Three Issues in Social Ontology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


Social ontology gives an account of what there is in the social world, judged from the viewpoint of presumptively autonomous human beings. Three issues are salient. The individualism issue is whether social laws impose a limit on individual autonomy from above; the atomism issue is whether social interactions serve from below as part of the infrastructure of intentional autonomy; and the singularism issue whether groups can rival individuals, achieving intentional autonomy as corporate agents. The paper argues that individual autonomy is not under challenge from social laws, that the achievement of intentional autonomy does indeed presuppose interaction with others, and that groups of individuals can incorporate as autonomous agents. In other words, it defends individualism but argues against atomism and singularism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSynthese Library
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameSynthese Library
ISSN (Print)0166-6991
ISSN (Electronic)2542-8292

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • History
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Logic


  • Atomism
  • Explanation
  • Individualism
  • Normative
  • Ontology
  • Singularism


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