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Stephen Turner
University of South Florida
  1. The social theory of practices: tradition, tacit knowledge, and presuppositions.Stephen P. Turner - 1994 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    The concept of "practices"--whether of representation, of political or scientific traditions, or of organizational culture--is central to social theory. In this book, Stephen Turner presents the first analysis and critique of the idea of practice as it has developed in the various theoretical traditions of the social sciences and the humanities. Understood broadly as a tacit understanding "shared" by a group, the concept of a practice has a fatal difficulty, Turner argues: there is no plausible mechanism by which a "practice" (...)
  2.  40
    Explaining the Normative.Stephen P. Turner - 2010 - Malden, MA, USA: Polity.
    Normativity is what gives reasons their force, makes words meaningful, and makes rules and laws binding. It is present whenever we use such terms as ‘correct,' ‘ought,' ‘must,' and the language of obligation, responsibility, and logical compulsion. Yet normativists, the philosophers committed to this idea, admit that the idea of a non-causal normative realm and a body of normative objects is spooky. Explaining the Normative is the first systematic, historically grounded critique of normativism. It identifies the standard normativist pattern of (...)
  3.  86
    Social Theory of Practices.Stephen Turner - 1994 - Human Studies 20 (3):315-323.
    The concept of "practices"—whether of representation, of political or scientific traditions, or of organizational culture—is central to social theory. In this book, Stephen Turner presents the first analysis and critique of the idea of practice as it has developed in the various theoretical traditions of the social sciences and the humanities. Understood broadly as a tacit understanding "shared" by a group, the concept of a practice has a fatal difficulty, Turner argues: there is no plausible mechanism by which a "practice" (...)
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  4.  16
    Brains/Practices/Relativism: Social Theory After Cognitive Science.Stephen Turner - 2002 - University of Chicago Press.
    AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Social Theory After Cognitive Science1. Throwing Out the Tacit Rule Book: Learning and Practices2. Searle's Social Reality3. Imitation or the Internalization of Norms: Is Twentieth-Century Social Theory Based on the Wrong Choice?4. Relativism as Explanation5. The Limits of Social Constructionism6. Making Normative Soup Out of Nonnormative Bones7. Teaching Subtlety of Thought: The Lessons of "Contextualism"8. Practice in Real Time9. The Significance of ShilsReferences Index Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.
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  5.  56
    What is the Problem with Experts?Stephen Turner - 2001 - Social Studies of Science 31 (1):123-149.
    The phenomenon of expertise produces two problems for liberal democratic theory: the first is whether it creates inequalities that undermine citizen rule or make it a sham; the second is whether the state can preserve its neutrality in liberal ’government by discussion’ while subsidizing, depending on, and giving special status to, the opinions of experts and scientists. A standard Foucauldian critique suggests that neutrality is impossible, expert power and state power are inseparable, and that expert power is the source of (...)
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  6.  35
    Cognitive Science and the Social: A Primer.Stephen P. Turner - 2018 - New York, USA: Routledge.
    The rise of cognitive neuroscience is the most important scientific and intellectual development of the last thirty years. Findings pour forth, and major initiatives for brain research continue. The social sciences have responded to this development slowly--for good reasons. The implications of particular controversial findings, such as the discovery of mirror neurons, have been ambiguous, controversial within neuroscience itself, and difficult to integrate with conventional social science. Yet many of these findings, such as those of experimental neuro-economics, pose very direct (...)
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  7.  81
    The Impossible Science: An Institutional Analysis of American Sociology.Stephen Park Turner & Jonathan H. Turner - 1990 - Sage Publications.
    Tracing the history of American sociology since the Civil War, the authors of this important volume explain the field′s diversity, its lack of unifying paradigms, its broad, eclectic research agenda and its general weakness as an institutional force in either academia or the policy arena. They highlight the equivocal and often contradictory missions that sociologists prescribe for themselves and the variable nature of human, financial and intellectual resources available to the profession.
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  8.  79
    Durkheim, Sellars, and the Origins of Collective Intentionality.Peter Olen & Stephen Turner - 2015 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (5):954-975.
