represent scientific phenomena as products of more fundamental process
study fundamental phenomena
individualists: theories can be derived from theories of psychology
holists: theories are logically independent of lower-level theories.
individualists: only human agents and their properties exist
holists: social entities and properties also exist.
individualists: explanations in the social sciences must make reference to individual actions
holists: also accept social-level explanations.
How do social-level theories relate to psychological-level theories?
reductionism: each term of social-level theory would be defi ned in terms of individual-level theory
problem of the remainder: Each new attempt at a defi nition adds a new
social-level term which has to be defined -> mission impossible
Why not define everything?
the problem of multiple realizability: many social-level terms apply to an open-ended variety of individual arrangements
while the use of church for holist is flawed.
we can use these terms to simplify argument, but they need to be defined
criteria: exactly which explanation counts as "individual level" or "social level"
type: in programming, class token: in programming, instance
Supervenience: The dependency of higher-level properties on lower-level properties
Non-reductive individualism: The combination of supervenience and multiple realizability permits a sophisticated holist position which admits that there are no social objects, but insists that there are non-reducible social properties.
Social Science: explanatory Can't be reducible:
action depends on one's status and circumstance that can't be explained by action
concepts involving the notions of status and role cannot themselves be reduced to a conjunction of statements in which these or other societal concepts do not appear.
(a) that in understanding or explaining an individual's actions we must often refer to facts concerning the organization of the society in which he lives (acceptable by most philosopher)
(b) that our statements concerning these societal facts are not reducible to a conjunction of statements concerning the actions of individuals (acceptable by most philosopher)
Why not reducible:
really? I argue it does change. The term Our president can mean different things every 4 year
It is necessary to translate into partial psychological concepts: to verify
problem of multiple realizability The holist's argument is not compelling. The holist holds that since a social-level explanation can be reduced to different sets of individual-level explanation based on different contextual factors, the attempts reduce the social-level explanation will complicate the explanation (page 125). This argument is supposed to undermine an individualist's methodology because a complicated explanation has less explanatory value than a simple social-level explanation (page 125). In fact, by making this claim, the holist assumes that a type (in other words: a social-level terminology) can have different realizations (in other words: definitions in terms of individual-level terminology). With this assumption, since there exists some social-level terminology that is ambiguous, a social-level explanation with ambiguous social-level terminologies will remove all explanatory value from the social-level explanation. On the contrary, to solve the problem above, the holist would assume that there exists one single universal definition for any social-level terminology, making all social-level terminology well-defined and unambiguous indifferent to their context. Then, since social-level terminologies are context-independent, all social-level explanations can be reduced to one single unambiguous individual-level explanation, removing the problem of multiple realizability. In both cases, the holist's self-destructive argument would not hold.
social phenomena "supervene" on thoughts and actions of all the individuals?
The dependency of higher-level properties on lower-level properties has been called “supervenience”
Yes. The term "Our President" can mean different things every 4 year: the meaning depends on all historical and current president.
prove by example
both person believes that shaking one's hand means the hand-shaker has no negative attitude on the hand-shakee. Since they both desire the other to know this fact, the shake each other's hand to transport this idea.
partial reduction to "verify"?
how can you verify if you think any reduction have multiple realizability? One cannot "verify" something in social-level only by example of individual-level
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