Philosophy of the Social Sciences 51 (1):24-39 (2021)

Richard Lauer
St. Lawrence University
This article addresses Simon Lohse’s and Daniel Little’s responses to my article “Is Social Ontology Prior to Social Scientific Methodology?.” In that article, I present a pragmatic and deflationary view of the priority of social ontology to social science methodology where social ontology is valued for its ability to promote empirical success and not because it yields knowledge of what furnishes the social world. First, in response to Lohse, I argue that my view is compatible with a role for ontological theorizing in the social sciences. However, the view that results instrumentalizes social ontology. Second, in my response to Little, I argue that the same considerations I made in my article apply to naturalistic attempts to motivate a non-deflationary view, repeating some of the central issues of that article.
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DOI 10.1177/0048393120916146
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