Understanding Society: Guest post by Nicholas Preuth – Distinguishing Meta-Social Ontology from Social Ontology


Understanding Society: Guest post by Nicholas Preuth

Understanding Society

Innovative thinking about a global world

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Guest post by Nicholas Preuth

Nicholas Preuth is a philosophy student at the University of Michigan. His primary interests fall in the philosophy of law and the philosophy of social science. Thanks, Nick, for contributing this post!
Distinguishing Meta-Social Ontology from Social Ontology

Social ontology is the study of the properties of the social world. Conventional claims about social ontology proceed by asking and answering questions such as, “what is the existential status of social entities (e.g. institutions, governments, etc.)?”, “can institutions exert causal influence?”, “what is the causal relationship between micro, meso, and macro-level social entities?”, etc. Daniel Little is one of the many philosophers and sociologists who has written extensively on the topic of social ontology (see discussions herehere, and here). The types of arguments and discussions found in those blog posts represent conventional social ontology discussions—conventional in the sense that the content of the posts constitute the sort of commonly agreed-upon purview of social ontology discussions.

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Understanding Society: Guest post by Nicholas Preuth