Kaidesoja’s naturalistic social ontology

Tuukka Kaidesoja provides an important analysis and critique of Roy Bhaskar's philosophical method in his theory of critical realism in Naturalizing Critical Realist Social Ontology. This work provides a careful and detailed account of the content of Bhaskar's central ideas, as well as the relation those ideas have to other positions within and adjacent to critical …

A better social ontology

I believe that the social sciences need to be framed out of consideration of a better understanding of the nature of the social—a better social ontology. The social world is not a system of law-governed processes; it is instead a mix of different sorts of institutions, forms of human behavior, natural and environmental constraints, and …

Social "laws" and causal mechanisms

Are there social regularities? Is there anything like a "law of nature" that governs or describes social phenomena?My view is that this is a question that needs to be approached very carefully. As a bottom line, I take the view that there are no "social laws" analogous to "laws of nature", even though there are …

A non-naturalistic approach to social science

The most basic error that is conveyed by the naturalist framework into the premises of sociology—the folk epistemology—that was shared by Durkheim, Mill, and Comte, is the assumption that all phenomena are subject to laws; that the relevant laws are abstract and obscure; and that there is an orderly relationship between gross phenomena and a …

How does philosophy help guide the sciences?

Philosophy observes the sciences. But it has also played a role in the formation of the sciences. And this is especially true in the case of the social sciences.The idea here is an elusive one. It is that the founders of the social sciences – perhaps similar to all intellectual or creative founders – possessed …

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