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Ontic Webs: A New Framework for Public Sociology

Religion, Humility, and Democracy in a Divided America

ISBN: 978-1-78973-950-3, eISBN: 978-1-78973-949-7

Publication date: 5 August 2019


What is the relationship between the descriptive and the normative? The usual answer, in the social sciences, is based on a sharp distinction between facts and values. This chapter reprises and radicalizes long-standing critiques of the fact/value distinction, proposes an alternative theory of ontic webs in its stead, and then uses it to delineate six different forms of public sociology. It argues that facts are value-laden and values fact-laden; that facts and values are entangled in webs of belief and practice; and that attributions of causation and moral responsibility are connected via ontological assumptions. Effective public sociology therefore requires a combination of ontological extension and moral translation.



Gorski, P.S. (2019), "Ontic Webs: A New Framework for Public Sociology", Religion, Humility, and Democracy in a Divided America (Political Power and Social Theory, Vol. 36), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 151-168.



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