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The Explanation of Social Action - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Explanation of Social Action

John Levi Martin


The social sciences have increasingly placed all their bets on a notion of explanation that turns on linking abstractions through causal relations. This explanatory vocabulary is, if analysts deem it necessary, set against that developed by actors, and we justify this by pointing to everyday people’s limited abilities to survive destructive interrogation of their motives. We are wronger than they; it is possible to produce a rigorous social science that systematizes and organizes actors’ experiences as opposed to negating them. Such an approach would partake of the formal characteristics of an ... More

Keywords: explanation, theory, aesthetics, social Science, field Theory

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199773312
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199773312.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Levi Martin, author
University of Chicago