Robert Merton and Dorothy Emmet: Deflated Functionalism and Structuralism
Dorothy Emmet, Robert Merton, functionalism, structuralism, functional explanation
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Dorothy Emmet, in two books, one of which was based on extensive personal contact with Robert Merton and Columbia sociology, provides the closest thing we have to an authorized philosophical defense of Merton. It features a deflationary account of functionalism which dispenses with the idea of general teleological ends. What it replaces it with is an account of “structures” that have various consequences and that are maintained because, on Emmet’s account, of the mutual reinforcement of motives produced by the structure.
Was this content written or created while at USF?
Citation / Publisher Attribution
Philosophy of the Social Sciences, v. 44, issue 6, p. 817-836
Scholar Commons Citation
Turner, Stephen P., "Robert Merton and Dorothy Emmet: Deflated Functionalism and Structuralism" (2014). Philosophy Faculty Publications. 301.