Can explanation and understanding be linked?
Archer, Margaret Scotford. (2008) Can explanation and understanding be linked? Sociologicky Casopis, Vol.44 (No.1). pp. 7-22. ISSN 0038-0288Full text not available from this repository.
The problem of linking 'explanation' and 'understanding' remains unresolved - as Weber left it. This paper challenges the view that their reconciliation is impossible, as some theorists have maintained. Their case is that the entities involved - subjective meanings and objective relationships - are too ontologically different to be combined. From the stratified ontology of Social Realism, which acknowledges that different properties and powers pertain to different components and levels of social reality, this is no barrier in principle to their combination. However, in practice Realists have not given an adequate account of how 'subjectivity' and 'objectivity' are linked, which also weakens Realism's solution to the 'problem of structure and agency'. This paper offers a refinement: the human power of reflexivity is viewed as mediating between our subjective concerns and our objective social contexts. Reflexive deliberations account for what agents actually do - and they do not all do the same thing - under very similar social circumstances. The introduction of reflexivity enables the (socially) objective and the (personally) subjective to be combined into a single account of socially structured and structuring action.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Sociology, Social realism, Social structure, Explanation|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Sociologicky Casopis|
|Publisher:||Akademie Ved Ceske Republiky * Sociologicky Ustav|
|Number of Pages:||16|
|Page Range:||pp. 7-22|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
|Version or Related Resource:||An earlier version of this article appeared as ‘The Long March with a Key Problem: Can explanation and understanding be linked?’ pp. 61–76 in T. Abbas and F. Reeves (eds.). Race Relations, Immigration and Sociological Theory: Essays in Honour of Professor John Rex. London: I. B. Tauris 2007.|
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