International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd Edition James D. Wright ed. Elsevier (Forthcoming).
7 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2013
Date Written: September 26, 2013
Social ontology is the study of the nature of social being; those characteristics of reality that are necessarily dependent on human social interaction. There are two general approaches to social ontology in the literature. The first focuses on the ontological elaboration of theoretical concepts or assumptions of a particular author, theory or approach. The second articulates a general conception of social ontology in which to anchor current or future theoretical and empirical research programs. This chapter introduces some major contributions to both approaches and discusses differences between them.
Keywords: philosophy of social science, social ontology, scientific ontology, philosophical ontology, social theory, critical realism, collective intentionality, emergence, naturalism, transformational model of social activity, realism
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