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Ontology and the study of social reality: emergence, organisation, community, power, social relations, corporations, artefacts and money

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  • Tony Lawson

Abstract

The conception of social reality I have previously defended (and here extend), positing features such as social relations, positions and powers, is thoroughly naturalistic and even consistent with modern interpretations of quantum field theory. It also serves to ground a social science that can be scientific in the sense of natural science. This is the thesis defended here. Central to the argument is an emphasis on a 'strong' form of emergence and the category of 'organisation-in-process'. To bring out various salient features of the position defended, I take the opportunity to compare aspects of it with relevant components of the contribution of John Searle, whose ontological conception appears at once to be both very similar yet also very different. Copyright The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

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  • Tony Lawson, 2012. "Ontology and the study of social reality: emergence, organisation, community, power, social relations, corporations, artefacts and money," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(2), pages 345-385.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:36:y:2012:i:2:p:345-385
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cje/ber050
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    Cited by:

    1. Virgile Chassagnon, 2014. "Toward a Social Ontology of the Firm: Reconstitution, Organizing Entity, Institution, Social Emergence and Power," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 124(2), pages 197-208, October.
    2. Teodoro Dario Togati, 2012. "How to Explain the Persistence of the Great Recession? A Balanced Stability Approach," Working papers 014, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
    3. repec:oup:cambje:v:41:y:2017:i:5:p:1265-1277. is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Diogo Lourenço & Mário Graça Moura, 2016. "The Economic Problem of a Community: ontological reflections inspired by the Socialist Calculation Debate," FEP Working Papers 572, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    5. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2015. "Towards a Developmental Turn in Evolutionary Economic Geography?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(5), pages 712-732, May.
    6. Paul Lewis & Richard E. Wagner, 2017. "New Austrian macro theory: A call for inquiry," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 1-18, March.
    7. Donald Gillies, 2012. "Economics and Research Assessment Systems," Economic Thought, World Economics Association, vol. 1(1), pages 1-2, July.
    8. Tony Lawson, 2014. "Modelación matemática e ideología en la economía académica," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 16(30), pages 25-51, January-J.
    9. Paul Jackson & Jochen Runde & Philip Dobson & Nancy Richter, 2016. "Identifying mechanisms influencing the emergence and success of innovation within national economies: a realist approach," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 49(3), pages 233-256, September.
    10. Feduzi, Alberto & Runde, Jochen, 2014. "Uncovering unknown unknowns: Towards a Baconian approach to management decision-making," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 124(2), pages 268-283.
    11. Tony Lawson, 2015. "Comparing Conceptions of Social Ontology: Emergent Social Entities and/or Institutional Facts?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1514, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

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