Ernest Nagel

Ernest NagelIn science, Ernest Nagel (1901-1985) (CR:6), not to be confused with American atheist anti-reductionist philosopher Thomas Nagel (1937-), was an American positivist philosopher noted for his 1961 pro-reductionism descriptions and discussions, for his social teleology theories, and for his mentoring of James Coleman.

Social teleology
Nagel, according to Stephen Turner (2008), is said to have promoted some type of “social teleology” argument, similar to that of Max Weber and Pierre Bourdieu, among others. (Ѻ)

Reductionism
In 1961, Nagel, in his The Structure of Science, according to Steven Weinberg (1961), also cited by Michael Simon (1971), gives the “paradigmatic example of the reduction of one theory to another”. [1]

Influences
American chemical engineer turned sociologist James Coleman, after completing his BS in chemical engineering in 1949, entered sociology following a job as a chemist at Eastman Kodak, with a self-described ‘positivist orientation … carried over from the physical sciences’, an orientation he was able to polish in courses on the philosophy of science taken under Nagel. [2]

References
1. (a) Nagel, Ernest. (1961). The Structure of Science: Problems in the Logic of Scientific Explanation. (§:The Reduction of Theories, pgs. 338-45). Harcourt, Brace & World.
(b) Weinberg, Steven. (1992). Dreams of a Final Theory: the Scientist’s Search for the Ultimate Laws of Nature (pgs. 40, 286) Random House.
(c) Simon, Michael A. (1971). The Matter of Life: Philosophical Problems of Biology (pg. 23). Yale University Press.
2. Steinmetz, George. (2008). “American Sociology Before and After World War II”, in: Sociology in America: A History (editor: Craig Calhoun) (pg. 340). University of Chicago Press.

External links
Ernest Nagel – Wikipedia.


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