- Introduction: Doing Philosophy of Social Science
- Micro, Macro, and Mechanisms
- Mechanisms, Causal Modeling, and the Limitations of Traditional Multiple Regression
- Process Tracing and Causal Mechanisms
- Descriptive-Causal Generalizations: “Empirical Laws” in the Social Sciences?
- Useful Complex Causality
- Partial Explanations in Social Science
- Mechanistic Social Probability: How Individual Choices and Varying Circumstances Produce Stable Social Patterns
- The Impact of Duhemian Principles on Social Science Testing and Progress
- Philosophy and the Practice of Bayesian Statistics in the Social Sciences
- Sciences of Historical Tokens and Theoretical Types: History and the Social Sciences
- RCTs, Evidence, and Predicting Policy Effectiveness
- Bringing Context and Variability Back into Causal Analysis
- The Potential Value of Computational Models in Social Science Research
- Models of Culture
- The Evolutionary Program in Social Philosophy
- Cultural Evolution: Integration and Skepticism
- Coordination and the Foundations of Social Intelligence
- Making Race Out of Nothing: Psychologically Constrained Social Roles
- A Feminist Empirical and Integrative Approach in Political Science: Breaking Down the Glass Wall?
- Social Constructions of Mental Illness
- Cooperation and Reciprocity: Empirical Evidence and Normative Implications
- Evaluating Social Policy
- Values and the Science of Well-Being: A Recipe for Mixing
Abstract and Keywords
This article, which explores some popular philosophical proposals for identifying between historiography and the social sciences, proposes that the distinction between them is between a science that infers common cause tokens and sciences that infer common cause types. Historiography is distinctly interested in inferring common cause tokens. By contrast, the social sciences are distinctly interested in inferring common cause types. No single model can assess the influences of specific types of separate causes on types of effects. Historiography can present social science with data that may participate in the process of inferring types of causes. The social sciences and historiography can coexist harmoniously without disturbing each other. The difference between historiography and the social sciences is a particular case of the difference between the historical and theoretical sciences of tokens and types.
Aviezer Tucker is the author of Our Knowledge of the Past: A Philosophy of Historiography (Cambridge University Press, 2004) and the editor of The Blackwell Companion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009). His research concentrates on the philosophy of the historical sciences, epistemology, and political philosophy. He lives in Austin, Texas. Previously he lived in New York, Prague, Canberra, and a few other places.
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