The (hopefully) last stand of the covering-law theory: A reply to Opp

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Ylikoski , P K 2013 , ' The (hopefully) last stand of the covering-law theory: A reply to Opp ' , Social Science Information , vol. 52 , no. 3 , pp. 383-393 . https://doi.org/10.1177/0539018413485664

Title: The (hopefully) last stand of the covering-law theory: A reply to Opp
Author: Ylikoski, Petri K
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Social Research (2010-2017)
Date: 2013
Language: eng
Number of pages: 11
Belongs to series: Social Science Information
ISSN: 0539-0184
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/42160
Abstract: In his paper Karl-Dieter Opp heroically sets out to defend both the adequacy and socio- logical fruitfulness of the covering-law account of explanation (the HO scheme). The attempt is bold, as he is not only defending the HO scheme as a theory of explanation but also as a scheme for finding and establishing causal relationships. In this reply I argue that the defense is not successful; quite the contrary, it clearly demonstrates why mecha- nism-based reasoning is important in the social sciences. I also argue that this change in metatheoretical perspective has implications for thinking about the role of rational choice theory in sociology, which should not be seen as a foundational theory but rather as a version of commonsense psychology that can be used for modeling purposes.
Subject: 5141 Sociology
explanation
analytical sociology
social mechanism
rational choice
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