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Modal constructions in sociological arguments

Hannan, Michael; Polos, Laszlo; Hsu, Greta

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Michael Hannan

Greta Hsu


This paper introduces modal logics to a sociological audience. We firstprovide an overview of the formal properties of this family of models andoutline key differences with classical first-order logic. We then build amodel to represent processes of perception and belief core to social theories. To do this, we define our multi-modal language and then addsubstantive constraints that specify the inferential behavior of modalities forperception, default, and belief. We illustrate the deployment of this language to the theory of legitimation proposed by Hannan, Polos, andCarroll (2007). This paper aims to call attention to the potential benefits ofmodal logics for theory building in sociology.


Hannan, M., Polos, L., & Hsu, G. (2009). Modal constructions in sociological arguments

Publication Date Jan 12, 2009
Deposit Date Dec 7, 2012
Publicly Available Date Dec 7, 2012
Series Title Durham University Business School Management and Marketing Working Papers
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