A model-based approach to social ontology

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 52 (3):175-203 (2021)

Abstract

This paper argues for theoretical modeling and model-construction as central types of activities that philosophers of social ontology engage in. This claim is defended through a detailed case study and revisionary interpretation of Raimo Tuomela’s account of the we-perspective. My interpretation is grounded in Ronald Giere’s account of scientific models, and argued to be compatible with, but less demanding than Tuomela’s own description of his account as a philosophical theory of the social world. My approach is also suggested to be applicable to many other methodologically naturalist accounts of collective intentionality and social ontology.

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Matti Sarkia
University of Helsinki

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