Abstract Burman

  • Åsa Burman (Stockholm University): A Taxonomy of Social Facts

How many types of social facts are there? The purpose of this talk is to develop a taxonomy of social facts to answer that question. I start by giving a more comprehensive account of social power, the power view, than has hitherto been offered in contemporary social ontology. My account of social power relies on a fundamental distinction: social power that is directly dependent on the intentionality of agents and social power that is indirectly dependent on the intentionality of agents to exist. Telic power and deontic power are direct forms of social power. Two indirect forms of social power are introduced and defined: spillover power and structural power. I show how these forms of social power can accommodate central social phenomena, such as an opaque gender and class structure. An important implication of the power view, with its four categories of social power, is that it can be used as a basis for a taxonomy of social facts. The key idea is that social power is the central social concept and nearly all the social facts in which we are interested contain one form of social power or another. Hence, I offer a taxonomy of social facts in virtue of social power.