An Historical-Environmental Sociology for Limited Beings: Re-Engineering Postpositivism to Embrace the Power and Limits of Environmental Science

Jordan Fox, SUNY at Buffalo
Patrick Greiner, Vanderbilt University, USA

How can the contemporary historical sociologist use the environmental sciences to help answer historical sociological questions while also reasonably and usefully incorporating the socio-historical embeddedness of these sciences? In order to explore this question, we lean on postpositivist social theory and recent naturalist conversations in the philosophy of science to present an "integrative pluralism" approach that focuses on bringing complexity, contingency, and deep uncertainty to the forefront of analysis. Our goal is to be able to embrace the immense utility of the environmental sciences for historical sociology while also developing the sensitivity to incorporate the limits inherent in various socio-historical conditions of scientific production.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 88. Environment, Society and Social Theory: Critical Conversations in Historical Sociology