B. Epstein’s Social Ontology

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The article realizes the analysis of B. Epstein’s social ontology. Social ontology is teaching on basic principles of constructing of social reality, founded on interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary strategies of investigations of the social world. There are five leading programs in contemporary social ontology: “CIIF-program” of J. Searle, “Cambridge program” of T. Lawson, “Tufts program” of B. Epstein, “critical realism” and “the other institutionalism”. “Tufts program” is one from them. Social ontology tries to make progress on clarifying all of these in the context of specific topics: group intentions, laws, corporations, property, institutions, social groups. To begin an inquiry in social ontology, we need to choose which entities to work out the ontology of, that is, where to focus our attention in analyzing the social world. B. Epstein supposes his own model of re-conceptualization of framework of social ontology: two concepts play here a leading role, - “grounding” and “anchoring”. “Anchoring” and grounding”: these are two fundamental aspects to the building of the social world. Correspondingly, social ontology consists of two distinct projects. The grounding project is the inquiry into the conditions for the social facts to obtain. There are facts in the world are metaphysically sufficient reasons, - that is, grounds, - but it is more exact social facts of some kind. The anchoring project is the inquiry into what puts those conditions in place. Also it should be realized research concerning the grounding conditions for social facts. The last work of B. Epstein “The Ant Trap: Rebuilding the Foundations of Social Sciences” is devoted to criticism of ontological individualism in philosophical analysis of social knowledge.

About the authors

Andrey M. Orekhov

Рeoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Author for correspondence.
Email: orekhovandrey@yandex.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7025-3244

Doctor of Sciences in Philosophy, Associate Professor, Department of Social Philosophy

6, Miklukho-Maklaya str., Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation


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