Thursday, October 29, 2015

Daniel Little — Microfoundations and causal powers

Examining the new realism relative to causal explanation. 

How is this different from reviving Aristotle — and avoiding Hume's fork without assuming intellectual intuition, which itself calls for explanation, or invoking Kant, which makes causality a pure concept of understanding (category). 

Daniel Little's background is in philosophy but he doesn't mention the obvious philosophical issue involved in "the new Aristotelianism," which as the same as the old Aristotelianism relative to modern science.

I find "causal powers" cringe-worthy in a contemporary context without confronting longstanding issues. Without a satisfactory scientific explanation, it is handwaving when applied in science. And "mechanisms" is just another wave of the hand. 

Understanding Society
Microfoundations and causal powers
Daniel Little | Chancellor of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Professor of Philosophy at UM-Dearborn and Professor of Sociology at UM-Ann Arbor


Clint Ballinger said...

Tom, I think it is hand waving too. You may find this interesting Initial Quantum Inhomogeneities, Open Systems, and Explanation

Tom Hickey said...

Thanks for pointing me to that, Clint.