    Wilfrid Sellars read and annotated Celestine Bouglé’s Evolution of Values, translated by his mother with an introduction by his father. The book expounded Émile Durkheim's account of morality and elaborated his account of origins of value in collective social life. Sellars replaced elements of this account in constructing his own conception of the relationship between the normative and community, but preserved a central one: the idea that conflicting collective and individual intentions could be found in the same person. These notoriously (...)
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  9.  27
    Causality In Crisis?: Statistical Methods & Search for Causal Knowledge in Social Sciences.Vaughn R. McKim & Stephen P. Turner (eds.) - 1997 - Notre Dame Press.
    These essays critically reassess the widely accepted view that statistical methods of analysis can, and do, yield causal understanding of social phenomena. They emphasize the historical, philosophical and conceptual perspectives that underlie and inform current methodological controversies.
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  10.  64
    Was Sellars an error theorist?Peter Olen & Stephen Turner - 2016 - Synthese 193 (7):2053-2075.
    Wilfrid Sellars described the moral syllogism that supports the inference “I ought to do x” from “Everyone ought to do x” as a “syntactical disguise” which embodies a “mistake.” He nevertheless regarded this form of reasoning as constitutive of the moral point of view. Durkheim was the source of much of this reasoning, and this context illuminates Sellars’ unusual philosophical reconstruction of the moral point of view in terms of the collective intentions of an ideal community of rational members for (...)
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  11.  24
    The Politics of Expertise.Stephen P. Turner - 2013 - New York, USA: Routledge.
    This book collects case studies and theoretical papers on expertise, focusing on four major themes: legitimation, the aggregation of knowledge, the distribution of knowledge and the distribution of power. It focuses on the institutional means by which the distribution of knowledge and the distribution of power are connected, and how the problems of aggregating knowledge and legitimating it are solved by these structures. The radical novelty of this approach is that it places the traditional discussion of expertise in democracy into (...)
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  12.  32
    Max Weber and the dispute over reason and value: a study in philosophy, ethics, and politics.Stephen P. Turner - 1984 - Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Edited by Regis A. Factor.
    The problem of the nature of values and the relation between values and rationality is one of the defining issues of twentieth-century thought and Max Weber was one of the defining figures in the debate. In this book, Turner and Factor consider the development of the dispute over Max Weber's contribution to this discourse, by showing how Weber's views have been used, revised and adapted in new contexts. The story of the dispute is itself fascinating, for it cuts across the (...)
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  13.  24
    Liberal Democracy 3.0: Civil Society in an Age of Experts.Stephen Turner - 2003 - SAGE.
    '... a powerful piece of work that deserves to be read widely. It ranges across central concerns in the fields of social theory, political theory, and science studies and engages with the ideas of key classical and contemporary thinkers' - Barry Smart, Professor of Sociology, University of Portsmouth.
  14.  4
    Relativism in the Social Sciences.Stephen Turner - 2020 - In Martin Kusch (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Relativism. Routledge.
    Relativism is central to the social sciences for the simple reason that customs and morals are diverse, and explaining this diversity is one of its major tasks. The explanations have relativistic implications, but they vary according to the type of explanation. In the nineteenth century evolutionary explanations dominated: differences were relative to stages. The social determination of ideas followed from these accounts, but could be logically separated from them. In the twentieth century, accounts based on the culture concept, understood loosely (...)
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  15.  8
    Social Theory as a Cognitive Neuroscience.Stephen Turner - 2007 - European Journal of Social Theory 10 (3):357-374.
    In the nineteenth century, there was substantial and sophisticated interest in neuroscience on the part of social theorists, including Comte and Spencer, and later Simon Patten and Charles Ellwood. This body of thinking faced a dead end: it could do little more than identify highly general mechanisms, and could not provide accounts of such questions as `why was there no proletarian revolution?' Psychologically dubious explanations, relying on neo-Kantian views of the mind, replaced them. With the rise of neuroscience, however, some (...)
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  16.  19
    Corrigendum.Stephen Turner, Deborah Tollefsen, Paul Roth, Mark Risjord, Kareem Khalifa & David Henderson - 2023 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 53 (2):163-163.
