Organisation, Emergence and Cambridge Social Ontology

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Abstract

John Searle has mistakenly claimed that emergence is the central concept in the account of social ontology defended by Tony Lawson, the central figure in the project now regularly referred to as Cambridge Social Ontology. This is not the case. Rather, if any concept can be considered central for Lawson, it is organisation. In this paper, I explain how Searle could misunderstand Lawson and, in doing so, I bring out the importance of organisation for understanding how phenomena, both social and non‐social, are constituted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-408
JournalJOURNAL FOR THE THEORY OF SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
Volume50
Issue number3
Early online date29 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020

Keywords

  • causal reduction
  • downward causation
  • emergence
  • ontology
  • organisation

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