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Power and Social Ontology

Burman, Åsa LU (2007)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

I avhandlingen presenteras en teori om social makt, baserad på nya utvecklingar inom fältet social ontologi. Jag argumenterar för att en begreppsanalys av social makt kan berikas genom att dra nytta av resultaten inom social ontologi, men även att detta fält kan berikas, och faktiskt kräver, en analys av maktbegreppet.



Social makt beror på existensen av andra sociala fenomen, såsom institutioner och sociala strukturer för att kunna existera. En precis förståelse av dessa andra sociala fenomen kan följaktligen förbättra förståelsen av social makt och dess olika former. Den föreslagna taxonomin av social makt bygger på denna insikt då de olika typerna av social makt förklaras... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

I avhandlingen presenteras en teori om social makt, baserad på nya utvecklingar inom fältet social ontologi. Jag argumenterar för att en begreppsanalys av social makt kan berikas genom att dra nytta av resultaten inom social ontologi, men även att detta fält kan berikas, och faktiskt kräver, en analys av maktbegreppet.



Social makt beror på existensen av andra sociala fenomen, såsom institutioner och sociala strukturer för att kunna existera. En precis förståelse av dessa andra sociala fenomen kan följaktligen förbättra förståelsen av social makt och dess olika former. Den föreslagna taxonomin av social makt bygger på denna insikt då de olika typerna av social makt förklaras genom de sociala fenomen vilka de beror på för att kunna existera. De olika formerna av social makt delar en egenskap; de är alla beroende av kollektiv intentionalitet för att kunna existera, vilket gör analysen av detta begrepp till en central del av boken.



Följande definition av social makt föreslås: En agent A har social makt om och endast om A har en förmåga, som är existentiellt beroende av kollektiv intentionalitet, för att påverka ett specifikt utfall.



De andra teorierna inom detta fält utgår ifrån en kooperativ och konsensus-inriktad syn på sociala fenomen vilket gör att de föreslår för snäva maktanalysen, om några alls. Den typ av makt som diskuteras är den så kallade deontiska makten vilken nödvändigtvis är genomskinlig eller synlig. Men det finns andra former av makt i den sociala verkligheten, t ex osynlig eller opaka former av makt, och telisk makt, i kontrast till deontisk. För att kunna fånga även dessa andra former av makt utvidgas undersökningen till områden som tidigare negligerats: andra-ordningens sociala fenomen såsom sociala strukturer, opaka typer av sociala fakta, och olika former av normativitet.



En definition av "social struktur" föreslås och de verktyg som utarbetats appliceras på ett nytt område, det meta-etiska, för att argumentera för tesen att moraliska fakta är sociala fakta.



Avhandlingen innehåller även en kritisk diskussion av de centrala teorierna inom fältet, såsom John Searle's ?construction of social reality?, Raimo Tuomela's ?collective acceptance account of sociality? och Margaret Gilbert's ?plural subject theory?. Syftet med den kritiska diskussionen är att öka förståelsen av sociala fenomens natur. (Less)
Abstract
This work presents an account of social power based on recent advances in social ontology. It is argued that a conceptual analysis of social power can be informed by developments in social ontology, but also that this field can be enriched, and in fact requires, an analysis of this central social concept.



Social power is dependent on the existence of various kinds of social phenomena, such as institutions and social structures, in order to exist. Consequently, a precise analysis of these social phenomena improves our understanding of social power, and the different forms it takes. The proposed taxonomy of social power is based on this insight since the various types of social power is explained in terms of the different... (More)
This work presents an account of social power based on recent advances in social ontology. It is argued that a conceptual analysis of social power can be informed by developments in social ontology, but also that this field can be enriched, and in fact requires, an analysis of this central social concept.



Social power is dependent on the existence of various kinds of social phenomena, such as institutions and social structures, in order to exist. Consequently, a precise analysis of these social phenomena improves our understanding of social power, and the different forms it takes. The proposed taxonomy of social power is based on this insight since the various types of social power is explained in terms of the different social phenomena on which it depends. These forms of social power share a common feature; they are dependent on collective intentionality to exist, which makes the analysis of this notion an important part of the book.