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  17.  20
    The Future of Sociology: Ideology or Objective Social Science?Robert Leroux, Thierry Martin & Stephen P. Turner (eds.) - 2022 - Digital Commons @ University of South Florida.
    This book explores the shift in sociology away from the shared aspiration of the classical transition, of transcending partiality through the construction of a "science of society", in the face of challenges to the notion of objectivity. With the increasing subjugation of sociology to political ideologies and a growing emphasis on "policy", which casts sociology in the role of a provider of intellectual content for political programs, this volume asks whether the situation is the result of an exhaustion of ideas (...)
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  18.  14
    Understanding the Tacit.Stephen P. Turner - 2013 - New York, USA: Routledge.
    This book outlines a new account of the tacit, meaning tacit knowledge, presuppositions, practices, traditions, and so forth. It includes essays on topics such as underdetermination and mutual understanding, and critical discussions of the major alternative approaches to the tacit, including Bourdieu’s habitus and various practice theories, Oakeshott’s account of tradition, Quentin Skinner’s theory of historical meaning, Harry Collins’s idea of collective tacit knowledge, as well as discussions of relevant cognitive science concepts, such as non-conceptual content, connectionism, and mirror neurons. (...)
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  19.  28
    Charisma Reconsidered.Stephen Turner - 203 - Journal of Classical Sociology 3 (1):5-26.
    Charisma is a concept with a peculiar history. It arose from theological obscurity through social science, from which it passed into popular culture. As a social science concept, its significance derives in large part from the fact that it captures a particular type of leadership. But it fits poorly with other concepts in social science, and is problematic as an explanatory concept. Even Weber himself was torn in his use of the concept between the individual type-concept and a broader use (...)
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  20.  55
    3.What Are Disciplines? And How Is Interdisciplinarity Different?Stephen Turner - 2000 - In Peter Weingart & Nico Stehr (eds.), Practising Interdisciplinarity. University of Toronto Press. pp. 46-65.
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  21.  13
    Max Weber: The Lawyer as Social Thinker.Stephen P. Turner & Regis A. Factor - 1994 - London: Routledge.
    Heinrich Schenker: A Research and Information Guide is an annotated bibliography concerning both the nature of primary sources related to the composer and the scope and significance of the secondary sources which deal with him, his compositions, and his influence as a composer and theorist.
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  22.  68
    The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of the Social Sciences.Stephen P. Turner & Paul Andrew Roth (eds.) - 2003 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
    _The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of the Social Sciences _collects newly commissioned essays that examine fundamental issues in the social sciences.
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  23.  16
    Introduction: Tacit Knowledge: Between Habit and Presupposition.Stephen Turner - 2013 - In Stephen P. Turner (ed.), Understanding the Tacit. New York, USA: Routledge.
    Harry Collins is a science studies scholar no other description fits without qualification who has contributed enormously to the discussion of tacit knowledge. Collins says that he is providing an account for the ontologically bashful, meaning, presumably, that it does not carry the burdens of Durkheim's notion of the collective consciousness. Polanyi says that 'a wholly explicit knowledge is unthinkable'. Collins wants to translate this into 'strings must be interpreted before they are meaningful'. Somatic limits are the source of the (...)
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  24.  64
    Many approaches, but few arrivals: Merton and the columbia model of theory construction.Stephen Turner - 2009 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 39 (2):174-211.
    Robert Merton's essays on theories of the middle range and his essays on functional explanation and the structural approach are among the most influential in the history of sociology. But their import is a puzzle. He explicitly allied himself with some of the most extreme scientistic formalists and contributed to and endorsed the Columbia model of theory construction. But Merton never responded to criticisms by Ernest Nagel of his arguments or acknowledged the rivalry between Lazarsfeld and Herbert Simon, rarely cited (...)
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  25.  58
    Mirror neurons and practices: A response to Lizardo.Stephen P. Turner - 2007 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 37 (3):351–371.
