Limits to Levels in the Methodological Individualism-Holism Debate
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
- Department of Philosophy 
Original versionSynthese. 2021, 198, 6435–6454. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-019-02469-2
It is currently common to conceive of the classic methodological individualism–holism debate in level terms. Accordingly, the dispute is taken to concern the proper level of explanations in the social sciences. In this paper, I argue that the debate is not apt to be characterized in level terms. The reason is that widely adopted notions of individualist explanations do not qualify as individual-level explanations because they span multiple levels. I defend this claim relative to supervenience, emergence, and other accounts of the social world as levelled. Moreover, I discuss the consequences of this finding for the ongoing methodological individualism–holism debate.