Title

Robert Merton and Dorothy Emmet: Deflated Functionalism and Structuralism

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2014

Keywords

Dorothy Emmet, Robert Merton, functionalism, structuralism, functional explanation

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1177/0048393114522516

Abstract

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?

Yes

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Philosophy of the Social Sciences, v. 44, issue 6, p. 817-836

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