Men and History

  • David Papineau


In Chapters 1 and 2 I argued that social facts did not involve any level of reality other than that comprised by aggregates of individuals and their characteristics. This amounted to a defence of an ‘individualist’ position against the Durkheimian’ view. But I took pains there to point out that I was concerned purely with the ‘what’ and not with the ‘why’ of social facts. That is, I was asking only what social facts are, not how they should be explained.


Social Development Suicide Rate Social Mobility Social Phenomenon Prior Condition 
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  1. 1.
    W. G. Runciman, Social Science and Political Theory (Cambridge University Press, 1963 ), pp. 127–32.Google Scholar
  2. M. Lessnoff, The Structure of Social Science (Allen and Unwin, 1974), pp. 97–9.Google Scholar
  3. 10.
    Cf. I. Berlin, ‘Historical Inevitability’, in his Four Essays on Liberty (Oxford University Press, 1969); see also the articles by Watkins referred to in note 6 above.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David Papineau 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Papineau
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of History and Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of CambridgeUK

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