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Social Emergence and Unpredictability

Lohse, Simon (2024) Social Emergence and Unpredictability. [Preprint]


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I analyse arguments for social emergentism based on the notion of unpredictability. After examining and ultimately rejecting weak emergentism as relevant theoretical counterpart to reductionism, I discuss three arguments that aim to show that social phenomena should be considered strongly emergent as they are in principle unpredictable. The main result of my discussion is that none of these arguments prove successful which becomes clear when confronted with the actual practice and state of contemporary social science. This conclusion contributes to a deeper understanding of the concept of unpredictability and the prospect of a theory of emergence in the social sciences.

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Item Type: Preprint
Lohse, Simonsimon.lohse@ru.nl0000-0002-4119-1929
Keywords: Philosophy of social science; prediction; reductionism; emergentism.
Subjects: General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Sociology
Depositing User: Dr. S. Lohse
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2024 03:13
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2024 03:13
Item ID: 23173
Subjects: General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Sociology
Date: February 2024

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