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De idee van emergentie in de sociologie: perspectieven en problemen

Author: Jeroen Van Bouwel orcid logo

  • De idee van emergentie in de sociologie: perspectieven en problemen

    Artikel

    De idee van emergentie in de sociologie: perspectieven en problemen

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Abstract

Recently the philosophical concept of emergence has been used in sociology to understand and defend social causation and nonreductive individualism (e.g. Sawyer 2001; 2003; and 2005). In this paper, I want to analyse how the concept of emergence helps us illuminating the individual-collective relation in sociology, paying attention to the analogies with philosophy of mind. I start with some examples of the (problematic) use of emergence in sociology. Subsequently, some questions will be raised about Keith Sawyer’s analysis of the use of emergence and his defence of sociological explanation. Therefore, it will be important to distinguish ontological from epistemological emergence. Where Sawyer focuses on ontological emergence, I will argue that sociological explanation might better be defended by putting emphasis on pragmatic aspects of explanation (cf. Van Bouwel 2004; Van Bouwel and Weber 2002) and considering emergence as an epistemological category.

How to Cite:

Van Bouwel, J., (2006) “De idee van emergentie in de sociologie: perspectieven en problemen”, Tijdschrift voor Sociologie 27(4), 337–350. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/sociologos.86665

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Published on
20 Oct 2006
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