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Douglas V. Porpora [26]Douglas Porpora [8]
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Douglas Porpora
Drexel University
  1.  19
    American Sociology, Realism, Structure and Truth: An Interview with Douglas V. Porpora.Douglas V. Porpora & Jamie Morgan - 2020 - Journal of Critical Realism 19 (5):522-544.
    ABSTRACT In this wide-ranging interview Professor Douglas V. Porpora discusses a number of issues. First, how he became a Critical Realist through his early work on the concept of structure. Second, drawing on his Reconstructing Sociology, his take on the current state of American sociology. This leads to discussion of the broader range of his work as part of Margaret Archer’s various Centre for Social Ontology projects, and on moral-macro reasoning and the concept of truth in political discourse.
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  2.  17
    Four Concepts of Social Structure.Douglas V. Porpora - 1989 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 19 (2):195-211.
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  3. Four Concepts of Social Structure Douglas V. Porpora.Douglas V. Porpora - 1989 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 19 (2):195–211.
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  4. Cultural Rules and Material Relations.Douglas V. Porpora - 1993 - Sociological Theory 11 (2):212-229.
    This paper attempts to synthesize the Winchian stress on constitutive rules with the Marxian stress on material relationships by developing the concept of emergently material social relations. Such relationships, it is argued, arise from the constitutive rules that constitute a group's way of life. Although such relationships thus are derivative from the conscious rule-following behavior of actors, nevertheless they have an objective existence independent of actors' specific awareness. It is argued that such material relations are an important mechanism beyond the (...)
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  5.  37
    Response to Tony Lawson: Sociology Versus Economics and Philosophy.Douglas Porpora - 2016 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 46 (4):420-425.
  6.  36
    On Elder-Vass: Refining a Refinement.Douglas Porpora - 2007 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 37 (2):195–200.
    This paper responds to Dave Elder-Vass's generally sympathetic critique of Margaret Archer's position on structure and emergence. Elder-Vass does helpfully emphasize the synchronic effects of structure. Yet, it is argued here, in his treatment of structure, Elder-Vass tends to concede too much to methodological individualism and to overemphasize social rules at the expense of social relations. Finally, a question is raised about how both Archer and Elder-Vass and Critical Realism in general speak of emergence.
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  7.  4
    Round Table: Is the Common Ground Between Pragmatism and Critical Realism More Important Than the Differences?Karin Zotzmann, Emily Barman, Douglas V. Porpora, Mark Carrigan & Dave Elder-Vass - 2022 - Journal of Critical Realism 21 (3):352-364.
    One theme of this special issue is an incitement to reconsider the relationship between pragmatism and critical realism. While their advocates sometimes come into conflict, there are also clearly b...
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  8. How Many Thoughts Are There? Or Why We Likely Have No Tegmark Duplicates 10^10^115 M Away.Douglas V. Porpora - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (1):133-149.
    Physicist Max Tegmark argues that if there are infinite universes or sub-universes, we will encounter our exact duplicates infinite times, the nearest within 10^10^115 m. Tegmark assumes Humean supervenience and a finite number of possible combinations of elementary quantum states. This paper argues on the contrary that Tegmark’s argument fails to hold if possible thoughts, persons, and life histories are all infinite in number. Are there infinite thoughts we could possibly think? This paper will show that there are. If so, (...)
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  9. Methodological Atheism, Methodological Agnosticism and Religious Experience.Douglas V. Porpora - 2006 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 36 (1):57–75.
  10.  32
    A Reflection on Critical Realism and Ethics.Douglas V. Porpora - 2019 - Journal of Critical Realism 18 (3):274-284.
    ABSTRACTDrawing on my own work and experience, this paper brings together the various connections between critical realism and ethics. It argues that, against both determinism and physicalist...
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  11.  5
    The Recent Methods Debate in American Sociology and How Critical Realism Fits Into It.Douglas V. Porpora - 2016 - Journal of Critical Realism 15 (4):342-351.
    This article concerns a recent methodological debate in American sociology that generated widespread attention in the United States. It was a debate that spanned at least four journals: American Journal of Sociology, Sociological Methods & Research, Qualitative Sociology and American Journal of Cultural Sociology. As the debate was not just about methods per se but about the ‘theory of reality’ underlying each method and its ‘social ontology’, critical realism has much to say about it. Although at the end everyone comes (...)
