Arguments for the cognitive social sciences

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This article analyses the arguments for the integration between the cognitive and social sciences. We understand interdisciplinary integration as an umbrella term that includes different ways of bringing scientific disciplines together. Our focus is on four arguments based on different ideas about how the cognitive sciences should be integrated with the social sciences: explanatory grounding, theoretical unification, constraint and complementarity. These arguments not only provide different reasons why the cognitive social sciences—i.e. disciplines and research programs that aim to integrate the social sciences with the cognitive sciences—are needed but also subscribe to different visions as to how these sciences might look like. We discuss each argument in three stages: First, we provide a concrete example of the argument. Second, we reconstruct the argument by specifying its premises, inferential structure and conclusion. Third, we evaluate the argument by analyzing its presuppositions, the plausibility of its premises, the soundness of its inferences and potential conceptual ambiguities. In the final discussion, we compare these arguments and identify the most compelling reasons why the cognitive social sciences are needed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal for the Theory of Social Behaviour
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)480-498
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 5141 Sociology
  • 5144 Social psychology
  • 611 Philosophy
  • 515 Psychology

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