Microfoundations

Authored by: Daniel Little

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138825758
eBook ISBN: 9781315410098
Adobe ISBN: 9781315410081

10.4324/9781315410098.ch20

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Abstract

A large amount of debate in the philosophy of social science is devoted to the question of how to understand the relations across levels of the social world. Are higher levels generated by lower levels? Are higher levels emergent with respect to lower levels? Are higher levels supervenient upon lower levels? It is promising to think that the idea of microfoundations can be invoked to trace out the relations among these various inter-level concepts. The call for microfoundations is an assertion that the lower levels of individual and social behavior are more fundamental than the higher levels. Consider Figure 20.1.

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