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Social objects, causality and contingent realism

Williams, Malcolm David ORCID: 2009. Social objects, causality and contingent realism. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 39 (1) , pp. 1-18. 10.1111/j.1468-5914.2008.00396.x

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This paper is a realist argument for the existence of “social objects”. Social objects, I argue, are the outcome states of a contingent causal process and in turn posses causal properties. This argument has consequences for what we can mean by realism and consequences for the development of a realist methodology. Realism should abandon the notion of natural necessity in favour of a view that the “real” nature of the social world is contingent and necessity is only revealed in outcome states. This, I argue, has both theoretical and methodological implications and I develop my argument through two case studies, of homelessness and ethnicity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: realism; social objects; causality; probability; necessity
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
ISSN: 0021-8308
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 07:44

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