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::: center home >> events >> lunchtime >> 2004-05 >> abstracts

Friday, 15 October 2004

On Reductionism in the Philosophy of Social Science:  The Individualism-Holism Debate
Radu Dudau, University of Iasi, Romania
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning

Abstract:  Ontological naturalism is often thought to concur with the reductionist idea that our epistemic goals are best furthered when explanations concern phenomena that are reduced to their most basic ontological constituents.  In the social sciences, reductionism is promoted through the individualist claim that the social world can be thoroughly explained in terms of the actions of individuals.  I argue that this reductionist injunction rests on a conflation of metaphysics and epistemology and distinguish several kinds of individualism.  I further discuss various argumentative lines against reductionism in the social sciences.

Revised 3/11/08 - Copyright 2006