Consequences of Instrumental Monism in Social Science.

May 8th, 2015
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There is hardly a more frequently misunderstood position in the philosophy of social science than monism.

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Consequences of Instrumental Monism in Social ScienceJacob StrandellThere is hardly a more frequently misunderstood position in the philosophy of social science than monism. My intention with this paper is to show the utility of instrumental monism in sociology by clarifying some misunderstandings and misrepresentations of this position. I do so by comparison with realism, a competing paradigm appealing common-sense, as realist authors appear to find it necessary to reject monist positions which they seemingly misunderstand, intentionally or not. I do not, however, reject the entire realist project. Both the ambition to get on with science and the realist reconceptualization of causality is highly admirable[ CITATION Bra01 \l 1053 ], I also fully agree with Brante in that sociological methodology should be simple. This is precisely why I question the benefit of employing problem-prone dualist concepts in science.Discipline crisis: introducing realismSociology is currently fragmented by competing paradigms[ CITATION Bra01 \l 1053 ]. The positivist/empiricist methodology, attempting to map the world in accordance to concepts such as objective, real and truth, has during the second part of the 20th century been heavily criticized as a nave venture unable to live up to its promises [ CITATION Ger85 \l 1053 \m Cha04]. It has been challenged as the only valid scientific methodology, and since the 60s a pluralism of methodological views have emer

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