Mechanistic explanations in the cognitive social sciences: lessons from three case studies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Discussions of the relations between the social sciences and the cognitive sciences have proliferated in recent years. Our article contributes to the philosophical and methodological foundations of the cognitive social sciences by proposing a framework based on contemporary mechanistic approaches to the philosophy of science to analyze the epistemological, ontological and methodological aspects of research programs at the intersection of the social sciences and the cognitive sciences. We apply this framework to three case studies which address the phenomena of social coordination, transactive memory, and ethnicity. We also assess how successful these research programs have been in providing mechanistic explanations for these phenomena, and where more work remains to be done.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0539018420968742
JournalSocial Science Information
Volume59
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)580–603
Number of pages24
ISSN0539-0184
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 5141 Sociology
  • 6162 Cognitive science
  • cognitive social science
  • ethnicity
  • mechanistic explanation
  • social coordination
  • transactive memory
  • TRANSACTIVE MEMORY-SYSTEMS
  • CULTURE
  • NEUROSCIENCE
  • FRAMEWORK
  • PERCEPTION
  • DYNAMICS
  • THINKING
  • MODEL

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