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  12.  7
    Populism, Citizenship, and Post-Truth Politics.Douglas V. Porpora - 2020 - Journal of Critical Realism 19 (4):329-340.
    This paper is an expanded version of a paper presented at the 22nd meeting of the International Association for Critical Realism at Southampton, England. The paper presents a critical realist take...
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  13.  13
    Materialism, Emergentism, and Social Structure: A Response to Wendt's Quantum Mind.Douglas V. Porpora - 2018 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 48 (2):183-187.
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  14.  35
    Dehumanization in Theory: Anti-Humanism, Non-Humanism, Post-Humanism, and Trans-Humanism.Douglas V. Porpora - 2017 - Journal of Critical Realism 16 (4):353-367.
    This paper examines the challenges to critical realism posed by the ways in which the original postmodern sensibility has transformed into various forms of anti-humanism, trans-humanism, and post-humanism. These transformations, largely growing out of poststructuralism, are reinforced by developments in psychology and computer science but also incorporate a new turn toward ontology in alternate forms of realism such as Object-Oriented-Ontology. This paper identifies what is new and what is old in these trends and argues that, while there is something to (...)
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  15.  24
    On the Prospects for a Nomothetic Theory of Social Structure.Douglas V. Porpora - 1983 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 13 (3):243–264.
  16.  30
    Operant Conditioning and Teleology.Douglas V. Porpora - 1980 - Philosophy of Science 47 (4):568-582.
    This paper defends the relevance of Taylor's (1964) critique of S-R behaviorism to Skinner's model of operant conditioning. In particular, it is argued against Ringen (1976) that the model of operant conditioning is a nonteleological variety of explanation. Operant conditioning is shown unable, on this account, to provide a parsimonious and predictive explanation of the behavior of higher level organisms. Finally, it is shown that the principle of operant conditioning implicitly assumes a teleological capacity, the admission of which renders the (...)
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  17.  58
    Religion, Rationality, and Experience: A Response to the New Rational Choice Theory of Religion.Colin Jerolmack & Douglas Porpora - 2004 - Sociological Theory 22 (1):140-160.
    This paper is a critical response to the newest version of the rational choice theory of religion (RCTR). In comparison with previous critiques, this paper takes aim at RCTR's foundational assumption of psychological egoism and argues that the thesis of psychological egoism is untenable. Without that thesis, the normative aspects of religious commitment cannot be reduced validly to instrumental reason. On neither conceptual nor empirical grounds therefore can religion or religious commitment be defined comprehensively in terms of exchange theory. With (...)
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  18. Sociology's Causal Confusion.Douglas Porpora - 2008 - In Ruth Groff (ed.), Revitalizing Causality: Realism About Causality in Philosophy and Social Science. Routledge.
     
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  19.  25
    On the Post-Wittgensteinian Critique of the Concept of Action in Sociology.Douglas V. Porpora - 1983 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 13 (2):129–146.
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  20. 4 Objectivity and Phallogocentrism.Douglas V. Porpora - 2004 - In Andrew Collier, Margaret Scotford Archer & William Outhwaite (eds.), Defending Objectivity: Essays in Honour of Andrew Collier. Routledge. pp. 48.
  21.  3
    The Relational Subject.Douglas V. Porpora - 2016 - Journal of Critical Realism 15 (4):419-425.
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  22.  9
    The Caterpillar’s Question: Contesting Anti-Humanism’s Contestations.Douglas Porpora - 1997 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 27 (2&3):243–263.
    The caterpillar’s question is the question Wonderland’s caterpillar posed to Alice: Who are you? This is a question Alice finds she cannot answer. According to postmodernist anti-humanism, Alice cannot answer the question because there is no coherent Alice there to answer it, no unitary subject of consciousness.This paper contests the anti-humanist denial of a coherent subject of experience. While it is conceded that phenomenologically, we may have difficulty today identifying who we are essentially, it is argued that, conceptually, we cannot (...)
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  23.  32
    Contributions to Social Ontology. Edited by Clive Lawson, John Latsis, and Nuno Martins. [REVIEW]Douglas Porpora - 2009 - Journal of Critical Realism 8 (1):124-128.