    Lizardo argues that The Social Theory of Practices is refuted by the discovery of mirror neurons. The book argues that the kind of sameness of tacit mental content assumed by practice theorists such as Bourdieu is fictional, because there is no actual process by which the same mental content can be transmitted. Mirror neurons, Lizardo claims, provide such a mechanism, as they imply that bodily automatisms, which can be understood as the basis of habitus and concepts, can be shared and (...)
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  26.  76
    Searle's social reality.Stephen P. Turner - 1999 - History and Theory 38 (2):211–231.
    In The Construction of Social Reality, John Searle expends an argument left undeveloped in Speech Acts about the nature of the rules which underlie and constitute social life. It is argued in this review that one problem for this account was its apparent incompatibility with connectionism. They cannot be rules shared in the head, so to speak. He now understands our relation to these rules not as one of simple internalization but of skillful accustoming. But this makes appeal to rules (...)
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  27. Nowak, Models, and the Lessons of Neo-Kantianism.Stephen Turner - 2023 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 30 (2):165-170.
    Models are the coin of the realm in current philosophy of science, as they are in science itself, having replaced laws and theories as the primary strategy. Logical Positivism tried to erase the older neo-Kantian distinction between ideal constructions and reality. It returns in the case of models. Nowak’s concept of idealization pro- vided an alternative account of this issue. It construed model application as concretizations of hypotheses which improve by accounting for exceptions. This appears to account for physical law. (...)
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  28.  10
    Forms of Patronage.Stephen Turner - 1990 - In S. E. Cozzens & T. F. Gieryn (eds.), Theories of Science in Society. Indiana University Press. pp. 185-211.
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  29.  6
    The Disobedient Generation: Social Theorists in the Sixties.Alan Sica & Stephen Turner - 2005 - Human Studies 30 (4):467-470.
    The late 1960s are remembered today as the last time wholesale social upheaval shook Europe and the United States. College students during that tumultuous period—epitomized by the events of May 1968—were as permanently marked in their worldviews as their parents had been by the Depression and World War II. Sociology was at the center of these events, and it changed decisively because of them. The Disobedient Generation collects newly written autobiographies by an international cross-section of well-known sociologists, all of them (...)
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  30.  7
    American Sociology: From Pre-Disciplinary to Post-Normal.Stephen Turner - 2014 - Palgrave Macmillan.
    American Sociology has changed radically since 1945. This volume traces these changes to the present, with special emphasis on the feminization of sociology and the decline of the science ideal as well as the challenges sociology faces in the new environment for universities.
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  31.  33
    The Routledge International Handbook of Contemporary Social and Political Theory.Gerard Delanty & Stephen P. Turner (eds.) - 2011 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    The triangular relationship between the social, the political and the cultural has opened up social and political theory to new challenges. The social can no longer be reduced to the category of society, and the political extends beyond the traditional concerns of the nature of the state and political authority. -/- This Handbook will address a range of issues that have recently emerged from the disciplines of social and political theory, focusing on key themes as opposed to schools of thought (...)
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  32.  24
    Knowledge Formations: An Analytic Framework.Stephen Turner - 2017 - In R. Frodeman (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Interdisciplinarity (2nd Ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 9-20.
    Knowledge is socially distributed, and the distribution of knowledge is socially structured, but the distribution and the structures within which it is produced and reproduced—often two separate things—have varied enormously. Disciplines are one knowledge formation of special significance. They can be thought of as very old, or as a very recent phenomenon: In the very old sense, disciplines begin with the creation of rituals of certification and exclusion related to knowledge; in the more recent sense, they are the product of (...)
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  33.  56
    Verstehen Naturalized.Stephen Turner - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 49 (4):243-264.
    Verstehen, understanding another human being through some form of empathy, is a natural process with the involvement, probably in a complex way, of the brain. There is a temptation to describe Vers...
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  34.  8
    Objective Possibility and Adequate Causation in Weber's Methodological Writings.Stephen Turner & Regis A. Factor - 1981 - The Sociological Review 29 (1):5-28.
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  35.  25
    The Strength of Weak Empathy.Stephen Turner - 2012 - Science in Context 25 (3):383-399.
