Why do Spatiotemporally Restricted Regularities Explain in the Social Sciences?

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (1):1-26 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Employing a well-known local regularity from macroeconomics, the Phillips curve, I examine Woodward’s ([2000], [2003]) account of the explanatory power of such historically restricted generalizations and the mathematical models with which they are sometimes associated. The article seeks to show that, pace Woodward, to be explanatory such generalizations need to be underwritten by more fundamental ones, and that rational choice theory would not avail in this case to provide the required underwriting. Examining how such explanatory restricted regularities are underwritten in biology—by unrestricted Darwinian regularities—provides the basis for an argument that Darwinian regularities serve the same function in human affairs. The general argument for this claim requires, inter alia , that we accept some version or other of a theory of memes. The article concludes by clearing the field of some prominent objections to the existence of memes, and extracting some policy implications from the persistence and acceleration of arms races in human affairs

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,202

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Mechanisms, Laws, and Regularities.Holly K. Andersen - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (2):325-331.
Can bare dispositions explain categorical regularities?Tyler Hildebrand - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):569-584.
Regulatities, laws of nature, and the existance of God.John Foster - 2001 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (2):145–161.
The argument from design.R. G. Swinburne - 1968 - Philosophy 43 (165):199 - 212.
Testing Times: Confirmation in the Historical Sciences.Ben Jeffares - 2008 - Dissertation, Australian National University
What should sociology explain— regularities, rules or interpretations?Peter Eglin - 1975 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 5 (3):377-391.

Analytics

Added to PP
2011-06-11

Downloads
80 (#201,278)

6 months
16 (#136,207)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Alex Rosenberg
Duke University

References found in this work

Knowing One’s Own Mind.Donald Davidson - 1987 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 60 (3):441-458.

View all 16 references / Add more references