Like physics, using initial condition and exception-less natural law to predict event in the world.
Natural Law: a specification of causal factors and their effects
exists in both physical and social science
only describe certain aspect of the real world (so not exception-less, not universal)
Arguments about Social Science
social science has causal factors -> there are laws
social science create causal models based on abstract and idealized assumption
social science explain away their false (idealized) assumptions
laws are useful for giving (contextualized) explanation and prediction.
Laws must have false assumptions or else it is not elegant because it can't make "extend" of other laws
Example: idea gass law
does not account for extreme temperature, pressure
does not account for electromagnetic interaction
tautology: true by definition
Mathmatically thinking, scientific theories are functions that map phenomenons into phenomenons, with some constraints on the input phenomenon (that is never true). To use such function, the client should segment out input that meet the requirement, and assemble them afterward.
free will contradicts possibility of laws
social science is not stable with time and places
In the context of Kincaid's article, the term "law" is used such that laws are not necessarily exception-less. However, laws can be exception-less with a "ceteris paribus" qualifier (page 179). Kincaid argues that if a law does not claim "regularity without exception", then there is no need to cite "ceteris paribus" for a law (page 179-180). I think this is a reasonable argument because, from observation, most of the laws assumes idealized observation (a false assumption), and therefore those laws are only be generalizable to larger context (ie. useful even without false assumptions) by adding other constraints such as "ceteris paribus" in order to maintain its validity of being "regularity without exception". According to the reasoning above, Kincaid rejects the strategy of claiming that laws in the social science are "ceteris paribus" laws because the laws themselves does not claim "regularity without exception" in the first place. Therefore, these laws do not need "ceteris paribus" to constrain them.
Why "exceptionless" is mistaken? compelling?
laws make false assumptions (idealized observation) that can never be true in reality.
?3. explanation & prediction, better way to think about law?
if law has to be exceptionless, that limit the definition of law
typical definition of law involving exceptionless does not work well since, in science, nothing can be proved exceptionless
reconstruction of argument
because assumptions are false
then we can never use the argument
therefore we falsely use laws that can't be applied because it requirement unsatisfied
therefore not exceptionless
free will compability
the second reply assumes compatibilist view
all events are caused (otherwise choices won't cause a different result) and human have free will
this view is problematic since causation would destroy free will
therefore compatibilist view does not hold
therefore the argument is not compelling because of false assumption
If only every social phenomenons is decided by human, then free will prevents possibility of social theory
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