A model-based approach to social ontology

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


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.

Download options


    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,855

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

6 (#1,142,265)

6 months
3 (#197,582)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Matti Sarkia
University of Helsinki

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Social Ontology and Model-Building: A Response to Epstein.Nadia Ruiz - 2021 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 51 (2):176-192.
Précis of The Ant Trap.Epstein Brian - 2016 - Journal of Social Ontology 2 (1):125-134.
Dewey’s Social Ontology: A Pragmatist Alternative to Searle’s Approach to Social Reality.Italo Testa - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 25 (1):40-62.
Agent-Based Modeling and the Fallacies of Individualism.Brian Epstein - 2011 - In Paul Humphreys & Cyrille Imbert (eds.), Models, Simulations, and Representations. Routledge. pp. 115444.
A Normative Multiagent Approach To Requirements Engineering.Serena Villata - 2010 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 18 (1):245-274.
The Authority of Life: The Critical Task of Dewey's Social Ontology.Italo Testa - 2017 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 31 (2):231-244.
Motivating a Pragmatic Approach to Naturalized Social Ontology.Richard Lauer - forthcoming - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-17.
Social Ontology De-Dramatized.Daniel Little - 2020 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 51 (1):13-23.
The Social Ontology of Democracy.Roberto Frega - 2018 - Journal of Social Ontology 4 (2):157-185.
Just What is Social Ontology?Baker Lynne Rudder - 2019 - Journal of Social Ontology 5 (1):1-12.
Social Ontology and the Crisis in the Foundation of Values.Carol C. Gould - 1983 - der 16. Weltkongress Für Philosophie 2:578-584.