In the next Perspectives on Science seminar, María Jiménez-Buedo (UNED) will give a talk titled “Explanation and generality in Analytical Sociology: what is a catalogue of mechanisms?” (Joint work with Saúl Pérez-González (University of Valencia))

The seminar takes place in person at Metsätalo and online via Zoom from 14:15 to 15:45 on Monday the 12th of February 2024. To join the seminar, please contact for the location or Zoom invitation.

Perspectives on Science is a research seminar which brings together experts from the philosophy of science and several fields of science studies. It is organized by TINT – Centre for Philosophy of Social Science at the University of Helsinki. More information about the seminar can be found on the TINT web page


One of the defining features of current analytical sociology is its emphasis on the centrality of mechanisms in social science. It is considered that the explanation of social phenomena is mainly achieved through the identification and description of underlying social mechanisms. These mechanisms often aggregate individual actions to form macro-phenomena. Following this idea, the founders of analytical sociology envisioned the future of the discipline as one in which there would be a variety of mechanism schemes that would collectively constitute a catalogue of explanations available for social phenomena. This work addresses the idea of a catalogue of mechanisms and examines the promises, but also the difficulties, that the idea entails. It evaluates to what extent the catalogue currently plays the role envisioned by early analytical sociologists.

Author bios:

María Jiménez-Buedo is a lecturer at the Department of Logic, History and Philosophy of Science, UNED. She works in the philosophy of the social sciences, with an emphasis on methodological issues. Her recent work focuses on experimental methods in the social sciences and their evidential uses  policy formulation.

Saúl Pérez-González is assistant professor at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Valencia. Previously, he held a post-doctoral position at the Center for Logic, Language, and Cognition (LLC) of the University of Turin. His main areas of interest are philosophy of science, philosophy of the social sciences, and philosophy of the biomedical sciences.

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