Social laws should be conceived as a special case of mechanisms: A reply to Daniel Little

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter


I am grateful to Daniel Little for his insightful reply to my recent article in Social Epistemology (2012, 105-114) about what appears to be a flaw in Jon Elster’s conception of mechanisms. I agree with much of what Little says, but want to amplify a different underlying problem with Elster’s conception (fourth point below) than Little suggests in his reply (third point below). This underlying problem connects nicely with a passage in Little’s reply, which he thinks unconnected with the point on which I focus.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Philosophy
  • Educational Sciences


  • social explanation, Jon Elster, mechanistic explanation, covering law
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-14
JournalSocial Epistemology Review and Reply Collective
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch

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