Modal Constructions in Sociological Arguments
44 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2009
Date Written: January 22, 2009
This paper introduces modal logics to a sociological audience. We first provide an overview of the formal properties of this family of models and outline key differences with classical first-order logic. We then build a model to represent processes of perception and belief core to social theories. To do this, we define our multi-modal language and then add substantive constraints that specify the inferential behavior of modalities for perception, default, and belief. We illustrate the deployment of this language to the theory of legitimation proposed by Hannan, Polos, and Carroll (2007). This paper aims to call attention to the potential benefits of modal logics for theory building in sociology.
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