Article

Sciences of Historical Tokens and Theoretical Types: History and the Social Sciences

Aviezer Tucker

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195392753
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195392753.013.0012

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Sciences of Historical Tokens and Theoretical Types: History and the Social Sciences

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This article, which explores some popular philosophical proposals for identifying between historiography and the social sciences, proposes that the distinction between them is between a science that infers common cause tokens and sciences that infer common cause types. Historiography is distinctly interested in inferring common cause tokens. By contrast, the social sciences are distinctly interested in inferring common cause types. No single model can assess the influences of specific types of separate causes on types of effects. Historiography can present social science with data that may participate in the process of inferring types of causes. The social sciences and historiography can coexist harmoniously without disturbing each other. The difference between historiography and the social sciences is a particular case of the difference between the historical and theoretical sciences of tokens and types.

Keywords: historiography; social sciences; tokens; types; theoretical sciences; historical sciences

Article.  11061 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Science ; Epistemology

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