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Social emergence: functional or relational

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journal contribution
posted on 05.05.2015 by Dave Elder-Vass
This paper outlines a relational variety of the theory of emergence and claims that it can be applied more fruit-fully to sociology than the functional variety advocated by Keith Sawyer. Sawyer argues that the wildly disjunctive multiple realizability of social properties justifies a nonreductive approach to causal explanation in the social sciences (but also ontological individualism). In response, this paper argues, first, that the social properties he dis-cusses are not wildly disjunctive, and secondly, that we can explain their causal significance more effectively with a relational emergence theory linked to the critical realist account of causal powers. Although these properties are multiply realizable, they are not emergent because they are multiply realizable, but despite being so.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

Balkan Journal of Philosophy

Volume

6

Issue

1

Pages

5 - 16

Citation

ELDER-VASS, D.J., 2014. Social emergence: functional or relational. Balkan Journal of Philosophy, 6 (1), pp.5-16.

Publisher

© Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2014

ISSN

1313-888X

eISSN

2367-5438

Language

en

Exports