Social Inconsistency

Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Abstract

Though the social world is real and objective, the way that social facts arise out of other facts is in an important way shaped by human thought, talk and behaviour. Building on recent work in social ontology, I describe a mechanism whereby this distinctive malleability of social facts, combined with the possibility of basic human error, makes it possible for a consistent physical reality to ground an inconsistent social reality. I explore various ways of resisting the prima facie case for social inconsistency. I conclude, however, that the prima facie case survives scrutiny, and draw out some of the ramifications.

Author's Profile

Thomas Brouwer
University of Leeds

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