Journal of Social Ontology 2 (1):17–32 (2016)

The purpose of this article is to bridge the gap between critical theory as understood in the Frankfurt school tradition on the one hand, and social ontology understood as a reflection on the ontological presuppositions of social sciences and social theories on the other. What is at stake is the type of social ontology that critical theory needs if it wants to tackle its main social ontological issue: that of social transformation. This paper’s claim is that what is required is neither a substantial social ontology, nor a relational social ontology, but a processual one. The first part of this article elaborates the distinction between substantial, relational and processual social ontologies. The second part analyzes the various ways in which this distinction can be used in social ontological discussions. Finally, the third part focuses on the various possible social ontological approaches to the issue of social transformation.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,657
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Four Conceptions of Social Pathology.Arvi Särkelä & Arto Laitinen - 2019 - European Journal of Social Theory 22 (1):80-102.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Poverty of Ontological Reasoning.Leonidas Tsilipakos - 2012 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 42 (2):201-219.
A New Societist Social Ontology.Theodore R. Schatzki - 2003 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 33 (2):174-202.
A Framework for Social Ontology.Brian Epstein - 2016 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 46 (2):147-167.
How Not to Structure a Social Theory: A Reply to a Critical Response.Anthony King - 2006 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36 (4):464-479.
Theoretical Procedures and Elder-Vass’s Critical Realist Ontology.Leonidas Tsilipakos - 2014 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 44 (6):0048393112461055.
Rules, Social Ontology and Collective Identity.Nuno Martins - 2009 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 39 (3):323-344.
Signs, Social Ontology, and Critical Realism.Tobin Nellhaus - 1998 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 28 (1):1–24.


Added to PP index

Total views
27 ( #411,487 of 2,462,339 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,321 of 2,462,339 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes