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Initial Conditions as Exogenous Factors in Spatial Explanation

This dissertation shows how initial conditions play a special role in the explanation of contingent and irregular outcomes, including, in the form of geographic context, the special case of uneven development in the social sciences. The dissertation develops a general theory of this role, recognizes its empirical limitations in the social sciences, and considers how it might be applied to the question of uneven development. The primary purpose of the dissertation is to identify and correct theoretical problems in the study of uneven development; it is not intended to be an empirical study.
Chapter 1 introduces the basic problem, and discusses why it has become especially salient in debates concerning uneven development.
Chapter 2 develops an argument for the importance of initial conditions in the philosophy of science, developed specifically in the context of the Bhaskar/Cartwright ‘open systems’ (and by extension, ‘exogenous factor’) emphasis on the ubiquity of contingency in the universe and rejection of explanation based on laws of nature (regularity accounts) of causation.
Chapter 3 makes three claims concerning the concept of contingency, especially as related to the study of society: 1) that there are eight distinct uses of the word contingency, and its many meanings are detrimental to clarity of discussion and thought in history and the social sciences; 2) that it is possible to impose some order on these different uses through developing a classification of contingency into three types based on assumptions concerning possible worlds and determinism; 3) that one of the classes is a special use of the word without relevance to the social sciences, while the two remaining classes are nothing more than a variety of the ‘no hidden factors’ argument in the debate on indeterminism and determinism (and thus related to the concept of spacetime trajectories caused by initial conditions and the interference of these in the form of ‘exogenous factors’ with ‘open systems’).
Chapter 4 The concept of explanation based on initial conditions together with laws of nature is widely associated with determinism. In the social sciences determinism has frequently been rejected due to the moral dilemmas it is perceived as presenting. Chapter 4 considers problems with this view.
Chapter 5 considers attitudes among geographers, economists, and historians towards using geographic factors as initial conditions in explanation and how they might acceptably be used, in particular their role in ‘anchoring’ aspatial theories of social processes to real-world distributions.
Chapter 6 considers the relationship of the statistical methods common in development studies with the trend towards integrating geographical factors into econometric development studies. It introduces the statistical argument on ‘apparent populations’ that arrives at conclusions concerning determinism consistent with Chapters 2 and 3 of the dissertation. The need for the visual interpretation of data with descriptive statistics and maps and their utility in the study of uneven development is discussed with a number of examples.
Chapter 7 applies these concepts to the ‘institutions versus geography’ debate in development studies, using Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson’s 2002 ‘reversal of fortune’ argument as a primary example.
Chapter 8 considers possible directions for future work, both theoretical and empirical.
Chapter 9 concludes with a discussion of additional possible objections to the use of initial conditions as exogenous factors in explanation.

