Three Conceptions of a Theory of Institutions

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (6):550-568 (2018)
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We compare Guala’s unified theory of institutions with that of Searle and Greif. We show that unification can be many things and it may be associated with diverse explanatory goals. We also highlight some of the important shortcomings of Guala’s account: it does not capture all social institutions, its ability to bridge social ontology and game theory is based on a problematic interpretation of the type-token distinction, and its ability to make social ontology useful for social sciences is hindered by Guala’s interpretation of social institution types as social kinds akin to natural kinds.



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Author Profiles

N. Emrah Aydinonat
University of Helsinki
Petri Ylikoski
University of Helsinki