David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Petrov V. (ed.), Ontological Landscapes: Recent Thought on Conceptual Interfaces between Science and Philosophy. Ontos (2011)
The present essay advances a theory of social reality which concurs with the formal ontology developed in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. Furthermore, we identify this formal ontology as reistic but in a rather wide sense: in the sense that social objects are primary whereas social relations are super-structured over them. This thesis has been developed in opposition to John Searle’s claim, made in his book Construction of Social Reality (1995), that the building blocks of social reality are institutions. We do not claim that this is the only valid theory of social reality. We simply hope that it has considerable ex-planatory power so that it can be used as a theory alternative to those already existing or to any new theory of society. The paper has two parts. Part One sets out the theoretical foundations of the approach followed in it, whereas Part Two advances details of its application to sociology and history.
|Keywords||formal ontology, neo-utilitarianism, physicalism, reism, social constructivism, social objects|
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