    ArgumentThis paper builds on a neglected philosophical idea,Evidenz. Max Weber used it in his discussion ofVerstehen, as the goal of understanding either action or such things as logic. It was formulated differently by Franz Brentano, but with a novel twist: thatanyonewho understood something would see the thing to be understood as self-evident, not something dependent on inference, argument, or reasoning. The only way one could take something as evident in this sense is by being able to treat other people as (...)
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  36. Explaining normativity.Stephen P. Turner - 2007 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (1):57-73.
    In this reply, I raise some questions about the account of "normativity" given by Joseph Rouse. I discuss the historical form of disputes over normativity in such thinkers as Kelsen and show that the standard issue with these accounts is over the question of whether there is anything added to the normal stream of explanation by the problem of normativity. I suggest that Rouse’s attempt to avoid the issues that arise with substantive explanatory theories of practices of the kind criticized (...)
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  37.  35
    Practice Then and Now.Stephen Turner - 2007 - Human Affairs 17 (2).
    "Practice theory" has a long history in philosophy, under various names, but current practice theory is a response to failures of projects of modernity or enlightenment which attempt to reduce science or politics to formulae. Heidegger, Oakeshott, and Macintyre are each examples of .philosophers who turned to practice conceptions. Foucault and Bourdieu made similar turns. Practice accounts come in different forms: some emphasize skill-like individual accomplishments, others emphasize the social character or presupposition-like character of the tacit conditions of activities. The (...)
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  38.  18
    Explaining away crime: The race narrative in American sociology and ethical theory.Stephen Turner - 2021 - European Journal of Social Theory 24 (3):356-373.
    Rates of crime for Blacks in the United States in the post-slavery era have always been high relative to Whites. But explaining, or minimizing, this fact faces a major problem: individual excuses for bad acts point to deficiencies, in the agent, which are perhaps forgivable, such as mental deficiency or a deprived childhood, but at the price of treating the agent as less than a full member of the moral community. Collectivizing excuses risks implying group inferiority. The history of attempts (...)
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  39.  18
    The Search for a Methodology of Social Science: Durkheim, Weber, and the Nineteenth-Century Problem of Cause, Probability, and Action.Stephen Turner - 1986 - Springer.
    Stephen Turner has explored the ongms of social science in this pioneering study of two nineteenth century themes: the search for laws of human social behavior, and the accumulation and analysis of the facts of such behavior through statistical inquiry. The disputes were vigorously argued; they were over questions of method, criteria of explanation, interpretations of probability, understandings of causation as such and of historical causation in particular, and time and again over the ways of using a natural science model. (...)
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  40.  13
    The SAGE Handbook of Social Science Methodology.William Outhwaite & Stephen Turner - 2007 - Sage Publications.
    This is a jewel among methods handbooks, bringing together a formidable collection of international contributors to comment on every aspect of the various central issues, complications, and controversies in the core methodological traditions. It is designed to meet the needs of those disciplinary and nondisciplinary problem-oriented social inquirers for a comprehensive overview of the methodological literature.
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  41.  26
    Introduction. Ghosts and the Machine: Issues of Agency, Rationality, and Scientific Methodology in Contemporary Philosophy of Social Science.Stephen P. Turner & Paul A. Roth - 2003 - In Stephen P. Turner & Paul A. Roth (eds.), The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of the Social Sciences. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. pp. 1–17.
    This chapter contains sections titled: The Origins of the Philosophy of Social Science Winch's Triad The Legitimation of “Continental” Philosophy Enter Davidson Rational Choice: The Scientization of the Intentional Philosophy of Social Science Today Notes.
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  42. Public sociology and democratic theory.Stephen P. Turner - 2007 - In Jeroen Van Bouwel (ed.), The Social Sciences and Democracy. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Sociology, as conceived by Comte, was to put an end to the anarchy of opinions characteristic of liberal democracy by replacing opinion with the truths of sociology, imposed through indoctrination. Later sociologists backed away from this, making sociology acceptable to liberal democracy by being politically neutral. The critics of this solution asked 'whose side are we on?' Burawoy provides a novel justification for advocacy scholarship in sociology. Public sociology is intended to have political effects, but also to be funded by (...)
