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  1. Ontological Anti-Foundationalism in Sociology.Yannis Trophardy - 2024 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 54 (2):151-167.
    Social ontology studies the nature and properties of social reality while social metaontology examines the relationship between ontology and the social sciences, which is often treated as a normative question. However, social sciences themselves contain ontological theses, raising the descriptive question of how these internal ontologies relate to the rest of the social sciences. This paper argues that important parts of sociology have an anti-foundationalist metaontology. This descriptive claim is used to build a normative argument against foundationalism and is supported (...)
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  • Optimism for Naturalized Social Metaphysics: A Reply to Hawley.Daniel Saunders - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (2):138-160.
    Metaphysics has undergone two major innovations in recent decades. First, naturalistic metaphysicians have argued that our best science provides an important source of evidence for metaphysical theories. Second, social metaphysicians have begun to explore the nature of social entities such as groups, institutions, and social categories. Surprisingly, these projects have largely kept their distance from one another. Katherine Hawley has recently argued that, unlike the natural sciences, the social sciences are not sufficiently successful to provide evidence about the metaphysical nature (...)
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  • Social Ontology and Model-Building: A Response to Epstein.Nadia Ruiz - 2021 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 51 (2):176-192.
    Brian Epstein has recently argued that a thoroughly microfoundationalist approach towards economics is unconvincing for metaphysical reasons. Generally, Epstein argues that for an improvement in the methodology of social science we must adopt social ontology as the foundation of social sciences; that is, the standing microfoundationalist debate could be solved by fixing economics’ ontology. However, as I show in this paper, fixing the social ontology prior to the process of model construction is optional instead of necessary and that metaphysical-ontological commitments (...)
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  • Ontological Investigations of a Pragmatic Kind? A Reply to Lauer.Simon Lohse - 2020 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 51 (1):3-12.
    This paper is a reply to Richard Lauer’s “Is Social Ontology Prior to Social Scientific Methodology?” (2019) and an attempt to contribute to the meta-social ontological discourse more broadly. In the first part, I will give a rough sketch of Lauer’s general project and confront his pragmatist approach with a fundamental problem. The second part of my reply will provide a solution for this problem rooted in a philosophy of the social sciences in practice.
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  • Follow *the* science? On the marginal role of the social sciences in the COVID-19 pandemic.Simon Lohse & Stefano Canali - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (4):1-28.
    In this paper, we use the case of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe to address the question of what kind of knowledge we should incorporate into public health policy. We show that policy-making during the COVID-19 pandemic has been biomedicine-centric in that its evidential basis marginalised input from non-biomedical disciplines. We then argue that in particular the social sciences could contribute essential expertise and evidence to public health policy in times of biomedical emergencies and that we should thus strive for (...)
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  • Is Social Ontology Prior to Social Scientific Methodology?Richard Lauer - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 49 (3):171-189.
    In this article I examine “Ontology Matters!” (OM!) arguments. OM! arguments conclude that ontology can contribute to empirical success in social science. First, I capture the common form between different OM! arguments. Second, I describe quantifier variance as discussed in metaontology. Third, I apply quantifier variance to the common form of OM! arguments. I then present two ways in which ontology is prior to social science methodology, one realist and one pragmatic. I argue that a pragmatic interpretation of ontology’s priority (...)
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  • Instrumentalizing and Naturalizing Social Ontology: Replies to Lohse and Little.Richard Lauer - 2021 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 51 (1):24-39.
    This article addresses Simon Lohse’s and Daniel Little’s responses to my article “Is Social Ontology Prior to Social Scientific Methodology?.” In that article, I present a pragmatic and deflationary view of the priority of social ontology to social science methodology where social ontology is valued for its ability to promote empirical success and not because it yields knowledge of what furnishes the social world. First, in response to Lohse, I argue that my view is compatible with a role for ontological (...)
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  • Do you believe in Deep Down? On two conceptions of valuing.Marcel Jahn & Lukas Beck - 2023 - Synthese 202 (1):1-27.
    In this paper, we explicate an underappreciated distinction between two conceptions of valuing. According to the first conception, which we call the surface-account, valuing something is exclusively a matter of having certain behavioral, cognitive, and emotional dispositions. In contrast, the second conception, which we call the layer-account, posits that valuing is constituted by the presence of certain representational mental states underlying those dispositions. In the first part of the paper, we introduce the distinction in proper detail and show that the (...)
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  • The Econ within or the Econ above? On the plausibility of preference purification.Lukas Beck - 2023 - Economics and Philosophy 39 (3):423-445.
    Scholars disagree about the plausibility of preference purification. Some see it as a familiar phenomenon. Others denounce it as conceptually incoherent, postulating that it relies on the psychologically implausible assumption of an inner rational agent. I argue that different notions of rationality can be leveraged to advance the debate: procedural rationality and structural rationality. I explicate how structural rationality, in contrast to procedural rationality, allows us to offer an account of the guiding idea behind preference purification that avoids inner rational (...)
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