Modal Constructions in Sociological Arguments

44 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2009

See all articles by Laszlo Polos

Laszlo Polos

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Michael Hannan

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Greta Hsu

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management

Date Written: January 22, 2009

Abstract

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.

Keywords: methodology

Suggested Citation

Polos, Laszlo and Hannan, Michael and Hsu, Greta, Modal Constructions in Sociological Arguments (January 22, 2009). Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1331665 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1331665

Laszlo Polos (Contact Author)

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Michael Hannan

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States
650-723-1511 (Phone)
650-725-7692 (Fax)

Greta Hsu

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

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