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  24. Self Talk and Self Reflection.Douglas V. Porpora & Wesley Shumar - 2010 - In Margaret Scotford Archer (ed.), Conversations About Reflexivity. Routledge. pp. 206--220.
     
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  25.  22
    Agents, Structures and International Relations: Politics as Ontology. By Colin Wight. [REVIEW]Douglas Porpora - 2007 - Journal of Critical Realism 6 (2):305-312.
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  26.  1
    Private Sociology: Unsparing Reflections, Uncommon Gains.Isaac D. Balbus, Sarah Brabant, William B. Brown, Kristine Anderson Dougherty, Don Eckard, Carolyn Ellis, David O. Friedrichs, Ann Goetting, Barbara A. Haley, Ross Koppel, Marianne A. Paget, Douglas V. Porpora, Larry T. Reynolds, Carol Rambo Ronai, Barbara Katz Rothman, Joseph W. Ruane, Don H. Shamblin, Z. G. Standing Bear, Robert L. Stewart, Roger A. Straus, Richard Quinney & Jan Yager (eds.) - 1996 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    Each contributor to this book has used personal experience as the basis from which to frame his individual sociological perspectives. Because they have personalized their work, their accounts are real, and recognizable as having come from 'real' persons, about 'real' experiences. There are no objectively-distanced disembodied third person entities in these accounts. These writers are actual people whose stories will make you laugh, cry, think, and want to know more.
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  27.  4
    Post-Human Futures: Human Enhancement, Artificial Intelligence and Social Theory.Mark Carrigan & Douglas V. Porpora - 2021 - Routledge.
    This volume engages with post-humanist and transhumanist approaches to present an original exploration of the question of how humankind will fare in the face of artificial intelligence. With emerging technologies now widely assumed to be calling into question assumptions about human beings and their place within the world, and computational innovations of machine learning leading some to claim we are coming ever closer to the long-sought artificial general intelligence, it defends humanity with the argument that technological 'advances' introduced artificially into (...)
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  28.  16
    Agency and Action. Edited by John Hyman and Helen Steward. [REVIEW]Douglas Porpora - 2005 - Journal of Critical Realism 4 (2):483-487.
  29.  2
    Moral Muting in US Newspaper Op-Eds Debating the Attack on Iraq.Alexander Nikolaev & Douglas V. Porpora - 2008 - Discourse and Communication 2 (2):165-184.
    This article examines a distinct form of moral argumentation found to be common in a corpus of 500 editorials and opinion pieces written in 23 US newspapers and news magazines between August and October 2002 debating whether or not the US should attack Iraq. The purpose of the article is to delineate this communicative phenomenon, which we call moral muting. Moral muting occurs when a message either blunts the moral considerations involved in a case or presents an equivocal moral meaning. (...)
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  30.  35
    Nonreductive Materialism and the Materialisms of Marx and Heidegger.Douglas V. Porpora - 1982 - Human Studies 5 (1):13 - 30.
    The objective of this paper is to reconsider the relationship between marxism and existential-phenomenological sociology in light of margolis' (1978) recent articulation and systematic defense of what he terms nonreductive materialism--a material monist ontology which acknowledges an irreducible dualism of attributes. it is argued that reductive materialism is philosophically indefensible and that the most important reasons for thinking that marxism entails reductive materialism are mistaken.
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  31.  16
    A Response to Turner's Behavioral Theory of Social Structure.Douglas V. Porpora - 1989 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 19 (1):127–130.
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  32.  10
    Rejoinder.Douglas V. Porpora - 1983 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 13 (3):309–329.
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  33.  2
    Supervenience Physicalism and the Berry Paradox.Douglas V. Porpora - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (4):1681-1693.
    This paper intervenes in an argument over the number of thoughts that could be thought. The argument has important implications for supervenience physicalism, the thesis that all is physical or supervenient on the physical. If, per quantum mechanics, the number of possible physical states is finite while the number of possible thoughts is infinite, then the latter exceeds the former in number, and supervenience phyicalsim fails. Abelson first argued that possible thoughts are infinite as we can think of any of (...)
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