Social Mechanisms. What Social Sciences Can Learn From Natural Sciences. LORENZO CASINI [email protected] Philosophy, Kent. Where This Fits in my Thesis. What is causality in complex systems? Tentative answer : the link between prediction & explanation
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DNA damaged bases, enzymes, chemical reactions, spatiotemporal organisation
(i) & (ii): “internal” - (iii): “external” (‘aggregative’ (Little 2005))
Some: everything happens in (ii) (macro-properties are fiction, there are no macro-mechanisms, etc.)
Others: there are social properties and DC (Sawyer 2004)
I dub (1)Issue of Emergence and (2)Issue of Intentionality
The dependence of the entity’s capacity to exercise a power on the entity’s figuring in a certain mechanism
i.e. entity doesn’t have the capacity outside the mechanism
E.g.: “fusion” (Humphreys 1997a, 1997b)
intentional character of social mechanisms
agents “intend” social structures and consequences of actions to conform/change these structures
intentional systems are ‘self-directed’ (Christensen and Hooker 2001),
‘self-organised’ (Atlan 1998),
‘autonomous-adaptive’ (Bechtel and Abrahamsen 2007)
No reason why same cannot be done in the social
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