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Social Mechanisms and Social Causation

Weinert, Friedel (2014) Social Mechanisms and Social Causation. The Journal of Philosophical Economics, VIII (1). pp. 1-24. ISSN 1843-2298

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The aim of this paper is to examine the notion of social mechanisms by comparison with the notions of evolutionary and physical mechanisms. It is argued that social mechanisms are based on trends, and not lawlike regularities, so that social mechanisms are different from mechanisms in the natural sciences. Taking as an example of social causation the abolition of the slave trade, the paper argues that social mechanisms should be incorporated in Weber’s wider notion of adequate causation in order to achieve their explanatory purpose.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Keywords: ideal types, mechanisms (evolutionary, physical, social), natural selection, rainbows, regularities, slave trade, social causation, trends, Weber
Depositing User: Friedel Weinert
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2014 17:05
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2014 17:05
Item ID: 11207
Journal or Publication Title: The Journal of Philosophical Economics
Publisher: Rosetti International Publishing House
Official URL:
Date: October 2014
Page Range: pp. 1-24
Volume: VIII
Number: 1
ISSN: 1843-2298

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