Mostra/Nascondi contenuto.
Summary of the Dissertation Thisnull dissertationnull showsnull hownull initialnull conditionsnull playnull anull specialnull rolenull innull thenull explanationnull ofnull contingentnull andnull irregularnull outcomes,null including,null innull thenull formnull ofnull geographicnull context,null thenull specialnull casenull ofnull unevennull developmentnull innull thenull socialnull sciences.null Thenull dissertationnull developsnull anull generalnull theorynull ofnull thisnull role,null recognizesnull itsnull empiricalnull limitationsnull innull thenull socialnull sciences,null andnull considersnull hownull itnull mightnull benull appliednull tonull thenull questionnull ofnull unevennull development.null Thenull primarynull purposenull ofnull thenull dissertationnull isnull tonull identifynullandnullcorrectnulltheoreticalnullproblemsnullinnullthenullstudynullofnullunevennulldevelopment;nullitnullisnullnotnull intendednullonullenullnnullmpiricalnulltudy.null Chapternull 1null introducesnull thenull basicnull problem,null andnull discussesnull whynull itnull hasnull becomenull especiallynullalientnullnnullebatesnulloncerningnullnevennullevelopment.null Chapternull 2null developsnull annull argumentnull fornull thenull importancenull ofnull initialnull conditionsnull innull thenull philosophynullfnullcience,nullevelopednullpecificallynullnnullhenullontextnullfnullhenullBhaskar/Cartwrightnull ‘opennull systems’null (andnull bynull extension,null ‘exogenousnull factor’)null emphasisnull onnull thenull ubiquitynull ofnull contingencynull innull thenull universenull andnull rejectionnull ofnull explanationnull basednull onnull lawsnull ofnull naturenull (regularitynullccounts)nullfnullausation.null Chapternull3nullmakesnullthreenullclaimsnullconcerningnullthenullconceptnullofnullcontingency,nullespeciallynull asnull relatednull tonull thenull studynull ofnull society:null 1)null thatnull therenull arenull eightnull distinctnull usesnull ofnull thenull wordnull contingency,null andnull itsnull manynull meaningsnull arenull detrimentalnull tonull claritynull ofnull discussionnull andnull thoughtnullinnullhistorynullandnullthenullsocialnullsciences;null2)nullthatnullitnullisnullpossiblenulltonullimposenullsomenullordernull onnullthesenulldifferentnullusesnullthroughnulldevelopingnullanullclassificationnullofnullcontingencynullintonullthreenull typesnullbasednullonnullassumptionsnullconcerningnullpossiblenullworldsnullandnulldeterminism;null3)nullthatnullonenull ofnull thenull classesnull isnull anull specialnull usenull ofnull thenull wordnull withoutnull relevancenull tonull thenull socialnull sciences,null whilenull thenull twonull remainingnull classesnull arenull nothingnull morenull thannull anull varietynull ofnull thenull ‘nonull hiddennull factors’nullrgumentnullnnullhenulldebatenullnnullndeterminismnullndnulleterminismnullandnullhusnullelatednullonull thenullconceptnullofnullspacetimenulltrajectoriesnullcausednullbynullinitialnullconditionsnullandnullthenullinterferencenull ofnullhesenullnnullhenullormnullfnull‘exogenousnullactors’nullithnullopennullystems’).null Chapternull 4.null Thenull conceptnull ofnull explanationnull basednull onnull initialnull conditionsnull togethernull withnull lawsnull ofnull naturenull isnull widelynull associatednull withnull determinism.null Innull thenull socialnull sciencesnull determinismnullhasnullfrequentlynullbeennullrejectednullduenulltonullthenullmoralnulldilemmasnullitnullisnullperceivednullasnull presenting.nullhapternullnullconsidersnullroblemsnullithnullhisnullview.null Chapternull 5null considersnull attitudesnull amongnull geographers,null economists,null andnull historiansnull towardsnull usingnull geographicnull factorsnull asnull initialnull conditionsnull innull explanationnull andnull hownull theynull mightnullacceptablynull benullused,nullinnullparticularnulltheirnullrolenullinnull‘anchoring’nullaspatialnulltheoriesnullofnull socialnullrocessesnullonullealnullworldnullistributions.null Chapternull 6null considersnull thenull relationshipnull ofnull thenull statisticalnull methodsnull commonnull innull developmentnull studiesnull withnull thenull trendnull towardsnull integratingnull geographicalnull factorsnull intonull econometricnulldevelopmentnullstudies.nullItnullintroducesnullthenullstatisticalnullargumentnullonnull‘apparentnull populations’null thatnull arrivesnull atnull conclusionsnull concerningnull determinismnull consistentnull withnull Chaptersnull2nullandnull3nullofnullthenulldissertation.nullThenullneednullfornullthenullvisualnullinterpretationnullfnulldatanullwithnull descriptivenullstatisticsnullandnullmapsnullandnulltheirnullutilitynullinnullthenullstudynullofnullunevennulldevelopmentnullisnull discussednullithnullnullumbernullofnullxamples.null Chapternull7nullappliesnullthesenullconceptsnulltonullthenull‘institutionsnullversusnullgeography’nulldebatenullinnull developmentnull studies,null usingnull Acemoglu,null Johnsonnull andnull Robinson’snull 2002null ‘reversalnull ofnull fortune’nullrgumentnullsnullnullrimarynullexample.null Chapternull 8null considersnull possiblenull directionsnull fornull futurenull work,null bothnull theoreticalnull andnull empirical.null Chapternull9nullconcludesnullwithnullanulldiscussionnullofnulladditionalnullpossiblenullobjectionsnulltonullthenullusenull ofnullnitialnullonditionsnullsnullxogenousnullfactorsnullnnullxplanation.null null null null null

International thesis/dissertation

Autore: Clint Ballinger Contatta »

Composta da 310 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 34 click dal 25/01/2011.


Consultata integralmente una volta.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.