Causation in the Social Domain View Homepage


Ontology type: schema:MonetaryGrant     


Grant Info

YEARS

2016-2018

FUNDING AMOUNT

2295000 SEK

ABSTRACT

It seems to be a truism that there is causation in the social domain. For example, if a person takes on a socially defined role or is ascribed a “status function” (becomes a prime minister, a judge, or a managing director) then it appears evident that the person acquires new causal abilities in virtue of the powers associated with the role. It also seems obvious that social groups and structures causally influence individuals. But how is social causation possible and how is it to be conceptualized? Social causation does not appear to comply with prevalent philosophical theorizing on causation. For example, causal abilities are often construed as intrinsic properties or powers in current philosophy. But properties such as being prime minister, judge and managing director are socially grounded, and hence are extrinsic. Moreover, modern philosophers are often skeptical about the notion that there is downward causation. They argue that the fundamental physical level is causally closed and that all higher levels “supervene” on, or are grounded in, the physical level – a fact that leaves no room for any causation going from macro to micro. However, group influence is prima facie an instance of downward causation. The crucial question, then, is whether the modern philosophical theories and arguments show that putative social causation is in fact unreal, or whether the evidence for social causation is so solid that it is the modern theories of causation that need to be revised. More... »

URL

https://www.swecris.se/betasearch/details/project/P1507441RJ

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