the existence of irreducible multiple realization



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Sawyer’s Theory of Social Causation: A Critique.Mark Cresswell - 2020 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 51 (3):266-288.

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References found in this work

Is weak emergence just in the mind?Mark A. Bedau - 2008 - Minds and Machines 18 (4):443-459.
Multiple realizability.John Heil - 1999 - American Philosophical Quarterly 36 (3):189-208.
Response to “Emergence in Sociology”.R. Keith Sawyer - 2012 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 42 (2):270-275.

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