Social Epistemology 25 (1):37-56 (2011)

Abstract
In recent years, realism?particularly critical realism?has become an important philosophical and methodological foundation for social science. A key feature is that of natural necessity, but this coexists alongside an acceptance of contingency in the social world. I argue in this paper that there cannot be any natural necessity in the social world, but rather the real nature of the social world is that it is contingent. This need not lead to an abandonment of realism, and indeed I argue that a contingent form of realism allows us to bring ontological probability back into realism
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DOI 10.1080/02691728.2010.534566
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References found in this work BETA

Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Nature's Capacities and Their Measurement.Nancy Cartwright - 1989 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Contingent or Necessary? A Response to Stephen Norrie.Malcolm Williams - 2011 - Social Epistemology 25 (2):167 - 172.
Situated Objectivity, Values and Realism.Malcolm Williams - 2015 - European Journal of Social Theory 18 (1):76-92.

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