- 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 describes some of the ways in which brute behavioral norms can feature as explananda. Explanation in terms of norms-as-rules is not far removed from explanation that turns on individual psychology. There are three very general ways in which one might initially think to understand talk of rules—three kinds of things that one might think could serve the functional role envisioned—but only one is really promising on informed reflection. The issues of tolerance of difference, sharing across difference, and yet sufficient similarity to constrain of behavior are closely linked to issues that concerned Ludwig Wittgenstein. Bicchieri's talk of rules being known to exist is probably an infelicitously glorified formulation. An account of causal explanations in the special sciences advanced by James Woodward is described. Accounting for the social preferences is most daunting in the case of social norms.
David Henderson is the Robert R. Chambers Professor of Philosophy at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He has written on interpretation and explanation in the social sciences, with special concern for the place for finding rationality in those matters. He also writes in epistemology, where he is interested in the epistemological implications of recent work in cognitive science.
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