Epstein on Anchors and Grounds


  • Francesco Guala Università degli Studi di Milano


social kinds, grounds, anchors, types, tokens, institutions, pluralism, individualism


The distinction between anchors and grounds is one of the most innovative contributions of The Ant Trap. In this commentary I will argue that the distinction suffers from an ambiguity between tokens and types. This leads Epstein to endorse pluralism about anchors and grounds, a position that is not justified in the book and to which there are plausible alternatives.


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Epstein, B. (2014): “How Many Kinds of Glue Hold the Social World Together?”. In: M. Gallotti and J. Michael (Eds.): Perspectives on Social Ontology and Social Cognition. Dordrecht: Springer, p. 41–55. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9147-2_4

Epstein, B. (2015a): The Ant Trap: Rebuilding the Foundations of Social Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199381104.001.0001

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How to Cite

Guala, Francesco. 2016. “Epstein on Anchors and Grounds”. Journal of Social Ontology 2 (1). Vienna, Austria:135-47. https://journalofsocialontology.org/index.php/jso/article/view/6850.



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