The Poverty of Ontological Reasoning

Abstract
This article argues against ontology as an intelligible project for social theory. Ontological questions have proliferated in social thought in the past decades mainly as a way of recasting traditional sociological questions about individuals/society and structure/agency. Far from being an advance in our understanding, however, this form of reasoning has frequently brought confusion. This is demonstrated with detailed reference to a contribution from an ongoing debate, centred on the issue whether social structures are causally efficacious. I argue that the ontological project is mainly fuelled by a misconception of language and that, once this picture is exposed as incoherent, ontology loses its intelligibility
Keywords Critical Realism  social structures  Rom Harré  Wittgenstein  sense  Ontology
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-5914.2012.00486.x
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Sense and Sensibilia.J. L. Austin - 1962 - Oxford University Press.

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Pragmatism, Ontology, and Philosophy of the Social Sciences in Practice.Simon Lohse - 2017 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 47 (1):3-27.

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