The following definition of social power is proposed: An agent A has social power if and only if A has an ability, which is existentially dependent on collective intentionality, to effect a specific outcome.



Due to presupposing a cooperative and consensus-oriented view of social phenomena, other works in this field offer too narrow analyses, if any, of social power. For instance, the type of power - deontic power - previously discussed is necessarily visible or transparent. But there are other forms of power in social reality, such as opaque kinds of social power, telic power, and power as the imposition of internal constraints. In order to account for these forms of social power the investigation is extended to areas which have been neglected so far: second-order social phenomena such as social structures, opaque kinds of social facts, and different types of normativity. A definition of "social structure" is offered, and the tools of social ontology are applied to a new area, meta-ethics, in arguing for the thesis that moral facts are social facts.



The book also offers a critical discussion of central theories in this field, such as John Searle's construction of social reality, Raimo Tuomela's collective acceptance account of sociality and Margaret Gilbert's plural subject theory. This critical discussion aims at improving our understanding of the nature of social phenomena. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Associate Professor Thomasson, Amie L., University of Miami
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Filosofi, Philosophy, John Searle, Social structures, Institutional facts, Moral facts, Opaque kinds of social facts, Social power, Philosophy of special sciences, Collective intentionality, Särskilda vetenskapers filosofi
pages
188 pages
publisher
Bokbox förlag
defense location
Department of Philosophy Room 104 Kungshuset, Lundagård. 222 22 Lund
defense date
2007-05-19 10:15
ISBN
978-91-86980-39-9
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e43e89d6-87fb-41ac-b944-5ff1348ec9db (old id 27182)
date added to LUP
2007-06-05 15:40:58
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:01
@misc{e43e89d6-87fb-41ac-b944-5ff1348ec9db,
  abstract     = {This work presents an account of social power based on recent advances in social ontology. It is argued that a conceptual analysis of social power can be informed by developments in social ontology, but also that this field can be enriched, and in fact requires, an analysis of this central social concept.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Social power is dependent on the existence of various kinds of social phenomena, such as institutions and social structures, in order to exist. Consequently, a precise analysis of these social phenomena improves our understanding of social power, and the different forms it takes. The proposed taxonomy of social power is based on this insight since the various types of social power is explained in terms of the different social phenomena on which it depends. These forms of social power share a common feature; they are dependent on collective intentionality to exist, which makes the analysis of this notion an important part of the book.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The following definition of social power is proposed: An agent A has social power if and only if A has an ability, which is existentially dependent on collective intentionality, to effect a specific outcome.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Due to presupposing a cooperative and consensus-oriented view of social phenomena, other works in this field offer too narrow analyses, if any, of social power. For instance, the type of power - deontic power - previously discussed is necessarily visible or transparent. But there are other forms of power in social reality, such as opaque kinds of social power, telic power, and power as the imposition of internal constraints. In order to account for these forms of social power the investigation is extended to areas which have been neglected so far: second-order social phenomena such as social structures, opaque kinds of social facts, and different types of normativity. A definition of "social structure" is offered, and the tools of social ontology are applied to a new area, meta-ethics, in arguing for the thesis that moral facts are social facts.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The book also offers a critical discussion of central theories in this field, such as John Searle's construction of social reality, Raimo Tuomela's collective acceptance account of sociality and Margaret Gilbert's plural subject theory. This critical discussion aims at improving our understanding of the nature of social phenomena.},
  author       = {Burman, Åsa},
  isbn         = {978-91-86980-39-9},
  keyword      = {Filosofi,Philosophy,John Searle,Social structures,Institutional facts,Moral facts,Opaque kinds of social facts,Social power,Philosophy of special sciences,Collective intentionality,Särskilda vetenskapers filosofi},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {188},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xafc9598)},
  title        = {Power and Social Ontology},
  year         = {2007},
}