Individualism embraces a wide diversity of meanings and is widely used by those who criticise and by those who praise Western societies and their culture, by. Steven Lukes, a political and social theorist at New York University, was opposed to what's sometimes called methodological individualism. Books: Individualism Oxford: Blackwell, and New York: Harper and Row republished by ECPR Press (new introduction).


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A Historical and Critical Study orig. Rationality and Relativism, edited with Martin HollisBlackwell, The Category of the Person: Anthropology, Philosophy, History, co-edited with M.


Cambridge University Press Moral Steven lukes individualism and Politics, Oxford: Tra la filosofia e la storia delle idee. Una conversazione con Steven Lukes ItalianFlorence: Instead he left this job to his former student, J.

Individualism - Steven Lukes - Google книги

It was this debate between Watkins and his critics that perhaps unfairly solidified the association in many people's minds between Popper and methodological individualism.

It was also this debate steven lukes individualism brought the doctrine to the widespread attention of steven lukes individualism.

Unfortunately, the version of methodological individualism that Popper bequeathed to his student Watkins was considerably more difficult to defend than the one he inherited from Hayek.

Since the beginning, the precepts of methodological individualism steven lukes individualism thought to have been imposed by the special requirements of the social sciences. For both Weber and Hayek, it was the reflection steven lukes individualism a key difference between the Geisteswissenschaften and the Naturwissenschaften.

Popper, however, denies that there are any significant methodological differences between the two. The problem that this creates for the doctrine of methodological individualism is readily apparent.


A social science that aims at interpretation, or that uses interpretation as part of the centerpiece of its explanatory strategy, has steven lukes individualism very clear methodological reason for privileging explanations that refer to individual actions — since it is precisely the underlying intentional states that serve as the object of interpretation.

But if social scientists are merely in the business of providing causal explanations, just like natural scientists, then what is the rationale steven lukes individualism privileging individual actions in these explanations?

There no longer appears to be any methodological reason for doing so.

Thus critics like Leon Goldsteinand later Steven Lukeswould steven lukes individualism that methodological individualism was actually just an oblique way of asserting a commitment to metaphysical or ontological individualism.

Yet in so doing, he grants that these half-way explanations the example he gives is the relationship between inflation and the unemployment ratewhile they may not tell us everything we would like to know, need not be steven lukes individualism or false.

Individualism - Steven Lukes - Google Книги

Nevertheless, in Popper's formulation, methodological individualism does appear equivalent to at least some form of psychological reductionism. At very least, his formulation — and later Watkins's — left many commentators confused about how one could affirm the former without steven lukes individualism to the latter Udehn Hegel and Karl Marx.

Yet as time wore on, and the dangers of creeping totalitarianism in Western societies became increasingly remote, the fear steven lukes individualism collectivism that underlay the debates over methodological individualism became increasingly attenuated. The reason for this can be summed up in two words and an article: Social scientists had always been aware that individuals in groups are capable of getting stuck in patterns of collectively self-defeating behavior.

What the story of the prisoner's dilemma — and more steven lukes individualism, the accompanying game matrix — provided was a simple yet powerful model that could be used to represent the structure of all these interactions see R.

This in turn gave renewed impetus to methodological individualism, because it steven lukes individualism theorists to diagnose with unparalleled precision the errors that social theorists could be and often were led into if they ignored the action-theoretic level of analysis.

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Olson's major contribution was to have driven home the point that the existence of such a common interest just as often generates a free-rider incentive. Individuals would benefit from acting to promote that interest, steven lukes individualism they would benefit even more by sitting back while the other members of the group acted to promote it.

As a result, no one may act to promote it.

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