# Lecture 015

Believes

• formal rule are for all empirical science

• can't deduce law from finite observation

• large scale observations are half-way

• you can’t falsify the metaphysical principle. this is not ture anymore, see relativity

If a theory is compatible with anything, it says nothing

formal rule: representing theory using mathematical symbols material rule or principle: theory should involve meaning of terms

Attacking Holism

• individuals can alter the history

• so there can't be "something" existing above human

• the existing of social fact cannot infer the existing of social law

• something individualism can't explain does not mean there exists social law

• we can't explain why individuals try to bounce a ball in a certain way
• but we know from statistics, that it will result in consistent outcome if many people do such thing
• this is often explained using social law as cover
• but individual human can certainly change things like car accident rate

Potential Objections:

• Individual psychology is not social-given, then it must be God-given?
• No. Individual psychology can be explained by their action or childhood experience.

explaining desire is more fruitful than with action

## Questions

1. Watkins' main idea Watkins argues that explaining large-scale social phenomena in terms of other large-scale phenomena is only acceptable when the explanatory large-scale phenomenon is justified using explanations about individual dispositions, beliefs, resources, and relations. Watkins' reasoning goes like this: Although there are social facts that can't be easily explained using individual actions, it is evident that individual actions can alter social facts. Since humans can alter social facts, the belief in unalterable superhuman agents is false. Since methodological individualism plus sociological holism is exhaustive, and that sociological holism is wrong, therefore individualism is right. If my interpretation of Watkins' reasoning is correct, then I think Watkins misunderstood holism because there are only fragments of holism who believe that individuals cannot cause social change. Therefore, Watkins' argument is insufficient to falsify holism as a whole. However, I agree that large-scale social phenomena (e.g. inflation) should be ultimately explained by dispositions, beliefs, resources, and inter-relations of individuals because these properties (e.g. beliefs) of individuals can be "more empirically measurable" than large-scale phenomena (e.g. full employment). Therefore, statements about individuals are more precise and trust-worthy than statements about large-scale phenomena and we should use statements about individuals to explain large-scale phenomena. In addition, explanation in terms of properties of individuals is possible because, unlike large-scale phenomena, they can be measured directly in any empirical research.

2. potential objections (a) whether human psychology can vary is irrelevant (I DID NOT FIND SUPPORT FOR THIS THOUGH) - human psychology depend on individual, not group. each individual can vary. theory will not span generations. (b) individual human psychologies are not caused by extra-human factors because all extra-human factors are ultimately human factors (compelling by mathematical induction) saturation causes human psychology. view people as innocent vs. sinister - you cannot explain collective individual psychology as social

3. critic of the use of "folk psychology" might say

4. ascribe "believes", "desire" (internal state) to a group (entity) is possible

5. agrees that FIC is not obvious therefore can be insightful

6. Watkins gives an example about Church vs Emperor. My view: Objective statements are more likely to be true, but at the same time less useful. With today's large dataset, there is no need to reconstruct from historical data.

## Class

Reductionism

• translate theory to individual level

• explanation: should ultimately explained in terms of individual

• ontology: only human are real

Hayek: see people drawing correlation, but no causal. Please assume "model of rationality Karl Popper: falsification-ist. Science theory cannot be proved, but can be falsified, un-falsifiable theory is not science. Watkins (Popper's student): naturalism, individualism, collectivism

Historicism: history, culture cause beliefs and action

• Hegelian historicism

• Historical materialism

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