The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 5, 2007

Logic and Philosophy of the Sciences

Antti Saaristo
Pages 115-121

On the Possibility of Naturalised Anti-Individualism in Social Ontology

In this paper I argue, contrary to the modern paradigm of rational choice theory in sociological theorising, that Dürkheim was correct to think that collectivistic notions are required if there is to be sui generis social science. However, Durkheim's anti-individualism must be naturalised to be compatible with modern monistic ontology. I argue that the required naturalisation is offered by the notion of humans as strongly social animals in general and the notion of collective intentionality in particular. I argue that such a collectivistic but ontologically naturalistic notion is (i) a fundamental building block of social reality, (ii) supported by empirical studies, (iii) required by theoretical analyses of social action dilemmas and, finally, (iv) capable of providing the key to the construction of a more humane world of the future.