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  43. Normal Accidents of Expertise.Stephen P. Turner - 2010 - Minerva 48 (3):239-258.
    Charles Perrow used the term normal accidents to characterize a type of catastrophic failure that resulted when complex, tightly coupled production systems encountered a certain kind of anomalous event. These were events in which systems failures interacted with one another in a way that could not be anticipated, and could not be easily understood and corrected. Systems of the production of expert knowledge are increasingly becoming tightly coupled. Unlike classical science, which operated with a long time horizon, many current forms (...)
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  44.  50
    Where explanation ends: Understanding as the place the spade turns in the social sciences.Stephen Turner - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):532-538.
    Explanations implicitly end with something that makes sense, and begin with something that does not make sense. A statistical relationship, for example, a numerical fact, does not make sense; an explanation of this relationship adds something, such as causal information, which does make sense, and provides an endpoint for the sense-making process. Does social science differ from natural science in this respect? One difference is that in the natural sciences, models are what need ‘‘understanding.’’ In the social sciences, matters are (...)
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  45. Tacit knowledg and the problem of computer modelling cognitive processes in science.Stephen P. Turner - 1989 - In Steve Fuller (ed.), The Cognitive Turn: Sociological and Psychological Perspectives on Science. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    In what follows I propose to bring out certain methodological properties of projects of modelling the tacit realm that bear on the kinds of modelling done in connection with scientific cognition by computer as well as by ethnomethodological sociologists, both of whom must make some claims about the tacit in the course of their efforts to model cognition. The same issues, I will suggest, bear on the project of a cognitive psychology of science as well.
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  46.  8
    Axel Hägerström and Modern Social Thought.Sven Eliaeson, Patricia Mindus & Stephen Turner (eds.) - 2014 - Oxford: Bardwell Press.
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  47.  23
    Sociological Explanation As Translation.Stephen Turner - 1980 - Cambridge Scholars Press.
    First published in 1980, this book examines the nature of sociological explanation. The tactics of interpretive sociology have often remained obscure because of confusion over the nature of the evidence for interpretation and the nature of decisions among alternative interpretations. In providing an account of the problem of interpretive sociological claims, the author argues that there is rationality to interpretation. He also presents a fresh view of the relationship between qualitative and statistical claims and shows their complementary character. Dr. Turner's (...)
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  48.  39
    On the relevance of statistical relevance theory.Stephen Turner - 1982 - Theory and Decision 14 (2):195-205.
    In Salmon's discussion of his account of statistical relevance and statistical explanation there is a peculiarity in the selection of examples. Where he wishes to show that statistical accounts are reasonably treated as explanatory, he draws examples from the social sciences, such as juvenile delinquency. But when he explains the concept of 'causal' relevance, the examples are selected from the natural sciences. This conceals difficulties with salmon's account of causality in the face of multiple causes such as are characteristic of (...)
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  49.  27
    What do We Mean by “We”?Stephen P. Turner - 2003 - ProtoSociology 18:139-162.
    The analytic philosophy form of the problem of collective intentionality originated with the claim that individual statements of the form “I intend x” cannot add up to a “we intend x” statement. Analytic philosophers from Wilfrid Sellars on have pursued a strategy that construes these sentences as individual tellings of statements whose form is collective. The point of the strategy is to avoid the problematic idea of a real collective subject. This approach creates unusual epistemic problems. Although“telling” of collective intentions (...)
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  50.  13
    The Cambridge Companion to Weber.Stephen Turner (ed.) - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
    Max Weber is indubitably one of the very greatest figures in the history of the social sciences, the source of seminal concepts like 'the Protestant Ethic', 'charisma' and the idea of historical processes of 'rationalization'. But, like his great forebears Adam Smith and Karl Marx, Weber's work always resists easy categorisation. Prominent as a founding father of sociology, Weber has been a major influence in the study of ancient history, religion, economics, law and, more recently, cultural studies. This Cambridge Companion (...)
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